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Spider infestation forces family to abandon their $450k home, legal battle ensues

After a massive spider infestation in a beautiful St. Louis home, a family has abandoned their home, and despite a judge’s orders, are not seeing compensation.



spider infestation

We have all had a spider or two in our home, and maybe a client panic that they’ve seen one during a walkthrough, but one St. Louis family’s story will make yours pale in comparison. A gorgeous home valued at roughly $450,000 has been abandoned and is now in foreclosure because of spiders.

Brown recluse spiders, to be specific. They are are not known for attacking people, but when they do bite, the venom can kill the tissue cells at the bite site, causing necrosis, and while not fatalities have been confirmed, it remains known as the most poisonous spider in the U.S. Most bites lead to intense pain, itching, and sometimes fever, chills, vomiting, and even shock.

You see one in your house and you call the exterminator. You see hundreds and you run like hell. The St. Louis family recently won a lawsuit against the previous owners for failing to disclose the infestation of thousands of brown recluse spiders.

Although the family saw no signs of spiders at the final walkthrough, not even webs, after they moved in, they began finding them everywhere – falling from the ceiling, bleeding from the walls, scattering themselves in their clothes, food, and other belongings.

The spider infestation gets more bizarre

If that isn’t enough to want to run away screaming, State Farm insurance defended the previous owners when the new owners sued them. This led to a jury trial wherein the new owners won a $472,110 award.

They weren’t able to collect.

State Farm refused to pay the claim and the previous owners declared bankruptcy. Why? Spider infestations do not fall under the umbrella of damage to a home. In fact, the policy excluded insect infestations. The new home owners’ lawyers argued that spiders are not “insects,” but they stood firm.

The home has gone into foreclosure and is now in the hands of Fannie Mae who is in the process of tenting and fumigating the home, a process normally reserved for termites, not spiders. “There’ll be nothing alive in there after this,” the exterminator told he St. Louis Post-Dispatch, adding that tenting houses is a new method for dealing with brown recluse spiders that was not in use three years ago when the family abandoned the house.

Burn it to the ground

It seems curious that State Farm still refuses a judge’s orders to pay out, given that the house still exists. At least the family didn’t use a self-made blowtorch like a Seattle man did this summer, nearly burning his house down in an effort to kill a lone spider.

It doesn’t appear likely that this family will be compensated for their nightmare, and this house might be a tough sell, but at least they escaped alive. Realtors should take note of this saga – buyers may have heightened spidey senses right now with a particular sensitivity about infestations, given this story.

Note: the freaky image above is of a wolf spider, not a brown recluse, but it scared us more than anything on the web, so it has done it’s job.

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Blockchain Home Registry: Homeowners can claim a NFT of their property!

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) Blockchain home registry lets homeowners claim a NFT of their property, giving access to a permanent, transferable, historical record.



Man using laptop to look at Blockchain Home Registry

Maintaining a record of real estate transactions on your home can be difficult, even in the digital age. A new company, Blockchain Home Registry is proposing to change that using Web3 technology.

BHR lets homeowners claim a verified NFT of their home, giving them a permanent, secure transferable record of all transactions on the home. The BHR Ecosystem powers integration across the digital highway, pulling data from lending institutions, title companies, utility providers, insurers, and more, to give homeowners more control over their real estate assets.

Why BHR?

Blockchain Home Registry comes to the market from the same people who created Torii Homes, a Boston-based company that leveraged the power of AI with the “personal touch of human-to-human customer service” that the real estate industry is known for.

The next stages of BHR support selling, instantaneous borrowing, and more, as Web3 evolves. BHR has a digital dashboard that makes updating information once the home is claimed. To claim a home, the homeowner must verify ownership, email, and identity through a step-by-step process. Photos of an ID card are required as are photos of the individual making the transaction.

BHR is in its early stages, allowing homeowners to claim their home’s NFT at a special discount.

The future of real estate is blockchain

Blockchain technology is considered immutable, making it secure across the board. It is predicted that this technology could prevent title or mortgage fraud when it becomes more mainstream.

BHR credits itself as being built to scale and putting homeowners at the center of the technology. Web3 technology can transform the real estate industry that is considered archaic in the digital age. BHR is an early innovator that can help homeowners maintain records of their biggest asset.

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RANT: Landlords have a responsibility, and they’re failing

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) When does a landlord’s passive income pass the line? Probably before they sell your personal info, but there’s a lot of frustration before then.



Apparently there’s something about renting out a property that makes it difficult to not be a greasy pile of manure… And I’d really like to find out what exactly that is and help solve the issue.

