Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: mmswm on February 22, 2013, 09:23:40 PM

Title: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 22, 2013, 09:23:40 PM
Seems like there's a lot of us with horror stories about the house hunting process.  I've been enjoying them, but I don't want to get the never shopping there thread closed, so I thought it would be fun to have a separate thread.

The last couple of posts in that thread have been about houses with bedrooms that aren't.  I remember house hunting and looking at primarily "character" homes, or homes that were at least 75 years old.  I was astounded at what was called a bedroom.  In one house, the 4th "bedroom" was accessed by an impossibly steep spiral staircase and try not to smack your head on a wooden board that was nailed across the the doorway.  When you got down there, it was basically an unfinished basement with one single room that was drywalled in and called a bedroom.

Another house had a very lovely bathroom, if you didn't mind pepto bismol pink fixtures.  And I mean ALL the fixtures, including the oversized jacuzzi tub, toilet, sink and floor tiles.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowdragon on February 22, 2013, 09:49:36 PM
When I was considering buying a house I went into one that had not been cleaning in a good long time.  It looked like something out of a before commercial for Mighty Maids or something.  Underwear on the floor, dirty diapers on the counter in the bathroom, the master bedroom had the bed with out even sheets, and the kid's room were a disaster. basement looked like something out of hoarders and the garage had filled and open garbage cans in it.  The real estate agent was so embarrassed and could not apologize enough, but I wouldn't go look at anymore houses that day.
 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on February 22, 2013, 10:02:38 PM
Another house had a very lovely bathroom, if you didn't mind pepto bismol pink fixtures.  And I mean ALL the fixtures, including the oversized jacuzzi tub, toilet, sink and floor tiles.
My MIL would have loved it.  The guest bedroom in her house was the same color.  Walls, curtains, bedspread, carpet...

Of course, it's cheaper to paint and recarpet than it is to renovate a bathroom.

My own story isn't a horror, but a humor.  When we were last looking for houses, we looked at 4 houses in our price range.  In the first one, the owners had taken the advice of those agents who say 'neutralize everything!'  Everything was white, with the exception of the carpet, which was beige.  All walls, the cabinets in the kitchen, the appliances, the bathrooms, etc. 

The second was the house that we eventually bought. 

So we get to discussing the houses at the end of the day, and he says "It looks like the first house is the one that's closest to what we want" and goes on to list the advantages of this house (4 beds, 3 baths, HUGE lot for this area, fenced back yard, fireplace, etc.)  And I am ??? because the first house had NONE of those features.  It had been so thoroughly neutralized  that there was absolutely NOTHING to remember it by, and DH had forgotten about it completely! 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowdragon on February 22, 2013, 10:16:13 PM
Another house had a very lovely bathroom, if you didn't mind pepto bismol pink fixtures.  And I mean ALL the fixtures, including the oversized jacuzzi tub, toilet, sink and floor tiles.
My MIL would have loved it.  The guest bedroom in her house was the same color.  Walls, curtains, bedspread, carpet...

Of course, it's cheaper to paint and recarpet than it is to renovate a bathroom.

My own story isn't a horror, but a humor.  When we were last looking for houses, we looked at 4 houses in our price range.  In the first one, the owners had taken the advice of those agents who say 'neutralize everything!'  Everything was white, with the exception of the carpet, which was beige.  All walls, the cabinets in the kitchen, the appliances, the bathrooms, etc. 

The second was the house that we eventually bought. 

So we get to discussing the houses at the end of the day, and he says "It looks like the first house is the one that's closest to what we want" and goes on to list the advantages of this house (4 beds, 3 baths, HUGE lot for this area, fenced back yard, fireplace, etc.)  And I am ??? because the first house had NONE of those features.  It had been so thoroughly neutralized  that there was absolutely NOTHING to remember it by, and DH had forgotten about it completely!

I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE,LOVE that look...it makes decorating so much easier. When I have a house that is exactly the color scheme I am having.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: weeblewobble on February 22, 2013, 10:59:17 PM
The first house DH and I ever looked at was a "well, it's in our price range" looksie.  I had no interest in living in the area where the house was (too far from town), plus, it butted up against some very "fragrant" farmland AND the exterior brick looked like melted fudge ripple ice cream.  I hated it before we even saw it, but DH insisted we look at it.

We knew going in that the couple selling the house was doing so because they were divorcing.  Walking through the house, it was very clear that the separation was NOT amicable.  The husband didn't want to leave the house because he thought it weakened his position in the divorce, so he decided he was going to make life as miserable as possible for his wife, even if it hurt their chances of selling the house.  Any area where the husband was living was intentionally left very messy.  He left FILTHY clothes all over the laundry room (as in the only possible way he could have gotten them that dirty was to intentionally roll around in manure).  And when the real estate agent opened up the "guest room" to show it to us, we saw an enormous pile of animal pelts, taxidermically preserved animals and various "serial killer" decor items.  They were just piled in the middle of an empty bedroom.

The real estate lost her cool for a moment and said, "Good God, that's creepy."  Then ushered us out of there.

As we climbed into the car, I gave DH the patented, "I'm not going to say I told you so, but I TOLD YOU SO" look.  DH told me, "We will never speak of this again."
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on February 22, 2013, 11:15:54 PM
We don't have any *real* horror stories on the level of these ones so far.  But we've been enjoying looking at houses, mostly online, since we'll be moving in two months or so.  One of the houses that we went to see back in September had obviously had some sort of flooding incident.  Not only did it smell like mildew, but they had several huge fans running in the basement and the windows open (in cold weather!) to dry things out!  I think I would have tried to get the house dry and ready before putting it on the market, or at least delayed any viewings briefly until the house could be aired out, because it was *really* obvious that there was a flooding problem when there were fans going in the basement and the windows open!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 22, 2013, 11:54:35 PM
I've spent a lot of time looking at houses because I am constantly searching for THE house. You would not believe how many houses I've seen that say they've got X bedrooms, then two of those are a big open space in the basement with a super wobbly paneling wall built down the middle, with a metal garment rack or Sauder armoire in each room as a "closet." No doors, no legally required egress windows, sometimes not even four walls.

The absolute worst house I ever saw was a doozy. We were looking in a small town and working with a not-good agent who didn't feel like driving out that far. So she gave us the code and we went on our way. I didn't realize at the time that was illegal, but it seems obvious in hindsight. None of these houses were occupied, and it was only a few houses, but still.

We got to the last house and it was very run down looking from the outside. That's OK, we want a fixer. The code didn't work, so we called the agent who says it should work but isn't much help other than that. DH walked around the house looking for a back door or something while I waited on the front porch. He got in and let me in. I asked him how he got in and he pointed to a solid wall in the kitchen. I said "uh...how did that work?" Turns out there was a fire in the kitchen (you could see the damage very plainly except on that one wall) and apparently one of the windows had broken. Instead of replacing the window or even boarding it up correctly, they leaned a sheet of paneling up against the wall, put one nail in, and called it good. When DH saw the boarded-over window, he touched the paneling and it swung in completely. It was a huge window (old house), so he walked in and opened the door for me.

The house was absolutely trashed. It had to have been lived in trashed, too; this wasn't just getting back at the bank putting some holes in the drywall. In the living room, the carpet was brown and caked with dirt, hair and what I think was cat poop, except for where furniture had been. In those spots it was bright blue. There was a second floor, but there was no first floor landing to get up there. Well, there was a piece of paneling thrown on the floor. We took a big step over the landing to the first stair to get upstairs.

Upstairs the garbage was literally knee deep. We didn't stay long, but from a quick glance it was obvious that it was mostly pron. Of course the walls all through the house were covered in graffitti, trash was everywhere, etc. It was by far the worst house I've ever seen.

There was one other house that I still consider the one that got away. It had been converted into apartments and someone was still living in the upstairs apartment. It was pretty solidly wall to wall stuff, although not trash. Just stuff. It was great, but the basement had this weird room under the stairs filled with trash bags. Looking back, I wish I'd gone for it, room full of trash bags or no.

When my parents bought the house they currently live in, it was an absolute wreck. The couple who owned it were divorcing, and the deal was that the wife got to live there until it sold. She went out of her way to trash it--she had lots of dogs that she didn't let outside, trash everywhere, walls caked with who knows what. There was a pool; it was filled with dead mice and frogs. The yard was overgrown. There was stuff everywhere. The basement had water issues. They saw something in it, though, because they bought it and cleaned it up. Almost twenty years later, they still live there and just remodeled the kitchen. I think the reason it was able to be cleaned up was that everything was great quality, it was just filthy. I don't know if elbow grease would have worked as well if it had been builder grade finishes.

ETA: Remembered one more. There was one house we went to see with what sounded like a big dog inside. The agent knocked several times and it barked, so that was how we knew it was in there. She was afraid to go in, but we braved it. The dog was fine, but as we went upstairs to see the third bedroom (a loft with no doors), a head lifted up from the bed. A teenage girl was sleeping in there. DH was in front of me, so I hope she wasn't scared thinking someone had broken in. He said "Oh, sorry!" and practically shoved me down the stairs to get out of there.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cuddlepie on February 22, 2013, 11:56:53 PM
After almost 30 years remembering this house still makes me feel repulsed. 

The house was owned by an animal loving family.  There were dogs, cats and little puppies.  The front room had piles of fur against the skirting boards and piles of droppings on the carpet and yes the smell was terrible.

Husband and I decided, after only a few steps into the front room, that this place, no matter how much we cleaned, what we replaced, would never feel clean enough for us and our two toddlers. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 23, 2013, 12:02:52 AM

Another house had a very lovely bathroom, if you didn't mind pepto bismol pink fixtures.  And I mean ALL the fixtures, including the oversized jacuzzi tub, toilet, sink and floor tiles.

My parents' house had three bathrooms, all done in different colors. The house was built in 1968, so all the finishes were what was popular then. There was a blue one, a green one, and peach with maroon accents. Each bathroom included a vanity with sinks in the bathroom's color, toilet and tub in the theme color, and floor tile and wall tile in the theme colors. Above the wall tile was coordinating wallpaper. The peach and rust bathroom is still there, and it's in really good shape for forty-five year old materials.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on February 23, 2013, 07:17:43 AM
Thirty years ago, when we were looking for a place, there were many office buildings and factories that had been converted to apartments.  Some of the developers were, shall we say, imaginative in the use of space. 

The Mushroom Farm.
This was in a converted warehouse.  The rooms were big.  The kitchen and bathrooms were nicely done.  The neighborhood was good and the price was in our range.  Unfortunately, it was in a basement and most of the windows were glass brick.  As a result, it was DARK. 

The Submarine Pen.
This was in a converted office building.  It was on an upper floor and had huge windows. The views of lower Manhattan were gorgeous.  Again, the rooms were big and the fixtures good but it was extremely narrow.  It was almost set up like a shotgun house.

The Ink Factory
This one had a lot going for it.  It had a nice layout, plenty of room and the novelty of a window over the bathtub with a nice view of the East River.  However, it had been, after all, an ink factory and the hard wood floors were liberally stained with black and blue splotches.  This was described as 'historical character'. 

The Elevator Shaft.
  It was in a converted factory.  The neighborhood was good and the imaginative feature here was that the living room had obviously once been part of a freight elevator shaft.  Despite this, we seriously considered it until the developer decided to go rental rather than Co-op.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Giggity on February 23, 2013, 07:49:55 AM
I have nothing to add, except that every single house in Texas has popcorn ceilings and we all know how horrible those are ... but we're about to start house-hunting so I want tales of woe and angst.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Brisvegasgal on February 23, 2013, 08:03:27 AM
DH and I looked at one house that was not built level.  As soon as we walked in we could see that the floor sloped to one side.  I mentioned this to the real estate aent who claimed to not know what I meant.  So I picked up a tennis all that was sitting on a nearby counter and placed it on the floor.  He agent's face was priceless as he watched the ball quickly gather momentum as it rolled towards the lowest point in the floor!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Phoebelion on February 23, 2013, 08:17:49 AM
When we were looking, the 3 story  house down the street went on the market.  Just what we were looking for - double lot on the corner, huge garage, etc.  I had been in the house - DH never had.  He wanted to check it out so I warned him about all the little rooms (old farm house).  So down we went.  The wife had gotten the house in the divorce and she couldn't afford it anymore.  At least thats what she said. 

As soon as we walked in, you could smell the animal urine.  Every step you took there was an explosion of fleas.  Animal feces in the basement (I called it the dungeon - windows were black from when there was oil furnace).  The windows had been replace - badly - obvious water damage below every window.

We made on offer on the house.  At $35K less than what was wanted.  Part of the sale included that they had to have all of the carpeting removed, hire someone to come in and remove the animal feces,  have that area cleaned to our specs, the entire house scrubbed down, and have the entire house bug bombed.  And they went for it.  As we were living 2 doors down, it was easy to keep an eye on the procedure. 

The hired a company (one of those that come in and clean up fire damage) that I happened to do business with.   The owner was horrified by the place.  He made sure that we got what we wanted. 

Turns out she did get the house in the divorce, but only until the youngest turned 18.  Seems she didn't want to split the money with the ex so she was doing everything possible to block the sale of the house.   All the expenses from the "sterilization" of the house and our $35K discount came out of her share of the sale.  Talk about cuttimg off your nose to spite your face.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: sunnygirl on February 23, 2013, 08:41:17 AM
When I was helping my father house-hunt, we visited one house that had a massive rug loosely tacked to the wall. I found it odd because it didn't look like a permanent fixture, but like someone had just stuck it up ten minutes earlier. I lifted the corner of the rug out of curiosity (it was only attached at the top) and found a massive garish mural of the family painted on the wall underneath. We were more put off by them trying to hide it, than the mural.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CakeBeret on February 23, 2013, 09:11:45 AM
Once DH and I visited a foreclosed home in a nicer neighborhood. It had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a whirlpool tub, a 2-car garage, and a pool in the backyard. The outrageously low pricetag should have been a warning to us.

On the first level were two bedrooms no bigger than 8x8 and a bathroom. We figured the remaining bedrooms and bathroom must be in the basement. That was when we realized that the only access to the basement was a very narrow, very spindly, spiral staircase that originated in the middle of the kitchen floor. The staircase did not have any railings around it, so it would be perfectly possible to accidentally fall into the staircase while going about your business in the kitchen. Scary. And that thing was seriously NARROW--my size 18 hips were brushing the railings on both sides as I tried to go down.

Went downstairs and it was essentially unfinished. There was carpet loose on the floors. The walls were cement. We found what was termed the "master bedroom". To its credit, it did have a fantastic cedar-lined walk-in closet. To its discredit, the walls looked like they had been painted by someone tripping on acid. Floor to ceiling murals on all four walls. After trying to avert our eyes from the walls, we realized that this could not legally be a bedroom because it only had one tiny basement window.

On we went through the basement. We found the "master bathroom". A huge jetted tub in the middle of back half of the basement, and a toilet behind a curtain. We found the 4th "bedroom" and it also featured the floor-to-ceiling acid-trip paintings and not enough windowage to legally be termed a bedroom.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: whiterose on February 23, 2013, 09:43:00 AM
When I was shopping for a condo, the second location the realtor and I looked at was really creepy. It was a short sale. The house had broken doors and holes in the wall. Things were less than functional. Not well painted. Creepiest part was when the owner showed us a poster of Frank Sinatra's mug shot- and said it was for "seduction". The realtor and I must have ran out of the house!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on February 23, 2013, 09:50:45 AM
After almost 30 years remembering this house still makes me feel repulsed. 

The house was owned by an animal loving family.  There were dogs, cats and little puppies.  The front room had piles of fur against the skirting boards and piles of droppings on the carpet and yes the smell was terrible.

Husband and I decided, after only a few steps into the front room, that this place, no matter how much we cleaned, what we replaced, would never feel clean enough for us and our two toddlers.

Sounds more like an animal hoarding family to me. I've always had pets and never lived like that. I feel sorry for that family's pets.  :-[
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on February 23, 2013, 10:30:17 AM
I have one:

When I first moved out on my own, my mother took me to see a friend of hers that ran a rental agency.  I wanted to be in El Cerrito, closer to my job.  However, Friend took us to two apartments in Richmond:  a tenement on 3rd Street that had used needles all over the lawn and stairs, and an sub-let in Atchinson Village that someone had lived (and smoked heavily) in for years.  My mother was so insulted and told the friend on the spot to take us back to the office and never contact her again.

Another one:

When I was looking for our first house, our realtor took us to a house in our price range that had a pool.  Before walking into the place, I was thinking Hey!  It has a pool!  Once inside, it turned out that the pool covered the entire backyard space, so you literally stepped out the back door and found yourself in the pool.  Their living area was swallowed up by a huge sectional and a T.V.  The rest of the house was not dirty, but messy and bare bones (no bedroom furniture, clothes stacked on the floor). But the deal breaker was the kitchen - burnt orange everything (island, appliances, cupboards).  My realtor was very angry and tight-lipped as we left.  She said, "I know exactly what happened there" and nothing more.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Giggity on February 23, 2013, 10:32:20 AM
What happened there?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: nowhere on February 23, 2013, 10:39:46 AM
Two houses in particular had creepy basements:

One was a stone cottage that used to be a hunting lodge for a larger estate nearby. Behind an unassuming door was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down to what I can only describe as a maze of dungeon-like rooms. The only light access we could find was the one hanging above the stairs, so as my husband and I walked further into the basement the darker it got. We used our cell phones as flashlights and every now and then I took flash pictures with my camera to be able to see the actual rooms better. The laundry room had a newer washer and dryer, but I just couldn't see myself doing laundry down there.

Another home had a gigantic finished basement also made up of many rooms. One used to be the catering kitchen of the seller's ex-wife. The equipment seemed to be professional grade and all high end but everything was in disarray. What made my imagination run wild was the very large stain on the floor that, to my untrained eye, looked like dried blood. My husband thought the same and was very freaked out by the room.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on February 23, 2013, 10:45:20 AM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on February 23, 2013, 11:26:46 AM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

Judging from the lack of furniture and the mess, it is possible that they have already moved out most of their things and left a teenage son or young relative to house-sit. Sounds like she was embarrassed about showing such an unkempt house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mbbored on February 23, 2013, 01:01:46 PM
I went house hunting about 18 months after the housing market tanked and most of the places in my budget range were foreclosed or short sale.

There was the house that we drove up to that had all the windows covered with plywood and was spray painted with gang tags. We didn't even stop the car there; we just kept driving.

My favorite was the house where we walked in and the kitchen was gone. Every counter, every appliance, every cabinet was ripped out, with holes and dangling wires left behind. The coat closet door was locked and had a strange smell coming out from it. The downstairs half bath had a toilet and a shower. The upstairs full bath had two sinks and no toilet. One bedroom door frame showed evidence of clearly being kicked in. We opened the door to peer in and saw a raccoon inside! We slammed that door and ran down the stairs. The real estate agent couldn't find the words to apologize and my friend and I were laughing so hard we couldn't stand up right.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Amava on February 23, 2013, 01:06:53 PM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

Wild guess: maybe house owners who had strange priorities, maybe trying to live above their means a bit?
I'm thinking along those lines because of:
- wanting a pool but not actually having enough space for it, still going through with it, resulting in a pool that takes up all of the garden with hardly room to walk around it;
- a huge sectional and tv that might have cost a lot, leaving no money for other furniture; or maybe the owners just weren't interested in other furniture;
- and I don't know about the kitchen:  I have a stupid question, is "burnt orange" a name of a colour in which the whole kitchen was done, or do you mean that stuff had been burned?

All in all it sounds like the owners were people with a rather alternative lifestyle and different priorities than most people, which is totally their right and more power to them etc, but which can also make a house very hard to sell.

Maybe a colleague of the realtor had shoved the task of selling it onto her, without telling her what state the house was in?

Just wild guesses like you prompted for.  ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on February 23, 2013, 01:19:10 PM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

I started to say bachelor pad, because the living room and pool had priority over the rest of the house, then it occurred to me that the living room might have used for filming pron.  Maybe the agent recognized the room from a DVD.   ;) 

Amava, burnt orange is a brownish orange that was popular in the 1970's.  It's called "burnt" because the orange looks like it is smoked or scorched.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on February 23, 2013, 01:23:55 PM
Dear gods, how did I forget the Flea House?!? 

The house was empty, but when the realtor and I entered, the first thing that hit us was the smell of DOG.  Not urine, or feces, just DOG, like that strong doggy odor you smell from a wet dog.

It was summer, so we were wearing sandals.  We took two or three steps into the living room and all of the starving fleas in the carpet rose up and attacked us.  Our ankles were BLACK with fleas!  We ran out of the house and brushed off as many as we could see, then walked around and looked through the windows in the rest of the downstairs, and brushed off a few more fleas.  That was the end of houselooking for that day.  The realtor said she was going to have her car fleabombed just to make sure that she didn't have any unexpected passengers. UGH! 

I'm pretty sure that she recommended to the selling agent that they have the house professionally treated for fleas.  Otherwise it was nothing special, so we didn't go back and look at it again.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Amava on February 23, 2013, 01:35:19 PM
Amava, burnt orange is a brownish orange that was popular in the 1970's.  It's called "burnt" because the orange looks like it is smoked or scorched.

Aha! Thanks!
I /thought/ so, but I wasn't sure.

In that case, I own a few cast iron burnt orange pots and pans!
I love the way they look - but a whole kitchen in that same colour would indeed be a bit much.  :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kimblee on February 23, 2013, 01:41:57 PM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

I started to say bachelor pad, because the living room and pool had priority over the rest of the house, then it occurred to me that the living room might have used for filming pron.  Maybe the agent recognized the room from a DVD.   ;) 

Amava, burnt orange is a brownish orange that was popular in the 1970's.  It's called "burnt" because the orange looks like it is smoked or scorched.

I'm ashamed to admit I kinda thought the same as your second guess.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on February 23, 2013, 02:00:18 PM
Thirty years ago, when we were looking for a place, there were many office buildings and factories that had been converted to apartments.  Some of the developers were, shall we say, imaginative in the use of space. 

The Mushroom Farm.
This was in a converted warehouse.  The rooms were big.  The kitchen and bathrooms were nicely done.  The neighborhood was good and the price was in our range.  Unfortunately, it was in a basement and most of the windows were glass brick.  As a result, it was DARK. 

The Submarine Pen.
This was in a converted office building.  It was on an upper floor and had huge windows. The views of lower Manhattan were gorgeous.  Again, the rooms were big and the fixtures good but it was extremely narrow.  It was almost set up like a shotgun house.

The Ink Factory
This one had a lot going for it.  It had a nice layout, plenty of room and the novelty of a window over the bathtub with a nice view of the East River.  However, it had been, after all, an ink factory and the hard wood floors were liberally stained with black and blue splotches.  This was described as 'historical character'. 

The Elevator Shaft.
  It was in a converted factory.  The neighborhood was good and the imaginative feature here was that the living room had obviously once been part of a freight elevator shaft.  Despite this, we seriously considered it until the developer decided to go rental rather than Co-op.

Ok, some of these sound really neat to me, especially the Ink Factory. The Mushroom Farm, not so much. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jpcher on February 23, 2013, 02:20:45 PM
I haven't read the thread yet, but I just had to post. ;D

Another house had a very lovely bathroom, if you didn't mind pepto bismol pink fixtures.  And I mean ALL the fixtures, including the oversized jacuzzi tub, toilet, sink and floor tiles.

In one house the bathroom had all of the above, except pink tiles on the floor. HOWEVER! It did have right red shag carpeting on the floor and on the walls and even on the ceiling!

Add to that! The main hallway in the house had brown with gold shag carpet on the floors, walls and ceiling.

Oh, did I mention the owner was a carpet layer?

There were christmas lights (large bulbs) permanently strung around the outside of the house . . . permanent because there were at least 10 staples between each bulb.

I figured the guy must have received a staple gun for christmas or something because yes, folks, that's how the carpet was put up on the walls and ceiling . . . with a staple gun. Lots of staples. TONS of staples! Or maybe he would staple out his frustrations in the hallway?

How do I know this?

I bought the house. ::)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Susiqzer on February 23, 2013, 02:23:24 PM
Oh, memories...

We were house-hunting during the housing boom, so anything that lingered on the market was... sub-par, we'll say.

The first house was fantastic, except that you could see moss growing from under the 30-year-old roof, which clearly needed to be replaced. The realtor said that the owner was unwilling to budge on the price or do any "clearly unnecessary" repairs. Ok, PASS.

The second house was also great, but the owners had creepy displays of dolls in every nook and cranny. We got past that, and the kitchen that needed work, until the owner started discussing how he was currently on the outs with the town board of health, over his septic system... and proceeded to rant how it was fine, and nothing needed to be done, they'd lived there for years and were all ok. Apparently the septic and well were too close. We passed on that one too!

The third house took the cake, though. It was a 1950's ranch, with an upstairs addition to make it a colonial. The upstairs was lovely: large bedrooms, gorgeous bathrooms, absolutely beautiful. The downstairs was still 1950. The kitchen had a built-in oven so small, none of my pans would have fit! I'm not living in a place where I can't bake brownies!!! It was when we opened the breeze-way -- against their realtors instructions (ya, right) -- that we learned where they kept their dogs. The scent was overwhelming... I backed out and went immediately out the front door. Another pass!

After those houses, we focused on new construction. :)

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CoffeeLover on February 23, 2013, 03:02:31 PM
3 years ago DH and I were house hunting and went to a house but the front door was locked.  The realtor could not get in with the key she took from the lock box.  We waited at the front door and the realtor went around back, went through a back door and came to the front to let us in.  We started to look through the house (which was pretty horrid!  Messy, broken everything, etc.). 

As we went down the hallway, I noticed the realtor turn around with a look of absolute horror and push us back toward the door! We found out, once outside, that she was about to open the bedroom door (which was open a crack) and noticed "someone lying in the bed with an arm as big as my thigh and harry as a bear!"

Funny thing - we went back later in the day (the coast was clear) and in the basement was a bunch of stuff, like a typical unfinished basement but had a toilet on one side.  Yes, it was a working toilet (i flushed it with my foot) - right in the open, no walls, no curtain, nothing.  I guess it would come in handy if you had the urge to go while doing laundry....
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Snooks on February 23, 2013, 04:06:34 PM
We looked at an apartment where you couldn't open the bedroom door of the second bedroom if you had even a single bed in the room.  The main bedroom didn't have a wardrobe or space for one and the estate agent just kept telling us to "think what you would do with the space".  Well I wouldn't be storing any clothes that's for certain.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 23, 2013, 04:12:26 PM
Oh, I forgot about the rainbow puke house!

Bedroom 1:  Bright Teal walls, matching teal ceiling fan, white ceiling,  hot pink carpets.

Bedroom 2:  Mustard yellow ceiling, burnt orange walls.

Bedroom 3:  Purple ceiling and walls

Bedroom 4: Red walls, Blue ceiling.

Living Room: Kelly green walls, yellow trim, white ceiling.

Kitchen:  Maroon everything with a little ivory trim work.

It really looked like a rainbow came in and puked everywhere.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Julian on February 23, 2013, 04:53:43 PM
House 1 - I had an appointment with the real estate agent, he never showed.  I sat outside the house in my car, and waited.  Turns out the tenants had refused a viewing, the agent never bothered to call me back, so I left.  Probably a good thing, from what I saw of the street as I waited outside.  Way too busy, lots of hooning in cars, generally not the sort of area I wanted to live in.

House 2 - an open house pre-auction.  It was built on the side of a hill (more like a cliff!) with the front of the house street-level to the road, and the rear of the house about 2 stories above ground level.  It was pokey, unstable (you could feel the house shifting as people walked around) and somebody nearly fell through the rear deck as the boards were so weakened.  If you were up to demolishing and rebuilding, it may have been a good deal at the anticipated auction price, but it ended up going for over twice that.  I'm still shaking my head on that one!

House 3 - well, where do I start?  A removal house in the middle of nowhere, on a half-acre block with only driveway street frontage.  60m long driveway.  The house looked quite small from the outside, but inside it was huge.  The owner was an interstate landlord, long term tenants, and the landlord obviously hadn't spent a cent on the place since he bought it.  Many broken windows (some obviously from the move), damp, and the decor from hell.  As an example - the living room had bucket yellow walls, fire engine red external door, grape purple internal window frame, orange curtains, a terracotta orange archway into the kitchen, and bright blue carpet.  One bedroom, while the walls were pretty enough (pale blue with a wallpaper trim), the tenants, presumably in an attempt to cheer up the otherwise fairly grim house, had dawbed grape purple paint around the window frames, and the doorway was alternating orange with yellow and purple daubs with yellow with orange and purple dawbs.  The kitchen was a tiny little area with two small benches and a stove in the corner of an otherwise huge room, mostly taken with a mudroom and doorway.  The rest of the space was otherwise unused but for a kitchen table.  The bathroom, oh dear, the bathroom...  it was one internal room with just a tub with an oldfashioned shower rose over it.  The other end of the bathroom went into a shotgun toilet, with a vanity, so you had to pass through the bathroom to get to the loo.  Off the mudroom was a laundry with a second toilet in it, and a big hot water system taking up much of the room.  Most of the damp seemed to emanate from there.  The kitchen was painted terracotta orange with blue skirting boards.  The smallest bedroom was papered with dark blue flowery wallpaper, and bright orange shag carpet.  The main bedroom I couldn't get into to view - the tenant's adult son was sleeping off the night before.  When I did finally see it, it was to find flowery wallpaper - most of which had been pulled off, and multiple staples in the walls, and the same orange shag carpet, with big holes in it.  And when I spoke to the tenant, she let me know about the dodgy wiring and a few other issues.  I also couldn't get into the front hall because it was full of boxes and curtained off.

Well, I bought House 3.  9' ceilings, Tasmanian Oak hardwood floors under all that horrible carpet (and the layers of masonite and/or laminate under it to even up the floor) and enormous bedrooms.  Several years and a lot of hard work later, and I have a huge modern kitchen, a large comfortable bathroom with a corner spa tub, three bright comfortable bedrooms, a very comfortable lounge room and the biggest office / sewing room you can imagine.  Before the renovation it held a pool table, lounge, desk and a very large oldfashioned electric brick heater.  Oh, and I have also built a three car garage with verandah, which is great for entertaining if it rains.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magician5 on February 23, 2013, 04:59:07 PM
When I was helping my father house-hunt, we visited one house that had a massive rug loosely tacked to the wall. I found it odd because it didn't look like a permanent fixture, but like someone had just stuck it up ten minutes earlier. I lifted the corner of the rug out of curiosity (it was only attached at the top) and found a massive garish mural of the family painted on the wall underneath. We were more put off by them trying to hide it, than the mural.

Makes you think "Hmmm ... what else may they be trying to hide?"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magician5 on February 23, 2013, 05:03:37 PM
One was a stone cottage that used to be a hunting lodge for a larger estate nearby. Behind an unassuming door was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down to what I can only describe as a maze of dungeon-like rooms. The only light access we could find was the one hanging above the stairs, so as my husband and I walked further into the basement the darker it got. We used our cell phones as flashlights and every now and then I took flash pictures with my camera to be able to see the actual rooms better.

I keep thinking ..."and waaaaay in the back corner of the darkest basement, an ancient iron-barred door with what looked like claw marks coming from under the sill". Don't knock it, this sort of thing made millions for Steven King.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on February 23, 2013, 05:36:04 PM
My realtor and I went to the basement of the house, where there was a room that had been walled off of the main open area. He opened the door, and flipped on the light, and the light bulb was red and dim. He said, 'Oh, a darkroom' and I said, 'Can't be, no one would build a darkroom without access to water.' He got a light bulb from the main part of the building, and put it in an empty socket in the room.
There were stalagtites of mold growing down from the ceiling. Several inches long. We turned and ran.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on February 23, 2013, 05:44:41 PM
Here's a story from a friend.  It's not quite a horror story but has a little frisson to it.

Friend and her DH had a lovely apartment but were mildly interested in a new one with a little more space.  It was in good shape.   It had a nice view of the park and was in a neighborhood they liked.  They met the owner when they visited the place.  He was pleasant and the sale seemed like a definite possibility. 

A week after the visit, friend and DH saw the owner again.  It was on TV and he was being indicted for a very destructive bombing on the subway system.  He was later convicted of the crime.

The sale did not go through. 

Understandably, They really didn't want to move into the home of a 'Mad Bomber'.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Seraphia on February 23, 2013, 05:46:05 PM
We're house-hunting right now, but thankfully, haven't seen anything nearly as bad as some of these stories.

The worst so far was really a heartbreaker. It had a great location and a beautiful exterior, but desperately dated inside. The entire downstairs was either paneled in 70's era fake wood, or covered in linoleum or old shag carpet. The kitchen still had the original 70's appliances and cabinets, plus a leak in the ceiling from the (most probably) original 70's plumbing. Upstairs, there a was a long, narrow master bedroom, which could be set up exactly one way: with the bed facing out the sliding doors to the upstairs porch and looking right at the neighbors' windows. Both bathrooms were done completely in Easter pastels - one in canary yellow, the other in pink (including tub). DH and I looked at each other in the car afterwards and shook our heads. It would be a great house for someone, but that someone would need to be willing to renovate just about every room except one spare bedroom and the garage.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 23, 2013, 06:46:04 PM
We're house-hunting right now, but thankfully, haven't seen anything nearly as bad as some of these stories.

The worst so far was really a heartbreaker. It had a great location and a beautiful exterior, but desperately dated inside. The entire downstairs was either paneled in 70's era fake wood, or covered in linoleum or old shag carpet. The kitchen still had the original 70's appliances and cabinets, plus a leak in the ceiling from the (most probably) original 70's plumbing. Upstairs, there a was a long, narrow master bedroom, which could be set up exactly one way: with the bed facing out the sliding doors to the upstairs porch and looking right at the neighbors' windows. Both bathrooms were done completely in Easter pastels - one in canary yellow, the other in pink (including tub). DH and I looked at each other in the car afterwards and shook our heads. It would be a great house for someone, but that someone would need to be willing to renovate just about every room except one spare bedroom and the garage.

This actually sounds ideal for me if I was in a position to buy anything right now. :)  I would love to renovate a house like that.  It's one of the reasons why when I was house shopping, I didn't really look at anything built after 1930 or so.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Seraphia on February 23, 2013, 06:50:05 PM
We're house-hunting right now, but thankfully, haven't seen anything nearly as bad as some of these stories.

The worst so far was really a heartbreaker. It had a great location and a beautiful exterior, but desperately dated inside. The entire downstairs was either paneled in 70's era fake wood, or covered in linoleum or old shag carpet. The kitchen still had the original 70's appliances and cabinets, plus a leak in the ceiling from the (most probably) original 70's plumbing. Upstairs, there a was a long, narrow master bedroom, which could be set up exactly one way: with the bed facing out the sliding doors to the upstairs porch and looking right at the neighbors' windows. Both bathrooms were done completely in Easter pastels - one in canary yellow, the other in pink (including tub). DH and I looked at each other in the car afterwards and shook our heads. It would be a great house for someone, but that someone would need to be willing to renovate just about every room except one spare bedroom and the garage.

This actually sounds ideal for me if I was in a position to buy anything right now. :)  I would love to renovate a house like that.  It's one of the reasons why when I was house shopping, I didn't really look at anything built after 1930 or so.

Oh, absolutely. That's part of the reason I was so sad - I would love to be at a stage of life/experience where we could buy a house and remake it. We just can't afford to spend a couple years, the price of a mortgage, several thousand dollars in tools and materials, then a couple thousand more fixing the mistakes we made the first time around, all on a first home.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on February 23, 2013, 06:53:50 PM
What happened there?

I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

I started to say bachelor pad, because the living room and pool had priority over the rest of the house, then it occurred to me that the living room might have used for filming pron.  Maybe the agent recognized the room from a DVD.   ;) 

Amava, burnt orange is a brownish orange that was popular in the 1970's.  It's called "burnt" because the orange looks like it is smoked or scorched.

I'm ashamed to admit I kinda thought the same as your second guess.

It wasn't a bachelor pad, because the wife and two small children were present at the time, with all the accoutrements.  Eye-bleeding brownish orange is exactly correct

There was no gate around the pool (with kids?!?).  You could literally walk outside the back door and down the pool steps with only a 1-foot border from the edge to the door.

Edited to add:  No way of knowing if the p**n idea was correct, but it wouldn't surprise me.  One could host a massive o**y on that sectional.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 23, 2013, 07:00:56 PM

There was no gate around the pool (with kids?!?).  You could literally walk outside the back door and down the pool steps with only a 1-foot border from the edge to the door.

Actually, my old house in Miami (years ago, when the kids were very little and before I moved to North Dakota) was sort of like that with the pool.  There was roughly 18 inches between the sliding glass door off the dining room and the edge of the pool.  I took up most of that space with a gate, though.  And the pool didn't take up even a quarter of the yard, let alone the whole thing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: dawnfire on February 23, 2013, 07:16:31 PM

There was no gate around the pool (with kids?!?).  You could literally walk outside the back door and down the pool steps with only a 1-foot border from the edge to the door.

Actually, my old house in Miami (years ago, when the kids were very little and before I moved to North Dakota) was sort of like that with the pool.  There was roughly 18 inches between the sliding glass door off the dining room and the edge of the pool.  I took up most of that space with a gate, though.  And the pool didn't take up even a quarter of the yard, let alone the whole thing.

hubby's foster mum had a place like that.  you went out the back door , down a flight of stairs and you were only 2 or so meters from the pool edge. when pool fences became mandatory, she ended up having replace the sliding door with one that automatically closed and had a high latch
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 23, 2013, 07:28:22 PM
I was just looking through old pictures.  I don't know if the space is actually bigger than I remember it being (I don't remember being able to take a full step between the back door and the pool fence, and barely being able to walk on the other side of the fence next to the pool), or if the angle of the photo is just messing with me.

(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/easter%20egg%20hunt/IMG_0120.jpg)

(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/easter%20egg%20hunt/IMG_0125.jpg)

(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn67/mmsw1/easter%20egg%20hunt/IMG_0132.jpg)

(And please forgive the mess..the kids were having an Easter Egg Hunt while we were getting ready to grill for Easter Dinner.  Also, we had passed on fixing a hurricane damaged fence in order to get a better pool gate, thinking that we could do without a property line fence for a few more months)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on February 23, 2013, 07:58:44 PM
I was just looking through old pictures.  I don't know if the space is actually bigger than I remember it being (I don't remember being able to take a full step between the back door and the pool fence, and barely being able to walk on the other side of the fence next to the pool), or if the angle of the photo is just messing with me.



It's the lens.  It appears these pictures were taken with a slightly wide angle lens.  Wide angle lenses "push things apart" and make them seem farther away from each other than they really look to our eyes.  They also make things farther away seem smaller than they really are.   

The way you remember it is probably closer to being accurate than the pictures.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Garden Goblin on February 23, 2013, 09:07:19 PM
I looked at a house where the owner had been a 'flip-it-yourself' person.

He'd redone some electrical...and grounded the electrical system to the gas pipe.

The poor real estate agent with us nearly had a heart attack - apparently he'd arrived at the property an hour before we did.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on February 23, 2013, 10:04:01 PM
I looked at a house where the owner had been a 'flip-it-yourself' person.

He'd redone some electrical...and grounded the electrical system to the gas pipe.

The poor real estate agent with us nearly had a heart attack - apparently he'd arrived at the property an hour before we did.

My husband says that this is actually a standard practice if the gas pipe is metallic.  Otherwise <something about the electrical charge and the ground outside that I didn't really understand>.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 23, 2013, 10:44:40 PM
In Florida, we have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the US. Several of the houses we have looked at were deliberately damaged by the prior owners or vandalized after the foreclosure.

Gutted house - A two year old house. Two stories, nice big yard. We walk the outside first, and realize the external air conditioning unit is gone. We look in the windows and realize all appliances for the kitchen, including the dishwasher, are gone. So are the counter tops and cabinets! The sink and the disposal are gone. Just a few pipes jutting from the wall were left in the kitchen.

Some others, one was a beautiful house with hardwood floors. The prior owner had drug some heavy furniture out and left a 1/2" gouge in the living room floor that was at least 4' long. Several others had the shower heads missing (required for inspection), sand filling the toilet tanks, animals living in the attic.

Swamp house - A house on 5 acres that had once been an ornamental fish farm. The house was a decent size and there was a large outbuilding. However, the walls had been fortified with pressed board and the wiring was an amateur job. The washer and dryer were on the long open porch, with bad wiring again. The ceiling was falling inside the house, and the walls and carpet were dingy and dirty. The property was in very rough shape, the individual ponds had bled together and we heard at least one alligator calling. The brush was waist high.

We have seen crazy paint schemes. A lot of maroon houses with maroon dining rooms with mustard trim.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jones on February 23, 2013, 10:48:00 PM
I was moving out of state for work. My real estate agent and I met at one of the houses I had seen online. He went to the door when we both heard a horrendous barking from inside; through the window next to the door we were face to face with a huge, snarling, barking Rottweiler mix. The window it was at was broken in one corner, a round hole about the size of a fist or a baseball, with longer cracks extending from the hole to across the rest of the window.

We left before the dog decided to break the window some more.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snappylt on February 23, 2013, 11:04:45 PM
Years ago, when i was single, I was looking at condos.  My real estate agent was a former coworker who had just started in real estate.  She warned me that we both were learning as we were going along, but we did have fun looking.

The worst place we saw was a condo that was roughly half the price of other similar condos in that part of the city.  She suggested we look at it one day when we were out looking at other places.  We both agreed that there had to be something wrong with it for it to have such a low price.

When we got in, we couldn't figure it our at first, because the first floor seemed ok.  She went ahead of me up the stairs and started to enter the master bedroom and called out, "Snappy!  Don't come in here!  I've found what's wrong!"  The floor of the master bedroom was literally sagging down as if it was about to colapse into the room below.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shalamar on February 24, 2013, 03:42:01 AM
Nothing major from me, but I remember when my parents were looking for a house - they found one whose livingroom had bright purple walls and lime green shag carpet.  It looked like the Incredible Hulk threw up in there.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cicero on February 24, 2013, 05:31:45 AM
two stories come to mind -none of them were actual horrors, more "disappointments". these were all for rentals.

first one - we used an agent (a now former friend). he was jsut starting out as an agent and we knew that they were in financial difficulties so we were more than happy to give him the business. however, he himself had never seen the apartment (we found out later). which wasn't even the worst thing - we got there, the apartment stank to high heaven of dog. not "dirty/poop" just a strong "dog smell". and there was a big dog bounding around the place. and that wasn't the worst. the wife opened the door, was on the phone and did not get off the phone the.entire.time we were there. we waited. after a few minutes the housekeeper/nurse (we found out later the wife was not well), offered to show us around but she couldn't answer any questions. the house was a mess. after about 20 minutes we left while wife was still on the phone. we met the husband as we were leaving. we started asking him questions about the hosue and he said "but it's not for rent". turned out that the wife decided she wass going to someplace for medical treatments, with the kids, and the husband decided that that was fine by him but he was staying put... totally weird.

then, when DS and I had to leave then-husband we had (a) very little time and (b) very little money. i had developed the knack of interviewing the owners over the phone so that we were all clear on what a "bedroom" was but this one was funny - it is advertised as two bedrooms, one bathroom. (in israel they count bedrooms and living room as rooms, with the assumption that there is a kitchen. so this was advertised as 3 rooms which should be "two bedrooms and a living room /living room-kitchen). fine. we go to a teeny tiny apartment, open the door and you are in a teeny kitchen. behind the kitchen is a "room", no window, the only "door" is the doorway from teh kitchen. on the other side of the kitchen was a nice-sized room and the only bathroom/shower was in that room, meaning that whoever had that room would have the other person going through there to shower/use the toilet. i looked around for another door (remember, this is advertised as two bedrooms) and there were none. i asked the owner and he said "well, the kitchen is really a kitchen/living room combo (trust me, there was no room to put a stool, much less to use it as a living room/kitchen). and the other bedroom? oh, that "room" behind the kitchen (remeber - no window and no real door) was a "bedroom". I asked him why he bothered to advertise this as three rooms - seriously, did he think i was going to fall in love with the place and forget that it was not suitable for my needs?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Catananche on February 24, 2013, 06:33:17 AM
We've moved around a lot and we've seen some interesting things:

-a house that needed to be sold because of a divorce. The man sat in a corner and glared at us. He had 're-decorated' every room in a different colour. One room had 4 black wall with white splashes of paint here and there. One room was purple/pink/lavender, another green/blue/yellow and the last one was yellow/orange/neon green. The bathroom had a mozaik sink, done by the owner. He had made the thing into a lethal weapon by pointing shards of tile down and not making sure they were covered.

-messy house: we couldn't see into two of the bedrooms because the doors couldn't open. The kitchen was sticky and the bathroom ... let's not talk about the bathroom.

-pets. If your house REEKS of pets so bad that your throat closes up when you enter the door, it might be time to clean the cage, the litterbox and/or the doggie bed. And birds are not odour free.

