April 30, 2011
The Now Public Details For The Painful Situation We Posted Last Week
While we didn't disclose the details last week, the recent buyer of a unit above an S&M enthusiast has decided to go public, perhaps as the reality of our reader's words of wisdom with respect to litigation has set in. The first third of the buyer's detailed public plea:
When I closed the deal last Friday for [removed by editor] in Glen Park, my new condo in a 2-unit building, I had no idea my downstairs co-owner was a self-described "sex enthusiast" who engages in loud S&M "leather sex" on a regular basis. I learned this not from the seller or his agent, but via an email from the co-owner himself, which I received last Sunday night, after close.
The mere fact of the co-owner's sexual preference doesn't bother me in the least. But the possibility of it coming to the attention of my 10 year old son, whose bedroom was to be directly over the downstairs bedroom, enrages me.
By what measure does this not require disclosure? All parties to the sale knew I had a young boy who would be living with me. And I had expressed to my agent directly my concern over the possibility of an S&M dungeon in the common garage area, as that would be an inappropriate feature in a child's environment.
Neither the seller or his agent told me about the use and type of noise coming from the lower unit, though the co-owner writes that this was a topic of conversation several times between the seller and him.
The level of noise transmitted between the units has been an ongoing issue. In fact, renovation of the seller's unit was undertaken as recently as this year to help abate the noise: new sound proof padding and carpeting were added.
Despite the possibility that my 10 year old would be negatively affected by this noise type and unit use, this fact was kept from me during a full 6 weeks while I decided whether to purchase the condo.
I implored both realty companies to rescind the sale. They both said get a lawyer, we can't help.
While we tried to keep the details private, and encouraged others to do so as well, we can't put the genie back in the bottle for the buyer's now very public plea.
First Published: April 30, 2011 3:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Maybe everyone can picket the three agents open houses with banners ..................liars and cheats.
Sounds like you have enough back up data to call a lawyer. You'll go to med/arb first; but that will not rescind a deal. You'll need to sue for that. Good luck and these three agents are the text book example of why agents get bad raps.
Posted by: jimmy at April 30, 2011 3:22 PM
I never doubted the story, but the credibility is show with me. I'm sure Jack is busy but he now is in a bit of a bind. Pun intended. I'm still not sure what it is exactly that the guy wants. The sale will never be rescinded. Buyers remorse is terrible. So what exactly does this guy hope to achieve? Until that is specified than this is just a public rant. Not a good situation for anyone.
Posted by: eddy at April 30, 2011 4:22 PM
I feel for you, but why don't you move in and see if you even hear anything. I mean what's the point of all this if it isn't even an issue when you get there. Also why wouldn't you meet your neighbors first? Especially in a 2 unit building. I'm on the fence. Maybe it should have been disclosed, but I would have done some homework first. Just my opinion.
Posted by: Ryan at April 30, 2011 4:42 PM
Unless there were police reports regarding the noise, etc. I don't think there's really a case her of agents witholding info. Perhaps you want to get some loud renters in there. But no different than having a screamer in the downstairs/upstairs unit. Restricting usage of the yard/common area would be an issue.
Posted by: mike l at April 30, 2011 5:04 PM
Switch rooms with your kid. Get Lawrence Welk CDs and play them REALLY loudly when the hotsy totsies downstairs are making whoopee. A wun a too a tree! Polka!
Posted by: TGuerrant at April 30, 2011 5:22 PM
Seems to me that there are no damages, yet. Unless, the neighbor can be heard and it's beyond a normal sound level (which appears to be the case), then it could be a nuisance and a violation of the CC&Rs. Then you'd have to go through the remedies provided by CC&Rs.
On the other hand, new owner maybe could sue for recission due to non-disclosure of material facts. Unfortunately, for new owner most brokerages "require" buyers to initial the mediation and/or arbitration clauses and I'm guessing that he initialed. I say sue them all anyway. Put the unit back on the market immediately, and whatever your loss and/or costs of this re-sale would be well covered by both brokerages' E&O insurance.
Posted by: formerly%whatever at April 30, 2011 5:28 PM
Of course, the basic problem with playing polka music to cover up the screams of ecstasy and/or pain from downstairs is that it would also wake up or keep up the recent buyer's 10 year old child. I'm sure the buyer doesn't want hearing damage to start that early in his son's life.
eddy, the reason that this buyer is engaging in public rants rather than engaging a lawyer and filing suit already is that, as I've said on this site before, civil litigation is expensive. And in this case, as jimmy says, he'd need representation all the way through the arbitration process first, he's easily looking at a substantial five-figure sum right there. And then he'd have to simultaneously pay a family lawyer to fight off his ex-wife (from the link above):
•I now have a brand new condo I cannot move into because of the risk it poses to my son.
•I have 50% custody of my son. If were to move in to the condo, my ex-wife would immediately sue for full custody.
•I have very little cash reserve because I paid nearly 50% down.
He put nearly half of the selling price down, so he doesn't have a lot left over to pay a high-priced attorney to litigate; I guess he's hoping to shame both agents into settling by going public. I guess the bright side is that since he's not overleveraged, he might be able to lease the place to someone else who doesn't have children for an amount that might be cash-flow positive, although he'd still need a place for himself.
Thanks for posting this, editor. When I go to buy a condo, I'll make sure to investigate the owners of any other units, hold out the inspection contingency for as long as possible and also make it a point to skip initialing the mediation and/or arbitration clauses of my agent's contract up front.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at April 30, 2011 7:10 PM
"And I had expressed to my agent directly my concern over the possibility of an S&M dungeon in the common garage area, as that would be an inappropriate feature in a child's environment."
I don't get it... so they discussed S&M and dungeons beforehand and he still went ahead and bought the place? I still don't know the whole story but it sounds like buyer's remorse to me that is being played out very distastefully.
