The Hook on “We Buy Houses” Scams

Alan Zimmerman writes about the “We Buy Houses” scams for The Hook, using the recent discussion here as a vehicle. PHA notes that “the industry is a breeding ground for predatory practices.” Yay for The Hook for writing about this.  #

12 Responses to “The Hook on “We Buy Houses” Scams”


  • Looks like Mr. Montie may have moved on: http://www.dmtproperties.com/ is not currently functioning.

  • Google still has it’s Cached copy of the dmt properties front page (complete with the local business phone number). According to google their cached copy was retrieved on Jul 5, 2007 10:44:31 GMT.

    So if he took it down it happened sometime between July 5 and The Hook article publication.

  • What’s weird about that page (“Website Not Found”) is that the error is meaningless. The website was found just fine — it returned a page that consists of a single page, with a single message, “Website Not Found.” That’s not any sort of a standard server error, at least not one that I’ve ever seen or can particularly envision. It’s almost like somebody simply replaced the home page with a file that reads, simply, “Website Not Found.”

    Interestingly, he has one other webpage on the internet, at we-buy-dmontie.successfast.net. But, as you can see, that site doesn’t work, either, with an even more meaningless error, “Connection Failure.” Again, that data is being generated by a web server. The error is inherently wrong.

    While I’m posting, I have to point out a bit of an irony. Montie is best known for posting his signs at great heights on telephone poles and other privately-owned structures. More than a few people have surely wondered how the signs got up there. Well, in 2005, Montie conducted a research project about how to access the farthest reaches of light poles for inspection purposes while at UVa. Ironically, the university may well have funded the research necessary for him to stick his advertisements where they’re enormously difficult to remove, such as the one that recently went up on the corner of Market and Meade.

  • Waldo:

    1. “Website Not Found” is a standard server error used by many hosts for a website that hasn’t been ‘renewed’ . This occurs if the ‘host’ has a webpage generator within the package it offers (which is the case with hundreds and hundreds of hosts these days). If Montie is redeveloping his website, perhaps he didn’t renew his former one.

    2. I think this inspection device which he invented was completed several years prior to his decision to go into realestate. I was wondering how UVa’s funding of this project is “ironic”?

    3. “More than a few people have surely wondered how the signs got up there.” Not anyone who READS your blog THOUGHTFULLY. Montie explained this in detail.

  • Also, I’m wondering: Has anyone actually CALLED the business phone number and spoken to this guy personally?

    TrvlnMn: Please supply the phone number.

    If consumer education/literacy is truly the issue, perhaps it would behoove us all to actually take the initiative to contact individuals directly, to ask questions, and to LISTEN rather than sit/blog in judgement.

  • I think this inspection device which he invented was completed several years prior to his decision to go into realestate. I was wondering how UVa’s funding of this project is “ironic”?

    That’s the very definition of irony. The only way it could more ironic would be if the purpose of the research was to remove debris from light poles, rather than simply inspect them.

    “More than a few people have surely wondered how the signs got up there.” Not anyone who READS your blog THOUGHTFULLY.

    Unless you suspect that 100% of the people in the area who have seen those signs and wondered how the hell they got up there are also “thoughtful” readers of cvillenews.com, then I imagine that we can agree that there is nothing incorrect about my statement.

    Has anyone actually CALLED the business phone number and spoken to this guy personally?

    Yes, Alan Zimmerman did. Please read the story in question.

  • perhaps it would behoove us all to actually take the initiative to contact individuals directly, to ask questions, and to LISTEN rather than sit/blog in judgement.

    … are you new to the internet?

  • Remember, kids: When you read about somebody — anybody — in a newspaper article, it’s best for you and everybody else to call that person up directly, ask them many of the questions that appeared in the newspaper article, and listen to their answers. Then, whatever you do, you must pass no judgement on those answers.

  • Why do I get the feeling that bloggers assume that everyone else blogging is dumber than they are? I am even starting to feel that way (me, so new to the internet).

    Waldo: With regard to the “irony” question: I was seeking clarification on whether you felt the involvement of Uva somehow contributed to the irony. (“Ironically, the university may well have funded the research necessary for him to stick his advertisements”) Just wondering if there was a piece that I missed. Thank you for the clarification (and the 8th grade vocab lesson).

    Chad: In fact, I am not new to the internet, but I AM new to blogging as a forum for exchange. I am a school teacher off for the summer and have only just recently gained access to the internet at home. I have some time on my hands (though CLEARLY not as much time as other bloggers here), love to read, and I heard about http://cvillenews.com/ as a source of local interest stories. I can certainly get lost in reading the exchange. Of particular interest to me as an educator were the entries under the title “Greenbrier Cans Principal for Husband’s Murder Charge”. Fascinating. Mostly though, I find the whole thing (blogging) to be an interesting study of egocentrism.

    “Remember, kids: When you read about somebody — anybody — in a newspaper article, it’s best for you and everybody else to call that person up directly, ask them many of the questions that appeared in the newspaper article, and listen to their answers”

    No Waldo. Don’t be silly. When I say:

    “perhaps it would behoove us all to actually take the initiative to contact individuals directly, to ask questions, and to LISTEN rather than sit/blog in judgment”

    I suppose by “us all” I mean those with an interest/passion for the open exchange of ideas. Journalists, bloggers, even teachers. It would simply give our ideas/opinions (judgments) more credibility.

    Waldo, take your initial entry on this topic:

    “I’d wondered to what to attribute the “We Buy Houses” signs all around the county, planted illegally in the right of way. (The sign at right was planted by DMT Properties, one of dozens that literally litter the landscape.) They’re a scam, of course”

    This is a judgment. You are entitled to it. The problem is, it’s just not based on anything. You admit to having “zero knowledge” about this particular business and did not take the initiative to learn more. But go right ahead…sit and blog away. Cville News is your rodeo.

  • Liv Prescott wrote:

    Also, I’m wondering: Has anyone actually CALLED the business phone number and spoken to this guy personally?

    TrvlnMn: Please supply the phone number.

    Currently if you go to google and type in “dmt properties” the first result is Montie’s former website. Click the “cached” link at the end of the blurb about the website and you can find the number.

    For a little while longer (not sure how long) this Link should take you to google’s cache of his old site.

    DMT Properties – 434.409.9775

    Remember, kids: When you read about somebody — anybody — in a newspaper article, it’s best for you and everybody else to call that person up directly, ask them many of the questions that appeared in the newspaper article, and listen to their answers. Then, whatever you do, you must pass no judgement on those answers.

    I think the signs are a nuisance. When I see them someplace I have to wonder- is a negative judgment being made of the area and it’s residents?

    But beyond that if it’s a legal business, I guess I don’t really have a strong moral issue one way or the other with what he does. You really can’t save people from their own ignorance, stupidity and bad judgment.

  • And the part of the blockquote above which is not in italics shouldn’t be a blockquote. I’m not having too much luck with those tags on this site.

  • We are one of those “We Buy Houses” companies, and while I don’t put out those bandit signs that litter neighborhoods, they are very effective and generate a lot of calls.

    To say that our industry is a scam is a naive assumption and runs counter to the health of “fragile” neighborhoods. Our industry provides a liquid option and market for dilapidated houses that we in turn either fix up to rent, fix up to make a profit, or to sell to someone that will. Most Realtors (practically all of them) will not touch these houses as the commission is too small and the traditional financing markets ignore these houses.

    Obviously there are bad apples in every crowd, just as there are rush to judgement journalists who make assumptions in the ivory tower.

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