-garden. If I have to hack a way to the front door through the jungle that seems to be the front yard, the house HAS to be very special. Brown carpet, brown walls, brown ceilings, brown bathroom isn't that special.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 24, 2013, 06:55:19 AM
Two houses in particular had creepy basements:

One was a stone cottage that used to be a hunting lodge for a larger estate nearby. Behind an unassuming door was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down to what I can only describe as a maze of dungeon-like rooms. The only light access we could find was the one hanging above the stairs, so as my husband and I walked further into the basement the darker it got. We used our cell phones as flashlights and every now and then I took flash pictures with my camera to be able to see the actual rooms better. The laundry room had a newer washer and dryer, but I just couldn't see myself doing laundry down there.

Another home had a gigantic finished basement also made up of many rooms. One used to be the catering kitchen of the seller's ex-wife. The equipment seemed to be professional grade and all high end but everything was in disarray. What made my imagination run wild was the very large stain on the floor that, to my untrained eye, looked like dried blood. My husband thought the same and was very freaked out by the room.

I just have to say these descriptions gave me flashbacks to Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs...esp the end where Clarice is being "hunted"through his basement. I love the movie but would not want to live in a house like that!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on February 24, 2013, 07:09:31 AM
This first condo I purchased had one unique decorating feature.  The bathroom was 1980s dusty rose.  (I purchased in 2002.)  Fine, I can live with that.  The owner I bought from tried to disguise some of the pink before he started showing the unit.  So, he spraypainted the bathroom floor white.  Yep, spraypainted tile flooring.  Interesting feature, don't you think?  Paint only adheres to tile if it is glazed and cooked on.  Until I could replace the floor in there, I tracked pain flecks into the rest of the unit.

The other fun house hunt story was from a unit within the same complex.  A single guy paid way too much at the height of the market to purchase a redone 1 bedroom.  Sadly, he and his eventual wife had a sad change in fortune and lost their jobs.  The decided to walk away from the unit after they couldn't sell if for what he had paid.  (They were about $30K higher than the going rate.)  I walked through the open house and admired their gorgeous kitchen.  Then lamented that they only had one light bulb in the vanity mirrors that required 10 bulbs above the bathroom mirror.  When they decided to walk away, they sold their kitchen to a neighbor and swapped the kitchens with handymen.  So, basically, they cheapened it even more for the bank.  While I felt bad for their fate, I was appalled that they would do something so nasty to their mortgage bank.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on February 24, 2013, 08:19:29 AM
I looked at a house where the owner had been a 'flip-it-yourself' person.

He'd redone some electrical...and grounded the electrical system to the gas pipe.

The poor real estate agent with us nearly had a heart attack - apparently he'd arrived at the property an hour before we did.

We had something similar happen with the unit next door.  It's a duplex and, for some reason, the new owners decided to change the direction of the stairs.  They were only there for a few years before they moved back to Europe but, when they left, it was discovered that a LOT of iffy and dangerous re-wiring had been done.  They had also divided one of the bedrooms into two without permission from the co-op board.  The place was crawling with code violations. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Garden Goblin on February 24, 2013, 08:38:58 AM
My husband says that this is actually a standard practice if the gas pipe is metallic.  Otherwise <something about the electrical charge and the ground outside that I didn't really understand>.

Grounding the electrical to the cold water pipe is standard practice.  Grounding it to the gas pipe is something else entirely.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: veryfluffy on February 24, 2013, 08:41:44 AM

Gutted house - A two year old house. Two stories, nice big yard. We walk the outside first, and realize the external air conditioning unit is gone. We look in the windows and realize all appliances for the kitchen, including the dishwasher, are gone. So are the counter tops and cabinets! The sink and the disposal are gone. Just a few pipes jutting from the wall were left in the kitchen.

I'm currently redoing my kitchen, and wondering what potential buyers will think one day, 15 or 20 years from now, when I sell the house. Because I'm not having a fitted kitchen. Everything is free-standing and removable -- big range cooker, antique dressers for storage, etc. Not even the corner sink unit that I am having hand-built by a carpenter is going to be built in. So if I moved out with my stuff, you'd be left with connections for the gas, connections for the sink and dishwasher, and a lot of empty space.

I knew when we bought the house that the whole kitchen would need to be replaced and redesigned, and I've never looked at a house and liked the kitchen -- even when it was brand new, I'd always want to rip it out. I know the wonderful kitchen in the last house I sold was probably in a skip before the ink was dry on the sales contract.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: kherbert05 on February 24, 2013, 08:42:54 AM
I toured one house were most of the rooms were missing the doors. We thought maybe they were getting ready to repaint. There was spackle on some of the walls. A woman was camping on the floor. No furniture other than her sleeping bag. Went out to the garage - the doors were stacked up there. The visible ones had holes at shoulder/torso level and the bottoms had been kicked in. I told my Realtor that I would be afraid that the person that did that might come back, either looking for the woman or angry the home had been sold. I bought another house in the same neighborhood.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kimblee on February 24, 2013, 03:16:32 PM
Two houses in particular had creepy basements:

One was a stone cottage that used to be a hunting lodge for a larger estate nearby. Behind an unassuming door was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down to what I can only describe as a maze of dungeon-like rooms. The only light access we could find was the one hanging above the stairs, so as my husband and I walked further into the basement the darker it got. We used our cell phones as flashlights and every now and then I took flash pictures with my camera to be able to see the actual rooms better. The laundry room had a newer washer and dryer, but I just couldn't see myself doing laundry down there.

Another home had a gigantic finished basement also made up of many rooms. One used to be the catering kitchen of the seller's ex-wife. The equipment seemed to be professional grade and all high end but everything was in disarray. What made my imagination run wild was the very large stain on the floor that, to my untrained eye, looked like dried blood. My husband thought the same and was very freaked out by the room.

I just have to say these descriptions gave me flashbacks to Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs...esp the end where Clarice is being "hunted"through his basement. I love the movie but would not want to live in a house like that!

I would! In fact, if it has a rust stained old styled bathroom it may be my dream home...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 24, 2013, 03:55:31 PM

Gutted house - A two year old house. Two stories, nice big yard. We walk the outside first, and realize the external air conditioning unit is gone. We look in the windows and realize all appliances for the kitchen, including the dishwasher, are gone. So are the counter tops and cabinets! The sink and the disposal are gone. Just a few pipes jutting from the wall were left in the kitchen.

I'm currently redoing my kitchen, and wondering what potential buyers will think one day, 15 or 20 years from now, when I sell the house. Because I'm not having a fitted kitchen. Everything is free-standing and removable -- big range cooker, antique dressers for storage, etc. Not even the corner sink unit that I am having hand-built by a carpenter is going to be built in. So if I moved out with my stuff, you'd be left with connections for the gas, connections for the sink and dishwasher, and a lot of empty space.

I knew when we bought the house that the whole kitchen would need to be replaced and redesigned, and I've never looked at a house and liked the kitchen -- even when it was brand new, I'd always want to rip it out. I know the wonderful kitchen in the last house I sold was probably in a skip before the ink was dry on the sales contract.

If you design and build the kitchen that way, it is perfectly reasonable and legal to take everything.

However, when a house is designed with standard cabinets and counter tops, it is theft of fixtures (in my state) for the occupant to take them when they move. Also, where would they put those cabinets? Can cabinets be versatile enough to move from house to house?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Amava on February 24, 2013, 04:04:40 PM
Also, where would they put those cabinets? Can cabinets be versatile enough to move from house to house?

When I bought my house (which is SO old that it didn't have a built-in kitchen or anything yet), one aunt was just breaking out their kitchen to install a new one. We took over most of their cabinets and the sink to install them in ours. It was a bit of a puzzle, it required a lot of sawing and retouching, and it's not very pretty, but it's good enough to "make do" until we get round to getting a kitchen built to our own taste.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kaora on February 24, 2013, 04:16:00 PM
My parents were house hunting a couple years ago, and we went with them.

Most of the houses were wonderful, some a little small and old timey, but not bad in themselves.  I'm surprised the realtors didn't run away after my klutzy brain decided that the sliding glass door simply wasn't there, so I tried to walk through it.  Whoops.

There was one house we were looking at, in an excellent neighborhood, only a couple blocks walk from where my BF lives, built by the same guy.  I think the owners couldn't pay the loan and ended up losing the house.

It was odd.  It was a gorgeous house, with a breakfast nook to the left of the entranceway on the way in, a couple of bedrooms beyond that, the kitchen in plainview infront of us, and another room which served as the family room overlooking the backyard.

There was a hallway that led past the kitchen that led to the first bathroom, which was... pink.  Really, really pink, with only bathtub and no shower fixtures.  I mean, bright flamingo and Pepto Bismols almighty, it was pink.

The master bedroom had been the only one to originally have a shower.  It did when we checked it out.  Still, we're very much shower people, so while not a dealbreaker, it was very close.

Notice how I said originally?  The hallway past the kitchen, which had a broken stove, extended and turned left into a weird, really long hallway with a little space to the left for the washer/dryer.  There were two bedrooms added on by removing the garage and dividing them with plywood, adding doors onto them.  It still had the sunroof covering the corners of the two rooms. :o

It was also still cement, with loose carpeting.  It also had another bathroom, the only other one to have a stall, that I can only describe as leftovers stolen from someone's construction project.  The door was a heavy, metal bathroom door with a Men's sign on it, like you see in commercial areas, the piping was all obvious and the tub was standing in the middle of the room, with said piping all connecting to it from the side.  There was a toilet, but it looked scary and metal.  White tiling, blue paint, gray tiled floor.  I've almost never run out of a bathroom, but I ended up closing the door quickly and never wanted to go back.

We go out to the backyard to look for the large hot tub that was advertised (we were thinking it'd be great for my sister's CP), and found that it had been filled with cement.

Also noticed a large amount of trash and rubble strewn about the yard, mostly small things, like cigarette butts, though we once spotted both a baseball and a shoe.  Just one.

On the way out, we saw that a large switchplate to the right of the door had been mostly smashed in, and that the electrical wiring box, which was just outside in the entranceway, but on the back an arch so we didn't notice it coming in, was unlocked and some wires were dangling.

As we found out later, the extension was added without permission of the city or any code checks, so it would've been a hazard waiting to kill us.  Near as we can tell, they tried trashing the place, but didn't do very much aside from that poor plate and the electrical box.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on February 24, 2013, 06:09:10 PM
I looked at a lot of houses that were "meh" before finding this one, but one really stands out to me.

It was the lowest-priced one on the list and from what I could see from the MLS listing online, the decor hadn't been updated for a really long time, like maybe since the late 60s.  But if the house itself is sound, the rest I can deal with in my own time, right? 

We get there and the first thing I notice is that there are not only steel shutters over all the windows, but heavy iron bars as well.  When we get inside, I'm overwhelmed by a sickly sweet smell.  There is no power, so the listing agent has kindly (fft) left a stack of flashlights by the door for anyone who comes in to see the place.  No furniture or anything has been removed.  There's a hospital bed in the middle of the living room, the two bedrooms (right off the living room) are still fully furnished, with closets full of clothes two or three layers deep, along with a lifetime worth of other stuff.  The kitchen counter is totally crowded with pill bottles (I didn't look too closely) but for me one of the weirdest things there was a decorative glass bowl filled with hundreds upon hundreds of keys.  No basement; just a dirt-floor trapdoor cellar.  The hot water heater takes up most of the space in the bathroom.  The sick sweet smell is overwhelming.  I'm fairly sure it was home to an elderly lady who probably was very unwell (and paranoid) and most likely died there.  The hair on my arms and the back of my neck is standing up; the place had such a creepy vibe to it that it was taking a lot of willpower not to just scurry for the door.  Finally my dad said, "We shouldn't be here, let's go."  I told my parents if I bought that house my power bill would be through the roof because I'd never turn any of the lights off.

Another one was advertised as having a huge main bathroom, so when we checked it out, I was a little surprised to find that the bathroom was indeed quite large, but the toilet was at the top of a set of seven or eight very narrow, un-railinged tile steps.  Talk about the "throne"!  I could easily envision myself falling halfway up after groggily trying to get to the toilet at 1 in the morning.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: hermanne on February 24, 2013, 08:33:32 PM
The stories about the "shouldn't be gutted" kitchens remind me of a little culture shock when I was teenager. My parents and I had gone to Germany to visit family, and my mom's cousin offered us the use of an empty apartment in the house he owned. (His sister had lived there and recently moved.) Great, I thought, we'll have our own space and a kitchen!

Yeah, the only way I could tell which room was the kitchen was by the tile on the walls. Cousin's sis took everything when she moved, even the kitchen sink! I was shocked, but mom told me that was SOP there.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: White Dragon on February 24, 2013, 11:13:09 PM
A couple of 'special houses come to mind.

One was a house on a very large (3? 5?) acre lot. The house was a few minutes out of town, very much in the country.
The entire property was fenced in fairly expensive chain link fence because the wife "was afraid of the outdoors".
While odd, that wasn't the dealbreaker. It was the fact that the house was visibly not level and the roofline had a huge bow in it, indicating the entire truss structure needed replacing. It was, literally, a problem from the ground up.

The other house had just come on the market and the realtor hadn't seen it yet.
The house was old and small, but we could have lived in it while building elsewhere on the very large acreage.
The rest of the grounds had...stuff. There was half a dozen or more sheds and old buildings, some would have made amazing playhouses, others needed demolishing. All were full of junk, at least two had wasp nests. The rest of the property was trees and brush and it was also full of stuff. You couldn't move without stepping over some broken axle or pile of wood.
Clean up would have taken months and $$$.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: doodlemor on February 24, 2013, 11:55:06 PM
The first house that we thought we wanted had a spectacular view.  On a clear day you could see across Lake Erie to Canada.  Our banker, also a personal friend, was able to get in to look at it before we did.  He reported that the cellar had 4 feet of standing water - and this house was no where near any creeks.  It was apparently on soggy ground.  We bought elsewhere.

A few years later when our family expanded we looked for a larger house, and became very interested in a rather large Victorian.  Unfortunately it needed new wiring, a new well, a new septic system, pointing up of bricks, etc. etc.  The house was actually cheap for its size, but the *improvements* would have been way over our budget. 

There were two men living there by permission of the owner.  I forget where my husband got his information, but he thought that one of the guys was an IRA member on the lam.  We didn't buy that house, either.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Aquamarine on February 25, 2013, 08:54:33 AM
The worst creepiest one I remember had an upstairs bathroom that was about 14' x 14', beautiful dark wood floors and a bright Pepto colored toilet smack in the middle of the room.  No towel racks, no sink, literally nothing in that room but the toilet.  To this day I'm still baffled by it. 

This was a nice well built home in the $700,000.00 range (in Kansas), not a haphazardly built mess, the whole bathroom plan was deliberate.  And why bright pink??

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on February 25, 2013, 09:10:31 AM
The worst creepiest one I remember had an upstairs bathroom that was about 14' x 14', beautiful dark wood floors and a bright Pepto colored toilet smack in the middle of the room.  No towel racks, no sink, literally nothing in that room but the toilet.  To this day I'm still baffled by it. 

This was a nice well built home in the $700,000.00 range (in Kansas), not a haphazardly built mess, the whole bathroom plan was deliberate.  And why bright pink??

Clearly that was not a mere bathroom, but a room-scale Art installation, symbolizing the modern American obsession with toilet habits.  I'd describe the great importance of this piece, but it has been a long time since I took that art appreciation class, and can't BS describe things like I used to.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 25, 2013, 09:10:53 AM
There are two houses near me that look high and dry for 9 months of the year. During the rainy summer season, the water in the lake they are on is within a foot of the foundation. Both of these houses have basements (in Florida!) and neither of them will ever pass inspection for sale.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: athersgeo on February 25, 2013, 09:15:09 AM
When we were moving house a couple of years ago, we had to do a tick sheet of all the things that we were leaving behind in our house (and we received a corresponding one from our sellers in due course), which was...eye opening. I can't remember all the gems on the list, but amongst other things:
-Loft insulation
-Copper pipes
-Bath
-Toilet
-Kitchen sink

Mum and I were giggling over this and thinking this was a fine example of government-induced paperwork (which it is, btw!) - until our solicitor told us about a house sale that was due to complete on Christmas eve, where they discovered that the sellers had ripped out *EVERYTHING* (yes, including the loft insulation and copper pipes), leaving their buyers nothing but the standing four walls of the house. On Christmas Eve.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 09:52:47 AM
We bought 3 years ago when Obama was offering $8,000 to anyone who bought a house in 2009.  We were looking in an area with a lower cost of living so we could get more house for our budget and told our realtor we preferred either Victorian or before 1950.   Sadly, this meant a lot of really neat Victorian homes that had been rentals and not kept up well.  There was another that was not an apartment and would have been beautiful if not for holes in the floor and a burnt carriage house out back.  Otherwise it had pretty good bones but we couldn't afford to take care of the carriage house, and there were a lot of big holes in the floor. 

The county was offering an additional incentive for people willing to take a duplex and make it a full house again.  So our realtor showed us some houses that really  were way beyond just knocking down a few walls.  Then there was this beauty in the basement of one duplex.  Our realtor and I called it the Sweeney Todd house.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/Savvy_Annie/Scary.jpg)

I went house hunting with a friend in her Iowa town and saw this, which I was reminded of when a pink bathroom was mentioned. 

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/Savvy_Annie/IMG_2765.jpg)

In another house there was a shower in the carpeted den because apparently the man's wife was severely depressed and didn't want to leave that room.  At least that's what the realtor told us. 

So by comparison, the Spirit of 76 wallpaper in this house when we first moved in was really no big whoop.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/Savvy_Annie/firsttimeinhouseashomeowners.jpg)

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on February 25, 2013, 10:07:40 AM
We moved into our current home in 1982.  That was in the middle of a stock market boom but real estate prices were still reasonable.  As a result, we had quite a few apartments sold to people who didn't realize that these conditions can't continue forever. 

They brought in restaurant quality stoves and gold-plated bathroom fixtures.   They had his and hers BMWs.  Their toddlers were wearing designer leather jackets.  You get the picture. They were spending every cent they made in the anticipation of an eternally rising economy. 

Then, in the mid eighties, there was a crash.  They were out of a job and couldn't make their monthly maintenance let alone their co-op loans.  They had to leave. 

Oh boy, did they leave!  Their childish attitudes towards money resulted in gigantic tantrums.  Their apartments were totally trashed with huge holes punched in the walls, wiring ripped out and paint splashed on the brick walls and hard wood floors.  I believe the co-op brought law suits against several of these people but I can't be sure. 

 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on February 25, 2013, 10:14:08 AM
I went house hunting with a friend in her Iowa town and saw this, which I was reminded of when a pink bathroom was mentioned. 

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/Savvy_Annie/IMG_2765.jpg)


Is it bad that I kind of like that pink bathroom?  I'm not a pink person, by any means, but I like the contrast of the concentrated pastel and the black.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 10:23:35 AM
I have to admit, I do like the contrast, it was the wallpaper that was a bit much for me, honestly. Btw, the tub and toilet were the same color as the sink.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: kymom3 on February 25, 2013, 10:44:02 AM
I separated from (now)XH in December, 2011.  I hoped to find something I could rent until the divorce was final and then buy.  The first house I looked at was perfect--on paper. Beautiful older house, the front rooms and entry hall had all been redone and they were beautiful.  Then you walked to the back of the house, the kitchen was a total nightmare.  The real estate agent was bragging that the owner was leaving the stove and at first that looked like a great deal, newer model, double oven, but when I opened it up, it was filthy and gross. The kitchen would have been a total gut job and there was a bedroom on the main floor and it was not in great shape and some little weird room had been added on to the bedroom and didn't look like it had any insulation or anything.  Upstairs was advertised as 2 bedrooms, one bedroom was fine, the other was completely open and part of the floor was missing. Plus, there was a locked door on the stair landing and when I asked the agent about it, he just shrugged and said he had no idea what it was.

I ended up in another house, that is mostly perfect for me.  I wanted to find something in DS3's school district, something that is easy access because I have an older dog with mobility issues, and I like older houses, so something I like since I plan on staying here the rest of my life. 

I signed a contact in December, 2011, to rent until the divorce was final.  Everything was going great until March, 2012, when  I got a phone call from my agent who told me that the seller was tired of our agreement and I needed to buy the place or move out.  Since the divorce wasn't final, I called my Dad who thankfully had access to the money and we were ready to close within two weeks. Only then did we find out that the seller actually owed the IRS because he did not pay taxes on his employees and there was a federal lien on the house.  I stayed there, and started paying only half rent last summer, and then in November, 2012, I stopped paying rent at all. My dad was still paying on the loan he got for the house and we had been waiting on the seller all of those months.  I finally closed last Friday, so almost a year after I got the phone call to buy the place.  And no, the seller did not say one word at the closing about the rent money he did not get from me.  My dad had paid out much more in interest alone, and I had had some work done that the inspector wrote up in his report, so if anything, they would have owed us money. 

So, fourteen months later, from when I moved in, I finally own the house!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on February 25, 2013, 10:57:25 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. It was reported in the news. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Close runner up: woman had converted the master bedroom into one gigantic litter box. She'd pulled up the carpet and covered the entire floor with kitty litter. As I recall, they ended up having to rip out every surface in the room, including every bit of the floor and walls. It was a house that was just 2 years old.  (I did not see this house, I heard about it.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 25, 2013, 10:59:50 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Oh my!  I think I might have been scarred for life if I saw that!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kiara on February 25, 2013, 11:03:39 AM
I have to admit, I do like the contrast, it was the wallpaper that was a bit much for me, honestly. Btw, the tub and toilet were the same color as the sink.

Now see....I love that wallpaper, because we had that in the powder room in my childhood house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 11:05:19 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Oh my!  I think I might have been scarred for life if I saw that!

Sounds like an NCIS episode!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 25, 2013, 11:07:15 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Oh my!  I think I might have been scarred for life if I saw that!

Sounds like an NCIS episode!

There was a Bones episode that started like that.  It was the one where the person's body was almost all ash and Bones used hair spray to "set" the hand to try to preserve evidence before it all fell to dust.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: alkira6 on February 25, 2013, 11:07:43 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Oh my!  I think I might have been scarred for life if I saw that!

Really, the litter would have bothered me more.  Decomp happens, animals will resort to whatever food in available, but deliberately creating a room of litter (uric acid is not totally neutralized by litter - kitty urine can eat through wood, drywall, and pitt concrete eventually) is gross.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: athersgeo on February 25, 2013, 11:13:56 AM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Oh my!  I think I might have been scarred for life if I saw that!

Sounds like an NCIS episode!

CSI did do an ep along those lines - except it was cats, not dogs. (I'm also assuming that the owner in this case hadn't been murdered by a nine year old little girl, too...)

And while I am a certifiable cat person, I think the litter-bedroom would definitely bother me far more than the other situation.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on February 25, 2013, 11:27:20 AM
We went house-hunting at the height of the housing market, and unmarried so only my DH (only about 18 months out of college) would be on the mortgage. Goes without saying that our budget was, um, not great. We probably looked at more than 30 houses.

One stood out because it was clearly a rental house for college students. Half the bedroom doors had those bead curtains hanging up on them, with big ICP and Bob Marley posters everywhere. There was a back bedroom with nothing in it but a TV, VCR, and mattress with no sheet (eew.) The basement had two couches and a chair arranged around a coffee table. (And an undeniable herbal odor...) The upstairs had two rooms--the smaller one was neat and organized. The larger room was filthy, with dirty laundry everywhere, and used Kleenexes next to the bed. :X I really hope the realtor let the landlord know, that was nasty.

The first house we looked at had the owner home. He didn't leave the entire time and in fact followed us through the house at some points. Every dirty surface was covered in pennies. I don't remember much about it except that we left quickly (and friends of ours bought the house across the street. Would have been nice if this one had worked out!)

One had an eating area with the most sloped floors I've ever seen. It didn't help that their kitchen chairs were on wheels. So when I sat down on one for a moment, I slid across the room.

One house had a basement door that was about 4 feet high. Reminded me of Viking houses, where you have to duck to go inside so they could chop off the heads of intruders. Couldn't get over it.

One house had a closet bathroom off the kitchen. It was right next to the stove and only had a toilet.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ms_Cellany on February 25, 2013, 11:41:47 AM
A while back, we were hunting for a house to use as a rental property. We ended up with a great one, and had tenants fall in our lap, but there was a sad episode along the way:

Large house, with a couple that lived there with their six dogs. We were fine with the prospect of ready-made tenants, but no one had told them the place was up for sale. So we were escorted into a house with a couple in tears at the thought of losing their home.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 25, 2013, 11:59:49 AM
I had my cat in at the vet a few years back.  There were a couple of adorable little kittens wandering around the check-in counter.  When I asked about them, they said they had a bunch of them.  A realtor friend of one of the staff was showing a house.  Every room they went into had a kitten.  She gathered them up and brought them to the clinic.  One of the little guys on the counter had deformed paws.  Didn't stop him from trying to snuggle into my Misty, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.  Strong maternal instincts in that one - NOT!

When I was looking at houses in the city I'm in now, I saw a couple of newly built places.  In one of them, the stairs to the basement obviously weren't right; they'd shored them up.  A bunch of the 2X4s they used were extremely knotty and twisted.  It made me wonder what was behind the walls if that was what they left exposed.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 12:01:07 PM
Ah, found it!  NCIS season four, episode 5, "Dead and Unburied".  A guy is found dead in a house that's being shown and it turns out he had two fiances and had been buried and then exhumed and placed in the house.

Kind of scary to hear of a case where that kind of thing happened in real life, a dead body in a house for sale! EEK!

One house we looked at had a lot of doors closed and locked when we were looking at it. Those houses got crossed off our list automatically.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 25, 2013, 12:12:37 PM
Ah, found it!  NCIS season four, episode 5, "Dead and Unburied".  A guy is found dead in a house that's being shown and it turns out he had two fiances and had been buried and then exhumed and placed in the house.

Kind of scary to hear of a case where that kind of thing happened in real life, a dead body in a house for sale! EEK!

One house we looked at had a lot of doors closed and locked when we were looking at it. Those houses got crossed off our list automatically.

I'm an active member on a teacher's discussion forum.  One of the other members used to be a writer for TV shows and worked specifically on a crime drama that was popular several decades ago.  I recall her saying once that they had researchers that scoured the news from all across the world looking for crazy murder stories that they could work into a good episode.

Another thing is that all the crime dramas tend to put their own spin on different situations.  Every crime drama has a Jack the Ripper knock off, I've seen at least 4 different shows do a version of "Intruder breaks in to rape woman, woman maims intruder, intruder insists that's what the woman wanted because of a fantasy discussion forum where they met, turns out the jealous ex pretended to be woman and set her up".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 25, 2013, 12:13:05 PM

 
 
 So by comparison, the Spirit of 76 wallpaper in this house when we first moved in was really no big whoop.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v630/Savvy_Annie/firsttimeinhouseashomeowners.jpg)

HA - this must have been popular since we had this in I think the first house my parent's bought, in 1969. I remember it well. or maybe it was the second one. now I'm having trouble remembering!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 25, 2013, 12:15:51 PM
A while back, we were hunting for a house to use as a rental property. We ended up with a great one, and had tenants fall in our lap, but there was a sad episode along the way:

Large house, with a couple that lived there with their six dogs. We were fine with the prospect of ready-made tenants, but no one had told them the place was up for sale. So we were escorted into a house with a couple in tears at the thought of losing their home.

We once looked at a house that had the tenants home. I didn't know it was a rental (usually listings say "rents/rented for $xxx per month" if it is) and these people were obviously thinking that I would keep the house as a rental. No, I wanted a house to live in. We wouldn't have bought that house because of the house itself, but if it had been a contender it would have been crossed off the list because I'm not going to be the person to evict someone from their home. IIRC the tenants were an older couple, one of whom was disabled, living there with their disabled son.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 12:20:55 PM
Ah, found it!  NCIS season four, episode 5, "Dead and Unburied".  A guy is found dead in a house that's being shown and it turns out he had two fiances and had been buried and then exhumed and placed in the house.

Kind of scary to hear of a case where that kind of thing happened in real life, a dead body in a house for sale! EEK!

One house we looked at had a lot of doors closed and locked when we were looking at it. Those houses got crossed off our list automatically.

I'm an active member on a teacher's discussion forum.  One of the other members used to be a writer for TV shows and worked specifically on a crime drama that was popular several decades ago.  I recall her saying once that they had researchers that scoured the news from all across the world looking for crazy murder stories that they could work into a good episode.

Another thing is that all the crime dramas tend to put their own spin on different situations.  Every crime drama has a Jack the Ripper knock off, I've seen at least 4 different shows do a version of "Intruder breaks in to rape woman, woman maims intruder, intruder insists that's what the woman wanted because of a fantasy discussion forum where they met, turns out the jealous ex pretended to be woman and set her up".

I recently saw the L&O SVU version of that storyline. 

As for the wallpaper, we thought of taking it down and putting up something more timeless but then decided it would be too much of a pain so we primed and painted over it instead.  Now it's a nice cream color, but it's fun to look at the pictures.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: amylouky on February 25, 2013, 12:40:53 PM
One was a stone cottage that used to be a hunting lodge for a larger estate nearby. Behind an unassuming door was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading down to what I can only describe as a maze of dungeon-like rooms. The only light access we could find was the one hanging above the stairs, so as my husband and I walked further into the basement the darker it got. We used our cell phones as flashlights and every now and then I took flash pictures with my camera to be able to see the actual rooms better.

I keep thinking ..."and waaaaay in the back corner of the darkest basement, an ancient iron-barred door with what looked like claw marks coming from under the sill". Don't knock it, this sort of thing made millions for Steven King.

My DH's uncle actually bought a house with a hidden room in the basement. There are shelves in the laundry room.. if you pull on one of the shelves, it swings open. Kinda hard to describe but you really wouldn't see it if you didn't know it was there. It's also built underneath the driveway, so not in the footprint of the house, so you wouldn't notice any missing space. The room is probably about 6X10, concrete walls and floor, and it really did have strange markings on the wall. Creeped me right out. Especially since it's about a block from where a 12 year old girl disappeared years ago, never to be seen again.

Anyway, we had a few house hunting horror stories. There was the house with blood-red carpet throughout, except in the kitchen which was all done in bright teal, including the 1950's starburst countertop and all of the appliances. And the house where someone had obviously let their daughter paint her own room.. it was white, with pink, blue, and yellow splatters ALL. OVER. the walls, doors, ceiling, ceiling fan..
And the hoarder house. That one was special. It wasn't filthy, didn't smell, but was competely full. Seriously, there was a path through the house that was just wide enough to walk through, the entire rest of the house was filled with knick-knacks. Tables with little figurines, quilt racks, china cabinets full of glassware.. it looked like a flea market had thrown up.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: alkira6 on February 25, 2013, 12:42:48 PM
Our horror stories happened during the 3 years we were looking for a house. 

house 1 - had police tape up and squad cars in the drive when we pulled up. We didn't want to know and left.

house 2 - for sale at a ridiculously low price for the neighborhood.  We go tour by ourselves and couldn't believe it.  It was advertised as a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath. One bathroom was a former walk in closet that had been converted (badly). The floor under the sink and by the toilet was wet and stained and the shower head was falling off the wall.  The 1/2 bath was a toilet stuck into another closet and there was no sink. The room was so narrow that there was no way to sit on the toilet. The toilet ring could not be raised because of the way it was jammed in, so it had never been cleaned under.

The landing on the stairs cracked when it was stepped on and one of the rooms had holes in the wall that had newspaper taped to it and thinly plastered over. How do we know? I leaned against a wall and went partially through it.

The mudroom off the kitchen was a converted porch with no insulation, a rotted wooden floor, and a wall that was lsiting to the inside.

There are more, but these twoo really stand out.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 25, 2013, 01:05:47 PM
The house two down from my in-laws belonged to a lady who designed embroidery and cross-stitch. She ended up being stalked and killed, and the man responsible set a fire in the home. The fire was reported quickly, but the house had been severely damaged by the fire and water. The bank offered the house for sale at the pre-crime, pre-fire price and it sat on the market for over a year. The hole in the roof from the fire was not repaired during that time. The people who ended up buying it had to completely gut the house and replace the roof.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Snowy Owl on February 25, 2013, 01:12:42 PM
I've seen some interesting properties in my time. 

One of the most memorable was the purple flat.  This was so named by me because every room was painted purple and when I say purple I mean really bright purple.  The lounge was memorable for containing the following furniture, an enormous black leather armchair, a very enormous home cinema system and a statue of several people playing group Scrabble.  There were no curtains, just raggy sheets stapled to the windows.  The bedroom (also purple) had a large circular bed with black sheets and no other furniture.   

It was so bizarre I didn't want anything to do with it.  I said no thankyou and left quickly.  I've also had the "flat full of animals" experience, visiting a flat with 6 dogs.  As I'm allergic to dogs and cats, I left quickly. 

The other amusing property was in Brussels when I was looking for a short let.  I wanted a furnished 2 bedroom flat with a separate fully fitted kitchen.  One of the agents showed me this upstairs part of someone's house which had 1 bedroom, one room with wall to wall shelves of taxidermy animals, a lounge with more taxidermy and 2 plug in electric rings, a sink and a fridge.  That apparently was the kitchen.  This was, I hasten to say, not what I had in mind.  I also find stuffed animals creepy as it feels like their eyes are following me.  That agent failed to show me anything remotely similar to what I had requested. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowflake on February 25, 2013, 03:08:58 PM
I never had any house hunting horrors.

But I once went to look at an apartment where the "wall to wall" carpet was just laid on the floor.  No joke.  It had been cut out (jagged) almost the same size and shape as the room and then just laid down.  No tacks or anything. I could see it wrinkle and come up at the wall as I walked.  I was starring down at it, probably looking like a goldfish, when the manager said, "This is a great deal on a two bedroom."  I just smiled and pretended to look at the rest of the apartment before I excused myself.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: heyyoume on February 25, 2013, 03:57:58 PM
When shopping for our first home we were looking at small two bedroom places - most were only about 80 square metres so quite tiny.  We found one that seemed ideal with a fairly large section and close to work.  In fact the house only had one problem.  It had originally had a lounge and dining room opening off a small hallway with the kitchen opening off the dining room.  When open plan became popular someone had opened the lounge and dining into one big room and got rid of the hallway altogether.  They had then put in a large skylight right in the centre of the house.  The way the light came through the skylight it highlighted one door off the hallway in particular - making it almost a showpiece.  Interestingly enough the way the open plan room was laid out there was only one place it made sense to have the lounge suite - also facing this particular door.   None of this would have been a problem except that it turned out this was the toilet door - and it was the only toilet in the house.  Can you imagine having to use the loo in that setup if you had friends over?  You literally walked out of the loo into an audience.  We ended up buying a slightly smaller place where the toilet was comfortably separated from the living areas...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EveLGenius on February 25, 2013, 06:03:52 PM
The most memorable horror came when DH and I were looking for a rental.  We viewed a house that still had tenants in it, but they were moving out of state.  Every room was... unique, but the two memorable rooms were one bedroom and the kitchen.

The bedroom in question was in the basement, and was inhabited by a young teen girl.  All of the walls were black, and the carpet was dark grey.  The walls were also hung with rainbow-hued mesh scarves, each embellished with beads, and all available surfaces were covered with resin sculptures, along the lines of skulls with various wanna-be pagan designs, dragons, incense burners in the shape of nymphs, and other fantasy items.  There were multiple scented candles burning, each clashing with the other.  It looked like someone was transitioning between Goth/Gypsy/RenFaire.

The kitchen was truly unique.  I actually don't remember much about the appliances, or the space, because I was too busy looking at the walls.  At first I thought that the walls were mirrors, all the way around.  Then I looked closer, and discovered that the wallpaper was in fact wrapping paper.  Remember in the 70s, when mylar mirror-reflection wrapping paper was a fad?  That's what was on the walls.  A close look revealed a pastel clowns-and-balloons pattern, and the tape marks where the ends of the roll met.

At this point, DH and I silently agreed that it was the opposite of a rental- someone would have to pay us to live there.  So we quietly left.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 25, 2013, 09:32:46 PM
I think the teen's room actually sounds rather cool and I'm not a goth, never have been but I would have loved to have had the freedom to decorate a room like that when I was a teen! :) :)

One house we almost bought (it was a foreclosure and the bank turned down our offer) had mostly normal rooms but on the first floor (cape cod/bungalow style house) there was a room that was dark purple and on the closet we could see why.  A Ravens sticker. Clearly the previous occupant was a HUGE fan of the Baltimore Ravens. :)

Upstairs there was a small room that looked like it was meant to be a little girl's play room. It had a low sloped ceiling so that any adult (even me at 5'2") had to stoop even at the highest end and it was painted a very princess-y shade of pink.  Those things didn't bother us though, but after the offer was turned down dh admitted he wasn't too bothered, since he had to watch his head every time he went up the stairs to the second floor.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on February 26, 2013, 01:29:07 PM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. It was reported in the news. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Close runner up: woman had converted the master bedroom into one gigantic litter box. She'd pulled up the carpet and covered the entire floor with kitty litter. As I recall, they ended up having to rip out every surface in the room, including every bit of the floor and walls. It was a house that was just 2 years old.  (I did not see this house, I heard about it.)

There was a house on a military base with a similar story to the kitty litter living room - the civil engineers had a LOT of cleanup when that family moved on.  And to commemorate it, someone installed a cast iron cat boot scraper on the front porch......I was visiting the house with the latest tenants living in it (it had been at reassigned as base housing at least twice since it went down in infamy as "the cat house").

She mentioned that she was told that the flooring and subflooring had to be replaced in some areas....but there were no floor creaks in the house - it was the only one that was that recently and that completely redone!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 26, 2013, 01:32:43 PM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on February 26, 2013, 02:14:18 PM
We saw a house where the smell of smoke was so pervasive, you can smell it from the front yard.  We only took one step into the house and had to step out again because the smell of smoke was so overwhelming.  We didn't think we would ever be able to clean it enough to make it liveable for us. 

We saw another house where the owner fancied himself a designer and a contractor, so did all kinds of DIY projects.  Unfortunately, a lot of them were unfinished or poorly done.  There were odd holes and nooks everywhere, plus half-exposed electricity and wiring, hardwood floors that don't match, etc. 

We also saw a house that was perfectly preserved in the 1970s, complete with a mirrored billiards room with a wet bar and a disco ball, and pastel pink everywhere.  There was even a pink flamingo in the front yard. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 26, 2013, 02:18:36 PM
I have sort of one, more funny than gross. I was apt hunting, and using a realtor. Off we go to look at an apt in a building over a business in a downtown area. Lovely area, but when the realtor opened the door, the apt was FILTHY. As in dishes everywhere, piles of clothes and other trash all around, it was just nasty.  And she was horrified!

Then the realized it was the wrong apt; she had mistakenly thought this was the one being vacated.  I guess she had a master key or soemthing, not quite sure how she was able to open that one, plus the correct one. Which turned out to be neat, aside from stacks of packed moving boxes.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on February 26, 2013, 02:59:16 PM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P

The previous tenants of our house apparently smoked like chimneys - the house was pretty thoroughly aired out, so we've never gotten much more than the occasional whiff of smoke smell, but the rooms that get humid at all (kitchen, bathroom), end up with brown stuff dripping down the walls.

I can't wait to get out and buy a house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 26, 2013, 03:09:33 PM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P

The previous tenants of our house apparently smoked like chimneys - the house was pretty thoroughly aired out, so we've never gotten much more than the occasional whiff of smoke smell, but the rooms that get humid at all (kitchen, bathroom), end up with brown stuff dripping down the walls.

I can't wait to get out and buy a house.

The cleaning spray Greased Lightning will get that out of the walls.  Spray it heavily, let it drip for about half a minute, wipe it off, the wipe it off again with a very clean rag to get the residue the first rag missed.  It's a fair amount of work, but we've recovered the walls in a number of rental units this way. It's effective and a lot less expensive than painting, plus it also gets a lot of the other marks out of the walls.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 26, 2013, 03:13:26 PM
After my grandmother moved, we had to go in and remove her curtains then paint the entire place because of all the yellowing from her smoking in the house. I will never forget that time, I would have to be hosed off in the yard every time I went there.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on February 26, 2013, 03:28:22 PM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P

The previous tenants of our house apparently smoked like chimneys - the house was pretty thoroughly aired out, so we've never gotten much more than the occasional whiff of smoke smell, but the rooms that get humid at all (kitchen, bathroom), end up with brown stuff dripping down the walls.

I can't wait to get out and buy a house.

The cleaning spray Greased Lightning will get that out of the walls.  Spray it heavily, let it drip for about half a minute, wipe it off, the wipe it off again with a very clean rag to get the residue the first rag missed.  It's a fair amount of work, but we've recovered the walls in a number of rental units this way. It's effective and a lot less expensive than painting, plus it also gets a lot of the other marks out of the walls.

I'll have to look for that, thanks!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 26, 2013, 03:42:39 PM
I hate houses where people smoked inside. In our current house, all the woodwork was the original wood finish when we moved in. (Built in 1968, so nothing special.) I scrubbed everything several times, sanded a little, scrubbed again, then primed it. And primed. And primed. For three coats of primer the wood turned brown from the nicotine or whatever coming up through it. The cupboard doors were covered with it, too. I soaked the hinges and handles in the hottest soapy water I could get to get the gunk off of them. It took six changes of water and lots of scrubbing before they were anywhere near clean. The nicotine/tar/smoke had formed a plasticky coating over the hinges and came off in sheets. The handles were dark brown when I started; after I was done they were a really pretty copper color.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sterling on February 26, 2013, 04:13:12 PM
Quote
I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

If the real estate agent was not the listing agent there is a good chance they had not actually been to the house before but were basing their choice to show it on pics provided by the listing agent.  Picture can lie.  she may have been furious that another agent let her show the house knowing it wasn't as described.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 26, 2013, 04:23:07 PM
I've seen that happen where the pictures used in an online listing were very different from the reality.  The first house we looked at when hunting showed on the website intact shutters, for one.  When we got there they were battered and one was hanging crookedly.  The pics also conveniently left things out.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on February 26, 2013, 06:21:27 PM
Quote
I asked, but my realtor refused to say.  It puzzled me why she was so angry about this one house.  It wasn't as if it was the only one in our town and she'd lose a sale.  It seemed that she was personally offended by whatever "happened there."

Anyone want to take a guess?

If the real estate agent was not the listing agent there is a good chance they had not actually been to the house before but were basing their choice to show it on pics provided by the listing agent.  Picture can lie.  she may have been furious that another agent let her show the house knowing it wasn't as described.
Or maybe a colleague had told her the house was good to go...and 'what happened' was she realized that once again, said colleague had been too lazy to check the house out personally, and had lied to her.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Eeep! on February 26, 2013, 06:37:47 PM
The house I grew up in was quite something when we bought it (in the early 80's). The owner had apparently fancied herself quite a DIY 70's style decorator. My room had burlap on the walls.  The two bathrooms had metallic wallpaper on the drawer fronts and cupboard doors.  But the best project was the master bath. You know the whole "mirrored tile" look from the 70's?  It appears that she tried to get that look on the cheap.  How, do you ask? Why covering cardboard squares with tinfoil and gluing them on the walls of course! My parents tore down the "tile" but the glue left a funky texture on the walls that they just painted over until they redid the bathroom years later. Heh.
The owner was also a terrible smoker. The house came with what my mom thought were gray curtains. After washing them multiple times she discovered that they were, in fact, actually light peach. Gag.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on February 26, 2013, 07:16:14 PM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P

The previous tenants of our house apparently smoked like chimneys - the house was pretty thoroughly aired out, so we've never gotten much more than the occasional whiff of smoke smell, but the rooms that get humid at all (kitchen, bathroom), end up with brown stuff dripping down the walls.

I can't wait to get out and buy a house.

The cleaning spray Greased Lightning will get that out of the walls.  Spray it heavily, let it drip for about half a minute, wipe it off, the wipe it off again with a very clean rag to get the residue the first rag missed.  It's a fair amount of work, but we've recovered the walls in a number of rental units this way. It's effective and a lot less expensive than painting, plus it also gets a lot of the other marks out of the walls.

I'll have to look for that, thanks!

Tri-sodium phosphate works well too, and is quite inexpensive.  We used that on my grandmother's walls.  She chain-smoked.  I've also used diluted 409 spray.

<edited because I accidentally hit save too soon>
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on February 26, 2013, 09:25:39 PM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. It was reported in the news. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Close runner up: woman had converted the master bedroom into one gigantic litter box. She'd pulled up the carpet and covered the entire floor with kitty litter. As I recall, they ended up having to rip out every surface in the room, including every bit of the floor and walls. It was a house that was just 2 years old.  (I did not see this house, I heard about it.)

There was a house on a military base with a similar story to the kitty litter living room - the civil engineers had a LOT of cleanup when that family moved on.  And to commemorate it, someone installed a cast iron cat boot scraper on the front porch......I was visiting the house with the latest tenants living in it (it had been at reassigned as base housing at least twice since it went down in infamy as "the cat house").

She mentioned that she was told that the flooring and subflooring had to be replaced in some areas....but there were no floor creaks in the house - it was the only one that was that recently and that completely redone!
I don't know for certain what happened at the house next door when their last tenants left.  I DO know that they had multiple dogs, were mooches, and moved out without notifying the landlords.  I also know that crews wearing full hazmat suits cleaned the place out, and that it took at least 3 of the big dumpsters to hold whatever it was that they were clearing out of the house.  Since the tenants were only in there a year, it can't have been hoarding.  It looked like the hazmat crew gutted the place to the bare studs, as there were multiple construction crews in and  it was more than a year before it was rented again.

