Expert Advice on how NOT to buy a home


Expert Advice on how NOT to buy a home


Many years a young and ambitious college girl made a daring decision to buy a house. Mind you this girl had no idea of what buying a house was all about other than she'd read lots of books and knew it would be a good idea - some day. During her college years she liked to wheel and deal with antiques and did pretty good at that as she made it through college on her meager earnings and a scholarship. One day she headed out to a small town about an hour away from her town to attend an auction that sounded like it had a lot of really cool antiques. She was thinking about buying a table and chairs and a few other odds and ends.


Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Real Estate Broker

She quickly learned that the house was being auctioned off too.  What? They auction off houses, she thought?  That sounded pretty cool so she toured the 1903 built home and thought she should buy it as it was loaded with charm and potential. That sounds pretty silly stupid, all things being considered, right?  This girl had no 'real' job nor did she have a lot of money in the bank. What was she thinking? 





Well of course she wasn't thinking - which is the point!


When the house came around to being auctioned off she made a few low bids. She knew what her highest bid would be on the house. How she knew that is beyond the scope of this story! Low and behold when the auctioneer called for the last round she waived her auction number in the air and he said.....





She had just bought a house an hour away from town. She went to the bankers table and they asked for a check for $2000.00 with the remaining balance due in 30 days.  OMG what was she thinking buying that house! She gave him a check for $2000.00 all the while her head was spinning on how she could make up the difference in 30 days. It was about $20,000 which was a ton of money to her at the time.  She almost asked to be let out of the deal but she had given her word at that point (ok her auction number) and she wanted to make things right. But how?


She took a round about trip over to her folks lake home and told them what she had done.  You're kidding - you didn't buy a house at an auction, did you???? Ahhhhhhhhh no, she wasn't kidding and told them she had no idea of what to do next. And to keep a longer story short, after awhile her Dad helped her buy the house and make it right.  She spent the better part of a summer fixing it up and bringing it back to life. When she sold it she made about $10,000+ profit and had enough to pay her Dad back too. 


But she never - ever - bought another home on the spot again!

That lesson was learned with more lessons to learn over the years...


So do you know who that girl was?



Expert Advice on how NOT to buy a home




Phoenix Property Shoppe



Anna "Banana" Kruchten
Designated Broker & Owner

Phoenix Homes For Sale


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Hi Anna - Is this young girl someone we may have run across somewhere? She sounds pretty smart and determined to me, with a knack for making things turn out right, maybe a bit lucky too.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 6 years ago

wow, Anna, I am assuming that young girl was YOU! Wish I had been that smart at a young age!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 6 years ago


That young girl was very smart, she just trusted her intuition and it worked out well, and thank goodness for her Dad who also knew she was a winner!  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 6 years ago

Only experts with ready cash should even think about buying homes at auction.  This ain't TV  for crying out loud.  It's not as easy as they make it look.

Posted by Morris Massre, Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida about 6 years ago

Sometimes we have to make some mistakes so we can learn from them.  And in the end... she did great.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 6 years ago

Every mistake is a lesson. Auctions are dangerous to start, i just had an investor purchase a townhous eon his own for $20,000, he thought he hit the home run when he soon learned about HOA liens, property tax liens and the kitchen was missing. A nice lesson, but he listened, i helped him out and got it sold with a small profit but at least no loss. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) about 6 years ago

So glad to hear your ... her deal worked out LOL. Sounds like this was before the days of home inspectors ;).

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) about 6 years ago

Who was this brave girl.  Sounds like a great idea to me.  What fun restoring this old place and turning a profit. 

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) about 6 years ago

Anna-Turns out it was not so silly after all and she learned a great lesson. I am assuming you were that young girl

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 6 years ago

Anna Banana, interesting... I am waiting to hear if this was indeed someone who went on to wear a banana suit from time to time?

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 6 years ago

Dick honestly it was more about luck and lots of it.  Not the smartest move!

Barbara Jo - no even thou is sounded like it turned out good - and it could have been a lot worse. It was a long ways out and just too far to make any sense.

Alexandra - not so smart at all! Very impulsive is more like. What ever possesed to buy a house while still in college I'll never know!

Morris especially when you're 20 and don't have a clue!

Tammy - big lesson for sure.  It turned out ok - not great looking back.  Young and stupid!  But weren't we all with something.

Scott - way more complicated these days then it was back then.  I wouldn't do it again if I could go back.

Janice - nope no home inspectors.  Found bats in the attic and that was a whole other adventure.  Underneath the upstairs flooring there were lots of really old newspapaers. That made a great history lesson for my nephew who stayed with me part of that summer.  That part was fun.