Posted by: anon at April 30, 2011 7:14 PM
My understanding is that the law is exceptionally strict regarding disclosure. Failure to investigate a portion of someone ELSE's condo would not be seen as an issue: but the fact that he raised it as a concern for which he had a high sensitivity and it wasn't disclosed is an issue.
My understanding of E&O insurance is that it would not cover fraud. That means he will likely sue the seller's agent personally for this sort of thing, and go after the selling agents personal assets, house, car, jewelry, savings accounts, all of which would be on the table.
And then hope I'm picked for the jury.
But the fact is that this buyer needs to go get a frying pan very quickly and hit himself in the head. Stop posting on blogs and get a lawyer. I mean it. All those blog posts prove is that you're an idiot. Stop posting on blogs and HIRE A LAWYER. Call the state bar and they'll assign one to you if you are so stupid that you can't figure out how to hire one yourself.
But in the meantime, shut the hell up. You aren't helping your case by posting on blogs.
Posted by: tipster at April 30, 2011 7:38 PM
Not an attorney, but my understanding of E&O insurance is the same as tipster's; that it doesn't cover fraud. However, most agents that are handling any reasonable volume of clients carry umbrella policies that cover them when their E&O insurance punks out, so if and when this guy does get his act in gear I expect that this case will never get in front of an actual judge in a real court.
I'd hope to get on the jury, too, but insurance companies like to settle early and quietly.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at April 30, 2011 8:13 PM
Mostly what tipster said, but to make it clear, when you pay an attorney for ADVICE it is very much cheaper than paying an attorney for court time. 2 hours of billable time will clarify your situation, and that's well under a thousand dollars. Document, document, document. Your attorney can absorb information much faster by reading than by listening to you speak. When you have more questions or details to convey group them so your attorney doesn't have to bill you for multiple ramp-ups per day.
And in case it isn't obvious, don't ask real estate brokers or agents for attorney referrals. They really don't like the precendents these kind of situations set.
Posted by: Delancey at April 30, 2011 9:07 PM
I would quickly agree with Tipster.
And after that, being on the sidelines, say that the situation of business ethics in this country is so sadly low. These realtors really should've thought this situation through beyond their measly commission.
Posted by: schlub at April 30, 2011 9:35 PM
Just read the buyer's full posting on redfin. Very revealing.
Did you ever hear the saying that when you point one finger at someone else, you are pointing three fingers at yourself? (Try it if you don't believe me!!)
Sorry that you believe you are in a difficult position, but really -- stop whining in public. This is mostly your own fault. Unless the neighbor is violating a clause of the CC&Rs, then this is a non-issue. Noise travels between almost all units in SF if they are in wood-frame buildings. Unless the noise is above and beyond what is "normal", there is no recourse.
Hire a good real estate attorney and stop complaining. Throwing your agent(s) under the bus only makes you look worse. And no, I'm not an agent and I have no interest in this transaction other than following the post. I have, however, lived in multi-unit buildings in SF for the past 21 years. I have lived in a four unit building, a 3 unit building, an 11 unit building and a two unit building. They were all Victorians, all wood-frame, and noise travels between units no matter what you do. If you don't like it, don't live in SF. Sell the place and buy a free-standing single family home somewhere outside the city.
Honestly, it is a sad time in this country when everything is somebody else's fault. Grow up and deal with it like an adult. And, if you lose money on the transaction, that is your fault too at this point.
If you hadn't publicly tarred and feathered the agents involved, maybe they would have re-sold it for you at a reduced commission. But, it is safe to say they probably won't be working with you now, yes?? ;-)
Oh, and good luck finding an agent to sell it, not to mention a buyer, after the public posting.
Did you think this through even a little bit??? Either before or after the sale? I'm guessing that strategic planning isn't your strong suit in life.
Posted by: remorse at April 30, 2011 10:57 PM
Stop whining in public, and stop pointing fingers. This is primarily your own fault.
Did you ever hear the saying: "When you point a finger at someone else you are pointing three at yourself." If you don't believe me, try it.
And, in terms of noise and damages, there aren't any yet. You haven't moved in. ALl this stuff is covered in the CC&Rs. So, unless your co-owner is violating the conditions of the CC&Rs, there is no issue. If you move in and they are violating the CC&Rs, then that document provides remedies.
Simple as that folks. Unless the e-mail trail between the buyer and his agent shows something very, very clearly, there is no case here.
My advice: sell it, take the loss, and buy a single family somewhere if you can't deal with neighbors.
Oh, and good luck finding an agent to work with you after you public posting -- and good luck finding a buyer as well. Did you think through any of this, even a little bit??
And, if you hadn't tossed your agent under the bus, maybe they would have resold it for you at a reduced commission to help you (and them) out of a bad situation -- but I guess you burned that bridge!!!! ;-)
All in all, I'd say you got what you deserve given the reaction you've shown. Lighten up and buy some leather -- maybe go down and visit your neighbor on the nights your son isn't with you.
Posted by: remorse at April 30, 2011 11:22 PM
I am unclear on whether the buyer has actually moved in yet; I think not.
If so, doesn't he have to move in first to be able to show ACTUAL damages? I am not a lawyer, but, at the moment, he is discussing potential noise and activity. I don't think that one can sue for theoretical or anticipatory distress.
As far as the specific nature of the activity, as long as it's not illegal, I don't know if any sexual behavior is, in and of itself, actionable. If the complaint is, at its base, simply, "I don't like the way my neighbors live," that's not going to fly on legal grounds.
