Buyer beware, use common sense

My turn

Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

I just wanted to warn the good citizens of Juneau. It appears that we have a very real and very dangerous presence among us. One that threatens to rip open the very fabric that holds our tight-knit community together. An evil so sinister that it almost caused me to call Word of Mouth! This evil comes disguised in the form of unscrupulous real estate agents!

I can't tell you who they are or even how many there are out there. I can only tell you that they must exist. I know this because I see the evidence in the paper and hear about it on the radio at least once a week. The latest victim was some poor unsuspecting doctor who bought a home underneath the Dan Moller Trail. I imagine the conversation with the real estate agent went something like this.

Victim: "What a great home with a great view. Will I be the only one using that trail?"

Unscrupulous real estate agent: "Only you and your neighbors who, by the way, don't own any snowmachines at all."

Victim: "Great, I'll take it."

This is probably the same agent who sold the home to the guy on Engineers Cut Off.

Guy: "What a great home with a great view, but won't the noise from the jets bother me?"

Agent: "Not at all. The jets will only fly when you're at work."

Guy: "Great, I'll take it."

Agent: "Are you sure you don't want the house in Lemon Creek that is always upwind from the dump?"

Guy: "No, I'll take this one. Who do I call to give my work schedule to?"

Agent: "Oh don't worry, they'll call you as soon as we finalize the deal."

You can see how dastardly these agents can be. Most people have no idea that they have been duped until it's too late. Once they do finally realize that they've been victimized, their only recourse is to form a coalition with other people who have moved into the neighborhood within the last six months and call Word of Mouth.

While this action is highly entertaining to the rest of us in Juneau, the only people who benefit are the people who get hired to study the politically correct problem of the day. Unfortunately the studies are only conducted on the by-product of the problem, not the cause. Not once have I seen the city pay for a study to find out why people buy homes and then start complaining about things they don't like in the neighborhood.

So in order to save the city some time and money, I would like to offer the Assembly the results of my own personally study, absolutely free of charge.

If you buy a home next to a landfill, you won't always be upwind.

If you buy a home right off the end of a runway, a jet may occasionally use that runway at 3 in the morning.

If you buy a home in an avalanche chute, you may one day need a bulldozer to shovel the snow out of the driveway where your home used to be.

If you buy a home next to a designated off-road vehicle trail, off-road vehicles may actually use that trail.

If you buy a home on a lake, you will have to buy the lake, too, if you don't want other people using it.

If you buy a home next to a rock dump, sooner or later, someone will use very loud machines to take rocks out of it.

If you buy a home on a flood plain, you better make sure the sump pump works.

If you buy a home anywhere in Juneau, it won't always be sunny and 70 degrees.

And I should charge you for this last one, but I won't: Helicopters make noise!

I'm not trying to scare anyone out of the Juneau housing market with the results of my studies, but the problem of people not being happy with were they chose to live must be exposed!

If at this point you're still not sure whether you can safely buy a home In Juneau without finding something to complain about, I think I can help. For a small fee, I can hook you up with a trustworthy agent in Seattle who will sell you a home that I personally guarantee doesn't have any problems associated with Juneau attached to it.

Air traffic controller John Newell has lived complaint free in Juneau for 10 years.

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