Put the Money in the Suitcase: The Strangest Real Estate Transaction Ever

by Mark Wellborn

The craziness of the real estate market over the last year has resulted in a number of weird stories, including a man raffling off his house for $50 a ticket and a realtor breaking into homes on behalf of their clients.


However, the story of how DC’s Jeremy Hoybill wanted to be paid for his studio apartment trumps them all.

Hoybill, a 32 year-old software consultant, bought a 600 square-foot studio in Dupont Circle in 2002. Last November, he put the unit on the market for $225,000, a favorable price point given the neighborhood. There was just one condition: The eventual buyer had to pay him all in cash…delivered in a suitcase…in an alley.

“I was really into crime and suspense movies growing up,” Hoybill told UrbanTurf. “I figured that this would be the one time in my life when I could re-enact a scene that would’ve been in one of those movies.”

Hoybill’s request was not only odd, but it naturally limited the buyer pool severely. Since this was an all-cash deal, the buyer would need to be well-off with a lot of cash at his/her disposal. It will come as no surprise that Hoybill’s unit attracted a lot of attention, but when buyers discovered the weird stipulation, they balked.

“I actually met Jeremy out at a bar one night before I went and checked out his place,” Sandra DeLillio said. “He was a nice guy, but halfway through the night, he wanted me to start calling him Bourne. For Jason Bourne.”

The Rendezvous Alley

However, in January a retired government employee named Bill Stencil fell in love with Jeremy’s unit. And he was in a position to put up the cash that Jeremy required.

“I had equity from my old place in Virginia and wanted to live downtown,” Stencil said. “Given the way real estate transactions happen these days, I thought what Jeremy wanted to do was kind of neat.”

Hoybill was thrilled that he had a buyer, but even more excited because he had planned out the rendezvous and money drop-off meticulously. At 8pm on the day of the deal, Stencil would come to an alley off of R Street with the money. At 8:05pm, Hoybill would show up and the exchange would be made. However, how and in what manner he would show up was not clear.

“When I got there, Jeremy hadn’t arrived yet,” Stencil said. “Then out of nowhere, this figure wearing a black ninja suit comes running toward me. I realized that it was Jeremy, and as he came by he yelled at me to throw him the money. So, I did and the suitcase hit him and knocked him off his feet and he sprained his ankle.”

Needless to say, this is not how Jeremy envisioned this whole thing playing out.

“I watched the movie Ransom three times in a row before this went down!” he lamented. “I didn’t expect him to hurl the suitcase at me.”

The scene of the two men walking out of the alley was priceless: a middle-aged man supporting another hobbled man in a ninja costume, carrying a suitcase filled with $100 bills.

“You truly could not script it,” Stencil said. “And there will probably never be a home sale transaction like it again.”

Update: While it would be great if real estate deals actually went down like this, this story was concocted in honor of UrbanTurf’s favorite holiday. Happy April Fool’s Day!

See other articles related to: editors choice

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/put_the_money_in_the_suitcase_the_strangest_real_estate_transaction_ever/1933


  1. Emil Ali said at 9:17 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    ... and imagine if some of that DC Alley crime came into play

  1. emerald said at 9:20 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    Okay.  A bit weird.  Please tell me Jeremy at least had his bodyguards with him.

  1. Matt said at 9:41 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    Great story. Interesting date that you guys decided to publish it, too…

  1. Tom A. said at 9:48 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    Not sure if this is an april fools story or not.

  1. Cindy said at 10:01 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    LOL. Jason Bourne…I love it.

  1. Janson said at 10:24 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    I have to say that this is not funny at all and really encourages crime and evil. Bourne should grow up and stop playing games when things are really serious. Some people don’t even have a job, and he wants an all cash deal in a suitcase? What about escrow and the title search? Did someone yell it from a van? It’s like he doesn’t even deserve to own an apartment if he’s not going to be a grownup. There should be a law. Real estate is for mature people not like him.

    I still hope his ankle gets better.

  1. djnik said at 10:52 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    lol this dude is gonna get taken

  1. nina said at 11:43 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    HAHAHAHA! Happy 4/1!

  1. roots said at 11:49 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    This is one of the greatest stories I’ve ever heard. From the planning to the sprained ankle.

  1. cbmendez said at 11:53 am on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    Yes, Virginia -
    There are people who don’t take life too seriously.
    Thanks UT, for your hard work and ace reporting.

  1. hoos30 said at 12:15 pm on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    The best jokes are the ones most of the audience doesn’t “get”.

  1. former Georgetowner said at 3:11 pm on Thursday April 1, 2010:

    April Fools! hahah

  1. Jess said at 11:19 am on Friday April 2, 2010:

    that was hilarious. thanks for the laugh.

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