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Old 09-23-2013, 08:42 PM
8 posts, read 9,865 times
Reputation: 15


We are moving to CO from TX at the end of Oct next month. I had made a quite lengthy post about this back in March and these forums were so helpful that here I am again. We have been looking at this house for lease in CO and on paper it looks like it's just the thing for us. We haven't been to visit it yet, will do that in the next month after things are finalized with the property we are moving to. From what I have seen every house for lease that's 2-3 bedrooms is asking 700+ for rent in the area we are looking for. This one is asking $400 on craigslist but $1000+ on other sites such as realtor.com, trulia.com, zillow.com etc. The owner stated this in an email saying rent is $400 but on other websites he is listing it for more, due to commission and other fees. We are discussing things with the owner directly at the moment. At the moment the craigslist listing is gone but it remains for the higher prices on the other sites I mentioned. This would be the first time we lease a house. If something seems too good to be true it generally is. But then again I'm a glass-half full type o' gal so I reckon it could be possible that dire circumstances make this home owner want to lease for so low. From the info I have been able to gather so far from county records, the house is valued at $165,000 market value. The status on some sites say "Bankruptcy", it seems to me the initial owners filed for bankruptcy and this was a foreclosure home. The property has been keeping up with the property taxes for the last few years. Now the owner states he lives in TX and is a missionary and that is his reason for leasing. He is looking for a 3-4 year lease but is ok with a short lease as well.

The story rings true to me (I might be biased since I have a soft spot for missionaries and anyone that does charity work), but my husband is very skeptical. I know the blatant answer is "if you're so paranoid then don't do it." Well I would like to lease with him if it is true and that's why I'm here. Is there a way for me to tell if he is indeed the owner and if this would be legitimate? He requested either one month rent+deposit up front or two months rent+deposit up front (deposit being a 400 refundable fee). We said we would do the latter but I don't want to be out of $1,200 if this is a scam. That's a lot of money to us. On the flip side, if it is legitimate, we are more than comfortable putting that down to make the homeowner feel comfortable on his end. The name the owner gave us in the email and phone # is different than the name on the public tax records. On the tax records this house is held under a revocable trust with a Hispanic name. The owner we are dealing with (via email and phone) is American-named but has a foreign (possibly European) accent. He was using Google Voice when we called. The revocable trust also "holds"/"owns" three other houses in that same area so that's confusing to me. All the property tax bills for those four houses are going to a mailing address in Peyton CO, but this owner we are talking to says he is in TX doing missionary work. We are planning on a 1 yr lease to start and would renew for a few more years if it works out for both parties. Please help me as this is completely new territory to me.

Edit: We are moving to Colorado Springs, which is where this property is located as well. El Paso County to be specific.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:55 PM
2,442 posts, read 3,271,560 times
Reputation: 4884
This is SO a scam. Every sign says it is a scam. Don't send any money. I can't believe your even considering it. Tax records different? A missionary? Really? They all say they are missionaries. I'm surprised he didn't say he would adopt a purebred puppy to you for a bargain price as part of the deal if you just sent X more dollars. You might want to call the police so they can let the real owner know that someone is using the house for a scam.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:58 PM
309 posts, read 359,557 times
Reputation: 555
Many of the Craigslist rental listings are scams. One of my neighbours rented a home from a property management company and then had people coming to her door trying to find the owner because they had put a deposit down after seeing the house listed for rent on Craigslist. Two or three different couples had been taken this way.

Right now the rental market in this area is red hot and houses don't stay on the market long and are commanding top dollar. There would be absolutely no reason for a homeowner to be taking 60% less than market value in rent; that coupled with the information discrepancy screams SCAM!
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:48 PM
727 posts, read 1,136,222 times
Reputation: 766
Let's see. Two major fires the past year and a week of flooding, all of which left people without homes at all or with homes that were damaged, and this guy's offering a long term lease at $400 a month. You might be able to rent a basement apartment for that, but a house? In the immortal words of Monte Python: Run Away, Run Away!!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:06 AM
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,085,183 times
Reputation: 1351
No one in this town should be having difficulties renting a place that would cause them to offer it at such a low price. As everyone else has said, this sure sounds like a scam - very common to use Craiglist for this kind of thing.

Is the contact information on the Realtor.com etc sites the same? You might try contact through one of those sites just to see if you reach the same person. Those ones might be legit, and he may have just hijacked their photos to put a scam posting on Craiglist.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:59 AM
20,323 posts, read 37,832,470 times
Reputation: 18113
The item on craigslist is either a scam (most likely) or a misprint. Either way, I'd totally avoid this property and this alleged owner.

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Old 09-27-2013, 04:26 PM
Location: Toronto
193 posts, read 295,545 times
Reputation: 129
Yeah....this sounds one step short of a saudi prince requesting funds.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:01 AM
3,493 posts, read 4,710,947 times
Reputation: 5358
Scam. Not even a question about it. One hundred percent scam.
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