Am I on Candid Camera? Punk’d Perhaps?

This is my second "rant" in the past week.  Forgive me.  I guess I am a little bit edgy of late.

Have you ever received a phone call from someone asking a question so profoundly ignorant that you wonder how they are able to feed themselves or survive into adulthood?

Well, I was lucky enough to receive not just one, but TWO calls like this within the past week.

 A few days ago, my cell phone rang while I was working from home.  It was someone who had registered on my website and received an automated email with a coupon for a one-year warranty if she purchases a home with us (worth about $350).  The coupon part is really just an aside, not the main thrust of the story, but I will come back to that later.

We talked for awhile about what she and her boyfriend were hoping to find.  They are living in north central Austin, and they really would like to stay in that area.  I asked if she had spoken with anyone yet in order to get pre-approved for a mortgage, and I already knew the answer would be "no".  I gave her our mortgage guy's contact info, and I asked her how much she thought they might be looking to spend.

This is where things went south in a hurry.


"Well, I spoke with my boyfriend, and we don't want it to be over $3000.", she said.

I was thinking that sounded reasonable based on the area of town.

I replied, "We should easily be able to find something under $3000/month." 

"OH, NO, NONONONONONO!", she exclaimed.  "Not $3000 per MONTH!"

I asked, "Did you mean $3000 per year?"

"Just $3000.", she flatly replied.

"I'm sorry. I don't understand what you mean.  Do you mean you want the entire home to cost $3000?"

At this point, my wife was listening and I gestured at the phone and shrugged.


"Um…well, that simply won't be possible to find anywhere.  The average home in Austin costs about $250,000.  But I understand now.  You are clearly a time-traveler from the year 1934.  I understand not wanting to live during the Great Depression.  The next time you come, could you bring me some gasoline?  It must be about a penny per gallon in your time."

Okay, so I didn't actually say any of that after the average home price part, but I was seriously tempted.  Only later did I realize that she must have been REALLY excited about saving $350 with our coupon, if that was over 10% of the home's value!

I received a call today from a lady who wanted to know if she could rent a home priced at $1,050,000 that she found on our IDX search.  She wanted to pay….$800/month!!


I am always polite when these people call, but it's tough to know what to say sometimes.

I think I am going to lobby for an IQ test of sorts for telephones.  If I am successful, everyone must pass a brief competency exam in order to receive a dial tone.  I will, of course, make exceptions for 911 calls. 


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