Decent landlords are rare as hens’ teeth, and as much as I need somewhere to live… Posts like the ones verified in this collection don’t do much to get me on their side.

Landlord posting about giving back the security deposit reluctantly.

See that? That’s the kind of thing you type out when you’re being a butt. Don’t be a butt. Right now is an especially horrible time for it. YES, even if you managed to own multiple successful
properties for years and not have anything in the way of savings somehow.

A particular example of this buttitude (Buttness? Buttery?) comes from a source closer to this author, and while it’s not exactly tying widows to railroad tracks, it’s still pretty gross. You know how with gratis-tier services like Instagram and Twitter and YouTube, since no one is paying up front, the product is the user suffering through ads that barely get vetted or timed properly?

Well imagine that… But with the place you rent.

In essence my source has been getting emails they haven’t signed up for from companies very “close” to the people they’re renting from.

“I started getting emails from this company… about an optional service they sell where you can pay monthly for your packages to be in the on-site lockers. It was adjacent to property management, so I kind of expected it and didn’t complain.

Then, I start getting emails from [redacted] which is a cool feature you can Google, but I didn’t give permission. But it’s adjacent to what I expected, so no biggie.

Then, I start getting emails from [equally redacted, what do they take me for…] which is another cool feature, but not one I gave permission to contact me.”

So yeah, Sourcey’s not only paying rent, they’re being sold.  And that’s not just messed up morally… This is officially a legal issue.

See, according to the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s not actually illegal to buy and sell email lists. However, it IS illegal to allow bulk emails to be sent without the recipients’ explicit consent. Ergo, if there’s no portion of Sourcey’s lease that says ‘Do you agree to allow our affiliates to market to you’, and also an option to say “Absolutely not”, the management company that owns that building is effing up BIG TIME.

This is a really easy law not to mess around with, but unscrupulous landlords and management companies can’t seem to help themselves? Somehow despite deals with internet providers, deals with appliance companies, and deals with whatever demon governs Those Who Will Not Fix Plumbing, the profits made from tenants still isn’t enough. Clearly these people need help, so I’ll help with a little advice for landlords.

Don’t do this.

Now go get something fixed.

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Real Estate Marketing

How people are thinking creatively to make it through COVID-19

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) People and businesses are extremely innovative and resilient in tough times – here are some examples of stuff you can now do online!



online during COVID-19

The last couple of weeks have brought us lighting speed changes in news and information and a really abrupt adjustment to life with the pandemic of the coronavirus (COVID-19). While some of the swift cancellations of large events, travel, in person workshops or conferences, and then changes in our day to day (oh now everyone works online remotely?) has driven some of us to the liquor store or to hoard toilet paper, others have found ways to quickly provide new solutions to their clientele or adjust their business to the new reality.

A great example is of an Airbnb host in Detroit who decided that after losing 2 months of income in 72 hours that why not offer their beautiful spaces (with a desk area and coffee!) for those who may need a remote place to work and/or lost their co-working space. They quickly pulled together a way to offer day passes – but they didn’t stop there. They brainstormed other ways to promote their locations and “reached out to all the local hospitals and Facebook groups in case traveling nurses or traveling PT’s need a place to stay. Again, you have to get creative if you’re a small business. You don’t get a bailout!

Artists across the board from DJs to painters to late night talk show hosts have created content to engage those who may have children at home and/or are not ok with social isolation and need some interactivity to help lighten the mood or laugh a little bit. Many restaurants/bars/service industries moved quickly to either utilize online ordering platforms (or quickly figure out how they can take payments online) so that customers can still order food/beverages via drive-thru or stop and go pick up.

Mo Willems Is Hosting Free Online “Lunch Doodles” While Kids Are Home From School

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has been doing 10-minute hilarious clips from home with his wife and small children helping to film and be his “design department”

Live Streams and Virtual Concerts via Billboard

Museums and world famous institutions have provided tours or live feeds for children to watch from home. Check out these penguins that got a tour of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago thanks to the coronavirus.

Tech companies have also stepped up their services to help with educators who are away from their students and parents who have lost school and daycare. Zoom announced free video services to K-12 schools and insisted this was not time to profit on this disaster. Facebook quickly pulled together information and resources for schools who will be out for a while. LinkedIn Learning selected some classes to offer free to help folks learning new skills in working remotely to stay productive and adaptable.

It may not be easy to quickly move in to being okay with this situation. It will affect and hurt many people and we all are aware that we don’t know in all the ways just yet. These are just some examples of quick movement to adjust and help some turn lemons in to lemonade (with or without vodka, your choice).

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