Not many people can say a car drove through their house. Literally, all the way through.
Rental property owner and The Realty Medics client, Tim Bradley had only just begun his career as a real estate investor when he earned this unique distinction. In fact, this was his first rental property and he had been renting it out for about a year at that point without incident.
Although a long-time friend and classmate of TRM’s president, Ben Sencenbaugh, Tim said he was surprised to receive a call from him instead of his usual property manager.
“When I got the call from Ben, he said: ‘I have some really bad news… a car drove through your house,’” Tim said. “I couldn’t believe what he was saying at first. I kept saying, what are you talking about? And then while we were talking, his photos came through.”
Straight through his house was no exaggeration. (click photo below to see all the photos)
“When something unexpected occurs – like a car driving through your rental property – you want someone who will have your back. They took care of everything.”
The rental home sits on a 90-degree bend in a neighborhood with posted speed limits zoned for residential areas. In the middle of the day in June 2018, a 92-year-old driver missed the turn and continued driving straight through the property’s front yard. Narrowly missing several three-foot-wide oak trees, she crashed through the exterior wall of the house into the master bedroom, drove over the tenants’ bed and then through the screened-in porch in the back. The elderly woman continued driving through the back yard, again narrowly missing more mature oak trees, before the vehicle came to a rest in the lake. She had to be rescued from the car as water seeped up to the car door.
Miraculously, no one was hurt.
The tenants weren’t home at the time. Their dogs, who normally were kept in the bedroom when the tenants were away, were elsewhere in the house that day. Even the driver was shaken but wasn’t seriously injured.
“The lady’s daughter called to tell me that she was okay… and that she would no longer be driving,” Tim said.
The house, however, was another story.
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Aside from the direct line of destruction, the powerful force of the impact on the exterior wall blew out a bay window. The second story of the house perched precariously on a single, cracked 4×4 holding it up. Unsurprisingly, the house was deemed unsafe until a structural engineer could evaluate it.
When something unexpected occurs – like a car driving through your rental property – you want someone who will have your back. That’s exactly what Tim said The Realty Medics did for him.
“They took care of everything,” Tim said. “By the time I got there, the team was already in motion. They assured both the tenants and me that everything was going to be okay. They were already on it.”
As soon as TRM was notified, they were on the scene with the tenants, the fire department, and representatives from the City. Obviously, the current house was not in livable condition until it was fixed, so the team swung into motion and quickly found new living space for the tenants in a nearby rental. Ironically, TRM showed the tenants another house Tim had just closed on. It too sat on the corner of a 90-degree turn in the road. The tenants took one look at the house and said no. All things considered, it’s kind of hard to blame them.
At the same time, another TRM team worked with the structural engineer, fire department and insurance companies to assess the damage and started getting quotes for the rehab. They planned to return the house to the exact shape it had been when the tenants had first moved in.
Without the need to make choices on details like fixtures or molding, the process went quickly. And it was painless for Tim who didn’t set eyes on the house again until the final walk-through three months later right before listing it again. As an unexpected bonus, during renovations, the housing market in the area went up dramatically. When he listed the house again, he was able to raise his rent $200 a month from the original rent.
“I’ve heard horror stories about landlords and other property managers, but I couldn’t be happier with The Realty Medics; they’re really a one-stop-shop,” Tim said. “They take things off my plate so that I don’t have to worry about the details, including how to deal with a car driving through your house.”
When you purchase an investment property, you want the best team on your side to maximize your income potential and take care of surprose pitfalls that could hinder your growth. Want to hear what our clients say about our services? Check out our Contact Us page. Or call us today at 321.236.6690 to see how we can help you, too!
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If you want to experience Rocket Science Renting for yourself, The Realty Medics offers the lowest property management rates in Orlando. Contact us today to find out what your home will rent for by calling 321-947-7653 or filling out a FREE Rental Price Analysis.
Ben Sencenbaugh is a former NASA engineer who heads The Realty Medics, Central Florida’s #1 residential property management company. A loyal Orlando resident since buying his first rental home in 1997, Ben brings rocket science to renting, applying advanced technology to make renting single-family homes a better, simpler and more successful experience for owners and tenants.