Would that have to be done in case of something like a meth lab?  I have strong suspicions but no proof that they were dealing in something.  Can anyone think of other reasons why there should have been people coming and going all night?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on February 26, 2013, 09:34:05 PM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. It was reported in the news. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Close runner up: woman had converted the master bedroom into one gigantic litter box. She'd pulled up the carpet and covered the entire floor with kitty litter. As I recall, they ended up having to rip out every surface in the room, including every bit of the floor and walls. It was a house that was just 2 years old.  (I did not see this house, I heard about it.)

There was a house on a military base with a similar story to the kitty litter living room - the civil engineers had a LOT of cleanup when that family moved on.  And to commemorate it, someone installed a cast iron cat boot scraper on the front porch......I was visiting the house with the latest tenants living in it (it had been at reassigned as base housing at least twice since it went down in infamy as "the cat house").

She mentioned that she was told that the flooring and subflooring had to be replaced in some areas....but there were no floor creaks in the house - it was the only one that was that recently and that completely redone!
I don't know for certain what happened at the house next door when their last tenants left.  I DO know that they had multiple dogs, were mooches, and moved out without notifying the landlords.  I also know that crews wearing full hazmat suits cleaned the place out, and that it took at least 3 of the big dumpsters to hold whatever it was that they were clearing out of the house.  Since the tenants were only in there a year, it can't have been hoarding.  It looked like the hazmat crew gutted the place to the bare studs, as there were multiple construction crews in and  it was more than a year before it was rented again.

Would that have to be done in case of something like a meth lab? I have strong suspicions but no proof that they were dealing in something.  Can anyone think of other reasons why there should have been people coming and going all night?

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&blobheadername2=Content-Type&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22Methamphetamine+Lab+Frequently+Asked+Questions+.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251811669041&ssbinary=true

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However, I've heard from several sources that you can never really get rid of all the residue, and some people prefer to tear the structure down.  I just just asked my father, who's a landlord, what he would do if he discovered one of his tenants were cooking meth.  He said he'd tear it down and rebuild, as it would be cheaper and safer than trying to clean it up.  He'd never feel comfortable renting the home again, especially if there's children involved.

Edited to add the link instead of a picture.  Ooops.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 26, 2013, 11:27:53 PM
I think the worst story ever happened around here a few years back. It was reported in the news. Realtor and househunters went to house that had been on the market for a while. Realtor had key and permission to enter at any time. They go in. Find the owner's dead body on the bed. Also dogs who had been, ahem, largely unfed since the owner had died some time before.

Close runner up: woman had converted the master bedroom into one gigantic litter box. She'd pulled up the carpet and covered the entire floor with kitty litter. As I recall, they ended up having to rip out every surface in the room, including every bit of the floor and walls. It was a house that was just 2 years old.  (I did not see this house, I heard about it.)

There was a house on a military base with a similar story to the kitty litter living room - the civil engineers had a LOT of cleanup when that family moved on.  And to commemorate it, someone installed a cast iron cat boot scraper on the front porch......I was visiting the house with the latest tenants living in it (it had been at reassigned as base housing at least twice since it went down in infamy as "the cat house").

She mentioned that she was told that the flooring and subflooring had to be replaced in some areas....but there were no floor creaks in the house - it was the only one that was that recently and that completely redone!
I don't know for certain what happened at the house next door when their last tenants left.  I DO know that they had multiple dogs, were mooches, and moved out without notifying the landlords.  I also know that crews wearing full hazmat suits cleaned the place out, and that it took at least 3 of the big dumpsters to hold whatever it was that they were clearing out of the house. Since the tenants were only in there a year, it can't have been hoarding.  It looked like the hazmat crew gutted the place to the bare studs, as there were multiple construction crews in and  it was more than a year before it was rented again.

Would that have to be done in case of something like a meth lab?  I have strong suspicions but no proof that they were dealing in something.  Can anyone think of other reasons why there should have been people coming and going all night?

A lot of stuff can accumulate in a year. I've seen on Hoarders where the relatives/friends of the hoarder said they cleaned the house out and it was fully hoarded again within a few months.

Your story reminds me of a situation my mom had in a rental house my parents used to own. She had one tenant, probably a scammer from the start, that moved in, paid rent once and never again. She'd pay partially sometimes, but then fall behind, pay a little bit, be late the next month, etc. Eventually my mom began eviction proceedings against her. Once the woman got the eviction notice, she started trashing the house. She had kids, so dirty diapers no longer went in the trash; they went on the floor. Same with food, trash, used bathroom items, dog waste, etc. By the time she actually got the woman out (I don't think she actually got evicted, I think she left in the middle of the night) it was knee deep in there. It took several truck runs to their large dumpster with two or three total dumpster loads. She had to gut a few of the rooms down to the studs and replace all the flooring. This was all in a matter of a few months. That woman is a big part of why my mom no longer owns rental houses.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: paintpots on February 27, 2013, 05:57:08 AM
This isn't really a House Hunting Horror, as much as a greedy developer trying to squeeze too many 'houses' into too little space.

I live in a city that's reasonably expensive and house prices have rocketed, so space is at a premium. DBF and I spotted a new development that looked lovely, and was very reasonably priced. First impressions were good (clean, modern development, with a shared garden and on a nice road), and then we looked at the flat.

It was furnished as a show complete with artfully laid tennis rackets and poloshirts, and the downstairs was lovely - kitchen dining room etc.

Then we went upstairs.

There was so little space in the 'Master' bedroom, that to get in, you had to climb over the edge of the standard double bed, and then end up trapped between the door and the wardrobe. My mum got trapped.

Each room (2 bedrooms, bathroom, and top of the stairs had a door that opened outwards. Which was fine, except that the landing was so small they all opened into each other. I got trapped in the bathroom, and with a lot of banging we did eventually work out how to get the doors to close so that I could get out. Such a pity - and even the estate agent commnented that if only they had chosen to fit 3 houses in the space rather than 4, they might actually be sellable. Last time I checked the price had dropped by 10k.

Then there were the usual houses with a)mould covered everywhere b) floors sunk several inches below where the wall ended, c) a pay by coin electricity meter, and d). Dolls heads, plastic skulls and broken glass 'decorating' the walls of the garden.

We nearly bought a house with a greek frieze on the wall, but darn it it sold before we put in our offer!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: oogyda on February 27, 2013, 08:59:51 AM
Not a house hunting story, but a house selling one...

A couple I know were moving and put their house on the market.  In the process of fixing it up to sell, they painted the exterior.  While doing that, they discovered a good sized area on the side where the clapboard had been replaced with cardboard (!).  They had missed it when they bought the house, and aren't quite sure how it had held up through the 5 years they were there. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 27, 2013, 09:06:20 AM
My in laws bought a fixer upper and MIL told us of how the previous owners had been chain smokers so they had a few things done in order to get rid of the smell of smoke in the walls.  As one guy was tearing down the wall he started coughing and gagging.  Turns out the family had cats and because they were smoking so heavily, the smell of smoke was covering the smell of cat urine.  Apparently the people weren't very good about scooping litter boxes and so the cats were going anywhere. :P

The previous tenants of our house apparently smoked like chimneys - the house was pretty thoroughly aired out, so we've never gotten much more than the occasional whiff of smoke smell, but the rooms that get humid at all (kitchen, bathroom), end up with brown stuff dripping down the walls.

I can't wait to get out and buy a house.

The cleaning spray Greased Lightning will get that out of the walls.  Spray it heavily, let it drip for about half a minute, wipe it off, the wipe it off again with a very clean rag to get the residue the first rag missed.  It's a fair amount of work, but we've recovered the walls in a number of rental units this way. It's effective and a lot less expensive than painting, plus it also gets a lot of the other marks out of the walls.

I'll have to look for that, thanks!

Tri-sodium phosphate works well too, and is quite inexpensive.  We used that on my grandmother's walls.  She chain-smoked.  I've also used diluted 409 spray.

<edited because I accidentally hit save too soon>

I had the same issues helping my parents clean out their house and get it ready to sell. 30 years worth of "stuff" and my father's chain smoking, although the last 5 or so he was not allowed to smoke in the house :) I can remember washing down the walls in the bathroom he used, and they were yellow and nasty. took forever to get them clean too!  House sold quickly, in less than a day (during the boom). Sadly, it was all for naught as the new owner ended up tearing it down completely, and rebuilding. But not after he was shut down for only having a permit to renovate, not demolish. Town made him go through the propoer procedures. hahaha I suspect that was his intention all along but he was too lazy to get the proper permits.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ms_Cellany on February 27, 2013, 09:14:33 AM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on February 27, 2013, 09:23:06 AM
This was a rental house.  Phoenix had a bad time during the real estate boom/bust, with tons of new construction which foreclosed pretty quickly and turned into rentals.  We were looking at one such house; had just been foreclosed on and was hitting the rental market.  The rental agent hadn't actually been to the house, as it was quite a distance from their office, but he told me where the key was hidden.  It was a nice house but had been totally trashed - stove smashed, dishwasher ripped out, food and motor oil smeared into the carpets, red syrup splashed on the walls/carpets, security system panels ripped from the walls, holes in the walls, etc.

In spite of the damage, we liked the house, so the rental company sent in crews to clean and repair.  A week before we were due to move in, I went to check on the progress.  Everything was done, but apparently the teenage son of the previous owners was involved in a love triangle involving a girl named Jazmyn.  The other girl came in to the house (it hadn't been secured) and drew a giant, naked female on the 12' high wall facing the front door, and a matching giant, naked male on the wall in the family room.  She had used a purple Sharpie marker to write commentary about Jazmyn, her eating habits, her personal appearance, and her s3xual morals on every flat surface - countertops, cabinet doors, walls - and had continued the commentary outside on the brick fence and patio using pink spray paint.

It did eventually get cleaned up, although the pink spray paint outside was still there when we left 5 years later, and the purple Sharpie took many scrubbings and several months to fade.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 27, 2013, 11:18:56 AM
My grandmother was married four times during her life, once divorced, twice widowed. My grandmother was the sole owner of all her property and homes.

When she passed away, her husband H was at a loss. Moreso than most people losing a spouse, because he could neither read nor write and he didn't know how to do anything in the kitchen. The will stated that H could live in the house, but it would pass to my mother and aunt as my grandmother's heirs after H passed away.

H started bringing home women to cook for him, clean and pay bills (which is a scary concept). The third woman brought home W, became H's wife. A year after my grandmother passed away, H passed away. W immediately invited her son and his girlfriend and their very small children to live there. While my mother and aunt went through the court system, W and her son et al trashed the place. Dirty diapers everywhere, they didn't feed the livestock, they didn't pay the power bill so it got cut off. W also stole my grandmother's antique sewing machines.  >:(

It took three months to clean the place enough for my aunt to move in.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KB on February 27, 2013, 01:51:25 PM
I have been looking for my first house and found this (http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Sale/Townhouse/VIC/Caulfield-South/?adid=2010249140) beautiful property. It is seriously gorgeous and was up for auction in mid-February with a price range of $440-480,000.

I went to an open house and discovered the one problem with it and the reason that a) it didn't sell at auction and b) the price has been dropped by $30,000.

It's tiny!

As in super-small. The entire width of the house is 7.5 metres (approx 25 feet) and the length about 9m (approx 30 feet).

I was at the open for inspection with quite a lot of other people and we all had to keep waiting for others to get out of the way so we could get into the rooms, even though most of the house was quite open-plan. It was also possible to hear every single couple murmur to each other "It's very small, isn't it?"

The agent kept talking about how huge the garden was. I'd have preferred a few metres less garden and a bit more to the house!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EmmaJ. on February 27, 2013, 02:29:06 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on February 27, 2013, 02:58:23 PM
I haven't done much house hunting but when my former roommate and I decided to find a new apartment with 2 bedrooms, we saw a couple of doozies.  We each had entry level jobs and not a lot of money, so we were looking in "up and coming" neighborhoods (aka "It will be hot in 15 years!")  So we saw some interesting places.  We saw some nice and some not so nice places that for whatever reason weren't suitable.  These were the most memorable.

The first apartment wasn't bad, per se.  But when our apartment hunter guy showed it to us, the family that lived there was right in the middle of dinner.  And they also had this really strange wariness about them, like they were going to get in trouble or something.  It was so bizarre and we were completely mortified that we were interrupting their dinner.   Then on the way out, some of the local neighborhood boys started shouting that if we moved in, they'd kill us.  So we passed on that one. 

We found the second one on our own through an ad.  Oh my.  It was on the top floor of a 2-flat.  First, the landlord was almost an hour late and acted like this whole thing was just a huge inconvenience.  The apartment had potential at first; a nice sized living room with southern exposure, a decent bedroom and a decent sized bathroom. 

Then it went south.  There was a dining room but that only existed because the landlord decided no one wants a kitchen and moved the kitchen into the teeny pantry with a short counter, single bowl sink and stove.  The fridge was in the dining room.  And the stove was blocking the mandatory 2nd exit.  When my roommate pointed this out, LL got huffy and said if we needed to get out, just move the stove.  DUH.

Oh, and that second bedroom?  A closet that didn't even have a door.  The current tenants had a twin bed in there and it took up the entire wall with room for little else.  LL told us we could just put a dresser in the living room.

Between the obvious fire code violations, the fact that the landlord wasn't giving off a warm and fuzzy vibe and the exorbitant rent, we decided to pass on it.  The landlord followed us all the way out to our car, yelling about how much we'd wasted his time.   ::)

The third one we also found on our own.  It was a good sized place but the rent was a little on the high side and it had about 25 guys living in it.  There was this...stench...that neither of us could identify and the place was a tip.  Everything was just so dirty and gross that we passed on that one too.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on February 27, 2013, 03:04:25 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

You ever watch those house-flipping shows, where they run out of money and start doing everything with twist ties and duct tape? I keep thinking, "Someone is going to BUY that firetrap!"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: scansons on February 27, 2013, 03:44:09 PM
We just moved to a small town, under 15,000, for DH's job.  We spent 6 months house hunting and finally found a little 60's ranch that we just love.  Up until we  found it we were  starting  to lose hope.  Tons of stuff on the market.  Most of it way over valued, and much of  it not in very good shape.  The thing that made us laugh though was actually one of the sellers.   DH has a pretty publicly visible job.  So it was no secret that we  had moved to town and were looking for a house. 

We actually looked at this sellers house.  It was over our price,  but our realtor thought we could get them down since they had already bought another house.  Just for reference,  it was listed  at $50,000 over the house we ended up buying.  The house was not in good shape.  The basement bathroom had flooded so many times that they'd just taken it out.  There were lights missing from sockets, which you'd think they'd be concerned about since they were showing it.   There was foundation work that needed to be done.  There were termites.   The roof over the garage need to be replace.   Someone had poured the concret front porch, and the back porch without adding steps.  So it was one huge step to get up or down either of them.  And there was a really low hanging ceiling fan in the basement playroom, which just seemed sinister.   We did look at the house twice.  But decided even if we could get  them down to the top of our range, it was too much work for  too little gain.  So we moved on. 

About a two weeks later, my DH's secretary got a call from the seller.   She'd heard we'd moved into the area.   Would we like to see her house?    Also, she tried to convince two people in town that are associated with my DH's work that he should look at her house.  And seller cuts hair.  So I heard from two or three of her clients.  Had we seen so and so's house yet?  We told everyone we had, and that it just wasn't for us.  But we were starting to feel a little hunted. 

Six months later, they are finally down to the top of our range as a listing price.  We still payed $30,000 less, for a  house that is in much better shape, and that we love.  So  we're not real broke up about it. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on February 27, 2013, 03:49:41 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

You ever watch those house-flipping shows, where they run out of money and start doing everything with twist ties and duct tape? I keep thinking, "Someone is going to BUY that firetrap!"

And I thought it was bad when friends who are fixing up their house to sell, replace appliances and windows with the cheapest models they can find.  Even the cheapest stove isn't duct-taped.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jayhawk on February 27, 2013, 07:15:22 PM
When my BIL & SIL were getting to sell their house, they found out that the previous owner who had converted a garage to a family room, had used stereo wiring in the walls for electricity.  :(
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: katycoo on February 27, 2013, 08:58:58 PM
I am still a little boggled that so many appliances are sold with the house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on February 27, 2013, 09:03:22 PM
I am still a little boggled that so many appliances are sold with the house.

Around here it's standard that the stove and an installed (non-portable) dishwasher are included; fridges vary. If the listing mentions the appliances, they're supposed to stay.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on February 27, 2013, 11:47:01 PM
I am still a little boggled that so many appliances are sold with the house.

It's pretty typical here in the US. However there are always exceptions to the rule

Not sure about other places
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on February 28, 2013, 12:27:18 AM
Not the norm at here. With few exceptions, houses and apartments don't come with any appliances at all. Personally, I prefer to choose my own appliances instead of having to deal with whatever model the previous owner liked or was cheapest
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: katycoo on February 28, 2013, 03:23:52 AM
The norm in Australia is oven/stove (often built into kitchen) and potentially dishwasher.  That's it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on February 28, 2013, 03:55:59 AM
DH & I saw a few houses before we bought our current one.  Most were fixer-uppers, which annoyed us because we thought we had been quite clear that we wanted a house suitable for living in immediately (so the place with big holes in the walls and floors was right out).  However, the worst one has really stuck in our minds.

It was really dark and oppressive in the house, with wallpaper hanging off and drooping fixtures.  It had evidently been uninhabited for a while, as the utilities had been disconnected and there was one of those "anyone needing access to call this number" signs in the window.  The front room carpet had a large and suspicious stain that looked a lot like what happens when someone dies and isn't found for a few weeks or months.  I pointed out the state of the place and the agent replied, "I've seen worse".

The window in the back room had been daubed with red paint from the outside, saying "whoever enters will die".  I asked the estate agent about the neighbourhood, any problems etc (he denied there were any) before pointing out the  threatening words.  The agent responded, "It doesn't say that".  I was stunned and insistent that I could read it, even though it was backwards.  He said he was "sure it doesn't say that" and then wandered off.

We looked at the rest of the house out of politeness.

My flabber was ghasted and I wish we had complained about that guy (and I haven't even mentioned the rap music in his car which blasted us with the f-bomb in the lyrics).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: vinyl on February 28, 2013, 05:12:44 AM
I once looked at a flat with a friend that seemed large and airy but felt terribly *wrong*. No idea why, but the feeling was enhanced by the bedroom roof which was covered by tiny dirty children's handprints. Hundreds of them all over the room.
My favorite house of horrors was a little non-detached 19th century house in a really prime area. athe current tennant and his (cute) foxhound " insisted on showing us the house (would not leave and the agent was clearly embarressed. Features included:
- one internal door. NOT a bathroom door.
- Metal grecian pillars instead of walls to make the from two rooms into one -  said pillars were in the middle of each used-to-be-wall.
- A wall in the middle of the hall, albeit with lovely stained glass. Could not walk down the hall.
- No lights (or wiring) in the front rooms or the bedroom, but one of those "bulbs around mirrors" things in the bathroom.
- meat locker where the fridge should be, fox skins in every room.
- Several headstones (for graves) in the breezeway.

The whole place was sort of gently rotting in the dark, and clearly all renovations were illegal. The floor and roof were both stuffed and I loudly proclaimed to my mother (who was looking with me) that while I liked character I would never ever ever live there.
So of course I bought it and lived there for 3 years before we renovated it. In a house with no bathroom door.
And now I plan  on living here forever. Houses of horror can sometimes be worth it if you can see their potential.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on February 28, 2013, 10:01:43 AM
The window in the back room had been daubed with red paint from the outside, saying "whoever enters will die".  I asked the estate agent about the neighbourhood, any problems etc (he denied there were any) before pointing out the  threatening words.  The agent responded, "It doesn't say that".  I was stunned and insistent that I could read it, even though it was backwards.  He said he was "sure it doesn't say that" and then wandered off.

We looked at the rest of the house out of politeness.

To eHell with politeness, I'd have been gone. Wouldn't have even bothered telling the agent, it would have just been an immediate "and, we're leaving now". If he felt so safe, he could stand around the Death House, I'm not gonna be a horror flick statistic.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on February 28, 2013, 12:22:33 PM
Appliances are standard here. Usually if an appliance isn't being sold with the house, the buyer asks for the valued amount to be knocked off the purchase price, since they'll have to buy one when they move in.

I still wonder if the people who sold us their house feel sad about that. The fridge and stove were brand new when we moved in (the handle hadn't even been screwed onto the fridge) and had clearly been wedding presents.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on February 28, 2013, 12:34:48 PM
I wonder why it's standard to leave appliances in place in the US, whereas other places it's not.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on February 28, 2013, 12:44:43 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

Friends of mine rented a house and one time during a party a guest leaned against a wall and fell right through. Someone had patched a giant hole in the wall with newspaper and painted over it so it blended.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shalamar on February 28, 2013, 12:48:12 PM
When my parent's neighbour moved into a senior's complex, she sold her house with its entire contents because she couldn't be bothered to try to sell everything individually.  The folks who bought it turned around and sold everything themselves and made a tidy profit - she had some antiques and other nice things.

Back to horrors - when I bought my previous house, the owners left a truly hideous owl statue in the basement.  I promptly sold it at my next garage sale, but now that I've read Bag of Bones by Stephen King, I'm wondering if I made a mistake ...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gingerzing on February 28, 2013, 01:10:30 PM
Needed to share mine before I got through page 3.

As first time home-buyers, DH and I went to a seminar put on by one of the relators in our town.  Very informative stuff.  About 8 months later, we decided to make an appointment with the gal.  I had a fairly detailed list of what I must have in a home, what would be nice to have, and what would have been "icing on the cake" (not mandatory, but good).  DH and I had carefully budgeted and figured what range we were looking at and could get a loan for.  When we talked with the woman, she never asked anything about what we were looking for.  About 15 minutes into the conversation, she asked our price range that we were thinking while pulling up pages of large McMansion-style homes in $$$ neighborhoods.  We told her. "Oh NO.  You can't get anything for that range.  With your incomes you could get <double what we were planning> as a loan." And then in the most condesending voice I have ever had used on me, "I don't think you understand WHAT you would get for THAT low of an amount."
Before DH could inhale to say something, I raised an eyebrow.  "Well, since you finally asked what we are looking for in a home, perhaps this will help. I was thinking of (the rest said in bullet points and quickly) a RANCH house, less than 1000 square foot, older home not newly built, 2-3 bedrooms, a full basement that doesn't have to be finished, at least a one car garage and something that is in town, not in <name of suburb that is $$>. Do you think that THAT house might be in our range?" 

She (or her assistant) called for about 5 months trying to interest us into houses that we still WAY over our budget and not at all what we were looking for.  I finally had to be blunt and tell her to remove us from your list now. 
 
I will put of our actual houses that we ended up looking at with our new relator* later.


*Our new relator actually started the first conversation with "How much are you looking to spend and what are you looking to get." She loved my list.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on February 28, 2013, 03:46:22 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

Friends of mine rented a house and one time during a party a guest leaned against a wall and fell right through. Someone had patched a giant hole in the wall with newspaper and painted over it so it blended.

Isn't that how John Christie hid one of his victim's bodies?

My personal example is extremely mild compared to these.  Three years ago, my sister and I were looking at house listings in this neighborhood near us.  The houses were older (many built in the 1920's), and for years and years, this was the neighborhood of choice for doctors at the 3 local hospitals.  My sister made a list of the the 4 cutest houses listed, and we took a drive.

Imagine, late September in Michigan: clear blue skies, maples ablaze with red, orange and gold, children playing quietly while parents raked leaves.  Norman Rockwell land.

For the 4th house on the list, my sister read the address: 123 Chippewa (the neighborhood is known as Indian Village, hence all the Native American names).  Well, from the front, it was nothing much.  Solid brick, but a little dark.  We drive along the side street, and I can see a sun room along the back.  The glass is dingy, and maybe it was the broken tricycle I could see, but the place just looked sad.  I glance at my sister: this was the place she wanted to check out?  She is puzzled, looking from her list to the blah house: why did she want THIS place?  Along the back, we get a good look at the garage: roof almost completely rotted away, door hanging on one side.  "Are you stoned?  What made you so interested in this place?"

"I don't know," she muttered.  Then suddenly, she says, "Go to 123 Cherokee!" (2 streets over).  Ah, much better.  Absolutely adorable cottage with landscaping to die for.  That was the one she wanted to see.

As it turns out, we didn't buy the cottage, but another house between the two.  The dark place was torn down.  We often say that the house we got is haunted with happy ghosts, because we feel the love and happiness whenever we walk in (even the cat, who hates change, loved it immediately), and the cottage went to another happy family.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on February 28, 2013, 05:50:25 PM
The window in the back room had been daubed with red paint from the outside, saying "whoever enters will die".  I asked the estate agent about the neighbourhood, any problems etc (he denied there were any) before pointing out the  threatening words.  The agent responded, "It doesn't say that".  I was stunned and insistent that I could read it, even though it was backwards.  He said he was "sure it doesn't say that" and then wandered off.

We looked at the rest of the house out of politeness.

To eHell with politeness, I'd have been gone. Wouldn't have even bothered telling the agent, it would have just been an immediate "and, we're leaving now". If he felt so safe, he could stand around the Death House, I'm not gonna be a horror flick statistic.

Twisted me, on the other hand, would have written beneath it, "Too late" in shaky letters.   >:D  I still wouldn't buy the house though. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 28, 2013, 07:39:45 PM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

Friends of mine rented a house and one time during a party a guest leaned against a wall and fell right through. Someone had patched a giant hole in the wall with newspaper and painted over it so it blended.

This is hilarious - it's also similar to to the start of the fantastic book Agnes and the Hitman (http://www.amazon.com/Agnes-Hitman-Jennifer-Crusie/dp/0312363052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362101628&sr=8-1&keywords=agnes+hit+man) by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.  The heroine is surprised by an intruder in her house, she hits him with a frying pan, and he falls through a surprise hole in the wall and dies in the basement.  So now she has a dead guy in her house, clients coming over for dinner soon, and she doesn't know why on earth someone would send a hit man after her.  You can read the first few pages on Amazon - it's absolutely worth the read!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on March 01, 2013, 08:58:31 AM
Some friends of mine, when they were selling their house, discovered that the previous owner had installed the back bathroom using taped-together coffee cans as pipes for the toilet.

My eyes just popped out of my head.  I had to read that three times and still have trouble believing someone would be that crazy.

Friends of mine rented a house and one time during a party a guest leaned against a wall and fell right through. Someone had patched a giant hole in the wall with newspaper and painted over it so it blended.

This is hilarious - it's also similar to to the start of the fantastic book Agnes and the Hitman (http://www.amazon.com/Agnes-Hitman-Jennifer-Crusie/dp/0312363052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362101628&sr=8-1&keywords=agnes+hit+man) by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.  The heroine is surprised by an intruder in her house, she hits him with a frying pan, and he falls through a surprise hole in the wall and dies in the basement.  So now she has a dead guy in her house, clients coming over for dinner soon, and she doesn't know why on earth someone would send a hit man after her.  You can read the first few pages on Amazon - it's absolutely worth the read!

I wish I had know about that story when they lived there. It would have been hilarious. They had many stories about that house. One bonus was that the house came with a free pig. These were city guys renting this house and were baffled by the pig, but they did the best they could. Until shortly after they moved in and the pig gave birth. It never occured to them that the piglets were small enough to fit between the slats of the fence, and they spend hours chasing piglets around the neighborhood.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gingerzing on March 05, 2013, 11:19:18 AM
When we were first looking at houses, DH was still working second shift so I went to a couple on my own.   

First open house I went to (no relator, I just saw it listed) was a 1 1/2 story.  The house itself was fine, but the kitchen had a doorway to the basement stairs.  Next to the doorway was the only spot open for the refrigerator.  Which meant that as you came in from the basement or the garage you walked right past the back of the fridge's coils.  Added bonus, with the limited space, the homeowners had bungeed the medium size trash can to the fridge (in between the coils).  Swell.

Next open house was one that the agent had found.  It was in a cute well known neighborhood (most the homes were cute brickhouses that were either bugalows or 1 1/2 stories)  The house we went to was having an open house/neighborhood/family gathering party.  Loads of people.  The washer and dryer were set up in a small hallway off the kitchen and the washer had leaked something fierce on the lovely hardwood floors. 

Another day we stopped at three houses, all three were challanging. 
*First one was a Smoker House.  You could see on the living room ceiling where the owner had their recliner since there was a plume of yellow-brown ick on the ceiling.  House reeked of cigerette. And while the floorplan was really nice and I did love the kitchen, the house sat oddly on the smallish lot.  Like they fitted it in sideways to fit the lot.  (There was also an actual smokehouse in the backyard.)   Plus it was about a block away from a rather seedy part of the town.
*The 1950's house.  No, the house was not built in the 50's, the basement had white and black tiles on the floor and was set up like a 1950's soda shoppe.  (But they were taking the bar and fountain with them.)  Was one of the other places that the owners were there while we looked. The owner's wife gave an odd commentary everytime I looked at something like a kitchen cupboard.  (could not really look at closets)   The upstairs was really crowded with furniture, so it gave a cramped feel.
*The split level.  To my relator's credit, she KNEW we weren't looking for a split level, but it was in our price range and a few blocks for 1950's house.  YIKES.  The "bedrooms" in the basement were dark and scary.  The whole house was semi-empty but in shambles.  Apparently a divorce thing was going on so it wasn't really presentable.

We had another house that was actually in a nearby neighborhood where we are now.  VERY small house - around 700 sq foot small. The backyard was all paved (he had been an auto mechanic) but there wasn't a garage.  The living room had wallpaper that was cream with dark olive green velvet pattern.  And in one room was a world map that took up the whole wall.  The rooms were quite small and probably would barely hold a twin size bed.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 05, 2013, 12:13:08 PM
I just ram into a house with a nice backyard... accessed only through the garage.  Isn't that a little odd?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: menley on March 05, 2013, 12:35:05 PM
When my husband and I first looked at houses, we saw quite a few doozies. I think the "best" was the one which had clearly been owned by a fraternity at one point. I say this because the nice terra cotta stonework in the dining room had been chipped out in the middle, concrete poured in, and a giant fraternity emblem painted on it. This, plus the pervasive cat smell, made us head for the door about 30 seconds after walking in.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 05, 2013, 12:57:50 PM
I just ram into a house with a nice backyard... accessed only through the garage.  Isn't that a little odd?

Well if you keep ramming into it, you'll make a whole new access point!   ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on March 05, 2013, 01:13:53 PM
Needed to share mine before I got through page 3.

As first time home-buyers, DH and I went to a seminar put on by one of the relators in our town.  Very informative stuff.  About 8 months later, we decided to make an appointment with the gal.  I had a fairly detailed list of what I must have in a home, what would be nice to have, and what would have been "icing on the cake" (not mandatory, but good).  DH and I had carefully budgeted and figured what range we were looking at and could get a loan for.  When we talked with the woman, she never asked anything about what we were looking for.  About 15 minutes into the conversation, she asked our price range that we were thinking while pulling up pages of large McMansion-style homes in $$$ neighborhoods.  We told her. "Oh NO.  You can't get anything for that range.  With your incomes you could get <double what we were planning> as a loan." And then in the most condesending voice I have ever had used on me, "I don't think you understand WHAT you would get for THAT low of an amount."
Before DH could inhale to say something, I raised an eyebrow.  "Well, since you finally asked what we are looking for in a home, perhaps this will help. I was thinking of (the rest said in bullet points and quickly) a RANCH house, less than 1000 square foot, older home not newly built, 2-3 bedrooms, a full basement that doesn't have to be finished, at least a one car garage and something that is in town, not in <name of suburb that is $$>. Do you think that THAT house might be in our range?" 

She (or her assistant) called for about 5 months trying to interest us into houses that we still WAY over our budget and not at all what we were looking for.  I finally had to be blunt and tell her to remove us from your list now. 
 
I will put of our actual houses that we ended up looking at with our new relator* later.


*Our new relator actually started the first conversation with "How much are you looking to spend and what are you looking to get." She loved my list.

Ugh, the realtors we've dealt with. Ugh.

1. I had seen a house with a For Sale sign and called the realtor listed. He asked me to come in, Fine. I do. He starts asking me what I want. Also fine, but I really just wanted to see THAT house. You know, the one with the sign out front with your name on it. Ignores me, but keeps asking what I want. I was younger then and went along with it. Told him what we wanted and didn't want. Deal breakers: "Garage house" -- the house style in which you can't see anything of the house besides the front door tacked onto the garage; kitchen up front as you walk in; a certain development.

Guess what he tries to show me? Houses that met every single one of those dealbreakers. After the fifth one, I turned to him and said, "I think you totally misunderstood. Garage houses, kitchens up front and that development are my dealBREAKERS." He looked at me with this incredible sneer and said, "I heard you. You just don't know what you want. I'm showing you what you should buy, what you should want." I told him what I wanted was to be brought back to the office asap so I could stop wasting my time with someone who wasn't showing me what I wanted. He kept trying to argue with me and I finally got out of the car and walked.

2. Went to visit the realtor who works with a "Custom Builder." We liked one house plan, except that I wanted a different facade and one side of the houset to be bumped out 6 feet. "Oh, we can't do that. It's custom work." Cue me blinking and spluttering in confusion. "Ummmm.... " I point to the sign over her head. "It says CUSTOM builder." She shakes her head, "Custom doesn't mean custom."  :o

3. Went to a Parade of Homes. Saw a house we liked. The realtor is sitting at the kitchen counter studiously ignoring all of the potential clients who CAME TO HIM. I go up and say, "Excuse me, we're interested in this house--" He cuts me off and says, "This house is sold." Never lifts his eyes off his book. I later met someone who told me that they tried to buy a house from that guy too and he said he was too busy to deal with them.

4. Went to an open house. LOVED the house. Went up to the realtor and asked about it and he takes one look at me and says, "It's out of your price range." Okeydokey. I admit I laughed my butt off when that house finally sold months later for way below the original asking price.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: scansons on March 05, 2013, 02:44:38 PM
Three or four year back, before our most recent move, my DH and I were considering a move for a job in rural Northern Missouri.  We got in contact with a realtor to show us some houses while we looked at the rest of the community.  She was great. Nice.  Funny.  Showing us what we wanted to see.  Day one goes great.   

On day two it was raining.  And in fact, it had been raining for most of the week before, which we didn't know.  Since we aren't seeing anything we really like in town, she takes us out to see a more rural house.  DH is driving, and realtor is directing.  She takes us over a low rise that we couldn't see over.  The other side turns out to be and downhill slope, followed by an uphill slope probably 12-15 yards going down, and at least that much going back up.  The whole road is at least six inches deep in sticky thick mud.  We get stuck half way down in the rental car.  DH tried to get out of the car.  He ended up leaving his shoes by the end side of the road. 

Cell phones are not working well.  When we finally get through, Triple A refuses to come, cause they'll just get stuck too.  Poor realtor, she got out in the rain, climbed up the hill, and got a farmer nearby to pull us out with his tractor.  It took us about 15 dollars at the local car wash to get all that up out of and off the rental car.  Oy.  Luckily, no serious damage to us, or the car. 

Yeah, back at the hotel that night we decided that DH would not be taking the job offer.  But the realtor was great.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EnoughAlready22 on March 05, 2013, 02:44:56 PM
When my BIL & SIL were getting to sell their house, they found out that the previous owner who had converted a garage to a family room, had used stereo wiring in the walls for electricity.  :(

This happened to my ex and I.  The house we bought had an addition.  We didn't find out about the stereo wiring until the house caught on fire.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shalamar on March 05, 2013, 02:52:46 PM
Quote
"Custom doesn't mean custom." 

Oh my.  I think that belongs in the Exchanges That Make Your Brain Hurt thread.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Bethczar on March 05, 2013, 03:52:36 PM
DH & I were looking at houses about 5 years ago. We saw a listing in the Sunday paper for a "1 1/2 bedroom" house. Perplexed and intrigued, we went to the open house. The half-bedroom was one end the (small!) living room, with a folding screen dividing the bed from the rest of the room.

It was a cute house, very small (about 600 sq ft), and definitely only a 1 bedroom.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Daquiri40 on March 05, 2013, 04:10:59 PM
I bought my house 20 years ago.  Before I found it:

- house that reeked of dog poo.  To cover it up, the owners had poured Lysol all over the basement floor.  It didn't help and actually made it worst.

- a really small house with the living room in the back of the house.  In front of the picture window was an enormous tree that took up the entire back yard which had no grass growing, because of well...the tree.

- the house with a basement filled with empty plastic milk jugs.  There were hundreds.  Why, I don't know.

- I loved the downstairs of one house but the upstairs had the oddest bathroom setup.  Two nice sized bedrooms on either side of the staircase.  On the opposite wall - one room with the toilet and sink, and the other room with the tub/shower. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 05, 2013, 05:15:42 PM
I don't ride with the realtor ever. We drive separately, so we can go our own ways when we are done.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on March 05, 2013, 05:21:04 PM
- I loved the downstairs of one house but the upstairs had the oddest bathroom setup.  Two nice sized bedrooms on either side of the staircase.  On the opposite wall - one room with the toilet and sink, and the other room with the tub/shower. 

This is actually quite handy - one person taking a long soak doesn't tie up the rest of the facilities for the family. I believe it is more common in Europe than in the US but I rather like it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 05, 2013, 07:30:19 PM
- I loved the downstairs of one house but the upstairs had the oddest bathroom setup.  Two nice sized bedrooms on either side of the staircase.  On the opposite wall - one room with the toilet and sink, and the other room with the tub/shower. 

This is actually quite handy - one person taking a long soak doesn't tie up the rest of the facilities for the family. I believe it is more common in Europe than in the US but I rather like it.

I've never seen it or heard of it, although we do have 'compartmentalized' bathrooms here in newer, bigger homes.  But honestly, I think what you describe sounds even better;  it sounds like a great idea!!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CakeEater on March 05, 2013, 09:12:55 PM
Not a horror, but we once looked at a house where all the walls of the entryway, up the stairwell and in the living room at the top of the stairs were covered in ribbons for show jumping. There would have been at least hundreds of ribbons in various colours. It made it hard to look at the house itself.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowdragon on March 05, 2013, 09:20:30 PM
I am a single, over 50 female, I went to one realtor who told me he wouldn't work with me because "houses are for families, apartments are for singles".


such a gem, I tell you. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 05, 2013, 09:22:07 PM
- I loved the downstairs of one house but the upstairs had the oddest bathroom setup.  Two nice sized bedrooms on either side of the staircase.  On the opposite wall - one room with the toilet and sink, and the other room with the tub/shower. 

This is actually quite handy - one person taking a long soak doesn't tie up the rest of the facilities for the family. I believe it is more common in Europe than in the US but I rather like it.

My guest bath has the double sink, then a doorway leading to the inner bathroom with the toilet and tub. I like it, because you can do things like wash your hands or check the mirror when someone else is using the tub or toilet. I think it was especially handy to the people who lived here before me, who had several girls sharing that bathroom. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowdragon on March 05, 2013, 09:25:34 PM
I just ram into a house with a nice backyard... accessed only through the garage.  Isn't that a little odd?

I would love it, especially if it had a privacy fence.  No way for the neighbors to get in your yard for any reason
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dindrane on March 05, 2013, 10:00:55 PM
I've never owned a house or otherwise gone house hunting, but I do like to look at them online.

I was sort of idly looking at floor plans earlier today, and saw one that had a really odd layout. It was probably a nice enough house, and had a rather large front porch. The master bedroom was on the first floor and had a connecting master bathroom (with the separate tub and shower, big-as-a-small-bedroom kind of setup). The "master suite" took up the whole depth of the house on one side.

The problem is that the bedroom part of the suite was in the back of the house, while the bathroom part of it was in the front. There were lovely, completely normal-sized windows over the tub, too. Which of course looked right out onto the large front porch.

I don't think I'd ever be comfortable doing anything in a bathroom like that. Even with window treatments that blocked all vision (and, of course, all light as well), it would feel awfully public.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: aion on March 05, 2013, 10:05:01 PM
I see a ton of houses each week due to my job (apologies for the vagueness, not a realtor but related). The deceased estates where the previous occupants have spent the last 50 years chain smoking are always really nasty, but there have been a couple of gems recently that have stood out.

The 4 room 1950's beach shack was ... interesting. 2 tiny bedrooms, a lounge/dining and a kitchen.  The "kitchen" was a sink. That's it. No stove, no benches. The occupant was making do with one of those toaster ovens with hotplates on top as the stove, but because there was benches the only place for it to go was on top of the fridge. The bathroom and laundry were located out in 2 garden sheds right at the back of the lot (and they were garden sheds, of the type you can buy at a hardware store). To get to them you had to climb over an unstable brick patio installed by someone with no business installing anything.

Then there are the houses which have been haphazardly renovated as the needs of the original occupants change. The one that took the cake seemed to have been done piecemeal by an enthusiastic amateur with a rapidly increasing family and a devil may care attitude towards building standards. They'd tacked on a warren of rooms to the back of the original house so you went through the kitchen to a family lounge, then another lounge, then another couple of bedrooms, then another kitchen and then into a bar? Games room? 7th bedroom? I was running out of names by that point. That was one of those houses with a horrible feel to it and a sad story attached. I could not get out of there fast enough. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: JoW on March 05, 2013, 10:05:47 PM
One house I looked at was great.  The problem was the neighbors.  The owner’s parents lived on one side, his brother and the brother’s family lived on the other side.  Those families didn’t approve of the move.  Even if that had been resolved I had visions of grandkids running through my yard at all hours, taking the shortcut to their grandparents’ house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gingerzing on March 06, 2013, 08:55:30 AM
I am a single, over 50 female, I went to one realtor who told me he wouldn't work with me because "houses are for families, apartments are for singles".


such a gem, I tell you.

B-wha?    :o

Okay, that hurt the brain. 
I am torn between wanting to get him written up for discrimination (which techinically this was) and really really glad you found out because I am sure he wouldn't have tried too hard. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: bopper on March 06, 2013, 09:11:52 AM

Gutted house - A two year old house. Two stories, nice big yard. We walk the outside first, and realize the external air conditioning unit is gone. We look in the windows and realize all appliances for the kitchen, including the dishwasher, are gone. So are the counter tops and cabinets! The sink and the disposal are gone. Just a few pipes jutting from the wall were left in the kitchen.

I'm currently redoing my kitchen, and wondering what potential buyers will think one day, 15 or 20 years from now, when I sell the house. Because I'm not having a fitted kitchen. Everything is free-standing and removable -- big range cooker, antique dressers for storage, etc. Not even the corner sink unit that I am having hand-built by a carpenter is going to be built in. So if I moved out with my stuff, you'd be left with connections for the gas, connections for the sink and dishwasher, and a lot of empty space.

I knew when we bought the house that the whole kitchen would need to be replaced and redesigned, and I've never looked at a house and liked the kitchen -- even when it was brand new, I'd always want to rip it out. I know the wonderful kitchen in the last house I sold was probably in a skip before the ink was dry on the sales contract.

If you design and build the kitchen that way, it is perfectly reasonable and legal to take everything.

However, when a house is designed with standard cabinets and counter tops, it is theft of fixtures (in my state) for the occupant to take them when they move. Also, where would they put those cabinets? Can cabinets be versatile enough to move from house to house?

That is what they do in Europe!  When you move into an apartment, there are no counters. You bring your own.  We lived there for 3 years and moved into new contstruction...the Landlord asked if we wanted her to put in counters/cabinets and pay a higher rent and we said "yes please" as what were we going to do with cabinets after we moved back to the USA!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on March 06, 2013, 09:31:31 AM
I don't ride with the realtor ever. We drive separately, so we can go our own ways when we are done.

Agreed.  Actually, in our recent home search (closing scheduled 2 weeks from today!) we would always meet our realtor at the property we were going to see.  That way, LadyTango and I could arrive early and scope out the neighborhood before the showing.

The only times we actually went to our realtor's office were to fill out the paperwork to make the offer & counteroffer.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on March 06, 2013, 11:19:18 AM
- the house with a basement filled with empty plastic milk jugs.  There were hundreds.  Why, I don't know.


When my great uncle died, we found that his attic was filled with empty plastic milk jugs.  He was planning to use them for crafts: spinners for the garden, and piggy banks, etc.  But he never got past step #1: collect some empty plastic milk jugs.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 06, 2013, 11:38:06 AM
- the house with a basement filled with empty plastic milk jugs.  There were hundreds.  Why, I don't know.


When my great uncle died, we found that his attic was filled with empty plastic milk jugs.  He was planning to use them for crafts: spinners for the garden, and piggy banks, etc.  But he never got past step #1: collect some empty plastic milk jugs.

