What would any normal person do when a home deal goes bad?Â Move along and look for another deal you say?Â Well yes, but then again you probably aren’t a nativist.
Nicole Griffin’s mom lived a few doors away, and when Griffin visited, she said, her kids played with the Jimenez children. When Jimenez put his four-bedroom, two-bathroom home up for sale last spring, wanting more space, Griffin was immediately interested.
A contract was negotiated but when the sale appeared to go sour, Griffin raised a new issue: that she was a citizen and Jimenez wasn’t. She told local media, immigration officials, his boss and others that he was here illegally. She even put signs in the yard of the house exposing his residency status.
But that’s not all, apparently Griffin didn’t have an issue with Jimenez’s status until he refused to be blackmailed by allowing her to stay in the house for three months without paying any rent.
Griffin, a payroll clerk and first-time homebuyer, asked to postpone the closing until June 1 because she had problems locking in her interest rate. Jimenez agreed but asked that she move into the house as planned and pay rent until the closing.
Shortly after Griffin moved in, her attorney said there was a problem with the title on the house, namely that Jimenez’s young daughter’s name was on the title but her signature wasn’t on the sale documents. Attorneys said some extra paperwork â€” establishing a conservatorship to watch out for the child’s interest, the first step in getting the title transferred solely to her father â€” would clear the title, and everyone agreed to postpone again.
Griffin didn’t pay the rent, however, claiming she was promised three months free since the delay was Jimenez’s fault. She has an e-mail from his real estate agent, Alina Carbonell, saying he’d made the offer.
Jimenez’s lawyer, Erik Meder, told her that offer was never firm and insisted she pay rent or vacate the house.
Unfortunately, like a child who does not get her way Griffin took this to mean “if I can’t have it then nobody can”.Â She actively campaigned to make sure Jimenez and his family suffered; she contacted his workplace and had him fired, she posted signs on his front lawn letting everyone know the responsible homeowner was in fact an undocumented immigrant, and she even contacted the local authorities and media until, finally, in October Jimenez was detained by ICE.
Of course this was all the logical thing to do according to Griffin who says she was “just trying to do anything she could to force the sale to go through”. Maybe it didn’t dawn on her that all she needed to do was abide by the terms of the agreement and not try to blackmail the homeowners for free rent.
“I don’t feel bad for anything that happens to the Jimenez family at this point,” Griffin said recently, “because no one feels bad that all I tried to do was buy a house, and I ended up living back with my mother.“
Oh Nicole dear don’t you worry, we do feel bad that that is ALL that happened to you.
And also as an aside, undocumented immigrants CAN legally own houses.Â In fact, compared to other home owners, undocumented immigrants are more responsible homeowners.