Note to buyer:
If you had discovered that the other owner was a compulsive gambler who played poker all night with his buddies, would you feel the same way? There might be people coming and going at all hours, loud noise from a boisterous crowd, and cigar smoke from the guys at the poker table. Some of the people who come over might be rather seedy and they might be drunk at times. These people are probably not a great example for your child, either.
How is this situation different from yours? And do you think that it's actionable?
Posted by: jlasf at May 1, 2011 12:37 AM
I read the refin posting and the buyer said he paid $27,000 in commissions to the realtor. That doesn't make sense, since the seller pays the commissions. What am I missing here?
Posted by: Money Man at May 1, 2011 12:41 AM
This is the sort of story that has all the components to go national. I wonder if it will have the legs.
Posted by: [anon.ed] at May 1, 2011 8:18 AM
Possibly, annon.ed, but according to the blog posting, the guy has yet to move in.
Let's review what we know: an untrustworthy neighbor who hates kids *says* he has a bad environment for kids.
That's not much of a story.
We don't actually know if the neighbor is just saying all of this to make sure there is lots of distance between himself and the kid he doesn't want around. Maybe he really does all this stuff once or twice a year.
According to Redfin, both the current neighbor and the former owner lived there for a very long time, I would have expected a lot of turnover if the place was that bad. Maybe the new neighbor adopted the lifestyle recently, but based on the all the facts, there isn't a lot of evidence of anything other than a ruse by the neighbor that has caused more anxiety than was intended.
I think at the very least, I'd move in and see if the problem really exists, and deal with it then.
Posted by: tipster at May 1, 2011 9:14 AM
Thank you for publishing the names of the realtors. I will be spreading the word in my community that these individuals are not trustworthy.
Posted by: John at May 1, 2011 9:44 AM
Interesting. The more I read about this (just read through the redfin link which I skipped over before)the less I feel for the new owner and the more I feel for the agents (what's there to disclose that is not borderline slander) and even the owner of the downstairs unit. I like Remorse's very succinct, direct response on this. "Stop whining" This new owner hasn't even moved in yet. A lot of drama is being created by a new buyer who obvious has buyer's remorse and is trying to get out of a recent purchase. Best of luck selling this place and trying to sue the agents based on hypothetical situations that may come up. You'll end up losing a lot of money before even getting to court. I would question any lawyer who states there's an actual case here. Especially if you haven't even been living in the unit. Doubtful this owner will get out of this purchase agreement. Best course of action if a real issue exists would be to rent the unit.
It would be great to get the owner of the other unit's opinion on this. Perhaps he's the victim of a new drama queen co-owner who hasn't moved in yet.
Posted by: mike l at May 1, 2011 11:00 AM
Buyers Remorse. That is all. The whole thing is ridiculous. The story about the wife suing for full custody? How would she have even known had he not gone public. It's still not clear this guy even knows what the heck is going on down there short of some unsubstantiated statements by the owner of the other unit. There are some nuts out there and it seems like this is case where we've found two. For some reason, it reminds me of a scene from "Old School". See name link.
As an aside, I'm not downplaying the seriousness of the issue as it relates to the son in this situation. And I wouldn't want anything to do with this situation and a ten year old child fi I were the new owner. But this situation should have been figured out in the escrow period. It wasn't and now it is not a good situation. For anyone. I'm not sure what liability is out there for this guy to settle, but I'd highly suggest substantiating the facts here. Seems the best move is to meet up with the owner and have a sit down to work out the situation. I don't buy the whole wife will sue for full custody argument. That is BS and no court would take the kid away because the neighbor has these issues. Seems this may be more an issue to smoke out the neighbor too.
Posted by: eddy at May 1, 2011 11:13 AM
And what if you do all of your due diligence ... and then six months later your neighbor sells and the neighbor from hell moves in?
You live in a city. You are cheek by jowls with lots of people that you have no control over.
Learn to love it.
Posted by: diemos at May 1, 2011 11:25 AM
He had posted during the week on another real estate website as well, stating that it was located in Glen Park. I think that he was trying to get as much exposure as possible.
Posted by: John at May 1, 2011 11:27 AM
@ eddy: I have a friend going through a two year hostile custody battle. She FEARS that anything will create an opportunity for the ex to re-open the custody arrangement. That fear alone drives her to be cautious about everything.
Posted by: jlasf at May 1, 2011 11:33 AM
I read the refin posting and the buyer said he paid $27,000 in commissions to the realtor. That doesn't make sense, since the seller pays the commissions.
The seller pays the commissions . . . with the buyer's money.
Remove the agent from the transaction and the transaction would go through for the amount with the agent's fee subtracted from it.
Of course, you'll never get an agent to understand this, as Upton Sinclair once observed.
Posted by: Troy at May 1, 2011 12:31 PM
I applaud the guy for going public. Only by shedding light on the agents' dishonest practices can the public make the real estate purchase process less corrupt.
Here is one other case which I hope will not find its unwitting victims.
Last December, Vanguard agent(s) purchased
a 3-unit property at 131-135 Clayton. In fact, they entered and took control of the property even before the close of escrow, as the house was vacant.
Now, they are trying to make a quick flip, unsuccessfully so far. The only problem is that the listing does not disclose that the property was Ellised and a protected tenant was evicted, which makes condo conversion impossible.
The fact that is it owned by real estate agents is also not mentioned in the listing.
With agents like these, who needs enemies?
Posted by: binoculars at May 1, 2011 3:44 PM
@ binoculars: I saw the LA for 131-135 Clayton today during an open house and he said 2 units are in contract. When I visited the Clayton he did disclose the Ellis when we talked. He did not mention it was owned by real estate agents though.