One of my great-aunts died with all sorts of empty food containers in her home.  The empty plastic jugs were easy to figure out: this is South Florida.  Hurricanes happen.  She had the jugs to fill with water when a storm was predicted.  The only problem is that she had several hundred of them.  She also had hundreds of cleaned out veggie/fruit cans.  Turns out that this was a quirk she developed because of the Great Depression.  Her mother was apparently a very vain woman.  She could not stand the fact that they were too poor to have a fully stocked pantry, so she saved all the cans she did have, cleaned them out and placed them in her pantry so that visitors would think she had a full pantry.  My great aunt picked up that quirk in her later years when she wasn't doing so well financially, but still didn't want people to think she was too poor to feed herself.  Fortunately, it really was all about appearances.  Even though she couldn't keep her pantry "full", she had more than enough money to keep it full enough for her own needs.  She just had this psychological need to have fill up all the available space in her pantry.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shalamar on March 06, 2013, 12:00:44 PM
That's fascinating and a little sad, mmswm.  I'd love to see a spin-off thread:  "What Have You or Your Family Done to Put On A Brave Face When Things Weren't Going So Well?"  (Or, y'know, a less wordy title.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BeagleMommy on March 08, 2013, 02:42:02 PM
When DH and I were looking in West Virginia for our first home our realtors took us to a small ranch home in one of the smaller towns.  The house was painted bright, neon blue and there wasn't one living blade of grass on the lawn.  Okay, I figured it was easily fixable - new exterior paint and grass seed.  Then we turned our heads to the left and saw the neighbors.

They looked like something out of central casting for Deliverance.  Long greasy hair, beards that appeared to be housing small wildlife, overalls with no shirts underneath and large beer bellies (that they happened to be scratching).  There were several rusted cars and at least two old refrigerators in the yard.

Then we went into the house.  It smelled of animals and there were no doors on any of the bedrooms or bathroom.  There was also a "spare" mattress sitting smack in the center of the kitchen.

Our realtor told us they were contacting the seller's realtor because they felt the house was "overpriced for what it was".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowfire on March 08, 2013, 10:25:01 PM
I think that your realtor was a true master of understatement!

I'm certainly not Miss HOA, but neighbors like that.... :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sterling on March 11, 2013, 09:02:13 AM
I bought my house when I was 30 and single.  I had no assistance from anyone.  My real estate agent was great but the loan officer not so much.  When we went to sign the papers one of the parts of the loan was showing where the down payment came from.  They actually asked me if my father had given me the money.  I wanted to respond that he was dead so no he didn't but I just told them that the money came from my savings.

As far as houses go, I found one that actually looked pretty good.  It had everything I wanted, was a good size and the price was right.  I was a bit iffy on the neighborhood even though in my town there really is no such thing as a "bad side" of town.  There are some lower income parts and I was interested in ensuring future rental or property value so I wanted a house in a good area.  The house was great but when we stepped out into the back yard I realized that not only did it back up to a trailer park that looked grungy but there was a group of 20 something guys hanging out against the fence and they started chatting me up in a slightly vulgar manner.  My agent came out, swept me away and said "Ok next house."

Not that it would have been dangerous but as a single woman living alone I don't think I would have been comfortable living there.  My agent was not familiar with the house since I had found the listing myself.  After that he found me a house that had everything that one did in a a cute family area.  Now that I am married and not living there I pull in a decent rental income from that house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: The Opinionator on March 11, 2013, 11:19:29 AM

Gutted house - A two year old house. Two stories, nice big yard. We walk the outside first, and realize the external air conditioning unit is gone. We look in the windows and realize all appliances for the kitchen, including the dishwasher, are gone. So are the counter tops and cabinets! The sink and the disposal are gone. Just a few pipes jutting from the wall were left in the kitchen.

I'm currently redoing my kitchen, and wondering what potential buyers will think one day, 15 or 20 years from now, when I sell the house. Because I'm not having a fitted kitchen. Everything is free-standing and removable -- big range cooker, antique dressers for storage, etc. Not even the corner sink unit that I am having hand-built by a carpenter is going to be built in. So if I moved out with my stuff, you'd be left with connections for the gas, connections for the sink and dishwasher, and a lot of empty space.

I knew when we bought the house that the whole kitchen would need to be replaced and redesigned, and I've never looked at a house and liked the kitchen -- even when it was brand new, I'd always want to rip it out. I know the wonderful kitchen in the last house I sold was probably in a skip before the ink was dry on the sales contract.

If you design and build the kitchen that way, it is perfectly reasonable and legal to take everything.

However, when a house is designed with standard cabinets and counter tops, it is theft of fixtures (in my state) for the occupant to take them when they move. Also, where would they put those cabinets? Can cabinets be versatile enough to move from house to house?

That is what they do in Europe!  When you move into an apartment, there are no counters. You bring your own.  We lived there for 3 years and moved into new contstruction...the Landlord asked if we wanted her to put in counters/cabinets and pay a higher rent and we said "yes please" as what were we going to do with cabinets after we moved back to the USA!
No, it's not "what they do in Europe". I don't know where you lived, but this not true of every corner of the continent. I've lived in two countries, have friends that have lived in at least three others, and not once I've heard of someone moving their counters.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Perfect Circle on March 11, 2013, 11:23:05 AM
I have lived in few European countries and never heard of that either.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on March 11, 2013, 11:38:19 AM
Taking the counters sounds very strange - who could guarantee that they would fit the next place one moved into?

Not saying it doesn't happen, but while appliances like stoves have a regular shape, counters really don't. Unless there's an EU Standard Counter design?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 11, 2013, 11:41:08 AM
I thought it was fairly common in Europe to have unfitted kitchens, where you have kitchen furniture rather than built-in cabinets. Is that not the case? I thought that's what the post was referring to.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gorplady on March 11, 2013, 11:44:57 AM
I think you may have been given a line, bopper.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Perfect Circle on March 11, 2013, 11:49:07 AM
I thought it was fairly common in Europe to have unfitted kitchens, where you have kitchen furniture rather than built-in cabinets. Is that not the case? I thought that's what the post was referring to.

Possibly in some countries. Not in any I've lived in or visited people's kitchens in though.

Europe is such a varied continent it's impossible to say something is done in Europe and claim it as a truth.

And no, there is no EU standard kitchen counter top size  ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 11, 2013, 11:57:04 AM
I thought it was fairly common in Europe to have unfitted kitchens, where you have kitchen furniture rather than built-in cabinets. Is that not the case? I thought that's what the post was referring to.

Possibly in some countries. Not in any I've lived in or visited people's kitchens in though.

Europe is such a varied continent it's impossible to say something is done in Europe and claim it as a truth.

And no, there is no EU standard kitchen counter top size  ;)

Ah. I researched unfitted kitchens as a possibility for our house and pretty much every single site had some bit about "this is how they do it in Europe." Probably meant to convince other people that it's super glamorous, as everything in Europe is.  ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on March 11, 2013, 12:34:30 PM
I thought it was fairly common in Europe to have unfitted kitchens, where you have kitchen furniture rather than built-in cabinets. Is that not the case? I thought that's what the post was referring to.

Possibly in some countries. Not in any I've lived in or visited people's kitchens in though.

Europe is such a varied continent it's impossible to say something is done in Europe and claim it as a truth.

And no, there is no EU standard kitchen counter top size  ;)

Ah. I researched unfitted kitchens as a possibility for our house and pretty much every single site had some bit about "this is how they do it in Europe." Probably meant to convince other people that it's super glamorous, as everything in Europe is.  ;)

They may be talking about an IKEA-style kitchen.  My cousins in the US bought base cabinets similar to these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S19893217/  and http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39869711/ .  And they added an antique buffet cabinet to hold dishes.  It gave them a decent kitchen for a much more reasonable cost than a standard re-model. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Snooks on March 11, 2013, 03:28:41 PM
I've heard of people taking their kitchens in Germany and you having to provide your own kitchen when you rent somewhere.

When my parents were house hunting nearly 30 years ago (in the UK) they had someone tell them they were going to take the kitchen with them but it was ok they'd put the old one back in  :o  As it turned out the house they bought only had part of a kitchen but at least they knew when they bought it there was only half a kitchen they didn't look it round it with a shiny new kitchen then find out that wasn't part of the deal.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Snowy Owl on March 11, 2013, 04:13:27 PM

I would agree there's no one way things are done in Europe.  I'd also say that the trend for fully fitted kitchens is comparatively recent in a lot of cases so you're more likely to have things left in a modern flat or house because they're integrated.  Older properties tend to have free standing white goods (in my experience). 

In the UK where I've been looking the rule is, if it's fitted it stays, otherwise it's by arrangement and negotiation and it should say in the prospectus for the property whether it's included.  If it says "fully fitted kitchen, dishwasher, microwave, fridge-freezer" then that's implying you get to keep it.  If it says "plumbing for dishwasher" then that means they're taking it.   

Then when you get to the contracts it lays out in detail what's being left and what's being taken. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: camlan on March 11, 2013, 05:36:56 PM
I wonder why it's standard to leave appliances in place in the US, whereas other places it's not.

I don't know why it's standard in the US. But the general rule about what stays in a house when you sell is it that if it is attached to the house, it stays.

So, in general, kitchen appliances stay because they tend to be built in, with the exception of refrigerators, but washers and dryers do not. Curtain rods stay, because they are attached to the house. Light fixtures on ceilings and walls stay, but lamps do not. I've heard it described as "If you could pick the house up and turn it upside down, everything that stays in place, stays with the house."

Now, there are regional differences. In some parts of the US, all window treatments stay. In other parts, you have to leave *something* to cover the windows, but that could be a sheer curtain or roll-up shade. And in other areas, you can leave the windows bare. In some areas, refrigerators stay, in others they don't.

And everything can be negotiated. If you really want the window treatments, you can put that in your offer, even if they aren't supposed to convey with the house.

The real fun happens when people from one area of the country, who are used to certain things staying and certain things going, move to another area of the country with different laws/customs. If they don't ask the right questions, they move into a house that doesn't have everything they thought it would.

And I understand that the rules are changing a bit because so many people wall mount their TVs now--which would technically mean they are attached to the house. But most people tend to want to move their TVs with them. So the house listing and the contract would have to specify this.

As to why? Totally guessing here, but it could have something to do with the size of the country. In the past, when travel wasn't as easy as it it now, or as inexpensive, you could move coast to coast, selling your old house, packing everything up and moving to the opposite coast (or half-way across the country, or wherever) and then buy your new house. You'd have no way of knowing if your gas dryer would work in the new house, because not all houses have gas lines. Or if the old appliances would even fit in the new house. Appliances are heavy and it's a long way to haul something you might or might not be able to use in the new place.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on March 11, 2013, 05:47:12 PM
When DH and I moved from our first house to our current one, the buyers wanted our refrigerator and washer/dryer included in the purchase.  I actually put my foot down because they were wedding gifts from our parents and I refused to give up the last thing (fridge) his parents gave us before they died - I didn't care if it broke the deal.  They backed down and the deal went through.

In retrospect, we should have left the washer and dryer, because both broke two years after we moved.  We finally replaced the fridge last year only because DH dropped a can and cracked the seal.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on March 11, 2013, 06:17:09 PM
I bought my house when I was 30 and single.  I had no assistance from anyone.  My real estate agent was great but the loan officer not so much.  When we went to sign the papers one of the parts of the loan was showing where the down payment came from.  They actually asked me if my father had given me the money.  I wanted to respond that he was dead so no he didn't but I just told them that the money came from my savings.

I think this is a fairly standard question: they're trying to ascertain that you didn't borrow the downpayment from someone, so that you're taking on additional, undocumented debt that might affect your ability to pay.
Getting the downpayment as a gift from a parent is OK; borrowing it isn't.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 11, 2013, 06:19:49 PM
I bought my house when I was 30 and single.  I had no assistance from anyone.  My real estate agent was great but the loan officer not so much.  When we went to sign the papers one of the parts of the loan was showing where the down payment came from.  They actually asked me if my father had given me the money.  I wanted to respond that he was dead so no he didn't but I just told them that the money came from my savings.

I think this is a fairly standard question: they're trying to ascertain that you didn't borrow the downpayment from someone, so that you're taking on additional, undocumented debt that might affect your ability to pay.
Getting the downpayment as a gift from a parent is OK; borrowing it isn't.

But you can ask where the down payment came from without asking if it came from Daddy.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on March 11, 2013, 08:35:38 PM

Yes, the asking if it were Daddy was over the top.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 11, 2013, 10:10:32 PM
When my parents bought their house, the washer and dryer were listed as conveying on the contract.  Somehow the sellers had overlooked this or something had been miscommunicated, because they had not intended for them to go with the house.  So they wanted to keep them.  But my parents had stretched to buy the house already and couldn't afford to add a washer and dryer to the purchase, so it was a dealbreaker to them... and it was in the contract besides.  So they ended up getting the washer and the dryer.  However, when they moved in, they discovered that the bathtub walls were *covered* with mold, which hadn't been there on walkthrough.  It seemed that the bathroom walls had been coated with water and then the curtain pulled shut and the bathroom door closed and... I don't know what else.  Something that made them think it had been deliberate.  My mom thought that it was because they'd insisted about the washer/dryer.  I mean, I can see that the sellers hadn't anticipated that expense and had also really loved their washer/dryer.  But given that it was in the contract they'd agreed to, they could have considered offering some money to my parents so that my parents could buy a washer/dryer and the sellers could keep the one they cared for.  I guess they hadn't read the contract closely enough or something.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mr Wigglybones on March 12, 2013, 03:02:24 AM
My only real issue was a house that was supposed to come with the dishwasher, but when they left they took the dishwasher already there and replaced it with a factory second. That didn't work. hmmm


Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Pen^2 on March 12, 2013, 05:43:49 AM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

Since DH earned about three times what I did, we applied under his name rather than mine to all the properties that looked good, hoping to get a few and be able to choose. Both names would be on the application, of course, as well as the details for both of us, but his would just be the one they saw first, and hopefully it would impress them. 60 properties later with no replies, something seemed to be wrong. We called up the various places, asking if they could at least tell us if there was anything on our applications that could be improved, and were always dismissed with generic excuses. DH, acting under the advice of an uncle, suggested we reapply under my name, despite the fact that I am worse than him in every measurable category on the application.

We got seven calls the very next day, and over ten the day after. All were glowing. When I expressed surprise that they didn't call when we applied earlier, they mumbled things like, "oh, we must have lost that application" and so on. A few places, upon realising we were mixed-race, made statements implying that DH wouldn't fit into the community (our home country!), and other more telling comments. It quickly became obvious that the reason they didn't reply to his amazing application, but did to my mediocre one, was because of racism (DH isn't white enough for them, apparently). From dozens of independent agents and companies, no less. We were disgusted that such a thing was so widespread and so completely unreported. And have since discovered, by asking people who have had similar experiences, that it seems to be fairly normal.

So our house-hunt was depressing, not really because of how hard it was to find a place, but because it revealed how widespread such despicable people are, how normal it seems to be, and how invisible the whole issue is to anyone who hasn't experienced it personally.

Bah humbug.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 12, 2013, 08:14:49 AM
My only real issue was a house that was supposed to come with the dishwasher, but when they left they took the dishwasher already there and replaced it with a factory second. That didn't work. hmmm


Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

People do the same with almost any place. I hear "in America," "in Australia," "in Asia" etc quite frequently.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on March 12, 2013, 08:39:48 AM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

Since DH earned about three times what I did, we applied under his name rather than mine to all the properties that looked good, hoping to get a few and be able to choose. Both names would be on the application, of course, as well as the details for both of us, but his would just be the one they saw first, and hopefully it would impress them. 60 properties later with no replies, something seemed to be wrong. We called up the various places, asking if they could at least tell us if there was anything on our applications that could be improved, and were always dismissed with generic excuses. DH, acting under the advice of an uncle, suggested we reapply under my name, despite the fact that I am worse than him in every measurable category on the application.

We got seven calls the very next day, and over ten the day after. All were glowing. When I expressed surprise that they didn't call when we applied earlier, they mumbled things like, "oh, we must have lost that application" and so on. A few places, upon realising we were mixed-race, made statements implying that DH wouldn't fit into the community (our home country!), and other more telling comments. It quickly became obvious that the reason they didn't reply to his amazing application, but did to my mediocre one, was because of racism (DH isn't white enough for them, apparently). From dozens of independent agents and companies, no less. We were disgusted that such a thing was so widespread and so completely unreported. And have since discovered, by asking people who have had similar experiences, that it seems to be fairly normal.

So our house-hunt was depressing, not really because of how hard it was to find a place, but because it revealed how widespread such despicable people are, how normal it seems to be, and how invisible the whole issue is to anyone who hasn't experienced it personally.

Bah humbug.
I had some friends who were asked, (Many years ago now) to help with a "sting" for discriminating Realtors. They called up a realtor, made an appointment to see a house (they had a prominent name in the community, so the realtor would probably know them) then show up with a black couple. They were supposed to see what the reaction of the realtor would be. It was astonishing how many suddenly didn't have any properties, despite being all aglow on the phone about how they had just the thing for my friends.

Once, they got out of the car, hear a door slam and saw the realtor RUNNING down the street to avoid them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sterling on March 12, 2013, 10:06:15 AM
Yeah I didn't mind asking where the down payment came from because that is standard but they didn't ask "How are you paying for the down payment" they asked "Is your father paying your down payment?"  Which was very condescending in my opinion.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 12, 2013, 10:24:06 AM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

Since DH earned about three times what I did, we applied under his name rather than mine to all the properties that looked good, hoping to get a few and be able to choose. Both names would be on the application, of course, as well as the details for both of us, but his would just be the one they saw first, and hopefully it would impress them. 60 properties later with no replies, something seemed to be wrong. We called up the various places, asking if they could at least tell us if there was anything on our applications that could be improved, and were always dismissed with generic excuses. DH, acting under the advice of an uncle, suggested we reapply under my name, despite the fact that I am worse than him in every measurable category on the application.

We got seven calls the very next day, and over ten the day after. All were glowing. When I expressed surprise that they didn't call when we applied earlier, they mumbled things like, "oh, we must have lost that application" and so on. A few places, upon realising we were mixed-race, made statements implying that DH wouldn't fit into the community (our home country!), and other more telling comments. It quickly became obvious that the reason they didn't reply to his amazing application, but did to my mediocre one, was because of racism (DH isn't white enough for them, apparently). From dozens of independent agents and companies, no less. We were disgusted that such a thing was so widespread and so completely unreported. And have since discovered, by asking people who have had similar experiences, that it seems to be fairly normal.

So our house-hunt was depressing, not really because of how hard it was to find a place, but because it revealed how widespread such despicable people are, how normal it seems to be, and how invisible the whole issue is to anyone who hasn't experienced it personally.

Bah humbug.

Sorry to hear that, and Evil LK would love to meet those despicable persons.

To the bolded, are you calling your DH an outlier?  ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on March 12, 2013, 11:09:20 AM
Outliers should be eliminated from the dataset. I had no idea statistics was so brutal.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on March 12, 2013, 01:27:33 PM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

snipping the long quote...
I'm sorry that you encountered such blatant bias; there is no excuse for that. But if neither of you had established a credit history by taking out smaller loans, like for a car or a credit card, and demonstrating a pattern of repaying them on time, wouldn't buying a house be more difficult rather than easier?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: artk2002 on March 12, 2013, 01:40:48 PM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RebeccainGA on March 12, 2013, 02:20:28 PM
House hunting horror I'd forgotten about - when shopping for our current (lovely, well appointed, feels like we're in the country but we're in the middle of everything) used trailer, we stumbled on some.... interesting ones. I mean, you're shopping for used mobile homes in rural Georgia, you expect a few weird things, but....

- the smoker's palace. Entire inside was nicotine brown and REEKED of cigarette smoke. Had a lovely garden tub inside - right off the kitchen, isn't that convenient? - that had shag carpet all the way to the caulk line on the outside rim of the tub. Guaranteed to get soaked during every bath. Did I mention that you could see the tub from the kitchen, and the FRONT DOOR? Sure, we could have paid cash for it - and then cash to dispose of the three huge console TVs left with the unit, and then paid to gut the place, but... we moved on to check out....
- the rural pet owner's dream. HUGE fenced yard. Three roaming large breed dogs, one that tried to knock DP over by standing on her walker. Back porch with screen frame, but screen punched out. Floors throughout the house torn down to plywood - no carpet, no linoleum. Both bathrooms green with mold/algae. Ceiling fans hung askew and the children's bedroom (as evidenced by the toys piled up) had frightening levels of crayon on the wall - as in, I'd have to scrape the walls before I could even get to the paint.

By the time we got to our place (only flaw? An excessive amount of purple in the place - curtains, carpets, exterior lavender with deep eggplant shutters - with the curtains replaced, it's lovely) I was ready to buy immediately, just because it was clean, intact, and had no roaming animals.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on March 12, 2013, 02:58:36 PM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

snipping the long quote...
I'm sorry that you encountered such blatant bias; there is no excuse for that. But if neither of you had established a credit history by taking out smaller loans, like for a car or a credit card, and demonstrating a pattern of repaying them on time, wouldn't buying a house be more difficult rather than easier?

That's what I thought, too. Trying to go from NO credit history to a mortgage is not the easiest thing, but perhaps where the poster lives...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on March 12, 2013, 03:43:07 PM
DH and I had some unfortunate realisations when we were searching for a property last year.

We are a mixed-race couple. DH has a very respectable job by any measure, and earns several standard deviations above the average. I have a less super but still perfectly good job with slightly above average pay. Neither of us have ever owned a credit card, taken out a loan, no criminal history, etc. and had golden references. We hoped that this would make our house-hunt easier.

snipping the long quote...
I'm sorry that you encountered such blatant bias; there is no excuse for that. But if neither of you had established a credit history by taking out smaller loans, like for a car or a credit card, and demonstrating a pattern of repaying them on time, wouldn't buying a house be more difficult rather than easier?
Yes, no credit history makes it much harder to buy a house and will often result in a higher interest rate in most (if not all) of the US. My BIL is a mortgage broker and he often tells me how people with no credit cards or loan history have this mistaken idea that no debt = easy approval of a mortgage. As he's pointed out many times, what easy approval comes from sufficient income and proven debt payment.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: katycoo on March 12, 2013, 10:08:35 PM
How would they know his race from his application?  Assumption by name?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mr Wigglybones on March 13, 2013, 02:04:49 AM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on March 13, 2013, 02:11:30 AM
How would they know his race from his application?  Assumption by name?

I know someone who interviews potential renters and who regularly chooses whose phone calls to return based on what race they sound over the phone.  There's a hierarchy and everything (surprisingly enough, white isn't at the top of the list) - I think most of the "reasons" are based on stereotypes and would be illegal whether or not they're correct, but he's convinced his reasons are sound because "this is how it always turns out to be!"  Apparently "You're being racist, dude!" doesn't trump his perceived real-world experience  :-\  And of course he believes it's not technically racist, since he's never actually seen the applicants so how could anyone say he was basing his decisions on skin color?   ::)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 13, 2013, 07:16:45 AM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on March 13, 2013, 09:01:06 AM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.

I would disagree to a certain extent.  Europe's cultures are far more diverse than the US or Canada's.  And although most(not all) of continental European countries are on the Euro, they have not simply become one mass homogenized entity.  They are very much different countries and speak many different languages.  What people in France do... is not what people in Germany do... is not what people in Italy do...etc..etc
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on March 13, 2013, 10:30:29 AM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.

I would disagree to a certain extent. Europe's cultures are far more diverse than the US or Canada's.  And although most(not all) of continental European countries are on the Euro, they have not simply become one mass homogenized entity.  They are very much different countries and speak many different languages.  What people in France do... is not what people in Germany do... is not what people in Italy do...etc..etc

I can't really speak for Canada, I haven't been up that far north, but since the US population is 97.8% composed of immigrants (at some point in the last 400 years) from around the entire world, many of whom have retained their cultural heritage and languages over the generations, I disagree that Europe is more diverse. Equally diverse sounds more accurate -- our Germans, French, Danish, Spanish, Irish, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, Brazilian, Argentine, Nigerian, Tongan... all live mixed up together.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Geekychick1984 on March 13, 2013, 11:19:14 AM
Can we get away from the talk about Europe and get back to House hunting horror stories?  I'm quite enjoying them. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Wulfie on March 13, 2013, 11:30:58 AM
A house by us went up for sale. It featured a “rental unit” as part of the house. We were interested because the place was tiny from the outside and we were wondering where the “rental unit” was.  We had discussed that maybe it was in the HUGE 4 semi-truck garage in the back but we had seen it open before and it didn’t seem like there was room their either.  They had an open house so we had to go look.  Nope, it was in the basement. Not sure who they planned on it being rentable to, the ceiling was VERY low. I am 5’2” and could not even stand up straight in it.

As for discriminatory landlords:  http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/90016597.html  . This did not surprise me at all , I used to live there and Rita was a nightmare! She turned of my home health aide’s key fob many times because “you can work so you can’t be that disabled” never mind that I was going through cancer treatment at the time and I had to keep giving her doctor’s letters stating that I had to have an aide 3 days a week.  I finally moved and was treated to a ton of abuse because I did that.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: kherbert05 on March 13, 2013, 12:22:01 PM
A house by us went up for sale. It featured a “rental unit” as part of the house. We were interested because the place was tiny from the outside and we were wondering where the “rental unit” was.  We had discussed that maybe it was in the HUGE 4 semi-truck garage in the back but we had seen it open before and it didn’t seem like there was room their either.  They had an open house so we had to go look.  Nope, it was in the basement. Not sure who they planned on it being rentable to, the ceiling was VERY low. I am 5’2” and could not even stand up straight in it.

As for discriminatory landlords:  http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/90016597.html  . This did not surprise me at all , I used to live there and Rita was a nightmare! She turned of my home health aide’s key fob many times because “you can work so you can’t be that disabled” never mind that I was going through cancer treatment at the time and I had to keep giving her doctor’s letters stating that I had to have an aide 3 days a week.  I finally moved and was treated to a ton of abuse because I did that.

Wolfie - why would the landlord be able to control who you gave your extra key to? Sis had an emergency key and code to my apartment. It was none of their business.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on March 13, 2013, 12:31:36 PM
A house by us went up for sale. It featured a “rental unit” as part of the house. We were interested because the place was tiny from the outside and we were wondering where the “rental unit” was.  We had discussed that maybe it was in the HUGE 4 semi-truck garage in the back but we had seen it open before and it didn’t seem like there was room their either.  They had an open house so we had to go look.  Nope, it was in the basement. Not sure who they planned on it being rentable to, the ceiling was VERY low. I am 5’2” and could not even stand up straight in it.

As for discriminatory landlords:  http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/90016597.html  . This did not surprise me at all , I used to live there and Rita was a nightmare! She turned of my home health aide’s key fob many times because “you can work so you can’t be that disabled” never mind that I was going through cancer treatment at the time and I had to keep giving her doctor’s letters stating that I had to have an aide 3 days a week.  I finally moved and was treated to a ton of abuse because I did that.

Wolfie - why would the landlord be able to control who you gave your extra key to? Sis had an emergency key and code to my apartment. It was none of their business.

Sounds like an electronic device that the management could control. No idea why they'd care, though.

Wulfie - have you considered calling HUD and telling them your story? More books for them to throw at Rita and all that.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Wulfie on March 13, 2013, 12:37:56 PM
A house by us went up for sale. It featured a “rental unit” as part of the house. We were interested because the place was tiny from the outside and we were wondering where the “rental unit” was.  We had discussed that maybe it was in the HUGE 4 semi-truck garage in the back but we had seen it open before and it didn’t seem like there was room their either.  They had an open house so we had to go look.  Nope, it was in the basement. Not sure who they planned on it being rentable to, the ceiling was VERY low. I am 5’2” and could not even stand up straight in it.

As for discriminatory landlords:  http://www.rentonreporter.com/news/90016597.html  . This did not surprise me at all , I used to live there and Rita was a nightmare! She turned of my home health aide’s key fob many times because “you can work so you can’t be that disabled” never mind that I was going through cancer treatment at the time and I had to keep giving her doctor’s letters stating that I had to have an aide 3 days a week.  I finally moved and was treated to a ton of abuse because I did that.

Wolfie - why would the landlord be able to control who you gave your extra key to? Sis had an emergency key and code to my apartment. It was none of their business.

Sounds like an electronic device that the management could control. No idea why they'd care, though.

Wulfie - have you considered calling HUD and telling them your story? More books for them to throw at Rita and all that.

Yes, it is an electronic key that opens the main door to the building. It can be turned off at the manager's wim.   I spoke with someone about it but by the time I learned about the case they were already done with the court case and she had been banned from ever working in housing again as well as she got a HUGE fine.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: AfleetAlex on March 13, 2013, 01:37:15 PM
Still hunting - and waiting for the appraisal to come back on the short sale I'm trying to buy (it's been a month, which is a horror story all on its own).

I went to a very cute house with a not-so-cute property. They'd done some work under the yard and it was sloped erratically and needed regrading, seeding and lots of landscaping. And the adorable master bedroom's main window faced the side of the neighbor's house, which resembled a barn, and besides that had four enormous tractor tires sitting there collecting rainwater, and, I assume, breeding mosquitos. Not what I want to see each morning when I get up.

A guy I work with who lives nearby said it was a good idea that I passed on the house as the neighbor's dog barks all the time.

ETA: this house is smack in the middle of a big neighborhood right in town, and I could see no tractor or reason for one, which made the tires especially odd.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Pen^2 on March 16, 2013, 03:25:29 AM
I'm sorry that you encountered such blatant bias; there is no excuse for that. But if neither of you had established a credit history by taking out smaller loans, like for a car or a credit card, and demonstrating a pattern of repaying them on time, wouldn't buying a house be more difficult rather than easier?
Yes, no credit history makes it much harder to buy a house and will often result in a higher interest rate in most (if not all) of the US. My BIL is a mortgage broker and he often tells me how people with no credit cards or loan history have this mistaken idea that no debt = easy approval of a mortgage. As he's pointed out many times, what easy approval comes from sufficient income and proven debt payment.

We don't live in the USA, and no credit history is also a plus here. And, to katycoo who asked, DH's surname is a dead giveaway to his race (Ndungu, Chen, Lopez, etc.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: The Opinionator on March 17, 2013, 09:08:28 PM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.
Is this a joke? Europe is 50 countries, the EU is 27. Even within the EU, not everyone uses the Euro as currency, our governments most definitely do not work like the US one does and we very much appreciate our individual flags. And for the record, the EU's motto is "United in Diversity".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 17, 2013, 09:20:01 PM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.
Is this a joke? Europe is 50 countries, the EU is 27. Even within the EU, not everyone uses the Euro as currency, our governments most definitely do not work like the US one does and we very much appreciate our individual flags. And for the record, the EU's motto is "United in Diversity".

I know that Europe is diverse, but when a majority of the countries intentionally band together for many purposes, they can't really complain that they're then considered an entity for other purposes. I was just trying to point out that it's not stupid to refer to "Europe" as an entity. They intentionally created it as an entity.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: The Opinionator on March 17, 2013, 09:41:54 PM
Can I just ask though, why do people say 'in Europe' when describing their experiences in an area? Europe is a massive place made of of many different countries and cultures; it seems weird to me to talk about it as if it's one country/area.

The same reason people say "in the US" or "in Canada." Both of those countries are enormous and diverse, but people like to generalize.

But at least US, Canada and Australia, though diverse,  are single countries. It doesn't make sense to me to generalise a whole host of countries as if it's one country. It'd be strange if anyone talked about the USA as if it included Canada, Mexico, Colombia and all other nations on the American continents.

And Europe has a single currency, a single government, and a single flag. (While they still have their individual governments as well, the US states do too and have just as much distinction between them.) They've intentionally put themselves together as a single entity in many respects, so they can't really complain when they're treated that way.
Is this a joke? Europe is 50 countries, the EU is 27. Even within the EU, not everyone uses the Euro as currency, our governments most definitely do not work like the US one does and we very much appreciate our individual flags. And for the record, the EU's motto is "United in Diversity".

I know that Europe is diverse, but when a majority of the countries intentionally band together for many purposes, they can't really complain that they're then considered an entity for other purposes. I was just trying to point out that it's not stupid to refer to "Europe" as an entity. They intentionally created it as an entity.
The discussion on why the EU was created and why countries join it is a bit long to get into in this thread, especially since this is not its point. Most Europeans I know will take offence at being banded in together - because we are proud of our heritage, origins, languages, and thousands years of tradition. My country is different from our neighbouring countries. Before I move to the UK, I could have been across the border in an hour and been completely out of my depth.  So yes, we can very much complain when we get banded in together when it comes to kitchen furniture. And culture. And language. And money (which, by the way, only used in 17 countries).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 17, 2013, 10:00:25 PM
The discussion on why the EU was created and why countries join it is a bit long to get into in this thread, especially since this is not its point. Most Europeans I know will take offence at being banded in together - because we are proud of our heritage, origins, languages, and thousands years of tradition. My country is different from our neighbouring countries. Before I move to the UK, I could have been across the border in an hour and been completely out of my depth.  So yes, we can very much complain when we get banded in together when it comes to kitchen furniture. And culture. And language. And money (which, by the way, only used in 17 countries).

And the US covers a huge geographic area with massive differences between them, geographically and culturally. There are states who were colonies of England, France, and Spain, territories of Mexico and Russian, and independent countries in their own right. They have people who descended from original colonists or Native Americans, those who came at migrations at different points in history, and recent immigrants. There's a huge mix of culture and incredible variation if you're going from Chesapeake Bay fisherman to Kansas farmers to California surfers.

And yet there are "American" stereotypes just as much as "European" ones, and the origins of neither really matter very much when you're talking about house hunting stories. So there's really no need to keep thracking the thread. Let's keep it on house hunting horror stories, because there are a lot of good ones in this thread. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: The Opinionator on March 17, 2013, 10:09:26 PM
The discussion on why the EU was created and why countries join it is a bit long to get into in this thread, especially since this is not its point. Most Europeans I know will take offence at being banded in together - because we are proud of our heritage, origins, languages, and thousands years of tradition. My country is different from our neighbouring countries. Before I move to the UK, I could have been across the border in an hour and been completely out of my depth.  So yes, we can very much complain when we get banded in together when it comes to kitchen furniture. And culture. And language. And money (which, by the way, only used in 17 countries).

And the US covers a huge geographic area with massive differences between them, geographically and culturally. There are states who were colonies of England, France, and Spain, territories of Mexico and Russian, and independent countries in their own right. They have people who descended from original colonists or Native Americans, those who came at migrations at different points in history, and recent immigrants. There's a huge mix of culture and incredible variation if you're going from Chesapeake Bay fisherman to Kansas farmers to California surfers.

And yet there are "American" stereotypes just as much as "European" ones, and the origins of neither really matter very much when you're talking about house hunting stories. So there's really no need to keep thracking the thread. Let's keep it on house hunting horror stories, because there are a lot of good ones in this thread. :)
I never disputed that the US is equally diverse, but it's an incredibly different situation. However, you're right, not the point of a house hunting thread. I objected being told that we take our kitchen counters with us in Europe, the same way I'm sure you would have had I said that in the US people take their bathtubs with them when they move. Sure, there may be a region of both where that happens - but generalizing is a bad idea.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 17, 2013, 10:10:20 PM
And to get us back on track...

Well, I don't really have any horror stories(except the house where the only thing in the kitchen was a sink with exposed piping).

Um...

The carpeting we're stuck with is a crime against humanity?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 17, 2013, 10:15:04 PM
My parents bought a house with a carpet in the kitchen.  It was the first thing they changed.  Mom saw the owners some years later, I think it was, and they asked about the house.  They mentioned how special the kitchen carpet had been to them.  Mom had to bite her tongue.  :)

I rented a house with a carpet in the dining room.  Not as bad as the kitchen, but... seriously?  No.  Please do not put carpets in dining rooms.  *Maybe* in a large house with a formal dining room and some sort of regular place for daily eating, but *not* in a little dinky house where the tiny dining room is the *only* place you could eat.  I had small children.  Even with putting a plastic mat on the floor under the table, it was a pain in the neck.  I had to use a ton of carpet cleaner when we left (although fortunately everything *did* come off).  And since it was a rental, I couldn't do anything about it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 17, 2013, 10:21:18 PM
The carpeting we're stuck with is a crime against humanity?

We moved into a house once with dark brown shag carpeting. I definitely classify that as a crime against humanity. Let's not even discuss the avocado green bathroom fixtures...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 17, 2013, 10:24:57 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

Any carpet where you can't be sure whether or not the cat yacked up*...



*This is in no way an exaggeration, I swear on the graves of my great-grandmothers.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowfire on March 17, 2013, 11:12:53 PM
Sounds like our first house. Family/dining room had a sorta shag in tan brown & I think, orange.  It was ugly when we moved in and it was ugly when we moved out and hasn't improved with 20 years, 2 German Shepard dogs, etc. (The folks who bought the house from us still haven't replaced it.  (Right after we moved in my Mom was kittysitting for us.  Kitty was vengeance pooping on the rug...and you couldn't see it.)

I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dindrane on March 17, 2013, 11:38:13 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EmmaJ. on March 17, 2013, 11:51:44 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 18, 2013, 01:19:22 AM
In a rented house we were in we had carpet everywhere. Including in the bathroom, which was very odd.

My house hunting horror? Having constant inspections! I hated having to drop everything and sterilise the place to my Mums standards. There was even a house inspection on my birthday.mwhich meant I spent most if the day alone, sitting in the rain with the dog when I was going to make myself a nice cake for birthday dinner.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 18, 2013, 03:20:09 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

Any carpet where you can't be sure whether or not the cat yacked up*...



*This is in no way an exaggeration, I swear on the graves of my great-grandmothers.

You've been to my place!!!

Seriously, the carpet is an awful colour - almost the exact shade of cat vomit. The only good thing about it is that my cats are champion furball horkers and you can't tell at all.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magician5 on March 18, 2013, 03:29:56 AM
The carpeting we're stuck with is a crime against humanity?

We moved into a house once with dark brown shag carpeting. I definitely classify that as a crime against humanity. Let's not even discuss the avocado green bathroom fixtures...

I'll see that dark brown shag and raise you a literally blood-colored wall-to-wall.

Thank heaven for my son's Boy Scout friends! They had a great time ripping it all out!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on March 18, 2013, 03:42:00 AM
My ex bought a house that had what we nicknamed "Barbie's dream bathroom".

The bath, sink and loo were pink.  The blind was pink.  The carpet was pink.  The walls were SHOCKING pink.

We warned visitors that it was hard on the eyes before they walked in, but it was still pretty funny to hear people the first time they went into the room.  "Oh.  OH! GOD!"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Stormtreader on March 18, 2013, 04:44:07 AM
My parents bought a place in France very cheaply because it needed a lot of work doing (third bedroom above the garage has NO floor as an example). My parents have built their own place before so they can handle that kind of stuff, the people they bought it from...not so much.
Their most notable story so far is when my dad went to move the kitchen sink cabinet and the sink plumbing behind fell apart - it had been pushed together and stuck to the wall with Blu-Tack.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on March 18, 2013, 08:02:12 AM
My ex bought a house that had what we nicknamed "Barbie's dream bathroom".

The bath, sink and loo were pink.  The blind was pink.  The carpet was pink.  The walls were SHOCKING pink.

We warned visitors that it was hard on the eyes before they walked in, but it was still pretty funny to hear people the first time they went into the room.  "Oh.  OH! GOD!"

Sounds like my friend's bathroom. The room had really lovely blue tiles, and that what was what your eyes went to first.

Then your eyes would travel up the walls and see the silver metalic wall paper embossed with black, blue and while ferns. Words can't even describe how hideous it was. You couldn't help but gasp.

My friend said everyone had the same reaction...they would be fine until their eyes hit the wall paper, then they would go into shock.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 18, 2013, 10:01:57 AM
My parents bought a house with a carpet in the kitchen.  It was the first thing they changed.  Mom saw the owners some years later, I think it was, and they asked about the house.  They mentioned how special the kitchen carpet had been to them.  Mom had to bite her tongue.  :)

I rented a house with a carpet in the dining room.  Not as bad as the kitchen, but... seriously?  No.  Please do not put carpets in dining rooms.  *Maybe* in a large house with a formal dining room and some sort of regular place for daily eating, but *not* in a little dinky house where the tiny dining room is the *only* place you could eat.  I had small children.  Even with putting a plastic mat on the floor under the table, it was a pain in the neck.  I had to use a ton of carpet cleaner when we left (although fortunately everything *did* come off).  And since it was a rental, I couldn't do anything about it.

DH' grandparent's house had carpet in all the bathrooms. Indoor/outdoor shag carpet. That was rarely cleaned with a vacuum, much less anything more sanitizing.

I am not a germophobe, but that makes me shudder. Also, no rugs, so when you got out of the shower, you stood in the same place every other person who had showered there had. Ick. I could smell the mildew walking in the front door.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 18, 2013, 10:04:39 AM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.

Hidden dirt is way worse than visible dirt. I just make my son clean his bathroom!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 18, 2013, 10:40:16 AM
The carpeting we're stuck with is a crime against humanity?

We moved into a house once with dark brown shag carpeting. I definitely classify that as a crime against humanity. Let's not even discuss the avocado green bathroom fixtures...

I'll see that dark brown shag and raise you a literally blood-colored wall-to-wall.

Thank heaven for my son's Boy Scout friends! They had a great time ripping it all out!

A little destruction and some food is all they ask for!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on March 18, 2013, 10:40:47 AM
Sounds like our first house. Family/dining room had a sorta shag in tan brown & I think, orange.  It was ugly when we moved in and it was ugly when we moved out and hasn't improved with 20 years, 2 German Shepard dogs, etc. (The folks who bought the house from us still haven't replaced it.  (Right after we moved in my Mom was kittysitting for us.  Kitty was vengeance pooping on the rug...and you couldn't see it.)

I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.

off track...But I love the term "vengeance pooping"!!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 18, 2013, 11:38:59 AM
The carpeting we're stuck with is a crime against humanity?

We moved into a house once with dark brown shag carpeting. I definitely classify that as a crime against humanity. Let's not even discuss the avocado green bathroom fixtures...

I'll see that dark brown shag and raise you a literally blood-colored wall-to-wall.

Thank heaven for my son's Boy Scout friends! They had a great time ripping it all out!

A little destruction and some food is all they ask for!

If my mother ever gets around to remodeling her kitchen, she could probably substantially offset the cost of the project by charging a fee to anybody who wants to help rip out the old one.  I would willingly fork over several hundred dollars for the privilege of destroying just a small portion of that kitchen.  It really is that bad.  I love my mother's house, but her kitchen leaves a lot to be desired.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Snooks on March 18, 2013, 04:28:51 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.

Hidden dirt is way worse than visible dirt. I just make my son clean his bathroom!

The man who did our bathroom told us a story about how he put brown tiles up for one couple, he thought it was a bit odd but did what the customer wanted.  A couple of months later he was back to replace the tiles, turned out the husband used an awful lot of talcum powder after his shower and his wife was sick and tired of the brown tiles being constantly covered with a dusting with talc.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 18, 2013, 04:30:46 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.

Hidden dirt is way worse than visible dirt. I just make my son clean his bathroom!

The man who did our bathroom told us a story about how he put brown tiles up for one couple, he thought it was a bit odd but did what the customer wanted.  A couple of months later he was back to replace the tiles, turned out the husband used an awful lot of talcum powder after his shower and his wife was sick and tired of the brown tiles being constantly covered with a dusting with talc.

I think maybe I'm way too tired and need to put the phone and laptop away.  I read this as "The man who died in our bathroom," and I was very confused for at least 2 minutes wondering how he could tell you a story about another couple when he was already dead.  Then I decided you must have a very friendly ghost, and then I realized I just can't read.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Minmom3 on March 18, 2013, 05:23:07 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.

Ewww.  Cue the barf face!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on March 18, 2013, 05:42:03 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

Any carpet where you can't be sure whether or not the cat yacked up*...



*This is in no way an exaggeration, I swear on the graves of my great-grandmothers.


I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on March 18, 2013, 05:51:02 PM


I know - yuk!

So... pair a carpeted bathroom with shiny jet black fixtures and you have a truly horrible room.  Jet black sink, jet black toilet, and jet black tub.   :o

The owner was showing us around and I said oh, what an unusual bathroom.  She replied, yes, I did that because I was tired of cleaning up after my three sons.  I figured the dirt wouldn't show much on black fixtures so I wouldn't have to clean them very often.

Ewww.  Cue the barf face!

The sad thing is, it doesn't work.  I'd love to have black bathroom fixtures (assuming I had a larger bathroom, though  :-\  ), but they would show every bit of dust and every smear of not-quite-wiped-off cleaner.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on March 18, 2013, 05:55:26 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on March 18, 2013, 07:07:03 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?
They've been getting into the yarn apparently
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CharlieBraun on March 18, 2013, 07:26:30 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Editeer on March 18, 2013, 07:39:22 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

Any carpet where you can't be sure whether or not the cat yacked up*...


