Beagles, Bank Owned Homes and Phoenix Real Estate

Three beagles alike in dignity in fair Glendale where we lay our scene … and somewhere, Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave. And not just because he just now received his DVD copy of Shakespeare in Love or saw the previews for Gnomeo and Juliet.

With apologies to Tobey and Charlie, today’s story is all about the youngest of our pack – Morgan.

This is Morgan in one of his typical poses, thinking for all the world that he’s a stuffed animal on my daughter’s bed. Morgan is the tallest and longest of the three beagles but doesn’t know it. He’ll curl up on your lap or on the edge of the love seat thinking he’s still the puppy that he was when we first bought him.

He’s mental, in other words.

For those who don’t remember what he looked like back then, here’s the photo from his All Phoenix Real debut back in 2007. He really does think he’s still this size.

In these days, Morgan was unaware anything ever could go wrong as most children and puppies do. There always was water in the bowl, always food in the dish and – this was the biggest shocker – there really was grass in the backyard before I proved my total ineptitude at keeping grass alive in the middle of the desert. There was just him and Tobey and all was well.

As time went on, Morgan went through some … er … changes. At one point I had a wonderful photo that illustrated this fact, a photo of him on his back displaying his … er … growth for all the world to see. Little did he know that these … er … hanging chads were going to be removed in the very near future. I’d like to think that this was about the time he realized everything didn’t always go smoothly.

Fast forward a couple of years … Morgan has been neutered but he still is vicious, or at least so he’d like you to think. There’s this old soccer ball by our RV gate that has been beaten to hell. The bladder has long since been ruptured, the outer skin is weathered and chewed upon. You see, anytime anyone approaches the gate, Morgan picks up the ball, growls and shakes it violently from side to side. Then he’ll drop it, look through the game, bark a couple of times, and repeat the entire process.

What would he do if someone actually ever came over the wall? My best guess is run like hell. After all, this is the same dog who thinks he’s still a puppy and who spends much of his time looking for whoever might be home so he can lay near their feet. He doesn’t do separation all that well. In other words, he’s more bark than bite.

Which tends to remind me of a lot of lenders selling bank owned properties these days. There’s a great deal of posturing that goes on – not replying in a timely manner a la a superior at work who continues to work on paperwork while you stand there waiting for them to deign to recognize your presence, counter offers at scant pennies off the original list price, multiple counter offer forms when there aren’t multiple offers on the table – but there’s not a great deal of confidence behind much of the bluster.

So far this year – what are we, 19 days in now – I’ve put three homes under contract for my buyers. Two were bank owned properties.

On the first, the lender said they wanted everyone’s highest and best offer. Grrrrrrrr, shake the ball, grrrrrrr, go as high as you can, grrrrrr. My buyers stayed put. And they got the property. On the second, the lender countered at $1,000 under asking price. Grrrrrr, shake the ball, grrrrrr, we mean business. So we budged a little and waited. And the lender gave in.

Not everything has been so successful. Before this second offer came through, my buyer and the bank remained $5,000 apart after the bank countered twice. We opted not to go higher. There remains a decent chance the bank’s going to end up having to lower its price to where we would have been, albeit later than we would have been able to close. It happens.

There’s a HUD home where HUD has an inflated sense of the property’s value. Maybe they’ll come to their senses. Maybe not. Sometimes the growling and all the rest is accompanied by a touch of delusion, such as a 45-pound beagle who still thinks he’s five pounds and six weeks old.

Just like with Morgan at the back gate, there’s more than a bit of bluff in the bank’s attitude toward buyers on these bank owned homes. And it seems like that’s been the best way to play it, at least after a property’s been on the market a couple of weeks.

Then again, even I wasn’t silly enough to put my hand through my RV gate to pet Morgan when he was shaking the ball. After all, there’s the slightest chance he’s really worked himself up enough to bite someone.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at

1 Comment

  • jim little 7 years ago

    As usual, a nice segue. I also see mentioning dogs at lunch yesterday was an inspiration.

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