Local Woman Claims Purchase of Desert Hot Springs Home A Nightmare


DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Buying a home is the great american dream, but, sometimes it can turn into a nightmare. That's what one Desert Hot Springs woman says happened to her, claiming her real estate agent took advantage of her.

Facing tough financial times, Billy Scott says her realtor advised her to sell her home in Lake Elsinore quickly and well below the asking price. She also claims he duped her into buying a home hidden with problems.

"As desperate as I was, I trusted him. I said 'Will that be enough to buy a house in Desert Hot Springs?' He said, 'Oh gosh, you should be fine.'"

Scott says her RE/MAX realtor based out of Corona, Gabriel Jimenez, found her a home she could afford in Desert Hot Springs. After two walk-throughs and an inspection of the house, Scott says aside from needing new locks changed, and a good cleaning, the house appeared to be in good shape. Scott says Jimenez promised her everything would be taken care before she moved in. Trusting him, she bought the home, and even signed some blank documents.

"I never read the pages, I only signed by trusting him, where he told me to put my initials, and that was only because I thought I was purchasing the house, not as is," Scott said.
Then, the day Scott moved in she discovered a slew of problems that's cost her hundreds of dollars to fix.

"The plumbing, the door, the air conditioner on top of the house, or now swamp cooler, that was broke. There was no electrical permits on the property and never have been," Scott said.

Local real estate Attorney Ulrich McNulty says Scott's experience serves as a reminder for every homebuyer.

"You're going to spend a lot of money on a house, you need to know about the terms and conditions of buying that house and what those mean to you," Ulrich said.

You also need a reputable real estate agent referred by friends or family or you can call your local board of realtors or the California Department of Real Estate.
Make sure to ask a lot of questions and if your real estate agent can't answer them, find  someone else.
Scott says she's tried to talk with Jimenez.

"He told me to 'suck it up.  you got a fixer-upper.'  I said, 'No, Gabriel, I didn't get a fixer-upper. I trusted you to do right by me."

There are two sides to every story. CBS Local 2/KESQ News Channel 3 contacted Mr. Jimenez, but after asking him about Ms. Scott, he declined to comment on the case, and hung up.

Ms. Scott says she sent documents and other paperwork to the department of real estate in San Diego, and they are taking a closer look at her case.

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