A South Bay man accepted hundreds of offers from open houses. But the homes weren’t for sale.
It was the kind of “incomplete” home he’d been living in — he had no land, no electricity, no indoor plumbing. He had no running water to flush, no heat, no indoor smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. “I’d come home, and there would be dead animals all around me, piles of trash everywhere,” he said.
He had bought this home in San Jose in 2017, he’d been able to hold on to it for a long time. But then he got laid off and lost his job. He was so unhappy he started taking jobs as a gardener. He didn’t live in it. He lived with his mom in a much more comfortable home in Alviso, outside San Francisco.
Every day, he said, he had to come home from his job as a gardening contractor. He wanted to be able to afford to live in his own place. But he couldn’t.
Then one day, he got a call from someone named Brian. He told him he had an offer on an open house in Gilroy. When the man came over and they met face to face, he was horrified.
“I want to live in a house. My mom’s going to be mad at me. I don’t want to lose her.”
He couldn’t afford to buy the house, but the offer was for his wife and child. He came up with $20,000. But when he did the math, he only had $1,500 left.
He had to give it to them.
He told the man, “Give me your check.” The man did. It was the most money he’d ever spent, he said.
“If you really feel you have to do that,” he said. “Give me your check.”
He came away from that house with $10,000 when he got a check from a man named Richard. He said it was a gift. He made it clear it was a gift. He was very happy to do it because he felt like it was his last gift to people.
“If you do something for someone, if they let you, that’s your greatest gift,” he said.
It seemed so simple. But when he got a check from a woman