Posted by: sfy at May 1, 2011 4:56 PM
A lot of snark on this thread by adults obviously without children. I feel for the guy who bought this place. It is not a case of 'That's just life in the city.' Kids have as much right to be here as any dude or dudette with a black and blue butt. Furthermore, as someone who went to those sorts of parties years ago [before kid] you would not believe how loudly people scream. It's part of the thrill for that crowd. It is exactly the kind of screaming that would really freak out a kid. WRONG!!
I think this should have been disclosed, and I hope the court protects the new buyer and his son. Everyone involved who did not disclose should be ashamed.
Posted by: lark at May 1, 2011 5:40 PM
sfy: there is a difference btwn Ellis act eviction and Ellis act eviction with protected tenants. The listing itself says nothing about Ellis eviction,
and Vanguard agents are not disclosing
that there were protected tenants in that eviction.
With no protected tenants, you can still enter lottery for condo conversion after a few years.
If there were protected tenants when Ellis was done, you cannot enter the lottery ever.
Posted by: binoculars at May 1, 2011 5:48 PM
The sad reality, many real estate professionals aren't ethical. There are no barriers to entry, any moron can get a license.
Posted by: Brian at May 1, 2011 5:57 PM
This type of unethical behavior is nothing a sound thrashing won't cure ... maybe the threat of a lawsuit will whip those agents into shape.
On the flip side, the buyer's ego has to be a little bruised by all the "I told you so's" on this site. Hopefully he doesn't get too bound up in litigation.
Posted by: Jimmy (No Longer Bitter) at May 1, 2011 6:59 PM
I find this whole situation strange. But again this is San Francisco.
Read the Redfin post. What strikes me as odd is that the buyer asked to inspect the lower room to see if it might be a SM Chamber during escrow. That would say he had some info or intuition that something rather "alternative" was happening there. Of all things to imagine about a storage/bonus room, a SM chamber would be an out of the ordinary assumption (usually garage level rooms are used for storage, artist studio, etc).
From the information, it seems that particular room is deeded to the other flat. A buyer can request to inspect the room but I don't think he can force the neighbor to open that room. That's his private property, he owns the interior walls and the space between. If realtors or buyers were to enter that room without permission, they would be trespassing.
If the request for inspection of the room was ignored, unresolved, or denied by other neighbor, then why would the buyer close the sale anyways if this was such a big concern? He should have known something was amiss if he asked to see the room. He also knew there was soundproofing done the past year. Does it work? I also doubt if he asked his agent for such request that the agent would not have communicated the request to the other agent and the reason they are asking for the inspection. This would then get sent to the seller. He met the neighbor, why didn't he just ask them directly?
I also doubt, if he expressed an implicit concern about the possibility that the garage room was a SM room and it being an issue with his child, that the agents would then hide this fact. These are big companies, they are aware that this would open them up to litigation as the buyer for sure would find this out when he moves in. Not worth it for a relatively small commission check (no offense but for the city this is not much).
The agents have never lived at this property. They wouldn't have knowledge of this unless the seller had disclosed this to them. There is a chance the seller did not tell anyone. It's not unheard of sellers hiding information from their agents, afraid it would ruin their sale. Then they just take off and let the real estate companies deal with any resulting problems. Such information could not be known from the mandatory agent's visual inspection of unit and common areas.
The tipster from the other socketsite post said the buyer met the neighbor who didn't mention anything about his lifestyle. He then sends him an email after closing letting him know about the room downstairs (?). Strange.
And why post the details on all these blogs? It's one thing to reveal info on the unit- he's going have to disclose this anyways when he resales (unless the neighbor moves out). But to post about your custody issues and divorce, then put your name and number. Very odd.
Posted by: sleepyinsf at May 1, 2011 9:56 PM
^ Agree with sleepyinsf here, he/she pretty much said everything that was on my mind. Looking over this a few times, nothing is adding up - "hey, that odd room in the basement, it wouldn't happen to be a fisting chamber, would it?... hmm, I'd like to see it... ok, I have put the request in to see it... never saw that room, I have some unresolved questions, so let's close escrow now ..."
Can't tell if it's extreme buyer's remorse or just a weird attempt at a shakedown. I don't know. Fun topic though.
Posted by: Longtime-Lurker at May 1, 2011 11:54 PM
Dear Jack Hagerty @ 415-305-7772,
I'm not buying your story.
Frankly, I think your x-wife should be more worried about your rash behavior than this story that you are spinning. You say that you have reason to publicly slander highly respected Realtors and your new neighbor because it is your only option tdo so since you put more than $300,000 down as a down payment on your new home and, as a result, you are now cash poor and unable to seek legal advice? (Hmmmm, any dim light bulb could figure out how to leverage that HUGE equity in order to obtain fast cash for critical legal advice.) Instead, you rationalized reason to rush to judgment and immediately and publically point fingers as your only course of action. Your action appears to be premature and slanderously weighted. (What if the shoe was on the other foot? Imagine how that would feel, Jack?) Is this your best example for your son to learn how to handle conflict? Clearly, Jack, you have burned some bridges pretty quick.
Oh, you neglected to tell us that the locked room at the garage level is NOT a common area but a third bedroom deeded to the lower unit. Oddly, it can be accessed off the common laundry area so there is good reason why it is kept locked. How many condo owners do you know that leave their private, deeded spaces unlocked for neighboring condo owners to enter as they please?
Oh, you neglected to tell us that to assuage your fears that the lower room was an SM dungeon, your agent immediately contacted the listing agents to arrange access to that private, locked and deeded space. Your neighbor could have said f**k off but he didn't and agreed to give you access. You even visited the room early in your escrow and discovered it is NOT a dungeon but a very well appointed guest room. You again visited that "dungeon room" a few days later during your contractors inspection, as well. It was still a bedroom. Wasn't that correct, Jack? No mysterious dungeon there. Isn't that correct, Jack?
