Things Aren’t Always As They Seem

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BY PROPERTY SOUP twitter@propertysoup

The Do It Yourself (DIY) phenomenon has taken over the real-estate world. Home buyers and professional remodelers are all about saving money, doing it themselves, and selling a property to make a living. Home-Buyers love the fact that they can get an updated home a whole new, modern home. TV Shows like “Flip This House” on A&E have become very popular as they follow home buyers and home rehabbers as they do what they do best; take a rundown home, and make it upscale.

It’s all fun and games until someone starts lying.

Sam Leccima was a part of the Atlanta Flip This House Team and the founder of Leccima Real Estate. He was filmed during his home purchasing, home refurbishing, and home re-selling process. Season 2 episodes were already being featured on A&E when Sam Leccima was arrested for Fraud.

FRAUD? How was this guy arrested for Fraud? He was home rehabbing – a completely legal thing to do.

What’s not legal is faking home renovations, and featuring family and friends as potential home buyers, which is exactly what Sam did.

Here’s the part that we find interesting: A&E claims that they had no idea that Leccima was doing this fraudulent stuff. Is that claim possible? Sure. But the discrepencies that were noticed; the different colored flooring, the halfway done paint jobs, the quick patches to big problems, all of these were videoed by A&E, so they would have HAD to edit them out, right?

A&E did pull all of the episodes from Season 2 featuring Sam Leccima from being broad-casted or syndicated.

What does Sam Leccima have to say for himself? On a phone interview he said:

“Ask anybody who works in television how a reality show is made and you’ll find that ours was a very typical approach.”

Which DOES in fact make some sense. MTV’s the Real World, now in its 25th Season, follows a group of 7 strangers living together, but

you know that SOME things are staged for dramatic effect. But isn’t there something to be said for DIY and Remodeling shows? SHOULDN’T they be true at all times? Or are these shows merely for entertainment purposes and should they not be taken as seriously as they are?

Regardless of the actual viewpoint that Sam Leccima, A&E, or anyone has regarding the ability to “fake” remodels, Leccima has reportedly scammed his family and friends out of money as well.  One of his former friends, Sandy McGee reportedly called him a “Con Artist” as she was scammed out of $4000 in an investment scheme.

At the end of the day, we have to remember that not everything is what it seems to be. Additionally, as people who are in the rehabbing biz, we’ve gotta tell you, it’s not as easy as it seems, putting a home together in a small amount of time. There are countless things that can go wrong, be held up, take more time than expected. The possibilities are endless.

The rule of thumb is to be up-front and honest at all times. Don’t hide anything, and you won’t have anything to hide from.

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