Friday, April 14, 2006

There's one born every minute

From WREG-TV, Memphis:



Memphis - New homes go up everyday in Memphis. Phil Chamberlain is one of the developers in the thick of it, but what he has planned for one of his developments is generating buzz.[1] He wants to keep sex offenders out .


"If we are building the house, we are gonna have them attest they are not a sexual offender according to the Tennessee code." says Chamberlain of Chamberlain McCreery.


Chamberlain says it's about safety and home value. He plans to make his homes in the Chapel Ridge-Phase 3 subdivision in Arlington a part of the new requirement. He's already sold five lots and buyers signed a contract that they are not sex offenders Chamberlain's plan would also allow him to buy back a home if it is later discovered that the owner is a sex offender.


Phil Chamberlain is talking to an attorney about his plan and whether it's enforceable. We decided to talk to an attorney as well, to see if Chamberlain can legally keep sex offenders out. Real estate attorney Derek Renfroe says Chamberlain's plan may sound easy, but might not hold up in court. "People can put whatever they want in a contract. People can enter into any agreement they want to. The question is whether or not there is an adequate remedy at law, whether it can be enforceable." says Renfroe. He says it could be difficult to buy back the property and lenders may even shy away from the loan. But that's not deterring Phil Chamberlain.


"We have not made the final decision if we are gonna do it in that subdivision, but I feel like we probably will." says Chamberlain. He says it's about protecting his buyers' safety and the value of their biggest investment.[2]


Chamberlain says his plan will not affect the existing Chapel Ridge sub-division, only phase 3 of the development which will start in a few weeks.


[1] He's already reaping his rewards with the attention.


[2] Only a sucker would buy into this, even paying extra for this false sense of "safety." Remember that over half the sex-offense convictions are first-time convictions. This subdivision is no place in which to let your guard down. Also note that because people will think they're safe in such a place, a subdivision such as this is a perfect target for a sex offender (convicted or not) looking for a victim. Plus, this developer's sales agreement is not a binding community covenant; even if he doesn't sell to a sex offender, somebody who bought from him might -- and then watch all the neighbors' home values drop to normal market value.


But Phil Chamberlain will be long gone by then, counting his cash. He's one smart shark...


(Calling all flim-flam men: Target-rich environment here...)

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