Belinda - for the most part it actually was kind of fun.  There were so many layers of wall paper that took forever to get off.  Gorgeous wood floors on main floor that needed to be refinished.  Go figure a tiny girl handling one of the big ole whatever you call machines - scary!

Sharon - actually it was beyond silly.  Didn't make much sense even to me after the fact so I made the best of it and did what I needed to do.

Andrea - that would be the girl!  And hey - the "town ladies" (who kind of ran the social scene I guess) took a liking to me and invited me to 'lunches' that was a hoot! Plus I got to play a lot of racquetball and tennnis at the little country club 2 blocks down from that house.  That was fun!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

While you may not have made a huge profit it does sound like you got an education and that can be even more important some times.  Good story Anna.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties ( Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816) about 6 years ago

Jim - yes I guess I earned my got my PHD in how not to buy at an auction and flip.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

She was in a lucky situation where a not so smart decision turned into something that worked out for her. Not everyone has a dad like that who will help you make it right!

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) about 6 years ago
Gutsy gal - taking chances doesn't always pay off, but bravo to you for having the right combo of guts, instinct, and luck!
Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) about 6 years ago

Anna: I think that is too cool, something I would have done. If you had asked someone's advice, they would have talked you out of it. What a great experience and you made money besides. Ok, so you might not do it again, but then again, why not? If the price is right?

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) about 6 years ago

Tricia yes she was lucky both that it worked out and a helpful Dad!

Wayne it kind of paid off but not in the ways I had thought.

Hella - I was to young and really should have asked for advice before making such a big purchase on the spot.  I would'nt suggest that as a smart move for any young person who had no clue!  Now - of course if the price was right it would make sense.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

HILL arious!!!!

If that doesn't scream loud n clear what happens at an auction then what else would. You go to buy an antique and walk away with a fixer upper LMAO

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) about 6 years ago

Do you always talk about yourself in third person? Brad does. He never bought a house at auction, though

Posted by Brad MacKenzie, Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore (Brad MacKenzie) about 6 years ago

Talk about shooting from the hip.  You watch, she will likely take that $6,000 and burn it in another auction.  She sounds like she may have the Vegas bug.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) about 6 years ago

Anna ~ what a SMART young woman :-)   Many years ago my dad taught me that taking a calculated risk in real estate is a better way to make a profit than with most other avenues.  He was right!!  (and you were, too)

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) about 6 years ago

It sounds like someone got a first hand lesson that latest a lifetime Anna!

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

Anna, as I read this story I was wondering if the writer was the young girl, and in reading the response to the comments I got my answer. It should be noted that the college girl probably went on to give expert advise to many a young person that wanted to act on impulse

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 6 years ago

Anna, It is so easy to getcaught up in the excitement of the moment. I have been to several house auctions and we decided beforehand just how high we would go and did some investigation too. The auctioneers count on people getting out of control.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) about 6 years ago

Anna - You had an amazing dad!  That was my take away from your story.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) about 6 years ago
Auctions are the perfect place NOT to be when buying your first house!
Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) about 6 years ago

Sounds like some fun times. Buying at auction might be only for the inexperienced. When we know too much we know what it's involved. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 6 years ago

David it was years ago......and that's not really what happened at auctions back then.

Brad - you're next she says.

Jay - no she went onto other projects in CO.

Maureen - seriously No I wasn't.  I would never suggest anybody shoot from the hip like that unless they've got all cash and it makes sense.

Tom - indeed I did.  Many good things came from that one.

Ed - yes and perhaps that's why they listen!

Debbie - think back to when you were in your 20's.   Different time, different situations then what occur today. This gal totally brought it on herself.....100%.

Gail - indeed he was in quite a few ways. He's probably smiling down now and still are joking, right?

Carol - unless one has expert advice and their financial ducks in a row!

Pamela - fun in some ways, just plain stupid in others. What can I say......we all make mistakes and figure out how to turn them around to make them the best possible (hopefully)!


Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

At least in the end she broke even it seems. Talk about working on impulse and pulling the trigger. Auctions are a real business and realtors use them to get more money than the house is worth. People get caught up with the excitemnt and it works everytime.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 6 years ago

Hi Anna...Guess you slipped on a lucky banana that day. You did learn that real estate can be a good investment, some times!


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) about 6 years ago
Nothing like getting caught up in the moment. But hey, there must have been some magic dust in the air and it worked in your favor. Good for you. What a unique experience.
Posted by Jane Chaulklin-Schott, TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836 (TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766) about 6 years ago

It is what happens when your heart rules your head ...but great profitable results....sometimes !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 6 years ago
Anna, Great story. Congratulations on getting it featured!
Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) about 6 years ago

She needs to quit while she's ahead.  Rarely do things work out so well.