Oh, you neglected to tell us that during your transaction you communicated your desire to remove the carpeting and pad in your unit (known to you to be put in place to abate sound and put in place to conform to the CC&R's). This gave your neighbor the opportunity to discuss the mutual benefit of the pad and carpeting with you (a common problem in small, wood framed buildings) and an opportunity for your neighbor to communicate his unwillingness to agree to the carpet removal. Seems like that was an honest discussion about noise in the building that you may have forgotten? Did you forget that conversation, Jack?
Oh, you neglected to tell us that in the last hours before your close (when it is too late to cancel or postpone your close), you emailed your new neighbor to inform him that you were going to violate your CC&R's by removing your carpeting and flooring within days without his permission. I would imagine your neighbor dropped jaw in disbelief when you served this late notice to proceed without regard to his concerns about compromising sound transference which he had discussed with you. I bet his colorful (and probably exaggerated) description of potential noise from his unit was a desperate attempt to get you to acknowledge and understand the noise issues discussed with you prior, maintain compliance with the CC&R's and assure that no-inappropriate noise would impact you or your son. Seems like a thoughtful neighbor to me!
I imagine it was hard to hear that your neighbor was not willing to let you violate the CC&R's. Was this when your buyer's remorse kicked in, Jack? Many people are really disappointed when they find out that they can't over rule the CC&R's and remove padding and carpeting. Is this what motivated you to stomp your feet, rush to your public soap box and point fingers?
The omission of details such as the ones above blows holes in your story. In my opinion, your neighbor, the seller and the agents you are trying to hang, don't deserve your wrath and should seek recourse against you.
Jack, you have carefully spun an interesting story. However, when the verifiable information that you neglected to share has an opportunity to surface, your credibility will be blown to pieces. Great role model for your son, Jack!
You voluntarily published your story, that you have a 10 year old son, your name, your phone number and your address...smart move guy...really, really bright. How about your social security number, too?
I imagine that moving in to your newly purchased home would be a big risk as you could discover that this mess of a story that you have entertained us with has no meat to it or that your neighbor is a very caring, concerned and respectful neighbor as he is known to be. Then again, after publicly spewing your crafted and inflammatory story, how could you ever live in such an intimate setting and face your new neighbors?
I viewed your unit when it was on the market. It really is a great condo. You should neutralize the ugly colors and hire a talented stager to stage and highlight its great features. The last seller didn't do that. It didn't show very well and that is likely the reason you were the only offer and why you got a steal of a deal. You stole it at below market and you should be able to cover your selling costs in the profit you could realize now.
Jack, I don't wish you agony but it appears you've elevated the mess that you are in. Go ahead, point fingers, cry wolf and dig a deeper more miserable hole. What goes around, comes around.
Now, spare us from your drama. Hire a psychiatrist that can give you some constructive guidance on your behavior and decision making skills. Hire a great attorney that will be honest with you and keep you from your stupid slander.
You have the money, bud...$300,000 in equity! Wishing you some new-found wisdom, better decision making and a new home in another neighborhood.
Posted by: GlenParkNeighbor at May 2, 2011 12:58 AM
As a member of the California bar, STOP posting online. Call the San Francisco bar today and ask your friends for referrals. You are not doing yourself any favors by taking this to public forums. You may be upset, but the more you say online, the bigger hole you dig for yourself.
And in case I wasn't clear, get a lawyer. Today.
Posted by: nowonderitcostssomuchhere at May 2, 2011 6:20 AM
i think the story is BS.
Posted by: * at May 2, 2011 8:26 AM
Looks like the agents' lobby went on the counteroffensive. With their deep pockets and lack of integrity, it is going to be fireworks of lies and distortions.
Ang guess what the agents are upset by most of all: their misdeeds becoming public.
All the agents want is for that guy to shut up.
Then they can proceed with their dirty business quietly.
I respectfully disagree with the esteemed agents:
making his case public helps this guy, as an average Joe like myself would certainty support the unwitting buyer.
Posted by: binoculars at May 2, 2011 8:37 AM
I wouldn't have posted online. I can understand where the guy comes from. But posting this publicly could chop off 10s of Ks of resale value. I would have claimed outside circumstances and put it back on the market with the seller's Realtor ;)
Call me unethical, but for me money can have better uses than feeding lawyers.
Posted by: lol at May 2, 2011 8:44 AM
This story is (mostly) a fake, as outlined by GlenParkNeighbor above.
Not clear what Jack's agenda is in life, but his actions are enough that his ex-wife and/or Child Protective Services should be checking in on the welfare of his son.
Clearly his is an unstable individual at this point in his life, with extreme, out-of-control reactions to every day events. It could be an anxiety disorder of some sort?
Posted by: [remorse] at May 2, 2011 9:14 AM
There are reasons for arbitration, mediation and sound legal advice. Rushing to spin a story in order to create flash mob support by publicly embarassing or pressuring the "yet to be proven" guilty is glorified bullying and more telling about who Jack is than what really has happened. Supporting please for flash mob support, without truly knowing all the facts, is dangerous to our society in all forms. I applaud those who have wisely advised Mr. Jack to stop whinning and get legal advice.
Posted by: tribemaster at May 2, 2011 9:22 AM
Is Jack "unwitting" or dangerously stupid? This is the question for the average Joe.
Posted by: GlenParkNeighbor at May 2, 2011 9:34 AM
@ reguru: interesting spin on the story you are presenting here by arguing that a person who goes public is ``unstable.''
Per your logic, ``stable guys'' are the ones who engage in secret backroom dealings. Oh yes, this is an epithomy of the ``agents'' stability:
arbitration, mediation, some money dropped in this pocket, some- in that, and you are in business
Here is one way to proceed: resigster an LLC ``California Investment Co.'' (some dirty paws are still there as its address is the same as Vanguard Properties address), buy real estate at 131-135 Clayton, and then you do not have to disclose that
131-135 Clayton is owned by the real estate agents.
