On Sunday, December 2, I met with John Dilks at 307 Maple Avenue. He was asked by my husband, James Skamarakas, for a business card, but claimed he didn’t bring any with him. He produced a drivers license with his photo on it.
I walked with him as he walked around the house. He looked at the roof, declared it in good condition, then commented that the windows and doors looked new. I told him that they were installed 11 years ago. He asked if the pool was in good condition, and I replied what we had been told this past summer when we wanted to bring the pool to useable condition – the pool has to be removed due to serious structural problems relating to the fact that it hasn’t been filled.
We walked around to the front of the house, where I had already unlocked the door. I opened the front door, the told him that I wasn’t coming in with him. I explained that there during previous visits to the house, there were fleas present, and due to a current skin allergy our own dog has, I didn’t want to take the chance of bringing fleas home to her.
He spent approximately ten minutes in the house. At one point he came to the front door and asked if I knew there was a “wad of cash” on the dresser in the bedroom. I told him that we have not removed anything from the house, and the money had been there since Custy died. He explained that he felt the money should be removed, or someone might take it. I told him we would leave everything as it was.
He came out of the house after his inspection, and he stood on the front step to tell me he would write things up. As he stood there, I noticed that he was truly and completely covered in fleas. I walked over to him and began brushing them off of him, and he stopped speaking to look down and see the fleas. He became aggitated, cursing, and mentioning that he told his father that he wasn’t going into the house until it was bombed for the fleas. We spent approximately 15 minutes removing the fleas from him, and he left his socks on the doorstep, carrying his shoes in his hands.
He said he would write everything up and let us know how much the house was worth. I asked if he had a ballpark figure. His first comment is that the house can’t be sold in the condition that it’s in. He said he would not go into the house to show it, nor would he allow anyone else in with potential buyers until the flea situation is rectified. He suggested that it would need at least two bombings to get rid of the amount of fleas he suspected are in the house. He said if the house isn’t cleaned and brought up to a more presentable condition, he estimated the value to be about $70,000. He said if someone really wanted a home in that area and if the economy were better, it might push up to $80,000, but in the condition that it is currently in, we would be looking at about $70,000. He also said if the property was cleaned up and fixed up, and if the economy was better, we might be able to ask $100,000 as a sale price for the property. He mentioned that because the economy is bad, and Gloucester City homes are affordable, there are very few properties available for purchase right now in the city. He thought that would work slightly in the favor of selling the home quickly.