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) about 6 years ago

I've gotten calls from clients who think they've discovered some fabulous way to buy on the cheap--auctions. When I explain just what all is involved they take a second "think."

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 6 years ago

Anna -- what a wondeful way to get started in real estate.  You certainly learned the lessons of how not to buy a house and you profited in many ways.  What a great inspirational story.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

I'm thinking this young girl was Ms. Banana...Am I right? Cute story!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 6 years ago

Lucky YOU!! seems that it could have been a disaster too if there had been other issues unknown to you at the time. Some really nasty things can transfer with that title. Since you made $6000 that was a huge amount of money, as I'm thinking that was more than ten years ago?? just a guess!

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) about 6 years ago

Anna, that was quite a story. You took a risk and made a profit thanks to Dad. Did you ever buy another home at an auction?

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

AnnaAtleast she turned a profit. usually a lesson like that cost you so much more..

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) about 6 years ago

Hi Anna,

Everyone is guilty from time to time of following their whims and desires. She did and a good lesson learned from it.

Have a great day in Phoenix.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

Now she lucked out! I could never ever buy a house at an auction. You're not allowed to see what's going on inside and it could possibly open up a world of financial trouble.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 6 years ago

I specialize in buying homes at auctions to flip. People hire me to be their guide. I could not imagine doing it alone. She was lucky. I have seen people win a bid on a second lien. Ugh!

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) about 6 years ago

Anna, the excitement and desire to be the winner! There's a lesson in every decision we make, as long as we don't repeat them!

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 6 years ago

Jimmy again this was a differenet era and not playes out like one sees at today's auctions - by a long shot.

Kate - I learned so much more than real estate.  More than I really wanted to at that point!

Jane - magic dust and a lot of hard work.

Sally - sometimes. I wouldn't ever suggest doing what I did.

Wayne glad you liked it.

Doris - you think!  That was YEARS ago folks!

Nina - exactly.

Joan indeed I did.   And that's why I probably talk straight to my clients to this day. Don't be I was!

Larry & Sheila - of course!

Janis try 30 years!   Yes I lucked out as most big sytems were ok but it did have one of those furnaces that took up a lot of the basement.  Scary down there!

Michael - at the time it didn't seem like a risk.  And no - never did again. Always made sure things were in order first - like a good broker would!

Scott - indeed we've seen that more often than not here in the Phoenix area this past few years.

Clint - she sure did and a big one at that. Don't be so stupid ever again!

Suzanne - everyone is different.  Opportunity knocks and sometimes it makes sense - other times it doesn't.

Harry yes we've seen a lot of nitemares in Phoenix.

Beth - it wasn't so much being the winner that day. It was more like I had this idea it would be a really good buy.  What did I know?  nothing!  I'm just thankful I was able to get out of the mess as well as I did.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

You must definintely research more with an auction since it is sold as is! Always be aware of the terms of the contract you are entering into. You were lucky to be able to make things right and make money!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) about 6 years ago

Usually our best lessons are the ones we learn the hard way.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) about 6 years ago

Anna, great story and I can just see you doing it.  I fear that the results would not be so wonderful today and I also really discourage people from buying at auctions because you really do not know what you are getting.

Posted by Marnie Matarese, Showing you the best of Sarasota! (DWELL REAL ESTATE) about 6 years ago

I've been to auctions and while there is the potential to make money, I don't believe the risk is worth the reward.  Well written story and good advice.

Posted by Bryan Robertson about 6 years ago

Gerard indeed so.

Edward and Cecilis I am one that doesn't beieve that concept. Many fun and joyous ways to see things from a differenet perspective!

Marnie I"m on that page today. 

Bryan sometimes it can be an excellent risk when one knows what they're doing and are well funded and prepared to handle any bigger issues that might arise.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

Ms. Anna Banana, this almost sounds like a dream, but it's a cute story and thank goodness for rich dads.  If that's the actual picture of the house, I can see how she'd be sucked in to buy it.   Lots of character.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) about 6 years ago

Anna- let me ask... did the yoyung girl like bananas?  Very bright young lady if you ask me. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 6 years ago

Good story.  Gee, I wonder who that person was who bought the house and how they have such good recall as to how the whole thing went down...?

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) about 6 years ago

Lloyd - cute story?  It was a bit crazy making it happen at first.  And yes I'm thankful my Dad was so kind to help me out.  The house looked like this one with a big front porch and 2 story - just not quite as big. It had a great yard and garden.

Kathy why yes she did like and still does like banana's!

Gary - me too!  LOL

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 6 years ago

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