That's beautiful stability!
Posted by: binoculars at May 2, 2011 9:44 AM
As I said earlier, this whole thing is a little to TMZ for me. It's not my blog, but I would not have posted this story or the follow up. I see no reason to give this guy a platform, which is exactly what it has done. If @GlenParkNeighbor comments are accurate it sheds a whole separate light on Jack and his motives. I'll stick around to watch the train wreck that this has become, but I certainly feel dumber for wasting time on this idiotic situation.
Posted by: eddy at May 2, 2011 10:05 AM
I have very little cash reserve because I paid nearly 50% down.
Yet another reason not to put all your money into real estate as an "investment."
Seems to me that there are no damages, yet. Unless, the neighbor can be heard and it's beyond a normal sound level (which appears to be the case), then it could be a nuisance and a violation of the CC&Rs.
It depends on what the cause of action is. If it's fraud/misrepresentation, then the CC&Rs might be irrelevant.
I agree with many of the others -- this guy needs to lawyer up and shut up.
This is the sort of story that has all the components to go national.
I agree with fluj on this one.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 2, 2011 10:25 AM
^^ "go national" yes as in a new reality show (ala Ballon Goy publicity)
Posted by: guest at May 2, 2011 10:34 AM
i agree this is just TMZ-ish gossip and rumors.
i'd hope socket site sticks more to facts in the near future.
Posted by: * at May 2, 2011 10:36 AM
on a side note: are agents legally allowed to discuss sexuality issues like this?
if I remember correctly, there are certain things that agents are not allowed to discuss... such as the racial makeup of the area... and sexuality.
this was partially in response to the old "white flight" problem where people would try to go to only certain racial neighborhoods...
From "Complete idiot's guide to buying and selling a home"
Agents have to be careful when characterizing a neighborhood. Steering you to a particular neighborhood based on the buyers' race, color, religion, country of origin, age, or sex is discriminatory and against the law.
in other words, are agents even allowed to say "don't buy this home because an S&M person lives here" ?
Posted by: ex SF-er at May 2, 2011 10:39 AM
The whole thing is ridiculous. The story about the wife suing for full custody? How would she have even known had he not gone public.
Easy. I'm not a family law attorney, but during my pre-teen years I was batted around like a badminton shuttle while my mother and father conducted an ongoing custody war.
The way it would probably play out is like this: the mother gets her turn at custody or exercises her visitation rights. The kid tells the mother, "Mom, there's screaming and moaning coming from the other unit in the building at all odd hours of the night, and it either keeps me awake or wakes me up in the middle of the night."
Mom consults her attorney. Attorney intuits that this must be affecting the kids performance in school, depriving kid of sleep, creating an adverse environment, etc. etc., etc…the petition practically writes itself and in fact the paralegal at the Mom's attorney's firm could probably finish the entire thing with minimal input from said mother.
Then both sides' attorney's chew on it for a whole, running up thousands of dollars before a hearing is even scheduled.
I agree with what jlasf wrote above, once one of the parties has been through this drill, and the associated expenses (did I mention that litigation is expensive?), they'll go out of their way to avoid it if at all possible.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at May 2, 2011 11:03 AM
So many times I've wondered about the success rate of 2-unit condos. The potential for disagreements and conflicts is monumental, over everything from lifestyles to money for repairs and maintenance. This is but one example I'm sure.
I live in a large condo with professional on-site management. We have issues too, but not like this and everyone should take a lesson.
Posted by: BT at May 2, 2011 11:07 AM
in other words, are agents even allowed to say "don't buy this home because an S&M person lives here" ?
I don't think sexual activity itself is a protected category, as long as it doesn't discuss orientation. Sexual orientation is generally protected in California, but nothing about orientation has been stated here as far as I know.
There are reasons for arbitration, mediation and sound legal advice.
It depends because arbitration can cost as much as litigation sometimes. You also have to make sure the forum is not something grossly unfair, like the arbitration service that credit card companies use. Some people want arbitration for the privacy of it, which is why I assume brokerages require it.
You may be able to get around some of the issues by making sure you have a proper arbitration clause, but for that you'd need to consult an attorney. The arbitrator should be applying California law, rather than whatever he/she wants, for one thing. You also want to make sure that you can enforce the arbitration decision in court, if necessary, by injunction for example.
Posted by: sfrenegade at May 2, 2011 1:02 PM
Posted by: lolcat_94123 at May 2, 2011 3:54 PM
Let's see...3 agents, 2 RE companies, one downstairs neighbor- How about defamation, slander, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, fraud-
Those are just the first potential legal claims aganst the poster that come to mind... The buyer may just lose this condo in a lawsuit.
Posted by: Archtype1 at May 3, 2011 7:14 AM
Now it makes sense:
It's a dispute over an upstairs neighbor wanting to pull up the carpeting and padding, and a downstairs neighbor trying to dissuade him. With an only-in-SF twist.
[Editor's Note: Note GlenParkNeighbor's comment from yesterday above.]
Posted by: Dan at May 3, 2011 8:30 AM
The "leather sex" is a distraction. The issue is occupant generated noise that is interfering with the "quiet enjoyment" of the other occupant.
"While it is not my issue, you may find you need to explain things to your son as it could be confusing to him since it frequently doesn't sound as pleasurable as it is."
Dude, it is your issue. The soundproofing goes in YOUR unit, not your neighbor's. And over-protesting realtors, this is so obviously a disclosure problem in this transaction. I assume your firms' attorneys have advised you to keep mum.
Posted by: Delancey at May 3, 2011 8:59 AM
so would this still be an issue if the buyer had not decided to rip the carpet?