Amazingly, you can get vinyl flooring in exactly the same cat-yack-camouflage style. A lot of my previous landlords had it in the kitchens. If someone dropped a piece of food, you'd never find it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 18, 2013, 08:16:48 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

I was going to suggest Smurfs.   :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on March 18, 2013, 08:39:19 PM
My parents bought a house with a carpet in the kitchen.  It was the first thing they changed.  Mom saw the owners some years later, I think it was, and they asked about the house.  They mentioned how special the kitchen carpet had been to them.  Mom had to bite her tongue.  :)

I rented a house with a carpet in the dining room.  Not as bad as the kitchen, but... seriously?  No.  Please do not put carpets in dining rooms.  *Maybe* in a large house with a formal dining room and some sort of regular place for daily eating, but *not* in a little dinky house where the tiny dining room is the *only* place you could eat.  I had small children.  Even with putting a plastic mat on the floor under the table, it was a pain in the neck.  I had to use a ton of carpet cleaner when we left (although fortunately everything *did* come off).  And since it was a rental, I couldn't do anything about it.

We rented a house with a WHITE carpet in the dining room - or at least the area where people had been putting china cabinets was white.....the rest of it tended more to an off-white....even if I steam cleaned it.  When we moved out, the owner replaced the carpet in that room as part of renovations (we were there four years and it had been rented for two years before that) to get it ready to go back on the rental market (long story - as he wanted to move into it himself in another two years - if he renovated it while it was a rental, it was tax deductible - if he renovated it AFTER moving into it, it wasn't). 

It needed the renovations - there were some issues after a flooded basement that were addressed during the renovations......not just the dining room carpet.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Julian on March 18, 2013, 10:41:15 PM
I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.

I went on a house hunting trip once with one of my sisters.  Her main selection criteria was 'no orange'.   ;D  It did somewhat limit her choices, nearly every house we looked in had orange wallpaper, laminate or formica somewhere in it.  The Seventies seems to linger longer in some areas!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on March 18, 2013, 11:07:28 PM
I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.

I went on a house hunting trip once with one of my sisters.  Her main selection criteria was 'no orange'.   ;D  It did somewhat limit her choices, nearly every house we looked in had orange wallpaper, laminate or formica somewhere in it.  The Seventies seems to linger longer in some areas!
Nothing of a particular color?  Why?  Unless it's something like the bathroom fixtures, there's always paint.  And new countertops aren't particularly expensive.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 19, 2013, 09:34:55 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

Freshly caught Cornish pixies.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 19, 2013, 09:38:00 AM
My parent's kitchen has harvest gold, avocado green, and rust red appliances still.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on March 19, 2013, 09:48:02 AM
My parents bought a house with a carpet in the kitchen.  It was the first thing they changed.  Mom saw the owners some years later, I think it was, and they asked about the house.  They mentioned how special the kitchen carpet had been to them.  Mom had to bite her tongue.  :)

I rented a house with a carpet in the dining room.  Not as bad as the kitchen, but... seriously?  No.  Please do not put carpets in dining rooms.  *Maybe* in a large house with a formal dining room and some sort of regular place for daily eating, but *not* in a little dinky house where the tiny dining room is the *only* place you could eat.  I had small children.  Even with putting a plastic mat on the floor under the table, it was a pain in the neck.  I had to use a ton of carpet cleaner when we left (although fortunately everything *did* come off).  And since it was a rental, I couldn't do anything about it.

My MIL's house had carpeting in the bathroom when they moved in. They lived with it until they had two boys and realized bathroom carpet + two potty training boys = bad idea.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 19, 2013, 09:56:56 AM
When we first moved into our brand new just built house, I had bathroom carpeting in one of our bathrooms.  I put it there myself.  It was advertised as "bathroom carpeting" and I put it there because I was literally nine months pregnant with our son and our first daughter was about a year and a half old.  It was hard for me to lift her out of the tub and she and I both tended to slip on the ceramic tile floor.  It was soft and warm (and safer) for her to step out onto after her bath. 

It stayed past the third child's (another girl) potty training and was washed in the washing machine several times in the interim.  It worked well for it's intended purpose.  The problem came when our son was older (four or five) and his friends used that bathroom.  Not only did they get pee on the carpeting, but on the side of the sink cabinet, the walls and everything else in sight.  Apparently they had never learned to aim that thing!!  The carpeting got pitched at that point.

It hasn't been there since and we still have the same ceramic tile floor.  But just wanted to mention that there are some legitimate reasons some people carpet bathrooms.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Black Delphinium on March 19, 2013, 09:59:26 AM
When we first moved into our brand new just built house, I had bathroom carpeting in one of our bathrooms.  I put it there myself.  It was advertised as "bathroom carpeting" and I put it there because I was literally nine months pregnant with our son and our first daughter was about a year and a half old.  It was hard for me to lift her out of the tub and she and I both tended to slip on the ceramic tile floor.  It was soft and warm (and safer) for her to step out onto after her bath. 

It stayed past the third child's (another girl) potty training and was washed in the washing machine several times in the interim.  It worked well for it's intended purpose.  The problem came when our son was older (four or five) and his friends used that bathroom.  Not only did they get pee on the carpeting, but on the side of the sink cabinet, the walls and everything else in sight.  Apparently they had never learned to aim that thing!!  The carpeting got pitched at that point.

It hasn't been there since and we still have the same ceramic tile floor.  But just wanted to mention that there are some legitimate reasons some people carpet bathrooms.
I still think there's a difference between carpeting you can pull up and throw in the washing machine, and installed carpeting that doesn't come up at all, which seems to be what most of us find odd in a bathroom setting.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on March 19, 2013, 10:01:29 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

I was going to suggest Smurfs.   :)

The cat at the time was a good hunter . . .    ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dindrane on March 19, 2013, 10:11:26 AM
When we first moved into our brand new just built house, I had bathroom carpeting in one of our bathrooms.  I put it there myself.  It was advertised as "bathroom carpeting" and I put it there because I was literally nine months pregnant with our son and our first daughter was about a year and a half old.  It was hard for me to lift her out of the tub and she and I both tended to slip on the ceramic tile floor.  It was soft and warm (and safer) for her to step out onto after her bath. 

It stayed past the third child's (another girl) potty training and was washed in the washing machine several times in the interim.  It worked well for it's intended purpose.  The problem came when our son was older (four or five) and his friends used that bathroom.  Not only did they get pee on the carpeting, but on the side of the sink cabinet, the walls and everything else in sight.  Apparently they had never learned to aim that thing!!  The carpeting got pitched at that point.

It hasn't been there since and we still have the same ceramic tile floor.  But just wanted to mention that there are some legitimate reasons some people carpet bathrooms.

My parents always had bath rugs in the bathrooms because my mom said it made giving small children baths way less awful (since it gave her something softer to kneel on). I still have them in my bathroom now. But as Black Delphinium said, those can be taken up and put in the washing machine, which is a very different proposition than installed carpet. I think the rugs are great, but only because they can be washed as needed.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on March 19, 2013, 10:11:57 AM
Dogs can pass Play-Doh completely intact. It really brings "taste the rainbow" to a whole new level.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on March 19, 2013, 10:21:33 AM
I had a friend who put out a dish of those Valentine's hearts, and came home to find it empty. She was scolding her husband for eating them all, and he was denying eating a one of them...when the cat started throwing up in Technicolor.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: alkira6 on March 19, 2013, 10:43:27 AM
You know what else is festive? Cat poo after the cat has licked the multicolor glitter off of ALL the low hanging Christmas tree ornaments.


House Horror - Was looking at listings out of curiosity and saw a house with tintled concrete floors. Overall, not bad, actually quite attractive in most places. Unfortunately, whoever did the dining room was tired or not thinking or really really morbid. The stain was pooled in roughly the shape of a human body and had what looked like drag marks leading away from it.  It is a nice reddish rust color too.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wheeitsme on March 19, 2013, 10:44:29 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

Freshly caught Cornish pixies.

But definitely NOT Pictsies.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EmmaJ. on March 19, 2013, 11:29:07 AM
You know what else is festive? Cat poo after the cat has licked the multicolor glitter off of ALL the low hanging Christmas tree ornaments.

Hahahaha - glitter poo!  I'm dying here laughing so hard.  Look!  It's GLITTER POO!!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 19, 2013, 11:34:44 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

Freshly caught Cornish pixies.

But definitely NOT Pictsies.

You don't know this cat. She could take 'em.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Gwywnnydd on March 19, 2013, 11:40:23 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

Freshly caught Cornish pixies.

But definitely NOT Pictsies.

You don't know this cat. She could take 'em.

Wow. Even Greebo was scared of the Pictsies!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 19, 2013, 11:45:13 AM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

I believe you.  I had a chunk of that color shag carpet for a while.  It was indeed the exact color as cat vomit, as I found out the hard way.   :P
Your cats barf bright blue?!?   :o  What on earth have you been feeding them?

Pixies.

Freshly caught Cornish pixies.

But definitely NOT Pictsies.

You don't know this cat. She could take 'em.

Wow. Even Greebo was scared of the Pictsies!

I don't think she understands the concept of fear to be honest.

Now my old cat... Moonbeam would have taken Greebo out back and knocked him silly. The Pictsies would have been fun sparring partners, but nothing scary for him.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: oogyda on March 19, 2013, 11:52:09 AM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

Agreed!  In one of our houses, there was beautiful, lush carpeting in the master bedroom that extended into the master bath.  That carpeting got ripped up the same day I found mushrooms growing in it along the bathtub.  That part of the underlayment (which was made of particle board) had to be replaced, too, because it was watersoaked.  My first tile job, and it turned out great!  Did I mention that Oogydad was out to sea at the time and came home mid project to find the toilet in the front yard? 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: oogyda on March 19, 2013, 11:58:55 AM
Speaking of carpeting....

That same house also had really old shag carpeting in the living room.  We rented a machine to clean it, but there was one large spot that wouldn't come out at all.  I left the room long enough to hear Oogydad ripping it up!!!  We found wood floors under that awful carpeting, so we learned how to refinish wood floors, too. 

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 19, 2013, 12:01:34 PM
One thing that truly squicks me out is carpet in bathrooms.

I've seen my bathroom floor when it needs to be cleaned. It is not pretty. And on top of that, even with a bath mat, that's a lot of moisture ending up on an absorbent surface. It seems like it would just be a breeding ground for mold (and worse), and one that was extremely difficult to clean well to boot.

Plus, overflowing toilets are bad. Overflowing toilets resting on carpet are so terrible I can barely stand to think about it.

Agreed!  In one of our houses, there was beautiful, lush carpeting in the master bedroom that extended into the master bath.  That carpeting got ripped up the same day I found mushrooms growing in it along the bathtub.  That part of the underlayment (which was made of particle board) had to be replaced, too, because it was watersoaked.  My first tile job, and it turned out great!  Did I mention that Oogydad was out to sea at the time and came home mid project to find the toilet in the front yard?

My mom's last house had wall to wall carpet throughout the entire second floor, including the bathroom. Which was the one I used when visiting. I hated it. I used to put the bathmat on top of a smaller bathroom rug, on top of the carpet. I would still dry off as much as I could IN the tub after I showered, since I didn't want to get the carpet too wet.  I guess it was cheaper and easiser when the house was built to simply continue the carpet rather than put down some type of flooring.

Thanfully, her new house has very little carpet at all. Just in my bedroom, and then some nice rugs throughout on the hardwood floors.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: alkira6 on March 19, 2013, 12:07:56 PM
We finally built our house a little over 3 years ago and the biggest thing was that we have as little carpeting as possible. This resulted in some beautiful floors but cold feet in the winter.  As I suck at decorating in general, we have no rugs and only 3 things on the walls (1 framed print, one hand painted wooden framed mirror, and a dragonfly coat/key rack by the garage door).  When new people come over the first thing they say is "Did you guys just move in"?  Nooooo, we just suck at decorating  ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Emmy on March 19, 2013, 12:11:10 PM
This story doesn't compare to some of the rest.  A few years ago, we were house hunting and went to a house that looked pretty nice from the outside and was priced about equal to other houses of the same size/area.  The house was custom built by a husband/wife who were now divorcing.  The yard was large and spacious with a small creek on the side border.  When we took a walk in the back yard to check it out, we had to dodge dog poop.  It was everywhere and it was difficult to find a clean space to put your foot down.  The house was about 15 years old, but looked much older and more worn out inside.  The couple had 3 large dogs and they did a number on the house.  The carpeting in the living room and linoleum in the kitchen were completely worn out in places.  A good portion of the house was decorated in dark blue wall paper with pictures of dogs and horses, not my taste at all.  There were 3 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, but one bedroom and the bathroom did not have a hall door.  The only way to access them was through another room.

We also toured a house that on the high end of our price range.  The owner of the house kept following us around trying to sell the house like a pushy sales person.  It was a rather nice house, but the kitchen which is one of the most important rooms was all black and very unappealing in my opinion.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gingerzing on March 19, 2013, 01:03:25 PM
I forgot one.  Not my house horror, but my grandmother's. 
When I was growing up, my grandparents lived in the same house on the main drag of town.  A few years after my youngest uncle moved out, Grandpa built a new place to downsize to.  The old place sold and one day about 25 years after they had moved out of the old place, it was up for sale again.  (This was at least the 2nd or 3rd owners since G'parents moved out)  So on a whim, my grandmother went to check it out.  She later told me.  "Ginger, I am so glad your grandpa had passed because he would have been heartbroken if he saw the place."
The first floor had two huge beautiful dark cherry pillars to separate the living room from the dining room.  The kitchen (really nice size, but not much for windows) had dark cherry cabinets that my grandpa had built for Grandma.   
Somewhere along the lines, someone decided that it was too dark and painted the cherry wood grey.  Not even pall grey, but almost a sheet metal grey.  (According to Grandma it didn't help lighten the kitchen at all since the walls were still a dark color.)   
Grandma barely contained herself from scolding someone.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shalamar on March 19, 2013, 02:13:23 PM
That reminds me of my first house.  When my then-boyfriend, now-husband and I first moved in together, we planted a tree in the back yard.  It was just a skinny sapling then, but over the years, it grew to a really impressive size.  It gave lovely shade to a yard that otherwise got none, and it was nice to relax underneath with a lawnchair and a good book.

A year or so after we sold that house, I decided to wander by (we still lived in the neighborhood).  To my horror, they'd chopped the tree down to make room for a garage.  I was heartbroken!

I know that it's their house now, and they probably wanted a garage more than a tree.  But garages don't provide oxygen or places for birds to live, darn it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 19, 2013, 06:10:40 PM
Shalamar, your tree story is similar to the first house we lived in when I was growing up, before my parents moved to a less populated area of the county.  There had been a lovely, large shade tree in the front yard.  Even though I was still pretty little when we moved out, I remember spending hours playing in that tree.  Anyway, a number of years after we moved from that house, my parents went to a party at one of our old neighbor's house.  The owners of our old house was also at the party.  The new owners went on and on about how high the power bill was in that house and they'd done everything they could think of to lower the bill and so on and so forth.  They even replaced the almost new air conditioner in hopes that a more efficient model would help.  Dad just sort of scratched his chin, mentioned that his power bill was half that, pointed out that the house faced east and the huge shade tree blocking the morning sun seemed to have been chopped down.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on March 19, 2013, 07:45:14 PM
When we first moved into our brand new just built house, I had bathroom carpeting in one of our bathrooms.  I put it there myself.  It was advertised as "bathroom carpeting" and I put it there because I was literally nine months pregnant with our son and our first daughter was about a year and a half old.  It was hard for me to lift her out of the tub and she and I both tended to slip on the ceramic tile floor.  It was soft and warm (and safer) for her to step out onto after her bath. 

It stayed past the third child's (another girl) potty training and was washed in the washing machine several times in the interim.  It worked well for it's intended purpose.  The problem came when our son was older (four or five) and his friends used that bathroom.  Not only did they get pee on the carpeting, but on the side of the sink cabinet, the walls and everything else in sight.  Apparently they had never learned to aim that thing!!  The carpeting got pitched at that point.

It hasn't been there since and we still have the same ceramic tile floor.  But just wanted to mention that there are some legitimate reasons some people carpet bathrooms.

My grandma had similar carpeting in her bathroom.  Of course, the entire bathroom was about 5x6 and had a bathtub.  She pulled up the carpet and ran it through the washing mashine about once a month.  She replaced it whenever the backing started falling apart.  I would never want permanently installed carpet in a bathroom, but removable wall-to-wall in a tiny bath isn't a big deal.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on March 19, 2013, 07:57:11 PM
When I was last house hunting I took one look at one kitchen and walked out.  Imagine paneled cabinet doors painted a dark orangy-peach on the panel, black on the panel borders, and the base cabinets were silver. Not grey, but brushed silver.     
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 19, 2013, 08:06:45 PM
So, my husband went to inspect a house we're considering buying.  They had a mushroom growing on a windowsill (inside the house!).  Mushrooms like moisture, so that's *not* a good discovery.  Nor were the wasp's nests.  Or the fact that the roof had no drip edge.  Or the marks of water damage in the basement.  <sigh>

Another house we were looking at (online), my husband and I had a great time exclaiming over.  Every room was painted a bright, bright shade.  The kitchen was electric blue (just the walls, the cabinets/countertops were a normal color).  A few rooms downstairs were the same electric blue.  Rooms upstairs were colors like fuchsia, orange, etc.  All really bright, almost hurts-your-eyes shades.  I did love the road name for the house, which was something like "Golden Autumn Drive."

When my parents bought the house I grew up in, it had 55 trees on a 1/3 acre lot.  They took down a bunch of the trees, as it was very dark.  When I was a kid, whenever they'd consider taking down a tree, I would lobby (loudly and vehemently) against it, regardless of their reasoning, because YAY TREES!  As an adult, I can understand a bit more about the problems some of the trees were causing (roots endangering the well/septic system, etc.  But as a child, I was horrified.  They are now down to something like 11 trees.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Otterpop on March 19, 2013, 08:30:03 PM
My DH and I buy small properties, fix 'em up and rent them out.  One came up in a desirable condo complex we used to live in and loved.  Since we knew the layout, we immediately put in an offer contingent upon inspection.

I got to the site and found black mold growing on the walls underneath hanging/peeling wallpaper.  The wallpaper must have been put up in 1960 (and the place was built in 1979), gold velvet roses in one room, orange mushrooms in another.  The shag carpet was grey except for large rectangles of cream where the furniture must have sat, unmoved, for decades.  Plastic vertical blinds in the bedrooms were painted with house paint :o that was peeling off.  Valances were bent like someone had grabbed them and hung on.  Both bathroom and kitchen tile looked like someone had taken a hammer to it.  I could not believe a person could live like this let alone try and sell a condo in that condition.  It was not a repossession or short sale.

I ended up with an asthma attack (and I don't have asthma) and we immediately called to withdraw our offer.  They didn't bother asking why.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Julian on March 19, 2013, 09:00:34 PM
I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.

I went on a house hunting trip once with one of my sisters.  Her main selection criteria was 'no orange'.   ;D  It did somewhat limit her choices, nearly every house we looked in had orange wallpaper, laminate or formica somewhere in it.  The Seventies seems to linger longer in some areas!
Nothing of a particular color?  Why?  Unless it's something like the bathroom fixtures, there's always paint.  And new countertops aren't particularly expensive.

I think it was a reaction to a plethora of houses already seen with orange benchtops, orange and brown wallpaper and carpet.  I suspect Little Sis did not want to do any renovating.  (She's still a bit that way, but me, I love me some paint!)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 20, 2013, 12:19:07 AM
Re: trees. We have three trees in our backyard and I'd be happy to get rid of all of them. Black walnut, cherry and locust. Our lot is .18 acres, so the backyard is not big, and I don't think any of these trees were planted with consideration given to how big they would be or what they would do when they were full grown. I think the locust is original to the house, so 45 years old. I mind it the least. The black walnut is disgusting; every year we have thousands upon thousands of walnut fruits everywhere, attracting flies and squirrels and bugs and who knows what else. The cherry I wouldn't mind if I didn't keep finding cherry plants all over. I'm sure someone looking at buying our house would be horrified if I did chop them all down, but for the moment I'm the one that has to live with them.

I went to an open house last weekend. The house overall looked very nice--neat, clean, etc. Red carpet in the kitchen, but you can't win them all. However, there were a few things that made me raise an eyebrow. First, one of the bedrooms didn't have a regular door; it had a bifold closet door. Not a huge deal, but kind of weird. The upstairs bathroom had recently been redone, but I'm pretty sure it was by the homeowners with no professional help. It had a built-in cabinet that was the face frame and doors from a prefab cabinet, but the inside was not great. The shelves seemed to be made of repurposed pressboard shelves or something, and the edges were rough, like they hadn't been able to figure out how to cover up the rough edges or cut them neatly. It was also built at an angle--I'm not entirely sure why--so most of it was very shallow. The shower was a walk-in shower in kind of an angled L shape, but the bathroom wasn't really big enough for that. It felt very tight. I'm guessing 2 1/2 feet wide for each part of the L. The toilet was black. They had put new tile down, but instead of undercutting the doorway and sliding the tile under it, they had just cut the tile next to the doorway and filled in with grout. When I went down to the basement, I noticed that the hole in the subfloor for shower drain had been cut much too big. There had to have been a good 1 1/2-2 inches on each side of the drain pipe. Instead of replacing the subfloor, they had just filled in with what must have been an entire tube of silicone caulk. We decided to pass. If they'll do little things like that wrong, where else are they cutting corners?

There's also a house that I'm fairly sure we're not going to buy so I won't bother our agent with it, but I'm dying for them to have an open house. It's just a giant square, has to be owner built, 3000 square feet with 3 bedrooms. The first floor seems to be entirely garage, then the kitchen and bedrooms are upstairs. The first floor has 14 foot ceilings, the second floor has 18 foot ceilings, and there's a tiny loft area for kids or whatever. I just want to see this house in person to figure out why they did what they did, and maybe see if there's a way the space can be better utilized without spending a fortune. 3000 square feet would be nice.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: rain on March 20, 2013, 12:36:36 AM
ica 171 - is there a link? or could you post pics?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 20, 2013, 10:52:13 AM
I did get rid of the orange and brown mismatched wallpaper in the kitchen just after we moved in but the 1970's harvest gold appliances are still there.  Luckily the bright orange formica in the bathroom is long gone.

I went on a house hunting trip once with one of my sisters.  Her main selection criteria was 'no orange'.   ;D  It did somewhat limit her choices, nearly every house we looked in had orange wallpaper, laminate or formica somewhere in it.  The Seventies seems to linger longer in some areas!
Nothing of a particular color?  Why?  Unless it's something like the bathroom fixtures, there's always paint.  And new countertops aren't particularly expensive.

I think it was a reaction to a plethora of houses already seen with orange benchtops, orange and brown wallpaper and carpet.  I suspect Little Sis did not want to do any renovating.  (She's still a bit that way, but me, I love me some paint!)

I am the same way. When DH and I look at a house, we look at the bones, the things that would require a permit or major renovation to change. Everything else? It is just another project. If a house has new carpet, we won't rip it out, but any other carpeting/linoleum/vinyl flooring? It is coming up as the first thing we do. Wallpaper and borders come down next, then the whole place is painted. Counters can be redone and cabinets refaced.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 20, 2013, 11:18:50 AM

I am the same way. When DH and I look at a house, we look at the bones, the things that would require a permit or major renovation to change. Everything else? It is just another project. If a house has new carpet, we won't rip it out, but any other carpeting/linoleum/vinyl flooring? It is coming up as the first thing we do. Wallpaper and borders come down next, then the whole place is painted. Counters can be redone and cabinets refaced.

Sure, all those things can be redone, but not everyone wants to go through the time, expense, and hassle. Lots of people want move-in ready homes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, when I was house-hunting, I kept a tally of what repairs needed to be done and how much repainting I'd have to do. I was fine with a few minor things and repainting a little, but I didn't want to buy a house just to renovate it. There were plenty of houses out there, so why invest all the time on House A if I could find what I wanted with less trouble on House E? Everyone's line on what they're willing to accept is different.


Edit: Repainting, not reprinting. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: 2littlemonkeys on March 20, 2013, 01:20:51 PM
Bright orange with speckled light brown and bright blue, which may, at one point, have wanted to be shag, but gave up.

Any carpet where you can't be sure whether or not the cat yacked up*...



*This is in no way an exaggeration, I swear on the graves of my great-grandmothers.

The carpet in the house I grew up in was shag with orange, brown, red and yellow strands.  It was hideous. And the worst part is they built the house new, which means they chose that.  My mom replaced it when I was in Jr. High with a much nicer brown rug. 

My grandma had a white carpet in her kitchen.  I hated going over there because I was always afraid of spilling anything.  I once cut my hand very badly at her house and the whole time my mom was trying to stop the bleeding, G'ma was flapping around complaining that I was bleeding all over the rug. (A few drops, mom got my hand over the sink in a hurry.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on March 20, 2013, 01:25:04 PM
White carpet in the kitchen. Huh.  ???
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 20, 2013, 01:28:06 PM


...   My grandma had a white carpet in her kitchen.  ...

 :o  Of all the rooms in a house to carpet white, I'd think the very VERY last choice would be the kitchen!  It's almost impossible to cook, eat or even clean  up without making an occasional mess.  Your Grandma must have really had high expectations for her family in terms of vastly superior dexterity!   :-\
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 20, 2013, 01:55:26 PM

I am the same way. When DH and I look at a house, we look at the bones, the things that would require a permit or major renovation to change. Everything else? It is just another project. If a house has new carpet, we won't rip it out, but any other carpeting/linoleum/vinyl flooring? It is coming up as the first thing we do. Wallpaper and borders come down next, then the whole place is painted. Counters can be redone and cabinets refaced.

Sure, all those things can be redone, but not everyone wants to go through the time, expense, and hassle. Lots of people want move-in ready homes, and there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, when I was house-hunting, I kept a tally of what repairs needed to be done and how much repainting I'd have to do. I was fine with a few minor things and repainting a little, but I didn't want to buy a house just to renovate it. There were plenty of houses out there, so why invest all the time on House A if I could find what I wanted with less trouble on House E? Everyone's line on what they're willing to accept is different.


Edit: Repainting, not reprinting. :)

Nothing wrong with wanting a move-in ready house.  ;)

We all have severe allergies, and there is not a carpet cleaner in the world that can get everything out. So little to no carpet would work best for us. Also, if the walls haven't been painted since the last owners lived there, that is something we would do regardless. All we ask is for liveable condition kitchen and bathrooms, the projects would come later.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kari on March 20, 2013, 02:21:22 PM
My family vacations a lot at a certain seaside town, so they considered buying an apartment there. The real estate agent took my mother and sister around to some of the places available. While in a back bedroom of one place, my sister opened the blinds to see the view, and was greeted by the steel workings of a roller coaster. The agent tried to distract my mom and sis, but they were undeterred. "Isn't it awfully close?" they asked. The agent assured them it wasn't really. Right on cue, a roller coaster loudly wooshed by, complete with the rider's loud screams. They did not buy the place.

I got to see it for myself the next summer, from the outside. The roller coaster did indeed appear to be merely inches from a back window. How was that allowed to happen?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 20, 2013, 02:58:13 PM
ica 171 - is there a link? or could you post pics?

To the 3000 square foot house? http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594). I love taking something with potential and helping it realize that potential, but I think this one is beyond me.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on March 20, 2013, 03:19:00 PM
ica 171 - is there a link? or could you post pics?

To the 3000 square foot house? http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594). I love taking something with potential and helping it realize that potential, but I think this one is beyond me.

Well, it's not awful.  No shag carpeting, at least.  But that outside front is begging for some personality, starting with ripping out the windows.  They look too small for the house, like a face with tiny, beady eyes.   In fact the front reminds me of a house in my neighborhood that my mother swore was built backwards with the back facing the street.  At least this house doesn't have a kitchen door suspended on the second floor.  Also, the loft in the last photo looks more like a catwalk, and not very useful.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 20, 2013, 03:48:34 PM
The front is definitely weird, but I'm certain somebody could add some windows or enlarge the existing ones, or maybe add a patio on the upper floor.  I kind of like the inside, and I actually like that catwalk area.  The small area off to the side would be a perfect place for kids to have their own little playspace, but still central enough for mom or dad to keep an eye on them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 20, 2013, 04:15:16 PM
Reminds me of the house we looked at near our favorite park. It was close enough to walk to the park, and a very nice house until you got to the second floor. The owners had constructed a deck onto the second floor master suite. They did not pull permits, and did the work themselves. The deck was gravitationally challenged, and had a distinct slope. They also had wall moisture barrier issues where the deck was, and mold/mildew growing on the walls downstairs.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 20, 2013, 04:15:57 PM
Yeah, it has tons of potential, but it's not priced like a house you're going to have to do some serious renovating to to make use of all of the square footage. I drove by it (because I really kind of want it to work out) and there's an electric pole next to the house with a big piece of wood going from the pole to the house. I wonder about that.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CharlieBraun on March 20, 2013, 04:16:28 PM
The poor realtor who has that listing is going to see all the electronic traffic going to the listing and think: SSSSsale!  this weekend, I will Sell This House!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magician5 on March 20, 2013, 04:36:29 PM
This thread needs a soundtrack.

Johnny Long and his Orchestra - A Shanty in old Shanty Town (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlzE-GJxFbA)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Carotte on March 20, 2013, 05:23:44 PM
The poor realtor who has that listing is going to see all the electronic traffic going to the listing and think: SSSSsale!  this weekend, I will Sell This House!

And then wonder why on earth is it coming from different states and even countries (I contribute France :) ).
I was picturing more of an architect house, the pictures gives more a vibe of  "I built the same one in Lego once".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 20, 2013, 06:53:17 PM
...
I was picturing more of an architect house, the pictures gives more a vibe of  "I built the same one in Lego once".


LOL!   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 20, 2013, 08:24:45 PM
The poor realtor who has that listing is going to see all the electronic traffic going to the listing and think: SSSSsale!  this weekend, I will Sell This House!

And then wonder why on earth is it coming from different states and even countries (I contribute France :) ).
I was picturing more of an architect house, the pictures gives more a vibe of  "I built the same one in Lego once".

LOL! Well, rectangles are cheaper to build--fewer corners, less complicated roof...but at least add a front porch or a nice door surround or shutters or something.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 20, 2013, 08:40:48 PM
My ideal home. A two story rectangle with double wrap around covered porches.

I can dream, right?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MyFamily on March 20, 2013, 10:06:19 PM
There's also a house that I'm fairly sure we're not going to buy so I won't bother our agent with it, but I'm dying for them to have an open house. It's just a giant square, has to be owner built, 3000 square feet with 3 bedrooms. The first floor seems to be entirely garage, then the kitchen and bedrooms are upstairs. The first floor has 14 foot ceilings, the second floor has 18 foot ceilings, and there's a tiny loft area for kids or whatever. I just want to see this house in person to figure out why they did what they did, and maybe see if there's a way the space can be better utilized without spending a fortune. 3000 square feet would be nice.

If you read the full description it discusses having space to park a semi or a bus, so my guess is that the owners drove either a semi or a bus and built the house around being able to park it.  Makes a lot of sense to me that they did this to fit their needs.  Now they are moving, so it may not fit the average person's needs but if someone owns a semi or a bus, this will be their perfect house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 20, 2013, 10:09:21 PM
There's also a house that I'm fairly sure we're not going to buy so I won't bother our agent with it, but I'm dying for them to have an open house. It's just a giant square, has to be owner built, 3000 square feet with 3 bedrooms. The first floor seems to be entirely garage, then the kitchen and bedrooms are upstairs. The first floor has 14 foot ceilings, the second floor has 18 foot ceilings, and there's a tiny loft area for kids or whatever. I just want to see this house in person to figure out why they did what they did, and maybe see if there's a way the space can be better utilized without spending a fortune. 3000 square feet would be nice.

If you read the full description it discusses having space to park a semi or a bus, so my guess is that the owners drove either a semi or a bus and built the house around being able to park it.  Makes a lot of sense to me that they did this to fit their needs.  Now they are moving, so it may not fit the average person's needs but if someone owns a semi or a bus, this will be their perfect house.

That explains the 14' ceilings on the first floor, and that's what I figured too, but why 18' ceilings on the second floor? If the first floor is mostly garage why not have three floors? So many questions...if I ever finish my house projects I think I'm going to have to make an appointment to see this place.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 20, 2013, 10:27:34 PM
Ica you simply *must* see it in person and take lots of pictures so you can share them with us!  I'm dying to see the rest of the house, but it's a little far away for me to go there. :D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: JadeAngel on March 21, 2013, 12:42:46 AM
I've seen a few interesting ones, but the one that really stood out for me was the one which was a two story townhouse. We opened the front door and stepped straight into the bedroom... No corridor, no screen, no barrier, you stepped in the front door and were looking straight at the bed, then you turned left and walked up the stairs to the living area, kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

So basically anyone who came into your house, friends you invited over to dinner, tradespeople, visiting Mormons, would have to walk through your bedroom first to get through to the rest of the house. It was a really nice place and obviously the living areas had been put upstairs to take advantage of a very lovely view, but in the end I just couldn't get past the idea of people having to traipse through my bedroom, and also sleeping right inside the front door with all that passing foot traffic keeping you awake, so I passed.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 21, 2013, 04:33:43 AM
That house is odd but what almost made me fall out of my chair was the price. $120,000?!?! Prices haven't been like that down under for about 10 to 15 years at the very least. We're in the middle of a housing bubble and prices in our area are 700-800,000 and not much better looking than that. The nicer houses in my area are priced for about a million.

Honestly, if prices for houses were like that around here, DH and I would have our own house in less than a year.

I hate this property bubble!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Stormtreader on March 21, 2013, 05:03:36 AM
Thats exactly what I thought too! In the UK thats about the price of a small nothing-special house and in mid-London that would literally buy you a parking space.
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/thats-a-lot-200000-for-harrods-parking-space-that-measures-12ft-by-23ft-6544846.html (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/thats-a-lot-200000-for-harrods-parking-space-that-measures-12ft-by-23ft-6544846.html)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: o_gal on March 21, 2013, 06:49:18 AM
I got to see it for myself the next summer, from the outside. The roller coaster did indeed appear to be merely inches from a back window. How was that allowed to happen?

But for me, that would be a totally awesome vacation apartment  ;D

How did it happen? I would bet that the apartment was built after the amusement park. Roller coasters have certain space requirement on each side of the track, and the park probably met that. Most will put barriers up to keep people out of that space, with warning signs. What probably happened is that the park was there and the park boundary was just alongside the safety boundary. Then someone snatched up what was previously unused land next to the park and put up vacation apartments. Who cares if one building is right up against the park?

My cousin and his wife sold their house to Dorney Park so they could build one of the coasters there (Steel Force? This would have been sometime in the 1980s.) I told them later they should have held out and had the coaster built around them  >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 21, 2013, 07:54:28 AM
If you feel like buying a fixer upper you can get a house for as little as $50k here. I just saw one that was a beautiful old house, but among other things they had taken the bathtub with them.

In a way, a roller coaster would be one of the better nuisances. Sure, it'd be annoying during the day and evening, but the park would close and the roller coaster wouldn't run at night to disturb your sleep. If you needed to sleep during the day, though, I guess you'd be out of luck.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RebeccainGA on March 21, 2013, 08:06:29 AM
ica 171 - is there a link? or could you post pics?

To the 3000 square foot house? http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594). I love taking something with potential and helping it realize that potential, but I think this one is beyond me.

You know who this would be perfect for? The Scooby Doo Gang. They could park the Mystery Machine downstairs, have a nice big 'clubhouse' feel for the main part of the house, and put Shaggy and Scooby Doo up in the loft so they could vent their smoke to the outside and it would look like a chimney. Throw Daphne and ol' what's his name in the master bedroom (like that's not freaking obvious) and give Velma her own room, and everyone's happy. Except for Old Man Wilkerson.... those darn kids!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 21, 2013, 08:46:08 AM
We're looking at buying a house in northern Virginia, so it's a somewhat expensive part of the world.  It's such a trade-off between places that are going downhill and the house might not hold its value, but you can buy the house for $250-350k, or houses that are in nice areas with good schools, etc., but *start* at about $380k and most of them are $430k and up.  And there are hardly any available even at that price (the market really opens up around $500-600k).  What amuses me about it is that my husband keeps referring to it as part of a million.  "I can't believe we're going to be spending more than a third of a million dollars!  This is unbelievable to think that we might look at a house that costs almost half a million dollars!"  Because phrasing it that way does make 1/3 a million sound more than $333k, you know?  We would have so many choices if we were planning to be there longterm, but the problem is that we're military and will probably need to sell/rent in 4 years, so we need a place that is desirable to others and not just to ourselves, and that will hold its value, has good schools, etc.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 21, 2013, 09:16:51 AM
Friends of my parents had a really interesting house.  It was built on the side of a hill and when you came in their front door, you were in the attic.  So it was made into a little mud room.  Then you went down the flight of stairs into the main living area with kitchen, living room, dining room and one bedroom.  Then you went down one more flight of stairs for the other bedrooms.  It really was quite a neat house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wolfie on March 21, 2013, 09:44:46 AM
I've seen a few interesting ones, but the one that really stood out for me was the one which was a two story townhouse. We opened the front door and stepped straight into the bedroom... No corridor, no screen, no barrier, you stepped in the front door and were looking straight at the bed, then you turned left and walked up the stairs to the living area, kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

So basically anyone who came into your house, friends you invited over to dinner, tradespeople, visiting Mormons, would have to walk through your bedroom first to get through to the rest of the house. It was a really nice place and obviously the living areas had been put upstairs to take advantage of a very lovely view, but in the end I just couldn't get past the idea of people having to traipse through my bedroom, and also sleeping right inside the front door with all that passing foot traffic keeping you awake, so I passed.

There was no way to reconfigure things so that front room was like a living room and move the bedroom upstairs?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on March 21, 2013, 09:49:15 AM
ica 171 - is there a link? or could you post pics?

To the 3000 square foot house? http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2508-5th-Ave_Council-Bluffs_IA_51501_M80802-05594). I love taking something with potential and helping it realize that potential, but I think this one is beyond me.

You know who this would be perfect for? The Scooby Doo Gang. They could park the Mystery Machine downstairs, have a nice big 'clubhouse' feel for the main part of the house, and put Shaggy and Scooby Doo up in the loft so they could vent their smoke to the outside and it would look like a chimney. Throw Daphne and ol' what's his name in the master bedroom (like that's not freaking obvious) and give Velma her own room, and everyone's happy. Except for Old Man Wilkerson.... those darn kids!

You are brilliant.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dr. F. on March 21, 2013, 10:00:52 AM
I keep seeing the title of this thread and thinking of the ghost stories one, and reading the title as "House HAUNTING Horrors!"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 21, 2013, 10:06:07 AM
Okay, the talk of housing prices made me curious; the most expensive house in my county, listed on the family's go-to realty site.

$299,900, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2,516 square feet, on about 3/4 an acre, built in '92, waterfront access, 2.5 car garage, etc.

http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R207746

And this is a massive outlier. Most houses are between 80k and 100k.

I love rural living.  ;D

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 21, 2013, 10:16:08 AM
If you feel like buying a fixer upper you can get a house for as little as $50k here. I just saw one that was a beautiful old house, but among other things they had taken the bathtub with them.

In a way, a roller coaster would be one of the better nuisances. Sure, it'd be annoying during the day and evening, but the park would close and the roller coaster wouldn't run at night to disturb your sleep. If you needed to sleep during the day, though, I guess you'd be out of luck.

We lived two miles from Universal Studios for 7 years. They start running the roller coasters at 4 AM. 365 days a year, and many of them are especially designed to "roar" or make noise as they travel the track.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on March 21, 2013, 10:51:36 AM
Okay, the talk of housing prices made me curious; the most expensive house in my county, listed on the family's go-to realty site.

$299,900, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2,516 square feet, on about 3/4 an acre, built in '92, waterfront access, 2.5 car garage, etc.

http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R207746

And this is a massive outlier. Most houses are between 80k and 100k.

I love rural living.  ;D


Man. I could get close to that for my one bedroom, one bath 750 square foot condo!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shoo on March 21, 2013, 10:57:37 AM
Okay, the talk of housing prices made me curious; the most expensive house in my county, listed on the family's go-to realty site.

$299,900, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2,516 square feet, on about 3/4 an acre, built in '92, waterfront access, 2.5 car garage, etc.

http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R207746

And this is a massive outlier. Most houses are between 80k and 100k.

I love rural living.  ;D



The property taxes are outrageous!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on March 21, 2013, 11:16:10 AM
Okay, the talk of housing prices made me curious; the most expensive house in my county, listed on the family's go-to realty site.

$299,900, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2,516 square feet, on about 3/4 an acre, built in '92, waterfront access, 2.5 car garage, etc.

http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R207746

And this is a massive outlier. Most houses are between 80k and 100k.

I love rural living.  ;D

Totally unrelated, but I love the hat on the realtor!  She looks like she's in an Anne of Green Gables story!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on March 21, 2013, 11:54:00 AM
I've seen a few interesting ones, but the one that really stood out for me was the one which was a two story townhouse. We opened the front door and stepped straight into the bedroom... No corridor, no screen, no barrier, you stepped in the front door and were looking straight at the bed, then you turned left and walked up the stairs to the living area, kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

So basically anyone who came into your house, friends you invited over to dinner, tradespeople, visiting Mormons, would have to walk through your bedroom first to get through to the rest of the house. It was a really nice place and obviously the living areas had been put upstairs to take advantage of a very lovely view, but in the end I just couldn't get past the idea of people having to traipse through my bedroom, and also sleeping right inside the front door with all that passing foot traffic keeping you awake, so I passed.
I've actually seen that set up on House Hunters.

But it made me remember an experience my dh had apartment hunting when he had a professional internship one time. He was only going to be in this town for a few months, so he had trouble finding a good apartment. His favorite was the apartment whose only door opened into the bathroom. Not bad, you say? Ha. You opened the door and you were in the bathroom and right in front of you was... wait for it... the tub! You had to step INTO THE TUB to enter the apartment.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Carotte on March 21, 2013, 12:00:05 PM


But it made me remember an experience my dh had apartment hunting when he had a professional internship one time. He was only going to be in this town for a few months, so he had trouble finding a good apartment. His favorite was the apartment whose only door opened into the bathroom. Not bad, you say? Ha. You opened the door and you were in the bathroom and right in front of you was... wait for it... the tub! You had to step INTO THE TUB to enter the apartment.

Well, you have to do what you have to do against intruders when you don't have room to build a moat...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 21, 2013, 12:12:02 PM


But it made me remember an experience my dh had apartment hunting when he had a professional internship one time. He was only going to be in this town for a few months, so he had trouble finding a good apartment. His favorite was the apartment whose only door opened into the bathroom. Not bad, you say? Ha. You opened the door and you were in the bathroom and right in front of you was... wait for it... the tub! You had to step INTO THE TUB to enter the apartment.

Well, you have to do what you have to do against intruders when you don't have room to build a moat...

LOL!   ;D

I was just going to say that his alarm system could consist of one alligator strategically placed!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on March 21, 2013, 12:14:41 PM
for the entryway bedroom I would be so tempted to place a wardrobe (with the back removed) right in the path so visitors had to go through it...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: faithlessone on March 21, 2013, 12:51:04 PM
I haven't done a lot of house hunting in my life, but I will never forget one of the student houses I looked at in my second year at uni.

It had seven toilets.

In the garden.

With flowers growing in the bowls.

An intriguing design choice, to be sure.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on March 21, 2013, 01:14:31 PM
Thats exactly what I thought too! In the UK thats about the price of a small nothing-special house and in mid-London that would literally buy you a parking space.
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/thats-a-lot-200000-for-harrods-parking-space-that-measures-12ft-by-23ft-6544846.html (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/thats-a-lot-200000-for-harrods-parking-space-that-measures-12ft-by-23ft-6544846.html)

My uncle lives in a small town in central Iowa. Houses there can run for peanuts. They bought the current house for something like $20,000, and it's a pretty nice house. They call it a "credit card" town because houses are so cheap you can just put them on your Visa.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 01:28:39 PM
Housing prices vary wildly even within a single state in the US.  $100K wouldn't buy a parking spot in some NYC buildings, but in Small Town, ND, it'll buy you a 3 story traditional on several acres of land.  Most markets have recovered from the housing bust, or at least they've come a long way towards recovery, but some areas are still pretty suppressed.  IIRC, the link posted that started the pricing discussion was for Small Town, Iowa, which is probably one of the less expensive markets in the US these days.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 21, 2013, 01:37:44 PM
Housing prices vary wildly even within a single state in the US.  $100K wouldn't buy a parking spot in some NYC buildings, but in Small Town, ND, it'll buy you a 3 story traditional on several acres of land.  Most markets have recovered from the housing bust, or at least they've come a long way towards recovery, but some areas are still pretty suppressed.  IIRC, the link posted that started the pricing discussion was for Small Town, Iowa, which is probably one of the less expensive markets in the US these days.

