Orange County Realtor Accused of Scamming $1 Million From Homebuyers

Pretty blatant. Why is she not going to jail?

She doesn’t go to jail. Only he does.

I did not know people in California still write earnest money checks to agents. It was proposed to me a few months back, when someone wanted to buy one of my Utah rentals.

Agents who respect the law and codes will not even accept such a deposit. It’s extra work for the agent (deposit needs to be accounted for, kept separate from other office funds etc etc) without extra pay.

I know a guy who had a broker license, here in Santa Cruz. He lost that license around 1990. Story is he used the buyer’s deposit for personal investment. Buyer sends in cancellation, broker is unable to refund the deposit. He lost the license.

DRE is very strict about this. Around 2012, this ex-broker re-applied for a license with DRE. He was rejected.

Yes, 20 years later, they would not license him.

By the way how are your Utah rentals? Love them? Hate them?

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I bought 4 SFR there, between 2006 and 2007. 2 “better” neighborhoods (160k, 190k) and 2 in lower-end neighborhoods (170k, 174k).

My experience with SFR in Utah is a LOT better than Las Vegas (where I had 2) and Phoenix (friends bought there). The quality of people in Utah is higher, and they tend not to move as opposed to transient cities like Vegas. Many people come for a “second chance” to Las Vegas, but they are still the same people who failed where they came from. A year later, they move on.

The 2 houses in the better neighborhoods have each appreciated from 160k and 190k to 320k. (160k was the earliest purchase.) I will sell them too. The cash flow is better on those, still not worth all the paper work, emails to PM etc.

The 2 houses that I sold, I never saw them in person. Bought them over the internet, never bothered driving there.

I think $34k down payment turned into $120k net payout 12 years later, better than a poke in the eye.

If I were to sell the 2 other ones right now, $32k and $38k down payment would turn into ~$230k net payout each. (15yr mortgages.) Not complaining.


What about maintenance in Utah. Harsh weather. Snow removal yard work on tenants? How have they held up?

good question about snow removal. You would expect an expense. In 12-13 years of owning those 4, I never was billed a penny for snow removal. I did have a short vacancy in December 2017, but I guess it did not snow?

With the weather being colder in winter, I was worried about freezing pipes during that December vacancy. I guess PM kept a minimum temperature to avoid that (gas bill not even $40/mo).

Many houses there have “swamp coolers” instead of expensive to operate ACs.
Each year in May, the PM would go there and “start them up” ($65), possibly replace pads,
then in October, come back and “shut down” ($65 again). It’s a good opportunity to do a general inspection, I don’t view it as a problem.

Just like a long-term rental in California after 12 years.
The one that I sold last month, it was from 1978 and I think it had the original roof. It did not leak, but was at its end.

Siding used is brick and some plastic over wood, no issues with termites.