Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stonecrest Investments LLC Runs a Scam!


Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

As I was going through the EcoVillage today, I noticed a new sign that was posted at the former residence of the Devil, 3020 6th St N. A Google search of the phone number shown brings one to a company called Stonecrest Investments LLC. Stonecrest, it appears, buys up properties all across the country, and then resells them to other investors. This might be a sound enough business plan, except that Stonecrest wants to buy properties without EVER SEEING SOME OF THEM, and expects THEIR BUYERS TO DO THE SAME.

I wish I were joking about this, but one of the risks Stonecrest explains is that...

..."the building might have burned down, or NOT EVEN EXIST, leaving you with just the yard." (emphasis mine)

The rest of the risks that this company explains are all so ludicrous that you wonder how in the world anyone in their right minds would do business with them. I want to explain how terrible their ideas are, but if I use houses and mortgage terms, I'll get so wrapped up in the terminology that I'll bore people to tears. So instead of houses, or real estate, let's use a different example.

Let's say I'm Stonecrest and I wanted to sell you....okay, "rutabagas" is the first word that comes to mind. But here's the deal, Mr. or Mrs. Potential Rutabaga Investor: my rutabagas are all over the country, not just in one spot. But I'll sell you twenty at once, and at a steep discount.

But there's a chance that the rutabaga in Kansas City has gone rotten already.

And maybe someone ate half of your rutabaga in Raleigh.

You might want to make a casserole out of the rutabaga in Milwaukee, but they have a city ordinance that bans rutabaga casseroles.

I don't have the first clue what's happening to the rutabaga in Dubuque.

But maybe, JUUUUUST MAYBE, you'll get a prize rutabaga here in Minneapolis.

And THAT is precisely what you are purchasing by picking up bulk rutabagas at such a steep discount, my friends: the chance that you'll essentially win the rutabaga lottery and be able to sell that great one at such a profit that you can make up for your losses elsewhere. Once you've earned a pretty penny that way, I'm SURE you'll see what a great business opportunity Stonecrest Rutabagas presents and you'll--hey, where are you going? DAMNIT! What's WRONG with my business model?!

Sometimes I wonder if we've learned anything at all from the mortgage crisis.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems your pal Mr. Haymon is having some troubles at one of his properties:

http://apps.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/PiApp/GeneralInfoRpt.aspx?PIN=41104

The word "condemned" appears here... that can't be good.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this just capitalism? I'm not sure what you find so objectionable about real estate transactions. At least a private owner is likely to pay taxes on the land and develop it. If it just goes back to the county for taxes nobody wins.

Pond-dragon said...

They will find some schmucks to buy their Rutabagas, and then , Raleigh,Milwaukee, St Louis and Albuquerque will have to deal with some dumb schmuck from Podunk Idaho that doesn't know a rutabaga from a slumlord fro the next 5 years to unravel the BS!

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Sadly, Anon 8:06, Pond-dragon is closer to the truth. The property in question was transferred without paying the $16,900 in taxes from 2009 and there are $12,500 in taxes coming due in 2010 (vacant building and demo fees, as well as back taxes from Devil ownership).

This is in the middle of the EcoVillage, so development will surely come to 3020 6th St N. But the guys wheelin' and dealin'...they ain't paying the taxes. My prediction is we'll see this one languish in tax-delinquency limbo until forfeiture.

Anonymous said...

I read through their website and it does not seem like a scam. You may find it distasteful that properties are bundled in an unknown state but it seems to be clearly stated as such and thus would rise to a level of a "scam". In fact Stonecrest Investments LLC may find your description of their business model as a scam to be libelous.

Johnny Northside! said...

And maybe Stonecrest can take a long walk off a short dock. It sounds pretty scammy to me. If the housing director finds it scammy, I find it scammy, too. And I'm not afraid to say so.

"Scam" is a fairly mild and loose term and does not amount to, say, racketeering. So, anonymous poster, good luck with your insinuation of defamation somewhere else. Johnny Northside blog doesn't scare so easily.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

John, you and I are on the same wavelength here. I used "scam" in a rather liberal sense to imply that their business model, although straightforward, is not sound and its investors have a rather significant chance of losing money in this scheme.