Yeah, it's wild watching House Hunters and seeing what kinds of houses you can get for different prices in different areas. I'm in Texas, which has pretty good housing values compared to up north. Some of the houses people look at (and exclaim over how spacious they are!) are 3 or 4 times what my house cost, and half the size!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Girlie on March 21, 2013, 01:48:51 PM
Ditto on the house pricing. To be honest, where I live, the bubble bust big time, and houses that cost $350 thousand ten years ago aren't half that now.
It might not be everyone's taste, but my DH and I are looking at houses at the moment, and although we won't be buying right now (still in the saving stage), this is one of the houses we've fallen in love with: and the price! LOVE the price!
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707

But sincewe're talking house hunting horrors: the decor of this next house, followed with the awkward outside appearance is only matched by it's very small cost: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6114-Hudson-St-Nw_Covington_GA_30014_M59933-35900
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RebeccainGA on March 21, 2013, 02:08:15 PM
But sincewe're talking house hunting horrors: the decor of this next house, followed with the awkward outside appearance is only matched by it's very small cost: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6114-Hudson-St-Nw_Covington_GA_30014_M59933-35900

Holy Pantone Book Exploded, Batman!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 02:23:44 PM
But sincewe're talking house hunting horrors: the decor of this next house, followed with the awkward outside appearance is only matched by it's very small cost: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6114-Hudson-St-Nw_Covington_GA_30014_M59933-35900

Holy Pantone Book Exploded, Batman!

Somebody was definitely NOT afraid of color!  Actually, if the bones of that house are good and the area had housing values to justify an additional $20-30K, it looks like a great project house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on March 21, 2013, 02:52:39 PM
Just for fun I decided to see what the most expensive house in my county is right now, here it is: http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282675093&ListingID=301554985&CMID=-1&Sort=0&RTR=30&LI=1 (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282675093&ListingID=301554985&CMID=-1&Sort=0&RTR=30&LI=1).  The master bath in this house is probably bigger than my entire house.

My wife wants to retire and we have been looking at a number of houses in a few different areas.  We take a day and drive to one, then look around at ones we have found on the web.

  So far the scariest house we never even got to - trying to drive to it was frightening.  It was on a very steep hill and all of the roads were 1-1.25 of a lane wide.  Many of them were paved right to the edge of the drop off with no safety barriers at all.  One road had a 90-105 degree turn that if you missed it you would fall 20 feet onto the roof of a house.  It had no safety barrier, no sign warning of the turn and no street lighting at all, luckily it was daytime.  Even so, we nearly missed it.  Once we got past it we realized that driving in that neighborhood  had turned us both into nervous wrecks.  So we carefully left and went to a different neighborhood in the same city.

edited to put the actual link in correctly
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 21, 2013, 03:15:00 PM
That link isn't working.

DH and I were just looking at property in the area last night. We came across this house that had seven bedrooms. But, it's only done at the expense of living space. We live in a small apartment and the lounge dining in that house would be about the same.

To get any decent living space you'd have to knock out several walls on the ground floor, and some of them might be load bearing.

That place could make a killing for students though. Just rent each room for $200 a week!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on March 21, 2013, 03:25:45 PM
That link isn't working.

DH and I were just looking at property in the area last night. We came across this house that had seven bedrooms. But, it's only done at the expense of living space. We live in a small apartment and the lounge dining in that house would be about the same.

To get any decent living space you'd have to knock out several walls on the ground floor, and some of them might be load bearing.

That place could make a killing for students though. Just rent each room for $200 a week!

I will change it to a long link and see if that helps
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on March 21, 2013, 03:28:03 PM
Sounds like the house next door.  It originally had a huge rec room with fireplace, plus two bedrooms on the lower level.  The owner before the current ones closed off the fireplace and chopped the rec room into three more tiny bedrooms, for a grand total of 8.  He had joint custody of five children, but I'm still not quite sure why there were so many bedrooms.  He also added a master suite addition, which the current owners discovered was done without a permit.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Bethczar on March 21, 2013, 03:28:24 PM
But sincewe're talking house hunting horrors: the decor of this next house, followed with the awkward outside appearance is only matched by it's very small cost: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6114-Hudson-St-Nw_Covington_GA_30014_M59933-35900

Holy Pantone Book Exploded, Batman!
Personally, I like those colors. That's a crazy exterior, though.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 04:20:56 PM
I also caved to curiosity about the most expensive listing in my county.  For the low, low price of 100 million dollars you can have this:

http://www.floridamoves.com/property/details/934587/MLS-A1651046/1116-Ocean-Dr-Miami-Beach-FL-33139.aspx?SearchID=15122424&RowNum=1&StateID=14&RegionID=0&IsRegularPS=True&IsSold=False
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 21, 2013, 04:30:39 PM
I also caved to curiosity about the most expensive listing in my county.  For the low, low price of 100 million dollars you can have this:

http://www.floridamoves.com/property/details/934587/MLS-A1651046/1116-Ocean-Dr-Miami-Beach-FL-33139.aspx?SearchID=15122424&RowNum=1&StateID=14&RegionID=0&IsRegularPS=True&IsSold=False

That one is a little... weird. It looks like a hotel. A really, really fancy hotel, but still. What is with all those tables and benches??
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 21, 2013, 04:41:22 PM
I think it actually IS a hotel or B&B.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 04:44:42 PM
It's the old Versace mansion, and it is a single family home. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on March 21, 2013, 04:46:04 PM
I also caved to curiosity about the most expensive listing in my county.  For the low, low price of 100 million dollars you can have this:

http://www.floridamoves.com/property/details/934587/MLS-A1651046/1116-Ocean-Dr-Miami-Beach-FL-33139.aspx?SearchID=15122424&RowNum=1&StateID=14&RegionID=0&IsRegularPS=True&IsSold=False

That one is a little... weird. It looks like a hotel. A really, really fancy hotel, but still. What is with all those tables and benches??

To sit down after the long walk between kitchen and living room?

Seriously that place is HUGE!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 04:48:18 PM
It's the old Versace mansion, and it is a single family home.

Wait.  Maybe it's not.  I see news reports from the time of Versace's murder listing his mansion at 1114 Ocean drive.  Either the property used both addresses or this place is next door.  Nonetheless, it is a single family home, in spite of the dining room capable of hosting large parties and other oddities.

ETA:  More research.  It's the same place.  It's currently used to host events, but it was his home and it's for sale again.  Maybe I should do all my research before I open my mouth.  :-\
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 21, 2013, 04:51:13 PM
The page said it could be commercial. Therefore, a hotel or B&B.

And here's that house I was talking about.

http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Sale/House/NSW/Ryde/?adid=2010354379

The pool looks like it came from a cheap hotel.

BTW, is anyone else anode how people don't clean up before photos or inspections? They leave stuff around!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 05:00:56 PM
Many of the old, historic mansions on Miami Beach and elsewhere in Miami Dade County have been converted for commercial purposes.  Some, such as Deering Estates and Vizcaya are now part museum, part event locations (upscale parties, weddings, etc), others such as Merrick house are simply museums, and others, like the current state of the Vercace Mansion are commercial.  There are a number of insanely huge and opulent homes on Miami Beach and on the Islands, plus in a few other neighborhoods in the county that are still in use as single family homes.  If I'm reading the listing correctly, it could remain in commercial use, but it is technically zoned as "single family".  Personally, I'd love to see it turned into a public access museum like Vizcaya, since Miami isn't exactly known for preserving its history very well.

Sorry for the hijack!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Katana_Geldar on March 21, 2013, 05:07:01 PM
That house would be nice for a wedding. With perhaps also accommodation added.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 21, 2013, 05:08:13 PM
It's the old Versace mansion, and it is a single family home.

Wait.  Maybe it's not.  I see news reports from the time of Versace's murder listing his mansion at 1114 Ocean drive.  Either the property used both addresses or this place is next door.  Nonetheless, it is a single family home, in spite of the dining room capable of hosting large parties and other oddities.

ETA:  More research.  It's the same place. It's currently used to host events, but it was his home and it's for sale again.  Maybe I should do all my research before I open my mouth.  :-\

Ah, I see. That would be why they have hotel-style furniture.

It is understandable why these places get turned into hotels or museums. I can't imagine there are many single families looking for that kind of opulence.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 21, 2013, 05:38:22 PM
Oh, I'm totally looking for that kind of opulence, I just can't afford it.  <grin>  (Just kidding, honest!)

House hunting is so frustrating.  Either the house is farther away from work than you'd like, or it's more money than you'd like, or it's smaller or awkwardly-shaped or the yard isn't good.  Or sometimes all of those!

We found this house that is sort of awesome.  It's lovely on the outside, has a nice yard, plenty of room inside for a growing family (4 kids so far), and behind the yard there's a stream, a patch of woods, and then a really nice neighborhood playground is right there.  Also, if you go slightly to one side (instead of to the playground), there's a big public field (not a sports field, just an empty field) and then woods that go on for miles.  There are lots of streams and even an island in the woods, lots of great places for kids to explore.  It's at the very top of our price range, though.  And it's hard to say how the market will be in 4 years when we need to move again, whether it will rent or sell well, etc.  It is in a great school district (elem., middle, and high school are 9, 9, and 7 on the Great Schools rating), and it's within commuting distance of a lot of stuff.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 21, 2013, 05:48:48 PM
Oh, I'm totally looking for that kind of opulence, I just can't afford it.  <grin>  (Just kidding, honest!)



Well the price *has* been reduced.  >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wheeitsme on March 21, 2013, 05:50:24 PM
I used to live in Orange County, CA.  I remember driving down the freeway to work one day and seeing a sign:  "New Homes in the low $1m".  Yes.  In the low $1millions.  All smushed together. In Santa Ana (next to a good area, but not in it). And they backed up to the freeway sound wall.

We knew it would never be financially viable to buy in OC, and we were so glad to be able to move out of there! (Not big city people)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: dawnfire on March 21, 2013, 06:41:48 PM
here is what available in my town. I'm in a rural area, (but a satellite town to Melbourne, Aus) so I'll give you one outside the township and one in town.

out of town. admittedly this is 2 houses on one property, so you could keep one, rent the other or keep one and sell the other.

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-whittlesea-112209143


one in town (on the eastern edge)

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-whittlesea-113067915

another in town (more central)

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-vic-whittlesea-112268891

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: kherbert05 on March 21, 2013, 06:48:06 PM
The poor realtor who has that listing is going to see all the electronic traffic going to the listing and think: SSSSsale!  this weekend, I will Sell This House!


I was thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 21, 2013, 06:51:39 PM
Sometimes I look at the houses with the crazy paint colors and wonder if they worked with furniture and accessories added. Some shades obviously won't, but some could go either way.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Otterpop on March 21, 2013, 06:53:38 PM
I also caved to curiosity about the most expensive listing in my county.  For the low, low price of 100 million dollars you can have this:

http://www.floridamoves.com/property/details/934587/MLS-A1651046/1116-Ocean-Dr-Miami-Beach-FL-33139.aspx?SearchID=15122424&RowNum=1&StateID=14&RegionID=0&IsRegularPS=True&IsSold=False

Funny they'd turn this into a B&B or events place!  Versace was killed right outside that gate on those steps as he was retrieving his newspaper.  Very tragic circumstances, brilliant man.

Wheeitsme:  I live in OC and I concur about real estate prices.  We could buy a mansion for cash in almost any other state if we sold.  We're stuck here though because we're in the real estate business, and it's picking up again.  Those million dollar homes are now in the 600K range (still not a bargain if you look at OK, IL, CO, OR, MO...)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 21, 2013, 07:10:55 PM
Sometimes I look at the houses with the crazy paint colors and wonder if they worked with furniture and accessories added. Some shades obviously won't, but some could go either way.

My MIL has used dramatic (usually dark, though, not bright) colors to amazing effect.  I could never pull it off, but when she does it, it's amazing.  She is brilliant at decorating, and I am totally calling upon her expertise when we move into our new house.  :)  Whenever we find it.

Their old  house (MIL and FIL's) was sold a couple of years ago, and we ran into pictures online.  Somebody had repainted some of the bedrooms these unbelievably bright, crazy colors.  It was rather interesting.  They didn't mess with the main living area, though, kitchen, etc.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on March 21, 2013, 07:14:38 PM
This thread made me curious, so I looked at the MLS listings for my city.  The cheapest house is $13,500 (i.e. cheaper than most cars).  The most expensive is $3.5 million, which is ridiculous because you can get a fantastically nice house for a small fraction of that and this one isn't in any better location than the ones for $500K (or the ones for $150K, for that matter).  It does have eight bedrooms and a lot of land around it, but still!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on March 21, 2013, 07:16:58 PM
Sometimes I look at the houses with the crazy paint colors and wonder if they worked with furniture and accessories added. Some shades obviously won't, but some could go either way.

My MIL has used dramatic (usually dark, though, not bright) colors to amazing effect.  I could never pull it off, but when she does it, it's amazing.  She is brilliant at decorating, and I am totally calling upon her expertise when we move into our new house.  :)  Whenever we find it.

Their old  house (MIL and FIL's) was sold a couple of years ago, and we ran into pictures online.  Somebody had repainted some of the bedrooms these unbelievably bright, crazy colors.  It was rather interesting.  They didn't mess with the main living area, though, kitchen, etc.

Our living room once had dark green carpet and a kind of light mauve paint on the walls. On its own, it looked hideous. With our furniture -- which was kind of a tapestry floral print featuring those colors -- it looked very nice.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on March 21, 2013, 09:39:53 PM
 
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 21, 2013, 09:58:50 PM

...   It might not be everyone's taste, but my DH and I are looking at houses at the moment, and although we won't be buying right now (still in the saving stage), this is one of the houses we've fallen in love with: and the price! LOVE the price!
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707


I think this is a beautiful house!!  I especially love the arch shaped window in the blue bedroom.  And yeah.  The price is amazing! 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jules1980 on March 21, 2013, 10:19:25 PM
Okay, the talk of housing prices made me curious; the most expensive house in my county, listed on the family's go-to realty site.

$299,900, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2,516 square feet, on about 3/4 an acre, built in '92, waterfront access, 2.5 car garage, etc.

http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R207746

And this is a massive outlier. Most houses are between 80k and 100k.

I love rural living.  ;D

Does it come with its own lighthouse?  If so, I want this house!  I'll have to convince DH to move though.  LOL!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Maggie on March 21, 2013, 11:45:51 PM

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 

I looked at the pics again and that isn't part of the kitchen.  There is a good picture of the kitchen and it's painted and that looks like wallpaper or something else.  Maybe it's a bar or something.  I agree it's kind of odd but on the whole I think that is a beautiful house!

ETA I finally read and there is an inlaw suite with a kitchen so that must be what that is!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on March 22, 2013, 12:57:02 AM
I liked this house a lot until I read the last sentence in the description. http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46 (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on March 22, 2013, 02:20:51 AM
I found this very interesting: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/photos/what-the-average-house-really-looks-like-slideshow/;_ylt=AoIFfL0yjqTTu.yiHV6rDJMzNbJG;_ylu=X3oDMTNxbjVyMjR1BG1pdANQcm9wZXJ0eSBNZWdhdHJvbgRwa2cDZDdhN2E2ZmYtZmQ2YS0zZmQ4LWEzM2UtYjA0MDNiMjU0MGEzBHBvcwMxBHNlYwNtZWdhdHJvbgR2ZXIDZTAzMmEwYjEtOGQ4NC0xMWUyLThlZmYtZWI2MmExYzEwMTZl;_ylg=X3oDMTFtNDVlOXRnBGludGwDZ2IEbGFuZwNlbi1nYgRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANwcm9wZXJ0eQRwdANzZWN0aW9ucw--;_ylv=3
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 22, 2013, 07:42:09 AM

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 

I looked at the pics again and that isn't part of the kitchen.  There is a good picture of the kitchen and it's painted and that looks like wallpaper or something else.  Maybe it's a bar or something.  I agree it's kind of odd but on the whole I think that is a beautiful house!

ETA I finally read and there is an inlaw suite with a kitchen so that must be what that is!

It is centred over one sink of the two. Presumably you would stand and wash dishes in that sink and reach over to rinse in the second sink. Pretty unusual (most kitchens I've seen have a short cabinet over both sinks) but not terrible IMO.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Redwing on March 22, 2013, 08:07:55 AM
Love looking at the houses! 

Here's the high for my city:  http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/41w419-Plato-Rd_Elgin_IL_60124_M76964-04232

and the low:  http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/880-Lisa-Ln_Elgin_IL_60120_M81812-64043

Our housing market is just now starting to come back. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 22, 2013, 08:43:24 AM
If you're willing to live in Liberty City, and neighborhood known for drug use, violent crimes and gang problems, there's always this (the lowest listing for a single family home I could find in my county):

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1035-Nw-58th-St_Miami_FL_33127_M61316-16210?source=web
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 22, 2013, 09:18:53 AM
I liked this house a lot until I read the last sentence in the description. http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46 (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46)

Ooh, I really wonder what that could mean and if it's an actual issue or just a disclosure thing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dr. F. on March 22, 2013, 09:49:21 AM
If you're willing to live in Liberty City, and neighborhood known for drug use, violent crimes and gang problems, there's always this (the lowest listing for a single family home I could find in my county):

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1035-Nw-58th-St_Miami_FL_33127_M61316-16210?source=web

Um, wow. Those photos really don't sell it. If that's the best they can find, it's really kinda frightening.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dr. F. on March 22, 2013, 09:55:43 AM
Most expensive in my town:
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1111-19th-St-N-Apt-3001_Arlington_VA_22209_M66639-25163

I don't know that I'd pay $6M for an apartment, no matter how nice.

Most expensive single-family:
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3812-Military-Rd_Arlington_VA_22207_M59766-39383

Does anyone know what "contingent with kick-out means"? ???

Cheapest (not including parking spaces - I was very confused when I saw "Size=60 sq. ft."!)
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/900-N-Taylor-St-Apt-810_Arlington_VA_22203_M67704-94233

It's in a senior facility, and includes one meal a day.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on March 22, 2013, 09:57:11 AM
If you're willing to live in Liberty City, and neighborhood known for drug use, violent crimes and gang problems, there's always this (the lowest listing for a single family home I could find in my county):

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1035-Nw-58th-St_Miami_FL_33127_M61316-16210?source=web

Um, wow. Those photos really don't sell it. If that's the best they can find, it's really kinda frightening.

Well, if you buy it for $17,000, spend another 15,000 rehabilitating it, you're only in $32,000.  Not bad for a 3-BR rental property.  Not sure what the market for rentals is like in Miami, but I'd guess you could get $1,000/month for it.  Anything you spend on it (including the $15,000 to renovate) would be tax deductible as a business expense.  You could break even in 5-6 years after which, you're starting to earn a profit.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 22, 2013, 10:03:37 AM
If you're willing to live in Liberty City, and neighborhood known for drug use, violent crimes and gang problems, there's always this (the lowest listing for a single family home I could find in my county):

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1035-Nw-58th-St_Miami_FL_33127_M61316-16210?source=web

Um, wow. Those photos really don't sell it. If that's the best they can find, it's really kinda frightening.

Well, if you buy it for $17,000, spend another 15,000 rehabilitating it, you're only in $32,000.  Not bad for a 3-BR rental property.  Not sure what the market for rentals is like in Miami, but I'd guess you could get $1,000/month for it.  Anything you spend on it (including the $15,000 to renovate) would be tax deductible as a business expense.  You could break even in 5-6 years after which, you're starting to earn a profit.

Honestly, the "horror" to me is the neighborhood, not the house itself.  A lot of those old houses have really good bones, but I would be more willing to live in my car than worry about my kids being shot while watching tv in the living room or playing outside. Both of these things have happened in that area when kids have gotten caught in the crossfire of gang wars.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: glinda on March 22, 2013, 10:11:41 AM
I'll post.

Most expensive: http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12756627&PidKey=1645560007
Not bad for something that isn't even built yet.

Least expensive that is not a mobile home:  http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=12718580&PidKey=624142371

I would imagine the cheapest place had its basement flooded with sewage last spring.

Where I live actually used to be in the top ten of affordable places to buy real estate in North America.  Now - not so much.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Bexx27 on March 22, 2013, 10:16:19 AM
Most expensive in my town:
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1111-19th-St-N-Apt-3001_Arlington_VA_22209_M66639-25163

I don't know that I'd pay $6M for an apartment, no matter how nice.

Most expensive single-family:
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3812-Military-Rd_Arlington_VA_22207_M59766-39383

Does anyone know what "contingent with kick-out means"? ???

Cheapest (not including parking spaces - I was very confused when I saw "Size=60 sq. ft."!)
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/900-N-Taylor-St-Apt-810_Arlington_VA_22203_M67704-94233

It's in a senior facility, and includes one meal a day.

Hi, fellow Arlingtonian! I think "contingent with kick-out" means there's already an offer on the house but it might not go through if certain conditions aren't met?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kariachi on March 22, 2013, 10:51:19 AM
Cheapest non-mobile.
http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=B424770

Cheapest mobile.
http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R194903

Actually, I'm liking the look of the mobile better. If they have an open house I may just check it out.

Need to start checking the Pennysaver again. Window House Hunting has become much more fun over the years.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on March 22, 2013, 12:12:08 PM

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 

I looked at the pics again and that isn't part of the kitchen.  There is a good picture of the kitchen and it's painted and that looks like wallpaper or something else.  Maybe it's a bar or something.  I agree it's kind of odd but on the whole I think that is a beautiful house!

ETA I finally read and there is an inlaw suite with a kitchen so that must be what that is!

It is centred over one sink of the two. Presumably you would stand and wash dishes in that sink and reach over to rinse in the second sink. Pretty unusual (most kitchens I've seen have a short cabinet over both sinks) but not terrible IMO.
I still think that was an odd choice. Certainly I've never seen a house where the cabinets over the sink are of 2 different heights.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 22, 2013, 12:13:14 PM
Cheapest non-mobile.
http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=B424770

Cheapest mobile.
http://www.nothnagle.com/Properties/Details.aspx?MLS=19&M=R194903

Actually, I'm liking the look of the mobile better. If they have an open house I may just check it out.

Need to start checking the Pennysaver again. Window House Hunting has become much more fun over the years.

I kind of like that mobile too. And you can't beat the price!!! ???
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shoo on March 22, 2013, 12:19:58 PM

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 

I looked at the pics again and that isn't part of the kitchen.  There is a good picture of the kitchen and it's painted and that looks like wallpaper or something else.  Maybe it's a bar or something.  I agree it's kind of odd but on the whole I think that is a beautiful house!

ETA I finally read and there is an inlaw suite with a kitchen so that must be what that is!

It is centred over one sink of the two. Presumably you would stand and wash dishes in that sink and reach over to rinse in the second sink. Pretty unusual (most kitchens I've seen have a short cabinet over both sinks) but not terrible IMO.
I still think that was an odd choice. Certainly I've never seen a house where the cabinets over the sink are of 2 different heights.

It looks to me like there was supposed to be some kind of shelf or possibly glass rack there, and it was missing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Girlie on March 22, 2013, 01:50:16 PM

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/400-Glynnshire-Ct_Covington_GA_30016_M63511-99707
The kitchen cabinets are really odd...one short one, and it's not even centered over the sink!

 

I looked at the pics again and that isn't part of the kitchen.  There is a good picture of the kitchen and it's painted and that looks like wallpaper or something else.  Maybe it's a bar or something.  I agree it's kind of odd but on the whole I think that is a beautiful house!

ETA I finally read and there is an inlaw suite with a kitchen so that must be what that is!

It is centred over one sink of the two. Presumably you would stand and wash dishes in that sink and reach over to rinse in the second sink. Pretty unusual (most kitchens I've seen have a short cabinet over both sinks) but not terrible IMO.
I still think that was an odd choice. Certainly I've never seen a house where the cabinets over the sink are of 2 different heights.

It looks to me like there was supposed to be some kind of shelf or possibly glass rack there, and it was missing.

I think it's a bit off, too, but truthfully, the house as a whole is so lovely, that that one little detail just doesn't bother me too much. Some things are worth looking over. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on March 22, 2013, 01:53:47 PM
Out of curiosity, the most & least expensive homes for sale in my town:

Most: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10120-Lookout-Rd_Lafayette_CO_80026_M10023-36968 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10120-Lookout-Rd_Lafayette_CO_80026_M10023-36968)

Least: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/910-Milo-Cir-A_Lafayette_CO_80026_M28326-16375 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/910-Milo-Cir-A_Lafayette_CO_80026_M28326-16375)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on March 22, 2013, 08:49:36 PM
Most expensive

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2498-Hawk-Hill-Ln-Sw_Rochester_MN_55902_M75811-13098


cheapest:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3867-Willow-Heights-Dr-Sw_Rochester_MN_55902_M84104-98810
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on March 22, 2013, 09:02:57 PM
This one is near my sister:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/440-Greenbrook-Pl_Richland_WA_99352_M24486-66898

Either someone left a couple of zeros off the price, or there is something seriously WRONG with an otherwise really nice house --  was there a hideous mass murder there or something? Built on the site of an old Indian burial ground?  A portal in the basement to Eldritch Horrors We Dare Not Name?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: marcel on March 22, 2013, 10:10:31 PM
It is not a horror story with a house, but very odd with the sale. I am buying a house, and I am currently in the negotiating phase, this is going a bit slowly, due to no response from the seller. Also, I knew that this house was very close to foreclosure, but still being sold by the owner, even though the bank has a definite say in things.

Yesterday my parents saw that the house is suddenly put up for auction for the 23rd of april, on a site that does foreclosure auctions.

This did scare me a bit, but I talked to the realtor and a representative from the bank, and they assured me that they prefer to sell to me town, over going through an uncertain auction that will likely get them less money, but they had already started the procedure 3 months ago, and if for some reason I don't buy it, they do not want to restart it.


for the rest, cheapest in my area €38.000
http://www.funda.nl/koop/s-gravenhage/appartement-48590141-cees-laseurlaan-1067/ (http://www.funda.nl/koop/s-gravenhage/appartement-48590141-cees-laseurlaan-1067/)

most expensive in my area €6.850.000 (You are practicaly neighbours to our crown prince (soon king) there)
http://www.funda.nl/koop/wassenaar/huis-429096-paauwlaan-7/ (http://www.funda.nl/koop/wassenaar/huis-429096-paauwlaan-7/)


and the place I am buying
http://www.huizenzoeker.nl/koop/zuid-holland/den-haag/amstelhof-14/foto.html (http://www.huizenzoeker.nl/koop/zuid-holland/den-haag/amstelhof-14/foto.html)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 22, 2013, 10:15:21 PM
This one is near my sister:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/440-Greenbrook-Pl_Richland_WA_99352_M24486-66898

Either someone left a couple of zeros off the price, or there is something seriously WRONG with an otherwise really nice house --  was there a hideous mass murder there or something? Built on the site of an old Indian burial ground?  A portal in the basement to Eldritch Horrors We Dare Not Name?
I keep running into this on Zillow, and I think it's just that the house is actually for *rent* and somehow got listed as a sale.  I don't know if that's the case for this house, but the price quoted sounds like it could be rent in many parts of the country.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: EmmaJ. on March 22, 2013, 10:18:47 PM
Marcel, it looks lovely!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 22, 2013, 10:46:15 PM
This one is near my sister:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/440-Greenbrook-Pl_Richland_WA_99352_M24486-66898

Either someone left a couple of zeros off the price, or there is something seriously WRONG with an otherwise really nice house --  was there a hideous mass murder there or something? Built on the site of an old Indian burial ground?  A portal in the basement to Eldritch Horrors We Dare Not Name?
I keep running into this on Zillow, and I think it's just that the house is actually for *rent* and somehow got listed as a sale.  I don't know if that's the case for this house, but the price quoted sounds like it could be rent in many parts of the country.

I looked at the Property History on the site and it says that the house is assessed at 180 thousand and property taxes are about 2 thousand, so I'm guessing you are correct. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 22, 2013, 11:10:53 PM
This one is near my sister:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/440-Greenbrook-Pl_Richland_WA_99352_M24486-66898

Either someone left a couple of zeros off the price, or there is something seriously WRONG with an otherwise really nice house --  was there a hideous mass murder there or something? Built on the site of an old Indian burial ground?  A portal in the basement to Eldritch Horrors We Dare Not Name?
I keep running into this on Zillow, and I think it's just that the house is actually for *rent* and somehow got listed as a sale.  I don't know if that's the case for this house, but the price quoted sounds like it could be rent in many parts of the country.

I looked at the Property History on the site and it says that the house is assessed at 180 thousand and property taxes are about 2 thousand, so I'm guessing you are correct. :)

Zillow is incredibly frustrating because it makes this mistake a *lot*.  So I'll be searching for a house under my maximum amount (with the number of bedrooms, etc. that I want), and these houses will come up because they're renting for $2400 or $3200 or something, and it's being listed as the sale price, which is obviously within my budget if the house were actually selling for that.  And then you're like, "Ooh, this house looks nice!" and then you notice that Zillow gives its estimate at 699,999 and you realize that it's actually a per-month rent and you're all disappointed.  Over and over and over.  Bad Zillow.  Mostly I've been preferring Redfin.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Bellantara on March 22, 2013, 11:18:12 PM
Most expensive in my area: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/211-Commonwealth-Ave_Boston_MA_02116_M37987-33791

And the least, which I think is cute: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Boston_MA_02119_M32343-29290
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: rain on March 23, 2013, 03:21:33 AM
when (ex) "D"H and I were looking at houses we came across one that had us going "what were they thinking?"



- the living room was poorly done thick pine green sponge paint over ?cream? base color (picture the walls 90-95% pine green and 5-10% cream)

- very dim/low watt bulbs paired with heavy curtains throughout the house (and other cases of bad paint) - the basement was better lit
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: StarDrifter on March 23, 2013, 05:00:55 AM
The house next door to us is for sale, the owner when we moved in here (just on 3.5 years ago) was in his late 80's and passed away about 6 months ago.

Today there was an open house and because I'm a sticky-nose I went for a look.

The house has great bones, but looking through it I got the distinct impression that the previous owner and his family may well have built the place in the late 60's/ early 70's (when this whole area was established) and literally nothing has been done to it in the intervening 40-ish years.

Pale green shag carpet throughout (except bathroom, laundry and kitchen) which had darker patches in the lounge, dining room and bedrooms where furniture had clearly been placed for extended periods.

Lime green bench tops, faux walnut cupboard fronts and matching wallpaper (as in striped brown and lime green wallpaper) in the dining room.

Notes on the (ancient) oven and dishwasher that neither were operational. Notes also in the main bathroom and laundry that the taps were not working in there, either.

Every single piece of wallpaper was peeling, and the ceiling in the kitchen, well. It was obvious that the exhaust fan above the stove had never been used - it was stained and the paint was peeling away from the plaster.

Best part? They're asking $56k *more* than we paid for our house just on 3 years ago. The two houses are really quite comparable - the only real difference is that next door has an "ensuite" to the master bedroom - which is actually a toilet, sink and shower in what looks to have been, initially, the closet... as there was no closet in the master bedroom.

I mean, I know property prices have gone up a little in this area in the last three years, but really? Fifty six thousand dollars more for a house on a smaller block with zero renovations done?

I think the people who are trying to sell it are in for a rude awakening when they start fielding offers.

(I just hope that we get nice neighbours!)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on March 23, 2013, 11:48:22 AM
Here that master would not be allowed to be called a bedroom. You must have an egress window and a closet for it to be a bedroom.

Rain's comment reminded me of an open house I went to a few weeks ago. Mauve sponge paint with a cream base in the living room, heavily worn and stained carpets, crayon and finger smudges all over the walls, cobwebs, water damage on every ceiling. It didn't look like they'd done a single thing to prepare for selling, not even clean. It was the same price as the house for sale two doors down that had two more bedrooms and had been completely remodeled. It was beautiful inside. I was tempted to buy it just because it was so nicely remodeled, even though the floor plan wasn't what I wanted (basically the same as what I have now).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on March 23, 2013, 01:08:19 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on March 23, 2013, 02:44:38 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on March 23, 2013, 02:47:40 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on March 23, 2013, 03:14:04 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.

Looks like the owner is still expecting 2006 prices. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on March 23, 2013, 03:17:04 PM
^^^  A Realtor friend once told me that it is always better to have the smallest house in a 'nice' neighborhood than the largest house in that same neighborhood.  People will pay a little more for a small house that gets them into a great area, but they aren't willing to pay more for a house that is surrounded by lower priced ones all around them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Otterpop on March 23, 2013, 05:53:06 PM
^^^  A Realtor friend once told me that it is always better to have the smallest house in a 'nice' neighborhood than the largest house in that same neighborhood.  People will pay a little more for a small house that gets them into a great area, but they aren't willing to pay more for a house that is surrounded by lower priced ones all around them.

True.  According to most real estate agents the 3 things most important in a real estate purchase are 1. location 2. location and 3. location.

You can always upgrade the interior, bump out the square footage or otherwise improve your home if the surrounding properties are comparably more expensive.  You can get your money out if you sell.  But overbuild beyond pricing in the neighborhood and you won't get it back in resale value.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on March 23, 2013, 08:47:51 PM
^^^  A Realtor friend once told me that it is always better to have the smallest house in a 'nice' neighborhood than the largest house in that same neighborhood.  People will pay a little more for a small house that gets them into a great area, but they aren't willing to pay more for a house that is surrounded by lower priced ones all around them.

True.  According to most real estate agents the 3 things most important in a real estate purchase are 1. location 2. location and 3. location.

You can always upgrade the interior, bump out the square footage or otherwise improve your home if the surrounding properties are comparably more expensive.  You can get your money out if you sell.  But overbuild beyond pricing in the neighborhood and you won't get it back in resale value.

We ran into that - our house is the most expensive one in our neighborhood and the neighborhood is the most expensive in our corner of town.  It's really only a medium-sized house for our city, but our little corner of it is mostly students and such so there are a lot of apartment complexes and tiny houses.  We knew when we were adding on a room that we wouldn't get our money back in terms of house value.  We did have the house re-appraised a year ago to refinance and were pleasantly surprised when it appraised for significantly more than we had bought it for  :)  Appraised value and actual sell-able price are two different things, though!  (And the appraiser did have to stretch pretty far out to find two "comps".)

That said, we're in a FANTASTIC location and because of the way this corner of town is laid out, we're the only house in our price range with anywhere near this good access to the two major employment areas on our side of town.  We plan to stay here a while, but when we do sell I'm hoping someone will buy the house for its unique proximity and not worry so much about it being the most expensive/largest in the neighborhood  :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 23, 2013, 09:18:04 PM
Location is definitely important!  It's frustrating to try to decide between spending more for a house in a nicer area (where it will hold/increase value better) or spend less for a house in a not-as-nice area (where it may lose value).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: JadeAngel on March 24, 2013, 12:38:15 AM
I've seen a few interesting ones, but the one that really stood out for me was the one which was a two story townhouse. We opened the front door and stepped straight into the bedroom... No corridor, no screen, no barrier, you stepped in the front door and were looking straight at the bed, then you turned left and walked up the stairs to the living area, kitchen, bathrooms etc etc.

So basically anyone who came into your house, friends you invited over to dinner, tradespeople, visiting Mormons, would have to walk through your bedroom first to get through to the rest of the house. It was a really nice place and obviously the living areas had been put upstairs to take advantage of a very lovely view, but in the end I just couldn't get past the idea of people having to traipse through my bedroom, and also sleeping right inside the front door with all that passing foot traffic keeping you awake, so I passed.

There was no way to reconfigure things so that front room was like a living room and move the bedroom upstairs?

Not really, the ground floor bedroom was completely open plan (no interior walls) and had built in wardrobes, and the upstairs area was the same with the kitchen separated from the open plan living area/dining room by an island bench, so the only way this would work would be to either rip the innards out of the place and build a bedroom upstairs and kitchen/living area downstairs, or place your bed in the living area, keep your clothing in the closets downstairs and cook your meals in the upstairs kitchen and then carry them downstairs to the living area/dining room. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on March 24, 2013, 12:16:22 PM
^^^  A Realtor friend once told me that it is always better to have the smallest house in a 'nice' neighborhood than the largest house in that same neighborhood.  People will pay a little more for a small house that gets them into a great area, but they aren't willing to pay more for a house that is surrounded by lower priced ones all around them.

True.  According to most real estate agents the 3 things most important in a real estate purchase are 1. location 2. location and 3. location.

You can always upgrade the interior, bump out the square footage or otherwise improve your home if the surrounding properties are comparably more expensive.  You can get your money out if you sell.  But overbuild beyond pricing in the neighborhood and you won't get it back in resale value.

True.

I bought my house in 2011 for a bit less than half the price of this one. My house is small, but the neighborhood is beautiful; there's a park in the center of it, and it's a favorite place for walkers. I bought when the market was low, and the heirs just wanted their money.  :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on March 24, 2013, 12:18:19 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.

It is the nicest home in the neighborhood, but it won't move at the listed price. For that price level someone could buy in a more expensive neighborhood like Colonia (which is a very, very nice area).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Bramble on March 24, 2013, 12:38:10 PM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.

There's a house across the street from me that has about 1000 more square feet than most of the other houses in the neighborhood due to a daylight basement.  When they went to sell it in 2008 I think they did the pricing solely on square footage, and priced it more than $150,000 above what I think any of the rest of the neighborhood could have even thought about getting at the time.  I walked through during an open house, and other than the square footage it was nothing special.  Kitchen and bathrooms desperately needed updating, all the rooms not in the basement were small, and the basement was just one big open space with support posts all over, so it really wasn't that usable.   That place sat on the market for a couple of years, during which of course the entire bottom fell out of the market.  They eventually sold it in 2010 for much much less than the original asking price, and I think they only got the price they did because they did a rent to own with the buyers.  If they'd priced it well for the neighborhood originally, just a little higher than the rest of the houses, they probably could have sold it a decent price before house values took their dive around here.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 24, 2013, 09:56:46 PM
^^^  A Realtor friend once told me that it is always better to have the smallest house in a 'nice' neighborhood than the largest house in that same neighborhood.  People will pay a little more for a small house that gets them into a great area, but they aren't willing to pay more for a house that is surrounded by lower priced ones all around them.

True.  According to most real estate agents the 3 things most important in a real estate purchase are 1. location 2. location and 3. location.

You can always upgrade the interior, bump out the square footage or otherwise improve your home if the surrounding properties are comparably more expensive.  You can get your money out if you sell.  But overbuild beyond pricing in the neighborhood and you won't get it back in resale value.

Yup. When my parents sold their house in NJ about 8 years, the market was still hot, and it was a bargain, selling for less than a million, when other houses on their street and surrounding area were going for that, and then some.  I teased them that they lived on the "cheap"end of the street, but since they had been there for 30 years, they did very well. It also didn't hurt they lived within walking distance to downtown and more importantly, the train station, since its a big commuter town.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 24, 2013, 10:03:54 PM
Ok, I'll play. Most expensive listing in my hometown, which incidentally, is only a few blocks from where my parent's house was. 
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/220-E-Dudley-Ave_Westfield_NJ_07090_M58655-90420

Cheapest: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/115-Windsor-Ave_Westfield_NJ_07090_M51817-48300

for a single family home, waaaay lower than anything else, and based on the sparse description, I suspect there are issue.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: starry diadem on March 25, 2013, 01:42:36 AM
I'll play too, although living in London skews this terribly.

The most expensive property :
http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24433887.html.
 At £68 million  - that's more than $103 million
This one is a little out of my reach.

The cheapest is quite hard to find, as the site lists the sale of garages and parking places, but trawling through it, the cheapest place where you could actually live is this houseboat
http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-21779382.html
at £39,000 or over $59,000


And the cheapest real house appears to be this one:
http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-40887119.html
At an auction guide price of £50,000 or just over $76,000. It will sell for more.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: unnalee on March 25, 2013, 09:02:28 AM
We moved back near our hometowns almost a year ago.  It's a rather isolated place, with not many jobs for people our age (DH and I are both mid-30s).  We found a temporary place to rent and then started looking for a house to buy (I landed my dream job, so we don't plan on leaving anytime soon).  It seems the majority of people looking for housing around here are either retirees who have a lot more cash than we do or students from one of the two nearby universities who are looking for rentals.  Most of the places in our price range are former turn-of-the-last-century mining company homes that were turned into rentals that have been allowed to get run down.  The worst one of those we saw had dead mice in the kitchen, dirty boxer shorts left on the edge of the bathtub (The seller lived out of town and no one had been living there in months!  What kind of agent lets that stuff sit there while they're trying to sell the house?), and trenches dug in the basement's dirt floor for all the water that obviously seeped in during the Spring thaw.

Then there was the house that said it had two bathrooms, but when we looked at the house, we couldn't find the second one.  That's when DH opened what he thought was the closet door under the stairs only to find a "bathroom" that neither of us could even stand up in, and I'm only 5' 3"!  There was no window, it had dark wood paneling, the tiniest bathtub I've ever seen, and no ventilation.  It reminded me of the cupboard under the stairs in Harry Potter, if someone had tried to cram a whole bathroom in there.

The most unsafe feature we came across was the deck on a 1960s era ranch that was built on a sloping yard.  The basement was a walk-out into the backyard, and had a high deck off the main level.  When we went out onto the deck, it was such poor construction that you could feel the boards flex under your feet when you walked.  The railings were not joined at the corners, it was only about half the legal required height for a deck railing, and one part of it that had obviously broken off, had been replaced with nothing more than one of those cheap wooden foldable baby gates!  We figured if they cut so many obvious corners on something so visible as the deck, we didn't want to deal with anything else they might have done.

Our worst horror story was putting in an offer on our dream house (an old victorian with a beautiful yard, right in town but with a great feeling of privacy, etc.  Here's the listing: http://keweenawrealestate.com/listing.php?target_mls=1067472) only to find out that they'd just accepted another offer the day before.  :(  It's been pending for almost two months now, so the petty part of me hopes their financing falls through.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on March 25, 2013, 10:12:25 AM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.

There's a house across the street from me that has about 1000 more square feet than most of the other houses in the neighborhood due to a daylight basement.  When they went to sell it in 2008 I think they did the pricing solely on square footage, and priced it more than $150,000 above what I think any of the rest of the neighborhood could have even thought about getting at the time.  I walked through during an open house, and other than the square footage it was nothing special.  Kitchen and bathrooms desperately needed updating, all the rooms not in the basement were small, and the basement was just one big open space with support posts all over, so it really wasn't that usable.   That place sat on the market for a couple of years, during which of course the entire bottom fell out of the market.  They eventually sold it in 2010 for much much less than the original asking price, and I think they only got the price they did because they did a rent to own with the buyers.  If they'd priced it well for the neighborhood originally, just a little higher than the rest of the houses, they probably could have sold it a decent price before house values took their dive around here.
I have two neighbors who are making that mistake right now. They have priced their homes as if their finished basements are "real" square footage. House #1 has been sitting there, empty for 8 months. House #2 has been on the market for one month and had zero requests for showings. Neither neighbor will listen to their realtor's advice about pricing.  They're both insisting that they "just" need the "right" buyer. I have to wonder how long those houses are going to sit there, waiting for the "right" buyer.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BabyMama on March 25, 2013, 10:44:36 AM
Most expensive

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/2498-Hawk-Hill-Ln-Sw_Rochester_MN_55902_M75811-13098


cheapest:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3867-Willow-Heights-Dr-Sw_Rochester_MN_55902_M84104-98810

Hi neighbor!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blueyzca01 on March 25, 2013, 10:54:14 AM
I liked this house a lot until I read the last sentence in the description. http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46 (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=282705773&ListingID=301279864&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=46)

Details, details!  You're too picky.  ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 25, 2013, 11:19:52 AM
This house is in my neighborhood. It's priced about $200k more than all the other houses, but it is nice!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/26-Liberty-Ave-Woodbridge-NJ-07095/39192855_zpid/

Interesting. I wonder why the owner thinks it is worth so much more than other houses on that block.

Seems like there's no mystery why it's been on the market for 639 days.

There's a house across the street from me that has about 1000 more square feet than most of the other houses in the neighborhood due to a daylight basement.  When they went to sell it in 2008 I think they did the pricing solely on square footage, and priced it more than $150,000 above what I think any of the rest of the neighborhood could have even thought about getting at the time.  I walked through during an open house, and other than the square footage it was nothing special.  Kitchen and bathrooms desperately needed updating, all the rooms not in the basement were small, and the basement was just one big open space with support posts all over, so it really wasn't that usable.   That place sat on the market for a couple of years, during which of course the entire bottom fell out of the market.  They eventually sold it in 2010 for much much less than the original asking price, and I think they only got the price they did because they did a rent to own with the buyers.  If they'd priced it well for the neighborhood originally, just a little higher than the rest of the houses, they probably could have sold it a decent price before house values took their dive around here.
I have two neighbors who are making that mistake right now. They have priced their homes as if their finished basements are "real" square footage. House #1 has been sitting there, empty for 8 months. House #2 has been on the market for one month and had zero requests for showings. Neither neighbor will listen to their realtor's advice about pricing.  They're both insisting that they "just" need the "right" buyer. I have to wonder how long those houses are going to sit there, waiting for the "right" buyer.

I also remember when my parents were getting ready to sell several homes that were the same size, etc. listed at way more than they listed theirs for. Interestingly enough, while my parents sold theirs in a matter of hours, not quite a day, the others sat for quite some time.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on March 25, 2013, 11:27:26 AM
Those people with overpriced houses for sale probably bought at the height of the real estate boom, paying many many thousands of dollars more than they would have 5 years earlier.  Now they want to at least break even, and they can't.   If I can buy a house for $150,000, why should I buy your identical house priced at $250,000?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 25, 2013, 11:52:33 AM
Those people with overpriced houses for sale probably bought at the height of the real estate boom, paying many many thousands of dollars more than they would have 5 years earlier.  Now they want to at least break even, and they can't.   If I can buy a house for $150,000, why should I buy your identical house priced at $250,000?