Posted by: grumpy at May 3, 2011 10:23 AM
@Delancey....Respectfully, if Jack is wanting to remove padding and carpeting to mitigate sound transferance between the units (which he informed the downstairs neighbor that he was going to do AFTER Jack closed his deal), Jack is the one who, not only is in violation of the CC&R's, but willingly choosing to expose his child to the risk of noise from downstairs and is responsible for his action. It appears that Jack was well aware of potential noise transferance and the purpose of the padding and carpeting before he closed. Kudos to the downstairs neighbor for sharing his colorful concerns in an effort to protect the son from Jack's stupid desire to remove soundproofing. It's sad that Jack waited till after his close to contact the neighbor. Had he given the neighbor notice of his intent to violate the CC&R's before his close, Jack would have had plenty of time to delay or stop his closing. I feel for the downstairs neighbor who is now getting dragged through the mud for being honest and caring.
So, now we know the real issue here. It's about an upstairs neighbor wanting it HIS way and using social media and the press to pressure and bully...It is not about non-disclosure. This is a very sad and dangerous exploitation much like negative Yelping.
Jack has dug a very deep hole. Sadly, I feel for him, too.
Posted by: tribemaster at May 3, 2011 10:25 AM
OOPS, sorry folks...here is my corrected first line: Respectfully, if Jack is wanting to remove padding and carpeting PUT IN PLACE AND REQUIRED BY THE CC&R's to mitigate sound transferance between the units (which he informed the downstairs neighbor that he was going to do AFTER Jack closed his deal), Jack is the one who, not only is in violation of the CC&R's, but willingly choosing to expose his child to the risk of noise from downstairs and is responsible for his action.
Posted by: Tribemaster at May 3, 2011 10:29 AM
Tribemaster, you're attempting to split hairs.
Jack has expressed the intent to replace the carpets and padding, not remove them. In my experience, CC&Rs require hardwood floors to have a certain percentage of covering carpet, but do not specify what kind of carpet. This is to prevent or ameliorate noise transmission from upstairs to downstairs, not the reverse. If the upstairs seller installed unusual padding as soundproofing due to downstairs noise, that requires disclosure, just a much as if one had installed double-pane windows to deal with the blatting of a next-door neighbor's short-pipe harley.
Posted by: Delancey at May 3, 2011 10:48 AM
Delancey, you make a very good point about reasons why sound proofing measures are needed. Small, wood framed builings are a bit more difficult to soundproof and I would imagine that requires dialogue and agreement between all parties. It is now public that the downstairs neighbor has tried to reach Jack to address Jack's concerns and to work out a mutual situation. Perhaps the downstairs neighbor was willing to work out a better fix to accommodate Jack's concerns? Jack couldn't possibly know this if he is unwilling to engage in initial dialogue with his neighbor.
I find it odd that Jack has rushed to air his dirty laundry via social forum and the media without carefully investigating wether he truly has a disclosure claim against the seller or the agents. I think he would have a very tough time proving that. (In fact, he has stated that himself in his posts). Poor guy. A brand new divorce and he has spent his extra money buying all new furniture and now has no money to pay for rent. Definitely, lots of drama in his work. He must be a trainwreck. I'm convinced that he is out of control and desperately needs a good friend to real him in.
Posted by: Tribemaster at May 3, 2011 11:43 AM
@ Tribemaster: "reel" him in...
Anyway, can't believe this story still has legs. Jack seems to have some issues in life -- anger? Out of control reactions? Anxiety disorder?
jack has made his own bed in life, and now has to sleep in it. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the divorce was all his fault as well. The sad part is, he has a son. Much like Charlie Sheen, it is OK to watch the train wreck until you realize that Sheen is dragging a brood of kids down with him -- then it isn't funny anymore.
All kids deserve better.
If Jack resorts to this type of behavior over a carpet/noise issue, what is his reaction when life really throws him a curve ball??
Accountability Jack, accountability -- that is your word of the day. Try it on for size, and teach your son what it means.
Posted by: hmmm at May 3, 2011 12:18 PM
I'm really not okay with the way that this guy is blaming the downstairs neighbor and framing this as a "my child is exposed to TEH EBIL SEX" issue. IANAL, but this sure sounds insulting and possibly a bit defamatory. Having now read the SFGate version, I'm hoping that the downstairs neighbor knows a good kink-friendly lawyer (of which there are a few in this town). This kind of "not safe to be around children" crap is insulting as heck, as well as being a side issue. Ten years ago this might have been a "the downstairs neighbor is TEH GAY OMG my baby will be exposed to EBIL GAY" bullshit. Fifty years ago, an unmarried het couple. Judging from the ghastly noises my previous downstairs neighbors used to make while having "normal" sex or watching football, I can't see how kinky sex could be any harder to explain to a kid. (Who, at ten, should have already been taught enough basics in health class that the idea of sex isn't a trauma.)
It's a distraction from the fact that this whiner wants to pull up the soundproofing, which is both possibly against the CC&Rs and also counterproductive if he's worried about noise. I'd be annoyed if my upstairs neighbor pulled up carpet and installed a ten-year-old; they're thumpy and run around more than adults.
Posted by: wheelchairgirl at May 3, 2011 3:50 PM
I must admit, like others, I am not clear on what Jack really wants here. However, I have a thought and I am afraid that this guy is setting a precedent that is very, very dangerous for all of us ... as the downstairs neighbor got a big taste of today.
Jack is proclaiming an issue of non-disclosure in his purchase but has yet to commence and investigation to prove it or move in to see if there was a need for it. The parties to his transaction are Jack - the buyer, the seller of the upstairs condo and the real estate agents. However, the downstairs neighbor, who expressed concerns over Jack wanting to remove mutually beneficial sound proofing in violation of the CC&R's, is now fodder for the media with his personal information being broadcast far and wide.
