In the Trenches: Downsizing With Friends

A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.
In The Trenches

© Steve Musgrave

After a past client’s daughter graduated from college and left home, the client asked if I could help her find a new, more affordable place to live that would be easier to maintain. She wanted to ditch the expense of yard upkeep and other maintenance chores of a single-family home. Luckily, I knew a developer who was completing a new mixed-use building with three condos; one was already taken, and the other two would soon be ready to market. It was the perfect solution for my client. And this connection would lead to yet another customer—and sale—and become the most fulfilling experience of my career.

While I was helping my client simultaneously sell her house and purchase one of the two available units in the developer’s building, the client’s best friend decided she wanted to live closer to her comrade and buy the third condo. So, I also helped the best friend sell her house and buy the unit. All this happened in the span of four months.

The “girls,” as I call them, are so happy to be living so close to one another. They’re now able to relax on their outdoor patios together. It’s incredible to them and to me that everything worked out so serendipitously. It’s still one of my favorite real estate happy endings.

—Beverly Comeau, CRS, GRI, Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Sandwich, Mass.

Paid in Gratitude

The transaction I’m most proud of is one that generated no income for me. In 2017, I was helping a seller who was under- water on her mortgage and days away from foreclosure. She was months behind on her mortgage payments after taking a significant pay cut at her job.

I was working with my client and the bank to sell her town-home in a short sale. She didn’t want to leave her home if she could avoid it, so I asked a lawyer, who is a friend, to see if he could help my client work out a loan modification with the bank. Fortunately, they were able to strike new loan terms, which reduced her monthly payments by about $250, and my would-be seller was able to keep her townhome.

Three years later, she’s still doing well and able to maintain her mortgage payments, even during the pandemic. Neither my lawyer friend nor I received any compensation for our assistance, but I am gratified to have helped someone keep the home she loved.

—David Brewster, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, Milford, Conn.

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