Yup. and can't or don't want to realize that just because you PAID top dollar for it back then, you won't be able to SELL it for that. Its like during the housing boom, i knew so many people who said do you know what I could sell MY house for? To which I'd reply, yes, but unless you move elsewhere, you won't be able to afford a new one!

My parents got lucky; they were in theirs for 30 years, and moved to an area that wasn't as pricy. However, 3 years later, it took my mom over a year to sell it, and after 3 price drops, she was practical enough to know that an offer was an offer, and took it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on March 25, 2013, 11:56:09 AM
Yup. When my parents sold their house in NJ about 8 years, the market was still hot, and it was a bargain, selling for less than a million, when other houses on their street and surrounding area were going for that, and then some.  I teased them that they lived on the "cheap"end of the street, but since they had been there for 30 years, they did very well. It also didn't hurt they lived within walking distance to downtown and more importantly, the train station, since its a big commuter town.\

They did do well. In NJ, being near transit is very important! (I can walk to the train in 13 minutes)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on March 25, 2013, 11:56:54 AM
Ok, I'll play. Most expensive listing in my hometown, which incidentally, is only a few blocks from where my parent's house was. 
http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/220-E-Dudley-Ave_Westfield_NJ_07090_M58655-90420

Cheapest: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/115-Windsor-Ave_Westfield_NJ_07090_M51817-48300

for a single family home, waaaay lower than anything else, and based on the sparse description, I suspect there are issue.

Westfield is a very nice town. I briefly looked there while house hunting.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 25, 2013, 12:12:44 PM
Yup. When my parents sold their house in NJ about 8 years, the market was still hot, and it was a bargain, selling for less than a million, when other houses on their street and surrounding area were going for that, and then some.  I teased them that they lived on the "cheap"end of the street, but since they had been there for 30 years, they did very well. It also didn't hurt they lived within walking distance to downtown and more importantly, the train station, since its a big commuter town.\

They did do well. In NJ, being near transit is very important! (I can walk to the train in 13 minutes)


Indeed it is. My first job was in NYC and I  walked to the bus from there every day.  I am kind of angry though since their house was torn down. karma did play a part though...the guy who bought it had permits to renovate, NOT demolish. but claims the house, whihc was built in 1907 or 1917 (I can't remember) was rotted etc.  Um no.

So he ripped it all down, and began builiding new. Town came in and said nope, sorry, you don't have the right permits, we are shutting you down. Took him quite some time, but in the end, the house was done. Sold for 1.5M, but its much smaller as the lot was tiny. they had to kind of scrunch it all in, but i guess for some people, its all about location - not just proximaty to public transportation, but the perception as well.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on March 25, 2013, 02:00:54 PM
Okay, this isn't really a specific house that's a horror, but the market.  The area where we're moving to is majorly a seller's market, just because there's very little on the market right now, so a lot of competition.

A new house went on the market last night, but it didn't have any pictures.  My husband called the realtor this morning to ask about it and whether there were any pictures.  She said that she was currently out of town, and would put up some pictures when she got back, "Unless it's already under contract."  It's rather sad and frustrating when a house can sell so fast that the seller may not need to even put up pictures on the realty website before the house gets sold.  <sigh>  (On the plus side, regardless of what she said, she did put up some pictures this afternoon.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lilfox on March 25, 2013, 03:05:49 PM
Two years ago, we checked out a short-sale house a few towns down the highway out of curiosity.

The owners had bought at what turned out to be the height of the market for just under $1 million (US) and still owed quite a bit more than the house was listed at (and was unlikely to get), which was around $650k.  That put it even lower than the comparable houses in the neighborhood, though there weren't any others currently on the market at the time.  So it would be  an amazing deal for someone, particularly if a lower counter-offer were accepted!

Other than the spectacular lake view out of one window, the house was a squandered opportunity.   It was built new in the early 80s and as far as I can tell, there was no reason the builders couldn't have designed a more usable interior.  It was a big house on a big corner lot but the upstairs felt crammed, half the rooms had walls intersecting at unusual angles. The layout was awful and confusing.  You definitely got the sense that you were supposed to be so impressed with the Big House with the Lake View that you would ignore the slap-dash feel of the inside.

The main floor was pretty well tidied up, but the owners hadn't bothered to do even rudimentary cleaning upstairs - mold in the bathrooms, toiletries out everywhere, hair and lint all over the carpets, beds not made.  Sure, prospective buyers can look past that, and the fixtures showing their age, and the need for fresh paint and new carpet... but if you're the seller trying to recoup as much as possible to sell quick and keep your loss low, wouldn't you put more of an effort to show off the house?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Minmom3 on March 25, 2013, 06:00:50 PM
Those people with overpriced houses for sale probably bought at the height of the real estate boom, paying many many thousands of dollars more than they would have 5 years earlier.  Now they want to at least break even, and they can't.   If I can buy a house for $150,000, why should I buy your identical house priced at $250,000?

We walked away from a 3 bedroom condo in Orange County, California just after Orange County declared bankruptcy.  Our condo complex had 400 units in it, and the owner occupancy rate had dropped below that which most banks demanded as the minimum - so the lenders with the best rates wouldn't even look at our property once they saw the owner occupancy rate.  In addition, there were 12 other units identical to ours, empty and pristine, for a minimum of $10,000 less than our payoff amount.  No lender would LIST our unit without a letter from our lender stating that they would accept a short sale offer.  Our lender refused to give us such a letter, and said they would examine all legitimate offers.  Oh, and the kisser, we couldn't put a sale sign out at the main gate, we could only have a sign in one of our windows - which were in the center of the 400 unit complex, and invisible to anybody not coming to our building or the building next to ours.

That was NOT one of the fun experiences in my life.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: katycoo on March 25, 2013, 10:37:16 PM
Cheapest residence in Sydney with price visible (most are price on application) is: http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Sale/Apartment-Unit-Flat/NSW/Sydney/?adid=2009771159 which is listed at $10.5M.  Smack in the middle of the city.  But its only a 3 bed apartment.  Others with no visible price would be substantially more.

Cheapest at $155K is a home which is fire damaged, in Wilmot which is about 50km (45-60 mins) out of the city.
http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Sale/House/NSW/Willmot/?adid=2010166828
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: drzim on March 25, 2013, 10:46:39 PM
Currently for sale, most expensive homes:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/(undisclosed-Address)-San-Francisco-CA-94123/2126647217_zpid/
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3800-Washington-St-San-Francisco-CA-94118/15081566_zpid/

Cheapest:
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/523-Ellington-Ave-San-Francisco-CA-94112/15194129_zpid/

The cheapest here is probably considered moderate/expensive anywhere else.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: o_gal on March 26, 2013, 07:07:38 AM
Those people with overpriced houses for sale probably bought at the height of the real estate boom, paying many many thousands of dollars more than they would have 5 years earlier.  Now they want to at least break even, and they can't.   If I can buy a house for $150,000, why should I buy your identical house priced at $250,000?

Or they are the original owners, they customized the house exactly to what they wanted, and they don't understand that it's not worth $xxx,xxx.xx now.

I think I've told this story before in one of the threads. About 25 years ago, our neighborhood was carved out of land that was between a neighborhood built in the 1960's and a metropark. The first builder sold all the lots, poured some foundations, then declared bankruptcy. The people who had already bought the lots scrambled and found another builder, but the owner of the lot next door to us just kind of abandoned it. The new owners found an architect who would design a home on the existing lot with the existing foundation. They had him customize it to exactly what they wanted. They put in all of these special touches that were meaningful to them. The house they built was also one of the most contemporary ones I've ever seen, in the middle of other houses that were leaning towards contemporary but still had a lot of traditional architecture.

So fast forward about 20 years or so, and our neighbor sadly passed away from advanced colon cancer that was not caught until stage 3/4 (get those colorectal screenings!) His wife stayed in the house for about a year, then bought another one in a town 2 hours north of here near her daughter's family. Then she wasn't ready to put the house on the market for another year. When she finally did put it on the market, she priced it at $320,000 in a neighborhood where comps were in the mid-200s. This was in about 2007. She had it priced that high because it was the largest house on our street, and it had all this special stuff that they had customized. Of course it was worth that much, maybe more!  ::)

In the 2 year saga of the house sale, the house was on the market, then off, then on with a lower price, then off, then on with a higher price, then off, then finally back on again the last time with a final asking price of $305,000. It sold to a wonderful family for $280,000 even after she swore that she couldn't let it go for under the final asking price. And all of those different times on the market were with different agents, because she wouldn't listen to the ones she had hired.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: camlan on March 26, 2013, 09:36:36 AM
Okay, so I decided to see what home prices were like in my city.

Nearly had a heart attack when I found out that the most expensive house for sale is asking $7,900,000. This is very expensive for my area. The next most expensive houses are around the $1,000,000 mark, and that's for waterfront property. Most normal homes are in the $200,000-$400,000 range.

The listing is here: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/185-Three-Rivers-Farm-Rd_Dover_NH_03820_M49251-22399 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/185-Three-Rivers-Farm-Rd_Dover_NH_03820_M49251-22399) The house was built as a summer home by a mogul from Boston in the early 1900s. There's a lot of land, river frontage and access to the ocean via the river. It's a 10,000 square foot "cottage."

I had no idea this house even existed.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Redwing on March 26, 2013, 09:40:53 AM
Okay, so I decided to see what home prices were like in my city.

Nearly had a heart attack when I found out that the most expensive house for sale is asking $7,900,000. This is very expensive for my area. The next most expensive houses are around the $1,000,000 mark, and that's for waterfront property. Most normal homes are in the $200,000-$400,000 range.

The listing is here: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/185-Three-Rivers-Farm-Rd_Dover_NH_03820_M49251-22399 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/185-Three-Rivers-Farm-Rd_Dover_NH_03820_M49251-22399) The house was built as a summer home by a mogul from Boston in the early 1900s. There's a lot of land, river frontage and access to the ocean via the river. It's a 10,000 square foot "cottage."

I had no idea this house even existed.

Oh, I think I could use it for a weekend home!   ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on March 26, 2013, 09:52:42 AM
The stuffed bear would have to go but I could lock myself in there quite happily and forget about the rest of the world.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 26, 2013, 10:00:36 AM
Most and least expensive in the Orlando, FL area:

$3.395M 5 beds, 8 baths 8700 sq ft on a large lot http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9070-Mayfair-Pointe-Dr-Orlando-FL-32827/99700787_zpid/ (http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/9070-Mayfair-Pointe-Dr-Orlando-FL-32827/99700787_zpid/)

$36.5K 3 beds, 2 bath http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/#/homedetails/716-Columbia-St-Orlando-FL-32805/46259139_zpid/
 (http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/#/homedetails/716-Columbia-St-Orlando-FL-32805/46259139_zpid/)

My home town

$2.4M 3 beds, 4.5 baths 5581 sq ft http://www.zillow.com/homes/Amarillo-TX_rb/#/homedetails/3206-S-Lipscomb-St-Amarillo-TX-79109/50677192_zpid/ (http://www.zillow.com/homes/Amarillo-TX_rb/#/homedetails/3206-S-Lipscomb-St-Amarillo-TX-79109/50677192_zpid/)

$20K 2 beds, 1 bath 660 sq ft http://www.zillow.com/homes/Amarillo-TX_rb/#/homedetails/906-N-Arthur-St-Amarillo-TX-79107/55590804_zpid/ (http://www.zillow.com/homes/Amarillo-TX_rb/#/homedetails/906-N-Arthur-St-Amarillo-TX-79107/55590804_zpid/)

Where we want to retire

$2.2M 5 beds, 6 baths http://www.zillow.com/homes/blue-ridge,-ga_rb/#/homedetails/546-Eaton-Rd-Blue-Ridge-GA-30513/2113792752_zpid/ (http://www.zillow.com/homes/blue-ridge,-ga_rb/#/homedetails/546-Eaton-Rd-Blue-Ridge-GA-30513/2113792752_zpid/)

$84.9K 2 beds, 1 bath http://www.zillow.com/homes/blue-ridge,-ga_rb/#/homedetails/114-Wash-Wilson-Rd-Blue-Ridge-GA-30513/2114992961_zpid/ (http://www.zillow.com/homes/blue-ridge,-ga_rb/#/homedetails/114-Wash-Wilson-Rd-Blue-Ridge-GA-30513/2114992961_zpid/)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on March 26, 2013, 10:33:50 AM
LadyTango and I bought our first house last week.  After only 11 days on the market, the house already had 17 other offers by the time we submitted our offer.  Ours was the highest, and we won.

Currently, in that city, here are the highest and lowest currently for sale:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1-76th-Ave-N_Brooklyn-Park_MN_55444_M88532-42540 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1-76th-Ave-N_Brooklyn-Park_MN_55444_M88532-42540)

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/7196-72nd-Lane-N-Unit-227_Brooklyn-Park_MN_55428_M89889-75893 (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/7196-72nd-Lane-N-Unit-227_Brooklyn-Park_MN_55428_M89889-75893)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 26, 2013, 12:53:35 PM
^Congratulations!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dindrane on March 26, 2013, 07:59:43 PM
Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest in comparing highest/lowest real estate prices in different areas, could that perhaps be taken to a spin-off thread?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on April 01, 2013, 10:07:13 PM
This isn't so much a house hunting horror as a "What was the real estate person thinking" horror.

This house is a great looking house (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=283273987&ListingID=301429812&CMID=-1&Sort=0&RTR=50&LI=34)  So I don't understand why they included the middle picture in the third row down (wire rack storage).  Everything else looks so nice.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on April 01, 2013, 10:11:39 PM
I assume that's supposed to show that there's a separate pantry room, but it's too close to be of any use that way. Probably better to leave it out and put a line in the description about the pantry.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Grancalla on April 02, 2013, 02:03:38 PM
I saw several pictures like that, different houses from different realtors, when I was house-hunting. There'd be a picture of, say, a couch. Just the couch, not enough of the rest of the room to even see where it was or how big the room it was in was. I guess the realtor(s) was assuring the prospective buyer that, yes, there did indeed exist a room capable of containing a couch?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 02, 2013, 03:07:40 PM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, or they were doing a test shot for lighting or something and forgot to delete it. At my university we have 2 professional photographers; I can be going through hundreds of graduation photos and find the odd one of the ceiling or sometimes a "selfie", because they are testing the flash or adjusting their filters. My favorites were of construction progress photos on a new building on campus. For some strange reason the photographer included photos of the interior of the brand new restrooms, including the sparkling new urinals. Really? In what report, ad, brochure, or magazine would I ever need that?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 02, 2013, 03:09:42 PM
The one that shows your university doesn't have outhouses?  :D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on April 02, 2013, 04:40:39 PM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, or they were doing a test shot for lighting or something and forgot to delete it. At my university we have 2 professional photographers; I can be going through hundreds of graduation photos and find the odd one of the ceiling or sometimes a "selfie", because they are testing the flash or adjusting their filters. My favorites were of construction progress photos on a new building on campus. For some strange reason the photographer included photos of the interior of the brand new restrooms, including the sparkling new urinals. Really? In what report, ad, brochure, or magazine would I ever need that?

The construction photos are possibly CYA photos, to show that everything was done to specs prior to the building being opened. People will sue for just about anything these days.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: 25wishes on April 02, 2013, 04:53:48 PM
When we were house hunting 30 years ago in NH, we saw a very old Cape that I don't believe had any work done to it in years. Almost everything original, fireplaces, one of those very old boxed-in staircases that led up to the second floor with 2 turns in it. The entire second floor (2 rooms of an attic, really) were covered, walls and ceiling, in particleboard. Lovely.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 02, 2013, 05:06:17 PM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, or they were doing a test shot for lighting or something and forgot to delete it. At my university we have 2 professional photographers; I can be going through hundreds of graduation photos and find the odd one of the ceiling or sometimes a "selfie", because they are testing the flash or adjusting their filters. My favorites were of construction progress photos on a new building on campus. For some strange reason the photographer included photos of the interior of the brand new restrooms, including the sparkling new urinals. Really? In what report, ad, brochure, or magazine would I ever need that?

The construction photos are possibly CYA photos, to show that everything was done to specs prior to the building being opened. People will sue for just about anything these days.
That's a good thought, but not true, unfortunately. This particular photographer is part of the marketing department along with me, and the photos weren't of a detailed nature I would imagine is necessary to document specs -- no ruler to show scale, or close up to pipes. There aren't any similar photos for things like the electrical room, or HVAC equipment. These photos were more for general historical documentation every few weeks 1) empty lot where building will go 2) foundations complete 3) steel skeleton of building complete 4) walls going up 5) shell of building complete and windows installed... then when I get to the interior shots there's a few random urinal shots. I'm glad he documented that. Generations to come will look back fondly on it's installation; donors will be proud that they paid for it, prospective students will be impressed with our campus facilities ...  ::)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Figgie on April 03, 2013, 12:32:01 PM
Many years ago when we were looking during open houses, we ran across stuff like this:

One house had a metal floor jack smack dab in the middle of the kitchen floor, blocking all traffic in the kitchen.  And to make it even worse, they had covered it with multicolored candy-striped indoor/outdoor carpeting.  Or as my spouse called it...the house with the worlds largest cat scratching post in the kitchen. :)

Another house had red flocked wallpaper in a fleur de lis pattern on every.single.wall.in.the.house.  It looked like a nightmare bordello.

The third house had a chain smoker owner who died of emphysema.  The smell of smoke was so strong that the realtor sat in her car, refusing to go into the house during the open houses.  When it finally sold (at significantly less than it was originally priced at), the owners had to tear out all of the carpet, flooring and walls (basically gutted the house) because even hiring the special cleaners/painters who used the kind of paint to seal in smoke odors from houses that had fires, wasn't enough to rid the house of the cigarette smoke odor.

And across the street in back was the worst.  The parents had eight children and they allowed the children to use the entire house as a toilet.  The house was gutted down to the external walls and rebuilt when it was sold.  And even though this was back in the early 80's when similar houses were selling for around $40,000, it was bought for $5,000.

My parents house is up for sale (listed on March 15th) and it has pretty much been Grand Central Station next door. :)  There have been people viewing the house every single day but Easter Sunday.  And while the house has a remodeled kitchen, the rest of it hasn't been touched since the early 90's.  Think green carpets, walls, woodwork and drapes. :) 

However it is in one of the best locations in the area for a house that price and the bones of the house are excellent.  I'm pretty sure that a young couple with children will buy it, the same as when my parents were that young couple as that was the home I was raised in. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magician5 on April 03, 2013, 03:26:24 PM
Another house had red flocked wallpaper in a fleur de lis pattern on every.single.wall.in.the.house.  It looked like a nightmare bordello.

But ... but ... but it MATCHES!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on April 03, 2013, 04:03:37 PM
Another house had red flocked wallpaper in a fleur de lis pattern on every.single.wall.in.the.house.  It looked like a nightmare bordello.

But ... but ... but it MATCHES!

My uncle and aunt bought their home in a commuter suburb of Oakland back in the 70's.  Every room has wallpaper in a different pattern, but in coordinating shades of avocado and gold - stripes in the living room, a small floral in one bedroom, larger floral in another, abstract in the master, etc.  I beleive this was the way the house was decorated by the builder and they haven't changed it since.  They did have 7 kids, so there were other priorities than changing out the wallpaper :-)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on April 03, 2013, 04:07:13 PM
Hmmm....Let me guess.  San Leandro?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kimblee on April 03, 2013, 06:11:07 PM
But sincewe're talking house hunting horrors: the decor of this next house, followed with the awkward outside appearance is only matched by it's very small cost: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/6114-Hudson-St-Nw_Covington_GA_30014_M59933-35900

Holy Pantone Book Exploded, Batman!

I wish I lived there...

I love those "shabby" looking houses. Plus it looks well built.

Although those bathrooms suck, they're still better than the ones I have now.

ETA:

Cheapest house in our (neighboring, I don't live in a town.)

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1105-S-College-Ave_Decatur_TX_76234_M84543-99220
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on April 03, 2013, 08:33:15 PM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, 
I once saw a realtor's photo of a bong. In the bathroom. You could not see any details of the bathroom; the bong was perfectly centered in the photo.
I decided that the realtor took the photo to laugh about with his colleagues, but loaded the picture by mistake. If I'd been the client, I'd be furious.
Then there was the photo of a bedroom with a man lying in the bed. The photo presented no evidence that the man was wearing clothing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Eeep! on April 04, 2013, 11:24:46 AM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, or they were doing a test shot for lighting or something and forgot to delete it. At my university we have 2 professional photographers; I can be going through hundreds of graduation photos and find the odd one of the ceiling or sometimes a "selfie", because they are testing the flash or adjusting their filters. My favorites were of construction progress photos on a new building on campus. For some strange reason the photographer included photos of the interior of the brand new restrooms, including the sparkling new urinals. Really? In what report, ad, brochure, or magazine would I ever need that?

The construction photos are possibly CYA photos, to show that everything was done to specs prior to the building being opened. People will sue for just about anything these days.
That's a good thought, but not true, unfortunately. This particular photographer is part of the marketing department along with me, and the photos weren't of a detailed nature I would imagine is necessary to document specs -- no ruler to show scale, or close up to pipes. There aren't any similar photos for things like the electrical room, or HVAC equipment. These photos were more for general historical documentation every few weeks 1) empty lot where building will go 2) foundations complete 3) steel skeleton of building complete 4) walls going up 5) shell of building complete and windows installed... then when I get to the interior shots there's a few random urinal shots. I'm glad he documented that. Generations to come will look back fondly on it's installation; donors will be proud that they paid for it, prospective students will be impressed with our campus facilities ...  ::)

I'm voting for someone having a sense of humor very similar to mine.  8)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on April 04, 2013, 04:38:56 PM
The problem isn't with the house, but with the realtor, or somebody.

We recently moved to a rural area, found a house that we love, started working with a realtor.  Offer  made and accepted.  Fine so far.

Now, because the house is ~45 years old, we wanted inspections.  Apparently the banks in this area don't care much about getting inspections, but I do, especially on a 45  year old house.  The first inspector pointed out two major issues: the roof needed replacing on both the house and the detached garage, and the plumbing has virtually no water pressure because it's galvanized, which means it corrodes from the inside.  He recommeded replacing both.  Also, the house is on a well, and the well log that usually comes with the house in cases like this is incomplete - no one ever took water tests, flow rates, etc.  I've never lived on a well but if that's my only water supply, I'd like to know about any problems sooner rather than later.

So:
- roof inspector goes by, gives a verbal estimate for the replacement, but then is out of contact for nearly 2 weeks so we're unable to clarify whether the estimate covers both buildings or just the house.  I finally get an email today: estimate is house only
- plumber goes to inspect, gives an estimate for fixing 2 piddly leaks that we knew of and didn't care about (under the sink, and a dripping bathtub).  The main pipe replacement?  Ohhhhhh, he doesn't do that kind of work
- furnace guy goes out, and instead of the $45 inspection that we asked for, performs a $350 repair.  I mean, great, the furnace works now, but that's not what I asked for
- I asked the real estate office to arrange a well inspection, because that's what they do to justify their commission, right?  A week later, still no inspection scheduled; the girl who is supposed to be taking care of it tells  me she has 20 calls out and no one will return her call.  I sit down with the yellow pages and in 5 minutes have an inspection scheduled for the next day.

I am so over this real estate office and in particular the scatterbrained girl I've been dealing with - she's not the realtor but the realtor's daughter, who is supposed to be learning the business so she can support her own family.  She is so disorganized, at this point I can't tell if it's the various tradespeople who are messing up the requirements or if she is not communicating them correctly.  I know in a rural area you're dealing with small business owners; they don't typically have secretaries or admin staff sitting in an office to field phone calls etc, and things move a little slower than the 'big city', but ARGH, I'm about to pull my hair out in frustration.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on April 05, 2013, 11:13:12 AM
- furnace guy goes out, and instead of the $45 inspection that we asked for, performs a $350 repair.  I mean, great, the furnace works now, but that's not what I asked for

That sounds incredibly dodgy. Check your local laws about unauthorized work and check with other workmen what a similar repair should have cost.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on April 05, 2013, 01:15:33 PM
- furnace guy goes out, and instead of the $45 inspection that we asked for, performs a $350 repair.  I mean, great, the furnace works now, but that's not what I asked for

That sounds incredibly dodgy. Check your local laws about unauthorized work and check with other workmen what a similar repair should have cost.

Yeah, you don't get my authorization, you don't get my money!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 05, 2013, 01:33:52 PM
- furnace guy goes out, and instead of the $45 inspection that we asked for, performs a $350 repair.  I mean, great, the furnace works now, but that's not what I asked for

That sounds incredibly dodgy. Check your local laws about unauthorized work and check with other workmen what a similar repair should have cost.
I agree. Also, although you are in contract to buy at this point, it is not in fact your home yet...correct? The title has not passed to you? In other words he just repaired the furnace at someone else's house. I wonder if the repair man talked to the current owners and they said go ahead and he sent you the bill. I would verify who authorized the repair and I would put the repair cost on them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on April 05, 2013, 01:52:40 PM
- furnace guy goes out, and instead of the $45 inspection that we asked for, performs a $350 repair.  I mean, great, the furnace works now, but that's not what I asked for

That sounds incredibly dodgy. Check your local laws about unauthorized work and check with other workmen what a similar repair should have cost.
I agree. Also, although you are in contract to buy at this point, it is not in fact your home yet...correct? The title has not passed to you? In other words he just repaired the furnace at someone else's house. I wonder if the repair man talked to the current owners and they said go ahead and he sent you the bill. I would verify who authorized the repair and I would put the repair cost on them.

Oh yeah, we're not paying a dime on it.  We said we'd pay whatever the agreed upon price for an inspection was, but someone else can pick up the repair tab.  I don't care where or if a mistake or miscommunication happened, I didn't authorize the repair so I'm not paying for it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: reddevil on April 05, 2013, 03:28:10 PM
My story is just funny.

I'm clumsy.  Really, really fall down a lot trip over nothing clumsy. 

I'm looking at my twelfth or thirteenth house with my realtor, who I love, and she knows I'm clumsy. 

We're in the upstairs, and I can't figure out why it is so small compared to the rest of the house.  We go outside, measure, go inside...just can't figure out where the rest of the upstairs is at.  There seems to be a 10 foot by 15 foot strip missing.  We count windows, etc. 

So we go back upstairs, and she mentions that there is a bump in the carpeting, please be careful not to trip over it.  I am very careful of the bump (like a ridge), and when I step down carefully on the other side of the ridge, I trip and fall into the wall....

Which falls over completely into the missing space.  Somehow, they had put up drywall, had it taped and mudded, but only attached it at the top and bottom with duct tape.  I have NO idea why they blocked off the section of the upstairs, it had two windows and lovely hardwood floors, and a giant piece of broken drywall laying in the middle. 

I apologized, and apologized, and my realtor could not stop laughing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on April 05, 2013, 03:32:17 PM
^^^  Maybe trying to up the bedroom count, but forgot to leave a doorway?   ???
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on April 06, 2013, 11:04:10 AM
My story is just funny.

I'm clumsy.  Really, really fall down a lot trip over nothing clumsy. 

I'm looking at my twelfth or thirteenth house with my realtor, who I love, and she knows I'm clumsy. 

We're in the upstairs, and I can't figure out why it is so small compared to the rest of the house.  We go outside, measure, go inside...just can't figure out where the rest of the upstairs is at.  There seems to be a 10 foot by 15 foot strip missing.  We count windows, etc. 

So we go back upstairs, and she mentions that there is a bump in the carpeting, please be careful not to trip over it.  I am very careful of the bump (like a ridge), and when I step down carefully on the other side of the ridge, I trip and fall into the wall....

Which falls over completely into the missing space.  Somehow, they had put up drywall, had it taped and mudded, but only attached it at the top and bottom with duct tape.  I have NO idea why they blocked off the section of the upstairs, it had two windows and lovely hardwood floors, and a giant piece of broken drywall laying in the middle. 

I apologized, and apologized, and my realtor could not stop laughing.

Duct tape?  Wow.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: turtleIScream on April 07, 2013, 08:29:30 AM
This happened to a friend of mine:

She and her husband were shopping for their first house. He had just left a university job that had them living in camus housing, and She was pregnant with their second child. So they were very motivated to find a nice place of their own quickly. They were with the realtor, looking through a house, when her water broke. Her husband starts freaking out, she just wants to get out of there and get to the hospital. The realtor sees all this and starts talking about the roomy bedrooms, perfect for a growing family.

They switched realtors.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: camlan on April 10, 2013, 12:18:36 PM
Oh, I had forgotten one horrible agent.

Went to look a house. The agent mentioned that he'd called ahead but no one was home to answer the phone.

We walk into the house. Clearly, there's been an accident. There's broken glass in the entryway, and blood on the floor and some of the walls.

The mom and several kids are in the family room, having, it turns out, just gotten back from the emergency room. One of the kids had been riding a bicycle indoors and smashed into the window next to the front door (couldn't see the damage from outside because of large shrubs in the way). The poor woman was startled to see two total strangers in her house, the kids were hyper, and the injured tike was looking sad and wan, with a broken arm and stitches in his forehead.

I immediately apologized to the woman and said we'd schedule another appointment, but the agent kept tugging my arm and saying, "We'll be quick, you won't mind if we look around, will you?"

The last thing the homeowner needed right then was someone viewing the house when she clearly hadn't had any time to straighten up and make the place ready, to say nothing of the injured and scared child she needed to take care of. I thought the agent was pretty insensitive and clearly just out for a sale.

We left, I did go back, but it wasn't the right house for me.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: doodlemor on April 11, 2013, 08:28:19 PM
This is one of the scariest, most horrible pictures I've ever seen.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/giant-wasps-nest-found-in-canary-islands/
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on April 11, 2013, 10:04:42 PM
When i see those I always think they were either just snapping away at everything thinking they would pick the good ones out at some point but forgot and loaded the whole lot, 
I once saw a realtor's photo of a bong. In the bathroom. You could not see any details of the bathroom; the bong was perfectly centered in the photo.
I decided that the realtor took the photo to laugh about with his colleagues, but loaded the picture by mistake. If I'd been the client, I'd be furious.
Then there was the photo of a bedroom with a man lying in the bed. The photo presented no evidence that the man was wearing clothing.

Reminds me of the time someone wrote a Disney vacation review and one of the photos was a shot of the hotel bed, with *the reviewer's naked husband next to the bed. He was *ahem* saluting* :o A rival message board went into fits of laughter when they noticed that picture
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on April 12, 2013, 10:21:58 AM
This is one of the scariest, most horrible pictures I've ever seen.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/giant-wasps-nest-found-in-canary-islands/

Brrrr.  I have a bird house that needs to have an old wasp nest cleaned out of it.  I'm scared to open it, even though the wasps are long dead and gone and it is a small wren house.  The nest in that photo would seriously freak me out.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: *new*mommyagain36 on April 12, 2013, 10:24:59 AM
I probably posted this somewhere before but many years ago Ex and I were looking at a large, 3 bedroom apartment in a really nice, quiet community.  The building was beautiful, plenty of private parking, entry was secure and the rent amount was really low.  We enter the apt and the kitchen is nice, a little dated but very clean.  Walk into livingroom and there is a large red stain in the middle of the floor.  It's LARGE and sort of an asymetrical shape....  I kind of gasp and say "what is that?"  The landlord swore it was kool aid and he would, of course, have it professionally cleaned before we moved in.  I was just like  :o and we left.  There is no way that was just kool aid.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Calistoga on April 12, 2013, 10:31:01 AM
Yesterday DH and I were browsing craigslist for an apartment to rent in Booneville, the town he works in. I saw this and thought "That sounds promising!"

Apr 8 House and storage building $300 / 2br - 1200ft²

A house and storage building? Surely this means a house with a storage building on the property.

Then I read the ad.

Quote
House and Storage building for rent 'AS IS' can be used for all storage or house could be ok for one person to live in. $300 rent per month

Apparently this person is suggesting that we could live in a storage building.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kaymyth on April 12, 2013, 07:14:12 PM
I probably posted this somewhere before but many years ago Ex and I were looking at a large, 3 bedroom apartment in a really nice, quiet community.  The building was beautiful, plenty of private parking, entry was secure and the rent amount was really low.  We enter the apt and the kitchen is nice, a little dated but very clean.  Walk into livingroom and there is a large red stain in the middle of the floor.  It's LARGE and sort of an asymetrical shape....  I kind of gasp and say "what is that?"  The landlord swore it was kool aid and he would, of course, have it professionally cleaned before we moved in.  I was just like  :o and we left.  There is no way that was just kool aid.

Actually, this might reassure you:  blood dries brown, not red.  It may very well have been kool-aid. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on April 12, 2013, 07:14:47 PM
I probably posted this somewhere before but many years ago Ex and I were looking at a large, 3 bedroom apartment in a really nice, quiet community.  The building was beautiful, plenty of private parking, entry was secure and the rent amount was really low.  We enter the apt and the kitchen is nice, a little dated but very clean.  Walk into livingroom and there is a large red stain in the middle of the floor.  It's LARGE and sort of an asymetrical shape....  I kind of gasp and say "what is that?"  The landlord swore it was kool aid and he would, of course, have it professionally cleaned before we moved in.  I was just like  :o and we left.  There is no way that was just kool aid.

Actually, this might reassure you:  blood dries brown, not red.  It may very well have been kool-aid. :)

Or it was still fresh.  Mwa ha ha.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Minmom3 on April 12, 2013, 08:18:06 PM
I probably posted this somewhere before but many years ago Ex and I were looking at a large, 3 bedroom apartment in a really nice, quiet community.  The building was beautiful, plenty of private parking, entry was secure and the rent amount was really low.  We enter the apt and the kitchen is nice, a little dated but very clean.  Walk into livingroom and there is a large red stain in the middle of the floor.  It's LARGE and sort of an asymetrical shape....  I kind of gasp and say "what is that?"  The landlord swore it was kool aid and he would, of course, have it professionally cleaned before we moved in.  I was just like  :o and we left.  There is no way that was just kool aid.

It might well have been Koolaide.  If it was a crayon kind of red, it probably was.  Real blood doesn't stay that red, it goes darker and browner.  Koolaide, on the other, will stain a light brown velvet dining chair (that was my grandmothers...) with a glorious RED that resisted any possible chemical removal or lightening or anything.  I might have been able to cover it with a darker brown dye (which wouldn't have adhered terribly well because the fabric was a synthetic) but it stayed red for 5+ years until we gave the chairs away.  We had a household ban on anything red to drink until the girls hit their teen years.  DH loved punch, and didn't get it for years at home because of the ban.

On the other hand, I used to work with a woman who was renting a house.  Not long after she moved in, she noticed that the tub enclosure started looking odd....  Kind of frightening odd.  Then one day, white paint started lifting off the tub surface, leaving what looked like old blood showing.  Coworker started screaming. 

Landlord confessed to butchering a deer in the tub, and painting over the blood rather than cleaning it out.........  :o  >:(

Coworker moved out.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Arrynne on April 12, 2013, 08:34:19 PM
On the other hand, I used to work with a woman who was renting a house.  Not long after she moved in, she noticed that the tub enclosure started looking odd....  Kind of frightening odd.  Then one day, white paint started lifting off the tub surface, leaving what looked like old blood showing.  Coworker started screaming. 

Landlord confessed to butchering a deer in the tub, and painting over the blood rather than cleaning it out.........  :o  >:(

Coworker moved out.

You win.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on April 12, 2013, 09:55:44 PM
I probably posted this somewhere before but many years ago Ex and I were looking at a large, 3 bedroom apartment in a really nice, quiet community.  The building was beautiful, plenty of private parking, entry was secure and the rent amount was really low.  We enter the apt and the kitchen is nice, a little dated but very clean.  Walk into livingroom and there is a large red stain in the middle of the floor.  It's LARGE and sort of an asymetrical shape....  I kind of gasp and say "what is that?"  The landlord swore it was kool aid and he would, of course, have it professionally cleaned before we moved in.  I was just like  :o and we left.  There is no way that was just kool aid.

Am I the only person who thinks that if a gruesome crime happened in a house I was looking at, that would be selling point?
I'd paint a fake chalk line around the blood stain and show it to everyone who came in!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: andi on April 12, 2013, 10:07:20 PM
When we bought our first home it had been on the market for a year - nothing seemed wrong with it. First thing I did was go ask the neighbors (standing outside and across the street) if anyone had died in the house. It would be a big factor to me
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 13, 2013, 07:02:29 AM
When we bought our first home it had been on the market for a year - nothing seemed wrong with it. First thing I did was go ask the neighbors (standing outside and across the street) if anyone had died in the house. It would be a big factor to me

SIL2 got the house she's in now because one of her good friends died there unexpectedly.  The family didn't want to deal with a protracted sale in this market right after her death and SIL2 was the perfect buyer: she was already a family friend, wasn't bothered by the circumstances, and always loved her friend's house anyway.  I think I (and a lot of other people) would feel weird about buying a house like that, but SIL2 loves her new place!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on April 13, 2013, 10:02:58 AM
Yesterday DH and I were browsing craigslist for an apartment to rent in Booneville, the town he works in. I saw this and thought "That sounds promising!"

Apr 8 House and storage building $300 / 2br - 1200ft²

A house and storage building? Surely this means a house with a storage building on the property.

Then I read the ad.

Quote
House and Storage building for rent 'AS IS' can be used for all storage or house could be ok for one person to live in. $300 rent per month

Apparently this person is suggesting that we could live in a storage building.
I read this to mean: 'The house isn't in very good shape. Definitely not for a family to live in. Probably, you'll just want to store stuff in the house. Storage building also included, so it's a deal if you have a bunch of stuff you need to store.'
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on April 13, 2013, 10:09:44 AM
SIL2 got the house she's in now because one of her good friends died there unexpectedly.  The family didn't want to deal with a protracted sale in this market right after her death and SIL2 was the perfect buyer: she was already a family friend, wasn't bothered by the circumstances, and always loved her friend's house anyway.  I think I (and a lot of other people) would feel weird about buying a house like that, but SIL2 loves her new place!
That wouldn't bother me so much- if I knew and loved the person who'd died there, and I knew they hadn't died under horrendous conditions. It's the idea that there might be a hostile spirit or a tragic scene imprinted on the house that bothers me.
On the other hand, though, I'm not particular sensitive to these things, and I lived in a house where someone died for years before finding out that information. ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elisabunny on April 13, 2013, 11:32:30 AM
SIL2 got the house she's in now because one of her good friends died there unexpectedly.  The family didn't want to deal with a protracted sale in this market right after her death and SIL2 was the perfect buyer: she was already a family friend, wasn't bothered by the circumstances, and always loved her friend's house anyway.  I think I (and a lot of other people) would feel weird about buying a house like that, but SIL2 loves her new place!
That wouldn't bother me so much- if I knew and loved the person who'd died there, and I knew they hadn't died under horrendous conditions. It's the idea that there might be a hostile spirit or a tragic scene imprinted on the house that bothers me.
On the other hand, though, I'm not particular sensitive to these things, and I lived in a house where someone died for years before finding out that information. ;)

Mr. Bunny and I have never been bothered by the fact that his great-grandfather died in our house.  Neither were his grandparents, who were living in the house at the time.  Of course, that may be because ggf said he would haunt the spud cellar.  Oddly enough, that cellar was filled in shortly after. ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Optimoose Prime on April 13, 2013, 09:42:22 PM
I found this one while browsing:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/320-Geraldine-Rd-Se_Rio-Rancho_NM_87124_M27167-67139?row=717#axzz2QOm8IoYv

Not the worst I've ever seen but the massive stain on the carpet is a bit much.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on April 13, 2013, 09:48:50 PM
^^^  I get the impression that the owners of the home had no idea a photographer was coming by to take pictures!  Either that or they really didn't want to sell it!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Optimoose Prime on April 13, 2013, 09:56:47 PM
I doesn't say on Realtor.com but Trulia has it for sale but rented currently.  So no freaking motivation to clean it up.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on April 13, 2013, 10:19:38 PM
The stains didn't immediately jump out at me, but the body under the blanket in picture #4 DID!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sara Crewe on April 14, 2013, 08:33:20 AM
I've always suspected that some of these pictures come about as a result of people who don't want the property sold.  It could be the renter or one of the co-owners.  When my parents were house shopping a few years ago, they looked at a property (and in the UK, the owner usually lets you in and shows you around) where the woman was as difficult as possible.  Apparently it was a divorce sale and she thought she should be allowed to keep the house.  The court had disagreed but made the mistake of saying she could live there until it sold.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Zilla on April 14, 2013, 08:42:59 AM
I have learned not to buy a stinky house.
 
We went house hunting and saw a house that was an excellent deal at that time.  The catch was that the owners owned a pet shop but bred their animals at home.  They had over 25 dogs in their home plus cats, birds, fish etc.  It was a 1800 sq ft house with one older couple (the pet shop owners) and all the animals.  We thought, it has great bones, just replace the floors and repaint. Voila, done.
 
We bought the home and got started.  When we pulled up the dark blue carpets, they were so heavily stained that it was stiff. gag.  The pads were even worse.  We stripped every room down to the cement floors.  It still smelled.  We cleaned the cement floors and repainted.  It still smelled.  We had someone come out to measure floors and he remarked that the cement was soaked with the scents.  And that the only way to get rid of the scent would be to recement the floor after treating it for biological stains.  He also suggested to strip down the drywalls and replace with new ones.  Or to shellac them. (a certain type of crystal finish paint)
 
We researched and was able to buy from the CSI section of the police this chemical they use to clean up crime scenes. (I admit I was giggling at this since it was so surreal) as we couldn't afford to recement the entire house.  We shellaced all the walls and ceilings.  And still you could just catch a whiff of the old scent.  And especially in the summer.  So never again will I buy a "stinky" house for whatever reason unless I can re-cement and re-drywall.  Did I mention I found out I was pregnant during that time? lol
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mbbored on April 14, 2013, 10:57:28 AM
I have learned not to buy a stinky house.
 
We went house hunting and saw a house that was an excellent deal at that time.  The catch was that the owners owned a pet shop but bred their animals at home.  They had over 25 dogs in their home plus cats, birds, fish etc.  It was a 1800 sq ft house with one older couple (the pet shop owners) and all the animals.  We thought, it has great bones, just replace the floors and repaint. Voila, done.
 
We bought the home and got started.  When we pulled up the dark blue carpets, they were so heavily stained that it was stiff. gag.  The pads were even worse.  We stripped every room down to the cement floors.  It still smelled.  We cleaned the cement floors and repainted.  It still smelled.  We had someone come out to measure floors and he remarked that the cement was soaked with the scents.  And that the only way to get rid of the scent would be to recement the floor after treating it for biological stains.  He also suggested to strip down the drywalls and replace with new ones.  Or to shellac them. (a certain type of crystal finish paint)
 
We researched and was able to buy from the CSI section of the police this chemical they use to clean up crime scenes. (I admit I was giggling at this since it was so surreal) as we couldn't afford to recement the entire house.  We shellaced all the walls and ceilings.  And still you could just catch a whiff of the old scent.  And especially in the summer.  So never again will I buy a "stinky" house for whatever reason unless I can re-cement and re-drywall.  Did I mention I found out I was pregnant during that time? lol

Oh my goodness! That sounds horrible.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mmswm on April 14, 2013, 12:13:46 PM
I've always suspected that some of these pictures come about as a result of people who don't want the property sold.  It could be the renter or one of the co-owners.  When my parents were house shopping a few years ago, they looked at a property (and in the UK, the owner usually lets you in and shows you around) where the woman was as difficult as possible.  Apparently it was a divorce sale and she thought she should be allowed to keep the house.  The court had disagreed but made the mistake of saying she could live there until it sold.

My parents ran into that attitude a few times when they had rentals for sale.  Thankfully they'd thought ahead and this type of situation is addressed in their leases.  If they decide to sell the house, my parents will give the tenants 14 days notice that a photographer will be coming to the house to take pictures.  It is the tenants' responsibility to make sure that the house is presentable.  If the photographer cannot get decent pictures because of damage or lack of general cleanliness/tidiness, then the will be a fee assessed for wasting the photographer's time.  If it happens a second time, a higher fee is assessed. A third time or failure to pay the fee is grounds for eviction.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 15, 2013, 07:49:59 AM
The stains didn't immediately jump out at me, but the body under the blanket in picture #4 DID!

Oh, my goodness! I was wondering if it was a body or massive amounts of laundry. Wow.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 15, 2013, 07:53:26 AM
I live in one of the highest areas for foreclosures. Many times, the defaulter is reluctant to leave the home and will have to be legally evicted. The amount of work necessary to clean up the home in order to even take photographs is massive. Even worse, we have had several recent incidents where the pets were left behind, in the house, and not found for weeks.  >:(
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on April 15, 2013, 08:35:52 AM
The stains didn't immediately jump out at me, but the body under the blanket in picture #4 DID!

Oh, my goodness! I was wondering if it was a body or massive amounts of laundry. Wow.

