In a typical estate sale, a buyer or seller gets a phone call saying they have a property that they’re interested in.
Once they call and ask for a description of the home, the buyer or sale agent may or may not get back to them, but it doesn’t take long for them to figure out what they want to buy.
But for the owner of a home in a suburban St. Paul suburb, the process can be a lot more difficult.
The story of how the St. Louis home went from a once-in-a-lifetime experience to a one-of-a kind, two-million-dollar purchase goes back to 2007.
That’s when a man named Ryan Thomas, who’s a construction worker by trade, bought the property on North Fourth Street in the heart of the suburbs for $2.4 million.
Thomas had been interested in purchasing the property for years.
In January, he bought it from a company called Realtor.com.
But when he learned that he was getting a house that had been listed for sale, he decided to wait until he could see for himself.
“I didn’t really want to be a buyer, but I didn’t want to sell either,” he said.
“It was just something I was interested in doing.”
After a month, he had a feeling it would be a different kind of home than what he had envisioned.
“We were really excited to have a place that we could really put our own stamp on,” he explained.
“We really wanted to have something that was a bit different, but at the same time, it was a home.”
But the process didn’t go according to plan.
After being called several times, Thomas had to sign an affidavit before he could take delivery of the property.
It was all so confusing and it was hard to tell what was going on.
“It’s really hard to explain to someone that they bought a home that they can’t see,” he recalled.
“That’s the hard part.”
The real estate agent didn’t understand how the house was going to look, and it wasn’t long before he realized the process was taking a long time.
“You don’t really have time to actually walk down the block,” he told Thomas.
“You can only walk down one block at a time.
You can’t really get to the other side.”
Eventually, Thomas bought the house for $3.6 million and it’s been home to him ever since.
Thomas was able to get the property appraised and put together a detailed list of what he wanted.
He got the home appraised for $1.6,000 and paid off the mortgage and the $1,700 down payment.
Then, in October of last year, he started to receive emails from Realtors asking him to take out an additional $1 million in mortgage payments.
It took another month to get that completed.
Then he got another email from RealtyTrac asking him again to take down the mortgage.
He finally got the paperwork signed and went to the bank.
He then contacted the realtor who had the house appraised, who agreed to appraise the house and to get Thomas to make a down payment of $1 billion.
That was all he needed to complete the sale.
But after a couple of months of this, he realized that it was not a quick process.
“There’s no way to just go in and buy the house,” he admitted.
“The process took a couple months.”
In order to get to that point, Thomas needed to find an attorney who could help him navigate through the process.
Luckily, he found one.
Thomas is currently waiting to see if the sale is still going ahead as it was originally scheduled.
It’s not yet clear what exactly happened to the property, but Thomas says he still has a lot of questions about the transaction.
“The only way to tell whether it’s going to happen is to get involved with the process,” he added.