Real estate agents actually have a contrary interest in this issue: As rents go up, the market value of homes is suppressed, and so are the commissions we earn.

What do you regret the most about your first home purchase?

What do I regret the most about my first home purchase?

The day the FBI showed up at my door.

My first husband and I bought our first and only home in 1980. Before that he had been in the Army; we had either rented or lived in base housing after he attained qualifying rank. His six-year stint in the Army ended in 1978. Our marriage had been rocky off and on (teen marriages with children often are), but we partly blamed it on military life. When he was finally discharged we saw it as an opportunity to begin life (and our marriage) anew. He got a job repairing copy machines, which often took him to different cities, and I was working as a cashier in a grocery store.

The home we bought was unlike anything I’d ever seen: a large, airy living room, beautiful parquet flooring in the dining room, French doors opening onto a glorious patio, a finished basement, a fenced-in yard for the kids and our Irish Setter, Sadie. Not fancy by any means, but for me it was a dream come true. Less than a year later my dream became a nightmare with one knock at the door . . .

That knock came on what happened to be my day off; my husband was out of town. Just one more thing that isn’t conducive to an already precarious marriage: a husband who travels for his job. He often stayed overnight in hotels . . .

I answered the door.

Two official looking gentlemen stood on the porch holding badges. “FBI, ma’am. May we come in”? My jaw dropped and my heart leapt into my throat. I could feel the blood leaving my face. The FBI?! But why? One of the agents said “Don’t worry, ma’am. You’re not in any trouble. Is your husband home?”

Before you start thinking my husband was a double agent spy selling government secrets to the Kremlin, well, no. That stuff only happens in the movies.

Turns out the real estate agent who sold us our house was *WANTED* in three states (!) for embezzlement, real estate fraud, and assuming false identities. She had somehow falsified our loan application, overstating our income and completely obliterating the fact that we had two children, among numerous other fallacies. This bitch had come to our housewarming party! She had drunk our drinks, eaten our food, and had presented us with a generous gift of fine wine and two fine Waterford Crystal wine glasses.

Fine, indeed. I guess she could afford it.

This nightmare wasn’t the cause of our divorce; as I said, we were already in a precarious position. It just knocked us over the edge. We still loved each other but much as we’d like to think it does, love does not always conquer all. Our house was eventually repossessed by the bank. She was indirectly responsible for that; it doesn’t make her any less culpable for putting the whole thing in motion. We never found out if the unscrupulous agent was apprehended. I assume she was at some point. But it would’ve been nice to know for sure. It would’ve given us some much needed comfort and relief.

**Edit** Please read the comments .. all of them .. before assuming anything. There’s more here than I put in my story. Thank you, my friends.