- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2004

Name: B.K. Haynes

Company: B.K. Haynes Land Broker

Address: 501 S. Royal Ave., Front Royal, VA 22630

Phone: 540/635-3166

Fax: 540/635-9355

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: www.bkhaynes.com

Year started: 1966

How did you get started in real estate? I was running a riding stable in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the recreational land boom of the ‘60s. As the decade progressed, I found my trail rides increasingly obstructed by newly erected fences thrown up by city folks who had secured their own “green acres” in the countryside. I asked a developer friend if he could locate some land for me that joined the Shenandoah National Park so I could have more room to ride. Once a suitable farm was located, I ended up participating in the development of the property and selling my riding stable for a career in real estate.

How long with the current company? Since 1969

License and designations: Virginia real estate broker; accredited land consultant (ALC); Virginia land specialist (VLS)

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Authoring the book “How I Turned $50 into $5 Million in Country Property — Part Time.” This is a timely volume for readers — including up to 77 million retirees in this decade — who are in the process of fleeing city life for those “green acres” in the peaceful countryside and for those considering the investment in country properties as an emerging opportunity or new career field.

What is your area of specialty? Country properties.

Highest-priced home sold: $1,000,000

Most memorable house: I listed a spooky historic mansion on Carter Creek in Lancaster County, Va., in 1982. Even though times were tough in real estate, I had considerable response to my ad for a unique waterfront compound for $395,000 with 5 acres of fenced and manicured grounds, 7-foot water depth for yachts, and the price sliced by $50,000. Prominent political figures, luminaries, authors and media personalities arrived with smiles and heated interest in the resident ghost that opened doors and windows and threw coffee cups around. These prospects, however, left nothing behind but their cards. After a few months, I decided to buy the mansion for myself and family. Shortly thereafter, my wife became terminally ill, and I leased the mansion for a few months to a shady character who gave me $20,000 in crisp hundred-dollar bills with a suggestion that I pocket the easy money, rather than leave a paper trail for the IRS by depositing the money in a bank. I promptly deposited the money in a local bank. The curious and suspicious behavior of the renter and his Polynesian girlfriend had apparently alerted a task force of drug agents and local police who put the mansion under surveillance. In May 1982, an oceangoing sailing vessel arrived at the mansion dock, and that night, the task force, equipped with a helicopter and automatic weapons, swooped down and pounced on a gang of armed drug smugglers who were stashing bales of marijuana in a hidden tunnel within the mansion. When I sent my farm manager down to clean up the place, he stayed overnight and returned with unsteady feet and bloodshot eyes recounting a nightmarish tale of ghoulish sounds that kept him awake and then, in the morning, finding blood running from bathroom faucets into the sink. Powerful stuff, that marijuana.

Worst experience: Dealing with ghost and drug bust in aforementioned waterfront mansion. Weeks later, I sold the property, describing the estate as a Great Gatsby-style waterfront mansion that rented for $5,000 a month and that had been the site of a recent international drug bust. Get this: The local commonwealth’s attorney tried to confiscate the $20,000 in rent money from my account, claiming I sold the mansion because of the drug bust. I hired a good attorney who thought the long arm of the law had reached too far and was now trying to pick the pockets of honest citizens. The judge agreed.

Age: 70

Family: Son, grandson

Education: Bachelor of arts in business administration, George Washington University, 1959.

Last book read: “American Soldier,” by Gen. Tommy Franks

Last movie seen: “The Passion of the Christ”

What kind of car do you drive? Ford Expedition

What is your personal dream house? My home on a 250-acre farm

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