The neighbor discovered that he was the subject of Jack's social media campaign only yesterday as reporters began calling ... days after Jack posted here and elsewhere. Wait, how did this go from a possible non-disclosure issue with the seller to an expose of the downstairs owner, a third party, who is entitled to his privacy? Hello, he's not on trial here! He's only guilty of colorfully and honestly explaining his thoughts about why Jack's intention to remove sound proofing, as required by the CC&R's, was a bad idea and contrary to their previous discussions about the mutual benefit of sound proofing. The seller of the upper unit is the one on the hook if there was a disclosure issue.
The neighbor had attempted to reach Jack numerous times to try to work out the best sound proofing possible while not having a clue as to what Jack was simultaneously doing via social media ... Jack refused to have discussions. (Again, Jack has a dispute with OTHER parties but won't have contact with his neighbor who is trying to be cooperative? Does this not seem strange?)
Ah ha! Now I get it. Jack put forth a desperate story of woe and financial inability to seek resolve via traditional legal methods. He only has $300K in equity in his new place and has spent all his extra money to buy new furniture ... what a great excuse why not to hire an attorney, or process his dispute with the seller or agents! Yeah right, Jack knew he doesn't have a leg to stand on so why throw money at it. Rather than be accountable for his situation, take responsibility and risk loss, he'd rather take another less costly route that would allow him to move in and creatively eradicate his concerns about his neighbor. However, that meant creatively using social media to damage his neighbor. Wow, you are a great guy, Jack! Admirable and a great role model for your son...hardly.
Think about it? Create a "go national" rant (his proclaimed desire of which he achieved today) disguised as pressure on the seller and agents but truly intended to make the lower owner uncomfortable. If successful, might he be able to make the neighbor so miserable that he would move and the problem would be solved? No time or cash wasted in processing his claim of non-disclosure with the seller or the agents and he would be free to live as he chooses. Why not craft a story, use flash-mob guilty-before-proven-innocent justice and support and then go viral with the media to exploit his downstairs neighbor's personal life, regardless of damages to the other owner's property value or life, for his gain? I know, stupid for many reasons but this Jack isn't proving to be very bright and this tactic, sadly, is not new.
Today, the next battle plan unfolded as shameful reporting of this issue plastered the neighbor's name and his personal emails to Jack all over the place. Wait! Wasn't this about Jack's dispute with the seller that he purchased from and the realty agents? How did the neighbor deserve this, Jack?
I believe in social media but when it is used to harm others with intent, something is wrong. I find Jack's social media tactics, and the media's willingness to buy into them, gravely negligent and dangerous to us all. Who could be the next neighbor exposed for being honest? You? Me?
Sadly, here is an example of social media turning deadly and damaging innocent people in the crossfire (or in Jack's case it appears to be intentional). Jack's dispute is with the seller of the upstairs unit and the agents. His new neighbor has been willing to work out a fix yet isn't getting that chance and is being rewarded now by loss of privacy and much more. One earlier poster cautioned that Jack is treading on thin ice and may find that others (lower owner included) could have significant action against him. He may definitely need to find a rental should he end up losing his new condo in a lawsuit for damages he made to his neighbor.
Scary, this could so easily happen to any of us. It makes me think: I didn't speak up and then they came for me.
(BTW, I spoke with lower owner today and appreciated his willingness to share his thoughts about all this. I admire him and his fortitude to deal with this situation. What a great neighbor! He deserves his privacy back, Jack. )
Posted by: glenparkneighbor at May 3, 2011 8:48 PM
As I predicted two days ago on this board, "Looks like the agents' lobby went on the counteroffensive. With their deep pockets and lack of integrity, it is going to be fireworks of lies and distortions."
My prediction has come true. Just look at "glenparkneighbor" postings.
Posted by: binoculars at May 4, 2011 10:04 AM
@ glenparkneighbor -- With the caveat that all the facts as stated by posters above may not in fact be true, it would seem that if Jack was indeed told by the downstairs neighbor that the building may be unsuitable for children then it puts Jack in quite a position even if this was done as part of a CC&R dispute.
If he moves in with his son he is basically forced to give his son some type of warning about the common areas. If the son sees or hears anything which gets back to the mother along with the warning it would be almost malpractice for the mother's attorney not to do anything with that information. While I'm no expert in family law it would seem that being forced to say under oath that you were told, or worse received it in writing via email, that the building was unsafe for children and yet proceeded to move your child in regardless, would reflect very poorly on your custody case. Consider also that the family law case may be in a jurisdiction other then SF with a much more conservative view point.
Posted by: tc_sf at May 4, 2011 10:37 AM
What a nasty, drama queen of a man this buyer is. To spread the sexual details of someone else's life all over the web is an especially vicious form of bullying. Jack, you disgust me. AND, all these stores you hired someone else to write and spread all over the internet ignore the fact that it was you, JACK wanted to remove the carpeting in his upstairs unit which was a violation of the agreement you signed when you moved in. Your downstairs neighbor was being considerate in warning you of a potentially offensive noise situation which you, Jack, caused by your disregard of the agreement about leaving your unit carpeted.
Jack has no case against anyone, because he is the cause of the problem. The realtors are not to blame because Jack is the cause of the problem. Jack who is throwing a huge temper tantrum online and hired a writer to publish his story online, defame a man who was showing him consideration and start this fact-free conversation and not take any responsibility for the damage he has caused. That's all this is: an online hissy fit. If his wife is paying any attention, she should sue him for full custody. He has no business being around a child, much less raising one. What a whiny, nasty bully.
Posted by: innocentbystander at March 7, 2013 11:14 PM