Buying bundles of property without actually seeing what you're getting? Really? It's the real estate version of a gumball machine, except that putting a quarter in to see if you get a blue one (that was always my favorite flavor) doesn't cause people to lose their shirts or entire communities to languish.

"Scam" is about the nicest thing I could have said. The person who did a bit of research and alerted me to Stonecrest in the first place said it seemed like a pyramid scheme where they use investors' money to buy properties in bulk all over the place.

Maybe I should have called them the Amway distributors of real estate.

eyehesheeyes said...

Well on the investors side this may be true but do a little research on properties and you more than likley can find anything you need to know.

On the consumers side its a win win situation if u do your home work.
We purchased a property from Stonecrest and coulnt have been any luckier of course it needed work but after a year in this house it is almost where we would like it to be.
Mind you our mortage is less than half what we were paying in rent customer service is excellent!!!
We only have 8 more years to pay our mortage and folks with less than perfect credit qualify, we increased the price of homes in our neighborhood the day we moved in!! Not to mention instant equity in our home. They purchase homes in bulk and are doing a just sevice to all communities in doing so.
What happened to you? Didnt reasearch huh????

Happy in Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Stonecrest Investments LLC does not run scams. I purchased a home from them that only needed a little bit of work. However I also did my research before purchasing my home. i actually went & saw the propertty before buying.. DUH

Anonymous said...

Johnny,
Dude, you are so right! Squatters moved into a Stonecrest owned property and Stonecrest's investors remain non-contactable!

What a way to kill city property values! It's a shame!
D-P.O.'d

Jeff Jansen said...

I'm wondering how I can find more of these properties. They seem like really good deals. Can I get zero down with them?

Marvin Forssander-Baird said...

Stonecrest Investments is most certainly NOT a scam. I am currently living in a property that we are purchasing from them. It needs considerable work and had past due taxes to pay. We were able to look the property over at our leisure and everything was disclosed. Not only that, but Stonecrest has been phenomenal in helping us to stay in the home during a hard year and unnecessary hounding from the code enforcement.

Anonymous said...

they are a total scam.we have been living a night mare for the last few months.We found out that they didnt pay the 09 taxes and 10 per contract,so they were sold to a 3 rd party...they wont return my phone calls.

Anonymous said...

This link is long but Stonecrest Investments will be highlighted throughout the comments at the post. Makes for interesting reading. There are no happy stories of success at this link. Lots on other info and links though. AS ALWAYS: BUYER BEWARE! Someone might be going galt on your family.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-85ObM5IquAJ:realneo.us/blog/jeff-buster/the-real-cleveland-street-conversations-with-reza+stonecrest+investments&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry....as the buyer it is your responsibility to do your homework and check into what you are purchasing. Some of you just sound plain out lazy. Hey on that note I have a sealed paper bag Id like to sell you....seriously. Its an investment, make some calls, get some info, do your part!

Anonymous said...

No fair posting unless you tell us how rich we gunna beee! And whats it costs.

Anonymous said...

i purchased a home through them,yes there are back taxes,yes some issues.they tell u that up front and let u inspect it...if ur not willing to do ur homework and dont like it,stay renting,some of us like the landcontract and are just fine with it.if its a service u dont need,dont bash it

Valeria Bee said...

First they rush you into a purchase.Literally gave no time to inspect.Then they send u an unsigned CONtract..Then...oh yeah it gets better...The property has BLACK MOLD!!!My 3 7 and 12 year olds will certainly thrive in living in that...Then when u tell them what they have done they PUT A LOCK ON MY DOOR With all my furnature inside!!!Bad enough Ive spent thousands!!!To not get to spend 1 SINGLE NIGHT IN MY OWN HOME!!!!and then to get to tell my children we have lost everything we own to some out of state rich people..I am a single mother!!!I can't afford this crap!!!!!Go ahead...say its not real...I LIVE IT!!!!