The thing that gets me is that the lump is not quite human-shaped. I visualize some sort of Stephen King-type surprise for the person who strips the bed.  :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on April 15, 2013, 07:34:39 PM
One house I looked at was listed as owner-sale, but with renting tenants already living in the basement suite.  I thought, that might not be so bad; I'd been debating getting a place with extra rooms to rent out to make the expense easier.  So I went to check the house out and meet the tenants.

The entire house was not...filthy, but not clean, either.  And the basement suite was FILTHY.  The two young men renting it had a large border collie-type dog, so there was dog hair over everything, even tumbleweeded into the corners.  The dog felt and smelled like he hadn't had a bath or seen a brush in years.  The basement kitchen was stacked full of dirty, mouldering dishes and the stove had grease caked on.  One spot on the fridge handle looked permanently black.  The microwave was open and spilled food plastered the inside.  And the basement STANK.  Either the dog had continence issues or they just couldn't be bothered letting him out regularly, because the place reeked of dog messes.  (No reason really not to let the dog out regularly; one of the selling points of the house for me was that both the back and front yards were fully fenced.)  The upstairs had a faint unpleasant smell to it but the basement nearly made my eyes water.  I envisioned myself buying the place and immediately ordering a very thorough cleanup of the basement and perhaps ending up simply evicting the filthy tenants. 

In the end, I decided not to go with that place (for numerous reasons) but mostly it was because cleaning it up and dealing with filthy-living tenants was more than I really bargained for.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mediancat on April 18, 2013, 02:06:45 PM
Warning: Possibly mildly gross.


About 8-9 years ago, the folks who lived next to our rental townhouse moved out in a hurry -- as in, pull a moving van up at midnight, throw as much as you can into the back of the truck and tear out of there like you're being chased by the hordes of Hell by 4 AM.

A week or so later, my dad and I noticed we were getting a larger than normal number of greenbottle flies -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_bottle_fly -- so much so that we'd have to spend ten-fifteen minutes per evening either swatting them or shooing them out the back door. We couldn't figure out why.

Until a couple of days later, when I was out in back of the townhouses and noticed that the sliding door in back of our neighbor's townhouse was COVERED in the flies. Apparently when they'd roared out they'd left behind, among other things, a huge pile of garbage, whence had sprung the flies, some of whom were making their way to adjacent units in order to get to the outdoors. (Green bottle flies are not indoor flies, which is why they were congregating at the front and back of the house.)

The property owners cleaned it out, but it still hadn't been rerented by the time Dad and I bought our current home. Can't imagine why . . .

Rob
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: guihong on May 10, 2013, 10:32:13 AM
DH and I are looking for a house to rent-more room for less money, hopefully.  I thought I'd found a bargain: both those conditions, plus close enough to DS's school that he could walk.  It was also within walking distance to a Kroger.  We were excited to go see it.

I might have known it was too good to be true.

* The floors were uneven, like walking up the listing decks of the Titanic.  That spells foundation trouble.

* When the owners painted the walls, they did it all higgledy-piggledy, leaving streaks of the original color along the seam with the ceiling. They thought this didn't matter since it was in closets, but also someone apparently didn't use painting tape everywhere, as paint was splotched on some of the outlet covers.

*The patio was cracked

*There were wires hanging down in the closets  :o and wrapped around the air conditioner outside.

*Worst of all, when I opened a kitchen cupboard, three cockroaches said "howdy"  :P.  If they're visible during the day, that spells serious problems.

We'll pass.

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on May 13, 2013, 12:06:23 PM
This isn't exactly a horror, it's just...sad.

There's a 1940 brick Tudor-type house here in town. It's in a small cluster of old houses that I always gawk at when we drive by, and hope that one day they go on sale because they're so beautiful and I want to see and possibly live in any one of them. Brick houses are not that common here and this is the only Tudor-style brick I've ever seen in my town. Well, this one recently came on the market. I was so excited to get an email with this newly listed house. I clicked over and the inside was...blah. It was worse than blah, really, because the outside was so beautiful. It was all '60s-'80s trim, beige carpet, vinyl windows, slab doors, cheap kitchen cabinets, etc. Basically anything that could have been done to strip the charm out of the house, was done. I've seen houses before that have had some of their trim replaced, or maybe they have a few slab doors or replaced the front door in the '80s, but this was probably the most thorough decimation I've ever seen, at least around here. Heck, there is literally a frat house on the market right that has all original unpainted wood trim. It was a huge letdown and now I'm afraid to see what could be going on inside the other houses.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on May 13, 2013, 02:07:53 PM
Sounds like any remodeling or updating was done with an eye for resale.  Don't put money into custom anything (because resale value may be less than the money that it cost), and avoid anything that a prospective buyer might find objectable.  Sadly, this creates a house hunting horror for those of us who like quirks in our houses.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on May 13, 2013, 02:21:51 PM
This isn't exactly a horror, it's just...sad.
...   It was worse than blah, really, because the outside was so beautiful. It was all '60s-'80s trim, beige carpet, vinyl windows, slab doors, cheap kitchen cabinets, etc.  ...

Maybe I just don't know what a 'slab door' really is, but what is wrong with a slab door?  They can be made of either wood or polycarbonite, so what exactly is wrong with them?   ???

You'd probably change the carpet anyway (and there well may be beautiful wood flooring underneath that beige carpeting).  To me the deal breakers you mention are all things that could be fairly easily overcome without a huge or immediate expenditure of either time or money except for the kitchen cabinets and even that might be doable if the cabinetry itself is okay and only the doors are cheap.  The only thing that would kill my enthusiasm would be if it had a truly horrible and unworkable floor plan.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on May 13, 2013, 02:31:29 PM
A slab door is just a flat door with no molding or ornamentation. Looking at the listing I did spot one original door that was one panel, so at least that would be a starting point. Carpeting really doesn't matter to me, as the hardwoods probably are under there, but it was just part of the description.

No, replacing all the trim is not insurmountable, but it's hard and expensive to source antique trim, and it's labor-intensive to rip out and replace an entire house worth of trim. Even if you buy new trim, you still have to rip out and replace everything. This is actually something I struggle with when trying to decide if houses are priced correctly or not. My husband says as long as they have doors and any trim at all it shouldn't matter, and I say if I have to replace all that trim and find (and probably strip) new doors, that does matter to me. It does have an enclosed staircase with a right turn to get onto it, which is pretty much a dealbreaker for me. Basically if I'm paying for a house that's bound to have the problems that come with age, I want the charm that it was built with, too.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on May 14, 2013, 10:50:28 PM
Most real estate agents tell their clients to neutralize the house before putting it on the market.  Paint everything white or beige.  :P   Take down any wallpaper, or paint over that, too.  "People can't see their own things in the house if they have to also mentally paint over your red dining room."

BLEH!  If you neutralize EVERYTHING, there's nothing to hook the memory to.  One all-white house is just the same as any other all-white house, IMHO, especially if they're all tract homes from about the same time period. We remembered this house because it had a lilac bathroom and a country-painted kitchen.  It was the second house we looked at, but DH thought it was the first.  The first was (why, yes!) all white everything.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on May 15, 2013, 12:39:04 AM
Most real estate agents tell their clients to neutralize the house before putting it on the market.  Paint everything white or beige.  :P   Take down any wallpaper, or paint over that, too.  "People can't see their own things in the house if they have to also mentally paint over your red dining room."

BLEH!  If you neutralize EVERYTHING, there's nothing to hook the memory to.  One all-white house is just the same as any other all-white house, IMHO, especially if they're all tract homes from about the same time period. We remembered this house because it had a lilac bathroom and a country-painted kitchen.  It was the second house we looked at, but DH thought it was the first.  The first was (why, yes!) all white everything.

This is part of why I love my real estate agent. My living room and entry are blue (like Palladian Blue, if you know the color--a nice light blue, not baby), my bathroom is green, one bedroom is navy, one bedroom is gray...she didn't tell me to paint any of it. She doesn't believe in changing something unless it's really obnoxious; she's more about making sure things are fresh and will show to their best advantage.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 15, 2013, 09:51:43 AM
When DH and I were first house-hunting many years ago, we saw some interesting ones. One wasn't terribly old (1970's) but it had an outdoor, dug in cellar (like just dug into the earth, not under the house, use a ladder to get down cellar). It creeped me out so much I couldn't go check it out.
The one we live in now we love but has needed a LOT of work. The lady who owned it prior to us had been a widow for 25 years and upkeep had been minimal. She had it on the market for about 2 years before we came along, and her realtor advised her to "freshen things up with some white paint". EVERYTHING was white. All the trim, the registers (spray painted), the bathroom cabinets, most of the walls, etc.  For us, it was a dream come true after living in apartments and rentals for years and being unable to paint; we had a giant blank canvas! We spent two weeks painting before we even moved in.
A few months later, she stopped by to see how we were getting on. When she saw the color of the dining room, she was shocked that we had picked such a "bright, modern" color. The funny part is, when we took off the switch plate, we could see all the layers from previous paintings, and it was almost the EXACT shade of green the room had been 20 years prior.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on May 15, 2013, 09:52:31 AM
I did repaint our previous house when we moved out (two blue bedrooms with blue walls and race car wallpaper border in one) and the master bedroom had been primed but not painted (VorGuy got side tracked - then there was too much furniture to make it easy to move). 

But I picked a "cookie dough/parchment" beige that matched or coordinated to the background of the various wallpapers.  I can't remember if I repainted the rooms with blue carpet with leftover paint (after removing wallpaper border) or repainted in the parchment - it's been a few years......
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Dindrane on May 15, 2013, 03:40:28 PM
Personally, there are some neutral colors that I legitimately like and would use in a house I was living in (if I had a house). My parents have a lovely shade of cream in most of the rooms in their house, and it looks great. I've also seen a lot of really lovely rooms painted a nice toasty tan or an attractive shade of beige. A lot of neutrals look really nice if they complement the permanent features of the house.

One other reason why sticking with neutral colors when selling a house can be a good thing, aside from the fact that not everyone wants a red accent wall in the living room (or whatever), is that not everyone is good at painting walls. For someone who is an amateur and not able to do a professional-looking job, painting a really dark or bright color is going to be a lot more challenging than painting a neutral (since those tend to be lighter colors). Missed spots, not quite getting up to the edge, not taping well, and other such imperfections are a lot less obvious with neutrals than with bold colors most of the time.

Plus, if you have to repaint the wall because of a poorly-done paint job, lighter colors are easier to cover than dark or bright ones.

Even if I liked a really definite color in a house, I'd still rather have an acceptable neutral if the paint job wasn't professional quality. It's easier to live with, and less work to fix.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 16, 2013, 02:30:12 PM
The bottle fly post reminded me of our next door (shared driveway) neighbors. They skipped out on paying their mortgage and eventually the house was foreclosed upon. One day, they had a semi truck (!!) on their lawn and were literally throwing possessions in it. They left around 5 PM and we never saw them again. After a few days, we realized they had left their cats behind. Their cats were indoor/outdoor cats and were gaining access to the house via a broken window in the basement. We also noticed THE SMELL.
THE SMELL started off soon after they had left (end of March). In a few weeks, we had a nice, warm Spring going and THE SMELL got more noticeable. Walking around the house, we noticed some of the windows were left open (but screened). We called the city who called the bank and were told someone would take care of it. Two weeks later THE SMELL was worse. We were legitimately worried one of the cats had died inside. We called animal control and they came to investigate. A nice worker knocked on my door to inform me that they did not find any dead animals inside but plenty of cat poo. They left live traps for the cats and would be back to check.
THE SMELL got worse. After a few attempts, animal control gave up trying to catch the cats. It was now June and we had an early HOT summer. THE SMELL continued. After repeated calls to the city and the bank and even the county health board, we got nowhere. THE SMELL was so bad we couldn't even eat out on our patio. The kids didn't want to play in the back yard. I couldn't open any windows on that side of the house, or hang up laundry outside. People who came to visit commented on it.
Mr. Floorwax finally had enough and went over one day with a digital camera. There was rotten food sitting on the counters. The electricity had been shut off in March, so all the food in the fridge (left open) was spoiled. I won't describe the toilets, but he was very traumatized. Every wall had holes punched or kicked in it. There were mounds of cat poo everywhere. The kitchen garbage disposal looked like it had been intentionally stuffed full and then cigarette butts were thrown on top.
The upstairs floor had been used by the family's niece and her newborn baby. Mr. Floorwax had a picture of the kitchen full of dirty diapers, literally so full from the floor up, that they were spilling onto the table. There were bags and bags of garbage. It was like something from Hoarders. (I can now associate THE SMELL when I watch that show.)
After sending these pictures to the city, the bank and the county health board, someone finally decided they should do something. The bank tried to sell the house "as is". The first realtor who came to look didn't even make it through the first floor. Finally, the bank hired a company who came in with dump trunks and took everything out, including the carpets. THE SMELL was mostly gone. It was very sad to see so many things thrown out, including a big box of old photos. The house was finally sold to a nice couple who spent the better part of a year cleaning and fixing it and we now have awesome neighbors.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 16, 2013, 02:45:34 PM
That is just terrible.

My friend and co-worker just bought his first house. He told me about one they saw, where they could not go through the bedroom portion, because the smell from a floor used as a litter box made their eyes water. They would have bought that house, but didn't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on top of the purchase price to remedy that problem.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on May 16, 2013, 04:34:23 PM
Most real estate agents tell their clients to neutralize the house before putting it on the market.  Paint everything white or beige.  :P   
I saw a web page that suggested using Pottery Barn and Ikea catalogs for paint color ideas. They said that painting the house the colors that appealed to the age demographic you were trying to sell to was the best idea. It made it easier for younger buyers to think 'home' if it were in colors that were popular in the decorating style they would be decorating in. 
The alternative I'd prefer is if the homeowner would give me a redecorating budget, as neither all-white nor brown are decorating schemes I like. Seems a big waste of money for them to paint, and then for me to re-paint. And the browns that have been so popular lately have some really negative associations for me. I know it's only paint, but still...bad memories are bad memories.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 16, 2013, 04:41:50 PM
I thought a seller was required to paint for some odd reason, but I guess I was wrong.

90% of the houses we have looked at have been freshly painted.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on May 16, 2013, 04:47:20 PM
I thought a seller was required to paint for some odd reason, but I guess I was wrong.

90% of the houses we have looked at have been freshly painted.

I think that's just one of those things you do to make a house more attractive to buyers. We're not chnging any colors but we are touching everything up or repainting walls if necessary.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on May 16, 2013, 04:47:48 PM
The bottle fly post reminded me of our next door (shared driveway) neighbors. They skipped out on paying their mortgage and eventually the house was foreclosed upon. One day, they had a semi truck (!!) on their lawn and were literally throwing possessions in it. They left around 5 PM and we never saw them again. After a few days, we realized they had left their cats behind. Their cats were indoor/outdoor cats and were gaining access to the house via a broken window in the basement. We also noticed THE SMELL.
Next time (or to those who might in the future be dealing with a similar problem,) call the police, especially if there are newspapers and mail piling up. Report that you haven't seen the neighbors in days/weeks and now their house smells like something/someone is dead in there. (Which is entirely the truth, right? So you can't be ticketed for a false report.)  At the very least, dispatch should send out a cop to investigate, and if they feel it necessary, they WILL break down doors and investigate.

The dispatcher who was reading over my shoulder says that most jurisdictions can tell you stories about cases where there really were human remains causing The Smell.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Carotte on May 16, 2013, 06:55:22 PM
The bottle fly post reminded me of our next door (shared driveway) neighbors. They skipped out on paying their mortgage and eventually the house was foreclosed upon. One day, they had a semi truck (!!) on their lawn and were literally throwing possessions in it. They left around 5 PM and we never saw them again. After a few days, we realized they had left their cats behind. Their cats were indoor/outdoor cats and were gaining access to the house via a broken window in the basement. We also noticed THE SMELL.
Next time (or to those who might in the future be dealing with a similar problem,) call the police, especially if there are newspapers and mail piling up. Report that you haven't seen the neighbors in days/weeks and now their house smells like something/someone is dead in there. (Which is entirely the truth, right? So you can't be ticketed for a false report.)  At the very least, dispatch should send out a cop to investigate, and if they feel it necessary, they WILL break down doors and investigate.

The dispatcher who was reading over my shoulder says that most jurisdictions can tell you stories about cases where there really were human remains causing The Smell.

Can the police then do anything after checking out there's no dead bodies? I'm afraid (but maybe wrong, that's why I ask) in a case like that they could only alert the health department, who would contact the bank and the city just like lemonfloorwax did, and they (bank, health dept, city) wouldn't do anything more or more quickly than in OP's story.
I think the 'we have evidences' prompted them in two ways, one, they could see how bad it was and that something had to be done, and 2, there was evidences, evidences that could one way or another make their way to the press (even if lemonfloorwax never intended to, or hinted about it, officials would have to think about the consequences and worst case scenario.).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 16, 2013, 10:23:10 PM
We actually did contact the police, who directed us to the board of health and the city. Towards the end, we were starting to wonder if, indeed, there was a body in there somewhere. I didn't want to end up on the news saying things like, "But they seemed like such a NICE family!"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: artk2002 on May 16, 2013, 10:31:50 PM
We actually did contact the police, who directed us to the board of health and the city. Towards the end, we were starting to wonder if, indeed, there was a body in there somewhere. I didn't want to end up on the news saying things like, "But they seemed like such a NICE family!"

Time to call the local TV news "troubleshooter." Nothing gets the authorities moving like bad publicity.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on May 17, 2013, 02:30:19 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Awestruck Shmuck on May 17, 2013, 02:54:49 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on May 17, 2013, 03:10:39 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Not necessarily an anomaly, depending on where you live.  Sounds pretty common for a smallish home in a rural area.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Shoo on May 17, 2013, 09:02:59 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

It's in a depressed area economically.  Plus, I think that's probably the value of the land.  The house is probably worthless.  I'd think someone might buy it to raze the house and rebuild.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on May 17, 2013, 10:55:36 AM
That is some interesting architecture there.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on May 17, 2013, 01:39:45 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Not necessarily an anomaly, depending on where you live.  Sounds pretty common for a smallish home in a rural area.
Quote
Sweat Equity awaits you. Turn this home back into a shining star and reap the benefits! At this price you can't go wrong
That sounds like real estate agent code for "too bad to even rate it as a fixer-upper."
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: oogyda on May 17, 2013, 04:15:33 PM
After 7 years in our last house we found out we'd be moving about 3 months after I had finally gotten around to removing the wallpaper and painting the kitchen. The color was called "Toasted Caramel" and I was sure my realtor was going to ask me to neutralize that room and the "Russet" bathroom.  She didn't. She said to wait and see and there were a lot of positive comments from other realtors and prospective buyers.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kaymyth on May 17, 2013, 04:17:58 PM
There is something almost....non-Euclidean about the architecture of those poles and the roof.  Either the house is hiding a Lovecraftian horror or someone's been trying to build M.C. Escher's designs.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on May 17, 2013, 04:42:18 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

I think the problem is the angle of the photograph.  It looks as though the poles wrapped in lights are holding up a corner of the roof.  If you look closely enough, you'll see that they aren't.  The actual roof is some distance behind. 

It's certainly one of those quirky, little houses that look like they 'just grew'.  It does need a lot of cleaning up but might not be all that bad. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KB on May 18, 2013, 06:15:48 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

A lock-up garage? In some parts of this country, you'd pay that just for the parking spot! In fact, parking spots in Melbourne can go for as high as $120,000. Here are some 'cheap' alternatives, most of which are out of the city itself: http://www.findacarpark.com.au/for-sale-parking-melbourne.cfm (http://www.findacarpark.com.au/for-sale-parking-melbourne.cfm)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on May 18, 2013, 04:28:35 PM
A terrible horror yesterday. 

My wife and I had kind of fallen in love with a house that we had seen online and driven by, but never been able to go inside.  It had been put on the market, then the day we went down to look at it a couple months ago, it had been taken off the market about 2 hours before we got there( so total time on the market 2 days).

So we were happy to see it go onto the market again a couple days ago.  Called up the local agent, made an appointment, took the day off and went to see it.

Now we knew it would need work.  Our strategy so far is to find a place that has an amount of work needed that we feel is reasonable, since we are retiring.  There is a set amount we can spend on the house and restoration.  So we are looking at places we call by names like "The Stone house", "The Blue Tarp House" and "The Cow House" to name a few.
 
We knew going in that the basement was flooded and it would need a new hot water heater and furnace.  So we got an estimate of about how much waterproofing would run per linear foot of foundation, and some general estimates of other types of repairs just to use to kind of get an idea of how much the repairs to the house might run.  After all, we'd need to probably get mold abatement, wiring, plumbing stuff like that.

There were pictures of the inside of the house and they kind of looked ok.  Although we know how pictures don't really show you everything. 

So we go in and - it's not that bad.  Definitely will take some money, but for time and investment, you maybe could have a really nice house when you are finished.  It looks livable.  The further you go though, the more problems you see.  But still, first floor definitely looks doable.  Basement door off the kitchen, so would need to waterproof and clean the basement, but still ... doable.  You'd have to remove the jacuzzi from the main bathroom and replace it with a tub someone could get into, but that wouldn't take a huge amount and you'd have a nice big bathroom.

Then we went up the beautiful original staircase to this really nice landing and looked at the bedrooms at the back of the house - not bad.  Then we go to the bedrooms at the front of the house and our hearts sank.  About 3 feet or so from the front of the house, the floors started a marked slope, I'd guess about an inch and a half in that 3 feet.  The baseboard along the sides of the room in every room on that side had pulled up off the flooring, there were huge horizontal cracks in the walls in a couple rooms and cracks in all the corners along that whole side of the house.

Along the front of the house on the first floor, there is a sun porch.  It has 6 huge windows that are not original to the house going across the entire front with about 2 inches of wall between each casement.  To put in those new windows, they took out all the support beams along that wall that carried the weight of that section of the second floor. 

It's a house collapse waiting to happen.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lemonfloorwax on May 18, 2013, 07:22:15 PM
Oh zyrs! :( What a shame! Hopefully you'll find one even better.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on May 19, 2013, 04:27:40 AM
Oh zyrs! :( What a shame! Hopefully you'll find one even better.

Thanks - I hope so too
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Pen^2 on May 19, 2013, 04:47:57 AM
While DH and I were searching for a place, one of the ads mentioned a house with "vanished wooden floors".

We giggled a lot about that one.

Our current real estate agent, who is a legend, mentioned that once she visited the home of a doctor because he wanted to sell it. Every single thing was painted black: walls, ceiling, furniture, windows, floor, plates, cookware... you get the idea. She has since said that she would never go to him for healthcare, if only because his house was so darn strange.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TaurusGirl on May 23, 2013, 08:44:03 PM
I'm not sure if this counts as a horror, as I eventually bought the place, but here we go...

The Ex and I were house-hunting, and he had found a nice one-bedroom loft style house to go see. It was in an ok area, and was exactly what we were looking for. The owner lived in another province, and the house was occupied by tenants (who knew the house was up for sale).

So the realtor brings us to the house, and we start looking around. The house itself was fine. The tenant, Smokey McSmokerton, went through about 5 cigarettes in the first 10 minutes we were there. Then... the weirdness started.

There was a knock at the back door. Smokey answered it, and told the guest that it "wasn't a good time", and to come back later. Makes sense - don't want company while your place is being shown. Then, about 2 minutes later, another knock. This time a young couple, who were also told to come back. In the 30 minutes we were on the property, SIX people came to see Smokey. I just thought she was popular. Until we took possession of the house....

We got to the house at 7am on a Saturday, and Ex headed straight out to get new locks for the doors. He was gone an hour. In that time, I turned away FIVE people looking for the previous tenant. The wise eHellions may have figured out what was going on, but I was slow on the uptake. When I told Ex what had happened, he said to me "Well, it looks like we have bought the local dealer's house". That's right. We had purchased the home of a drug dealer!!!

It took 2 years of at least one person PER DAY to get it through to her client base that she was no longer there. Fun times.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on May 23, 2013, 08:54:41 PM
I'd have been quite tempted to make quick fast friends with a local law enforcement officer to serve as doorbell answerer for me.  That might have been fun!   >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TaurusGirl on May 23, 2013, 09:04:03 PM
I'd have been quite tempted to make quick fast friends with a local law enforcement officer to serve as doorbell answerer for me.  That might have been fun!   >:D

I actually borrowed my aunt's dog for a few days; he was a 160lb King Sheppard who was very, very, VERY protective of me. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Margo on August 14, 2013, 04:31:32 AM
Not a horror, exactly, but I've started to look around as I want to move house (Only at details online, so far, I won't start actually viewing properties until I'm closer to selling my house) and I have now found 2 properties where there is a shower *in* the master bedroom! Not an en-suite, literally a shower cubicle sitting in the corner of the room!

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: southern girl on August 14, 2013, 06:55:45 AM
I went to a party once at a house that had a toilet in the corner of the master bedroom -- again, no bathroom, just a toilet.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on August 14, 2013, 08:54:03 AM
I was watching a design show once, I think it was Nine by Design, and they were designing a hotel room. The designer thought it was a great idea to put a bathtub in the bedroom. Everyone else, not so much. She did it, though. It was a boutique hotel, so I guess not a place you'd stay with kids, but I just kept thinking there was no way my oldest would bathe in full view of everyone. And I guess if you were staying there with a friend you'd better be really good friends.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on August 14, 2013, 09:22:51 AM
We go to a resort where there is a tub in the bedroom - the sink, shower, and toilet are in an ensuite bathroom.

Another resort has the toilet in a seperate room (with a door) by the closet - but the shower, sink, and whirlpool tub are open to the bed space.....for a week or two, it's fine.  There is a second bathroom (shower, sink, and toilet) in both places - so the master bath is for whoever is in the master bedroom.....

But I have been known to wait until VorGuy has gone miniature golfing to take a bath....or ask him to move into the living room to watch tv.  Bubble baths are more fun in private....or is that just me?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on August 14, 2013, 09:38:20 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: afbluebelle on August 14, 2013, 09:47:58 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html

I would want that house too... Gives you a great bargaining angle!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on August 14, 2013, 09:52:38 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html

I would want that house too... Gives you a great bargaining angle!


I would pay extra!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 14, 2013, 10:44:03 AM
I went to a party once at a house that had a toilet in the corner of the master bedroom -- again, no bathroom, just a toilet.

Were there also bars on the windows?  Perhaps the previous owner had spent a great deal of time in jail at some point in his life and it just seemed totally natural to have a toilet right next to the bed?   :-\
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RebeccainGA on August 14, 2013, 11:32:46 AM
We stayed in a hotel that had a bathtub in the bedroom area - but it was a HUGE hottub, with a mirrored surround, steps leading to it, and that was the biggest selling feature of the room. There was a regular shower, toilet, and sink in a separate bathroom. We liked it so much (it's where DP proposed to me) that we stayed there again on our honeymoon!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on August 14, 2013, 11:46:05 AM
We stayed in a hotel that had a bathtub in the bedroom area - but it was a HUGE hottub, with a mirrored surround, steps leading to it, and that was the biggest selling feature of the room. There was a regular shower, toilet, and sink in a separate bathroom. We liked it so much (it's where DP proposed to me) that we stayed there again on our honeymoon!

Apparently this is a 'thing' in luxury hotels:
http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/ (http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cwm on August 14, 2013, 12:21:13 PM
We stayed in a hotel that had a bathtub in the bedroom area - but it was a HUGE hottub, with a mirrored surround, steps leading to it, and that was the biggest selling feature of the room. There was a regular shower, toilet, and sink in a separate bathroom. We liked it so much (it's where DP proposed to me) that we stayed there again on our honeymoon!

Apparently this is a 'thing' in luxury hotels:
http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/ (http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/)

I have to say, Hillia, that website made me laugh so hard! The language on it sounds like it could be something from the scammers thread. For those of you who don't want to click through, here's the first few paragraphs:

Quote
Uploaded by Ambra Gagliardi at Sunday, June 2, 2013, the marvelous Luxurious Look Like Of Master Bedroom With Pure White Bed And Cushions Combined With Cool Tub And Textured Wall Decorations image above is one of the few marvelous photographs that related to the main article Unique Decoration of Astarte Boutique Hotel.

If you are searching some of concept, I believe this Luxurious Look Like Of Master Bedroom With Pure White Bed And Cushions Combined With Cool Tub And Textured Wall Decorations is a excellent option for your design type concept foreseeable future, so don’t forget to checkout the main article Unique Decoration of Astarte Boutique Hotel to read the entire story. We hope these photograph arouse you to be applied in your beautiful home.

Thank you. I really needed that today.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on August 14, 2013, 01:05:12 PM
I went to a party once at a house that had a toilet in the corner of the master bedroom -- again, no bathroom, just a toilet.

Were there also bars on the windows?  Perhaps the previous owner had spent a great deal of time in jail at some point in his life and it just seemed totally natural to have a toilet right next to the bed?   :-\

It was probably an elderly person with mobility issues making it hard to get all the way to the bathroom.  I have seen a few of those where a toilet is put in an odd place and its usually because of that.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on August 14, 2013, 01:40:37 PM
Before it was torn down to be replaced with a modular home - the house my great-grandparents lived in (built around 1920 or so - Grandpa remembered helping build it when he was ten or twelve) had a toilet and shower installed in what had been a bedroom fifty years earlier - it was the bedroom near theirs and next to the kitchen (easier to run plumbing).  The original bathroom was on a hall off the back porch (added in the thirties?) had a claw foot tub and was where an additional bedroom had been added some years later.  The house had NO insulation and no place to put any - Grandpa helped tear it down when he was newly retired around 1979 & 1980 - so some sixty odd years after it was built.....

I am not sure - but I think that the value of the land went up when the old farm house was torn down....the well that was originally part of the back porch ended up in the front yard of the new house - they moved it back from the "new" road to give a little more space on that curve - the original house was way too close to the road after it moved.....noise & safety considerations combined with the age of the house and its condition (rickety after being empty for twenty years) meant that it was not going to be a good candidate for "remodeling".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jayhawk on August 14, 2013, 02:17:26 PM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html

I wonder if it is this one: http://m.kansas.com/wichita/db_106587/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=iQwGRhZU

BTK murder victim house going up for auction.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cwm on August 14, 2013, 03:20:11 PM
While the BTK house would be cool, I don't think it's the same house. the Prudie article mentions that the husband dismembered the wife, while BTK didn't do that.

Imagine how many murders there are at any given time. There's probably tons of houses that are murder houses or murder apartments. I'd love to have one sometime, weird or creepy history has always fascinated me.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 14, 2013, 03:22:18 PM
I like living near cemeteries :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 14, 2013, 03:23:45 PM
^  Absolutely!  At least you know the neighbours will be quiet.   :D

(Unless you are a sensitive, of course, in which case, it might not be the best house for (general) you.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Black Delphinium on August 14, 2013, 04:25:43 PM
I went to a party once at a house that had a toilet in the corner of the master bedroom -- again, no bathroom, just a toilet.

Were there also bars on the windows?  Perhaps the previous owner had spent a great deal of time in jail at some point in his life and it just seemed totally natural to have a toilet right next to the bed?   :-\

It was probably an elderly person with mobility issues making it hard to get all the way to the bathroom.  I have seen a few of those where a toilet is put in an odd place and its usually because of that.
That's why my parents' house has one, Dad's MS made the stairs too hard for a lot of up and down trips.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Xandraea on August 14, 2013, 05:33:52 PM
We stayed in a hotel that had a bathtub in the bedroom area - but it was a HUGE hottub, with a mirrored surround, steps leading to it, and that was the biggest selling feature of the room. There was a regular shower, toilet, and sink in a separate bathroom. We liked it so much (it's where DP proposed to me) that we stayed there again on our honeymoon!

Apparently this is a 'thing' in luxury hotels:
http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/ (http://www.frashii.com/unique-decoration-of-astarte-boutique-hotel/luxurious-look-like-of-master-bedroom-with-pure-white-bed-and-cushions-combined-with-cool-tub-and-textured-wall-decorations/)

I have to say, Hillia, that website made me laugh so hard! The language on it sounds like it could be something from the scammers thread. For those of you who don't want to click through, here's the first few paragraphs:

Quote
Uploaded by Ambra Gagliardi at Sunday, June 2, 2013, the marvelous Luxurious Look Like Of Master Bedroom With Pure White Bed And Cushions Combined With Cool Tub And Textured Wall Decorations image above is one of the few marvelous photographs that related to the main article Unique Decoration of Astarte Boutique Hotel.

If you are searching some of concept, I believe this Luxurious Look Like Of Master Bedroom With Pure White Bed And Cushions Combined With Cool Tub And Textured Wall Decorations is a excellent option for your design type concept foreseeable future, so don’t forget to checkout the main article Unique Decoration of Astarte Boutique Hotel to read the entire story. We hope these photograph arouse you to be applied in your beautiful home.

Thank you. I really needed that today.

Woah, cwm, you forgot to Capitalize Every Freaking Word In The Paragraph Like The Website Did! .. one of the most annoying things in writing, I think, as it screws with how I read the words.  I agree with you though, it seems like whoever wrote that does not have a good command of the English Language and it comes across as choppy and almost comical.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on August 14, 2013, 06:14:17 PM
I like living near cemeteries :)

I've never lived near a cemetery, but it wouldn't bother me. I had a childhood friend who lived in the country, right next to a cemetery. I thought it was both creepy and awesome!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on August 14, 2013, 06:16:36 PM
While the BTK house would be cool, I don't think it's the same house. the Prudie article mentions that the husband dismembered the wife, while BTK didn't do that.

Imagine how many murders there are at any given time. There's probably tons of houses that are murder houses or murder apartments. I'd love to have one sometime, weird or creepy history has always fascinated me.

Are you familiar with this house in Iowa? http://www.villiscaiowa.com
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Luci on August 14, 2013, 06:26:44 PM
^  Absolutely!  At least you know the neighbours will be quiet.   :D

(Unless you are a sensitive, of course, in which case, it might not be the best house for (general) you.)
I like living near cemeteries :)

When we were in Staten Island on the Hurricane Sandy recovery mission, we stayed in our tiny motor home, by a church, in the church yard, in which all church grounds were a cemetery. We did talk about the neighbors being quiet, they really weren't all that spirited........but we did quite well.

I'm still glad we didn't buy the house next to the cemetery here. Our son-in-law thought it would be great. He would just toss us over and move the fence a bit and save the funeral expenses.  That's why we love him - always ready to same a penny!

It did make me really sad when I walked my the twins' grave over 50 years old to go fix breakfast for our team.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: half_dollars on August 14, 2013, 07:34:12 PM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html

The first house I bought had a history, which I didn't find out until after I had moved in.  I bought it from the previous owner's estate.  I just assumed she was elderly and had passed away.

In reality, she had psychological issues, had stopped taking her meds, threatened the (very lovely) neighbor with a rifle, after which the police came to take her in for evaluation.  Owner charged the police up the basement stairs with the rifle, and they had to shoot her.

I found this out AFTER I went door-to-door my first night there, in the rain, looking for my cat who escaped when the door was opened.  (Well, I thought she did.  Instead, she had just found a really good hiding space!).  My new neighbors were quite scared of me the first month or so, because they thought that I was a "crazy cat lady", and, since they really did have a difficult time with the previous owner, they didn't want another encounter like that.  (Both sets of neighbors did come around, and we still write to each other, 14 years later!)

I cannot tell you how many people refused to come to my house, because of the history.  I was really shocked.

Due to the fact that a lot of people had issues with it's history, when it came time for me to sell, I went with the realtor who sold me the house.  I know it's kid of bad of me, but since she had no qualms withholding the past when she sold me the house, I knew she wouldn't have a problem withholding it from potential buyers.  I know it was wrong, but I was moving 800 miles away and needed the house sold.  I also figured the fact that there was another owner between the event and the new buyer, it might not have had the same "ick factor".
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Minmom3 on August 14, 2013, 10:25:04 PM
I like that hotel thing!  It looks to me like a honeymoon suite somewhere on the Med!  Where you're all lovey dovey and WANT to see each other nekkid at every chance!  I wouldn't want a home to look like that, but a hotel suite like that would be a blast...  As long as the actual toilet is private!   ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: andi on August 14, 2013, 10:29:24 PM
We got upgraded to a hot tub suit in Vegas once - giant hot tub in the middle of the room. It was cool. Great "once in a lifetime" type thing, not something I'd have on a daily basis
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gmatoy on August 15, 2013, 02:36:56 AM
DH and I were looking to buy our first house in 1978. The house we were looking at was built in 1971.
It had orange shag carpet in the dining part of a dining/kitchen room. There was wood paneling on one wall; the owners had used shoe polish to fill in where the paneling didn't match up. There were cedar shingles on one wall. There was wall paper in the kitchen part and the fourth wall, which had a fireplace in the middle of it, was painted a truly ugly shade of green. That fireplace was why the room was called a "country kitchen."

The reason I know exactly what this house had on every wall? Yes, we bought it! (Note to everyone: do NOT put cedar shakes into the fireplace and, if you do, do NOT light them on fire!)

This house was owned by heavy smokers and I used razor blades to get tar off of the windows.

The wallpaper had been put up over dirty walls so first I took down the wallpaper and then I scrubbed the walls. Took down paneling and scrubbed the walls. Took down cedar shakes and scrubbed the walls.
My mother, who worked for a cleaning company and cleaned public buildings for a living, helped me clean the bathrooms and she kept gagging because the bathrooms were that disgusting.

We tore up the carpets in the house and literally shoveled out 2-3 inches of dirt. Before new carpet was laid, we painted the ceilings and walls.

The reason we bought this house? It was priced way below the market for those days and we could tell that the roof didn't leak! (Dirty walls with no water stains.)

Later we found out that the Realtors in town reffed to our house as "the pit."

I would never do that again! However, we still live in the house!

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: menley on August 15, 2013, 04:47:59 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2013/08/dear_prudence_we_want_to_buy_a_murder_house.html)

The first house I bought had a history, which I didn't find out until after I had moved in.  I bought it from the previous owner's estate.  I just assumed she was elderly and had passed away.

In reality, she had psychological issues, had stopped taking her meds, threatened the (very lovely) neighbor with a rifle, after which the police came to take her in for evaluation.  Owner charged the police up the basement stairs with the rifle, and they had to shoot her.

I found this out AFTER I went door-to-door my first night there, in the rain, looking for my cat who escaped when the door was opened.  (Well, I thought she did.  Instead, she had just found a really good hiding space!).  My new neighbors were quite scared of me the first month or so, because they thought that I was a "crazy cat lady", and, since they really did have a difficult time with the previous owner, they didn't want another encounter like that.  (Both sets of neighbors did come around, and we still write to each other, 14 years later!)

I cannot tell you how many people refused to come to my house, because of the history.  I was really shocked.

Due to the fact that a lot of people had issues with it's history, when it came time for me to sell, I went with the realtor who sold me the house.  I know it's kid of bad of me, but since she had no qualms withholding the past when she sold me the house, I knew she wouldn't have a problem withholding it from potential buyers.  I know it was wrong, but I was moving 800 miles away and needed the house sold.  I also figured the fact that there was another owner between the event and the new buyer, it might not have had the same "ick factor".


If I didn't know better, I'd think you were me! A very similar scenario happened to us when we bought our house. It was being sold by a divorced couple and there was no mention of why they were selling the house, but we just figured it was due to the divorce. Then their agent said something to ours about inheriting it, so we assumed it was an elderly parent of one of them. Only after the offer on the house was accepted did we find out that the previous owner had been their daughter who had committed suicide at the home. We only learned this due to a Google search on the home - no one disclosed it to us at all! Apparently in our state, you must only disclose if there has been a violent crime or a murder in the house - suicide doesn't "count".


Luckily, neither my husband nor I are sensitive to spirits in any way, and we've never had an incident at the house. Still, we were very careful who we told about this as we had a few friends that refused to come over after they'd found out about it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Goosey on August 15, 2013, 10:39:13 AM
The guy who bought the house next to us was a builder. When he bought it, he started renovating it. He put on a huge outdoor kitchen, a pool and hot tub and we could tell he was doing a lot to the inside.

He basically kept renovating until he could no longer make the payments, then he listed the house. It was listed as "7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms". Considering our house was a bit bigger and only had 4 bedrooms, we were wondering where these other bedrooms and bathrooms were materializing.

So, when there was an open house, we went to see. It was the most horribly lay out. Sure, 7 bedrooms - if you consider some that could prob fit a twin bed and nothing else in them a bedroom. And the plumbing must have been a NIGHTMARE because there was no rhyme or reason to the placement of the "bathrooms." There were all these twists and turns - it was just not a very comfortable house.

They were listing it $200K above what the houses in the area were selling for. The bank ended up owning it in the end.

What most confused me was that they only had the one kid, so why in the world would they need 4 uncomfortably small extra bedrooms?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 15, 2013, 10:55:07 AM
^ For the house elves?

It is almost time to go house hunting for us. I have been looking some online and at the listings my realtor sends, and have already seen some houses listed for sale that would not pass inspection. It is fine if these are listed as investor properties only, but for anyone getting a mortgage, they will not pass inspection.

1. No air conditioning. In Florida. Where even houses that are well sealed develop mold and mildew on the walls.
2. Missing major appliances, such as hot water heaters and air conditioner units.
3. Exposed wiring or DIY wiring that is not in the walls.
4. Garage conversions done without permits.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cwm on August 15, 2013, 10:58:43 AM
While the BTK house would be cool, I don't think it's the same house. the Prudie article mentions that the husband dismembered the wife, while BTK didn't do that.

Imagine how many murders there are at any given time. There's probably tons of houses that are murder houses or murder apartments. I'd love to have one sometime, weird or creepy history has always fascinated me.

Are you familiar with this house in Iowa? http://www.villiscaiowa.com

That's a day trip or weekend trip for me, but I've never made it up there. I've wanted to for years, though.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on August 15, 2013, 10:59:05 AM
Sounds a bit like the house next door, with fewer bathrooms.  It was advertised as seven bedrooms.  The house was built with three bedrooms, and two more had been partitioned off in the basement.  Turns out, the recreation room in the basement had been split into two more bedrooms.  The owner was a divorced father with five children, so I guess he wanted all five to have their own room when they visited every other weekend. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mandycorn on August 15, 2013, 11:42:29 AM
For the house elves?

It is almost time to go house hunting for us. I have been looking some online and at the listings my realtor sends, and have already seen some houses listed for sale that would not pass inspection. It is fine if these are listed as investor properties only, but for anyone getting a mortgage, they will not pass inspection.

1. No air conditioning. In Florida. Where even houses that are well sealed develop mold and mildew on the walls.
2. Missing major appliances, such as hot water heaters and air conditioner units.
3. Exposed wiring or DIY wiring that is not in the walls.
4. Garage conversions done without permits.


My Grandma's house has three of those four (no missing appliances), thanks to my Grandfather, who started DIY renovations 35 years ago and then left/divorced my grandma. As a result, my Dad and uncle are both super handy, but yeah, her house will be an adventure to sell. This is the same house that has a window to nowhere in the shower, because it used to open to the backyard, but that's where Grandpa put the master bedroom addition.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 11:46:59 AM
For the house elves?

It is almost time to go house hunting for us. I have been looking some online and at the listings my realtor sends, and have already seen some houses listed for sale that would not pass inspection. It is fine if these are listed as investor properties only, but for anyone getting a mortgage, they will not pass inspection.

1. No air conditioning. In Florida. Where even houses that are well sealed develop mold and mildew on the walls.
2. Missing major appliances, such as hot water heaters and air conditioner units.
3. Exposed wiring or DIY wiring that is not in the walls.
4. Garage conversions done without permits.

In the US you could possibly qualify for a renovation mortgage to take care of such problems. We've been looking, and will likely have to go that route.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 15, 2013, 11:58:28 AM
Neither the VA or USDA loans we qualify for will allow us to buy a house that is not move-in ready.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cwm on August 15, 2013, 12:21:41 PM
Neither the VA or USDA loans we qualify for will allow us to buy a house that is not move-in ready.

FHA probably won't either. It's actually hard to get a federal loan for a house that's not up to code, they're tougher on inspections than non-federally backed loans.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 12:34:08 PM
FHA does do rehab loans that you can use for required repairs - I believe they're called 203(k), and HUD has similar programs. I don't know anything about VA or USDA loans, though.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on August 15, 2013, 12:52:46 PM
Speaking of garage conversions without permit... our house was listed as having a garage.  In reality, the space doesn't qualify as a garage.  The previous owners (or somebody before them) added a laundry room at the back of the garage, which is a little room that is tiled and walled off.  Because of the size they chose to make it, the garage is no longer long enough to hold a car.  It's still unfinished space, but it doesn't count as a garage.  For appraisal purposes, it was considered to be an "attached shed."  Wonderful.  My husband is planning to, at some point, pull out the wall and the tile and make it into a proper garage again, before we go to rent/sell.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on August 15, 2013, 12:58:54 PM
The guy who bought the house next to us was a builder. When he bought it, he started renovating it. He put on a huge outdoor kitchen, a pool and hot tub and we could tell he was doing a lot to the inside.

He basically kept renovating until he could no longer make the payments, then he listed the house. It was listed as "7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms". Considering our house was a bit bigger and only had 4 bedrooms, we were wondering where these other bedrooms and bathrooms were materializing.

So, when there was an open house, we went to see. It was the most horribly lay out. Sure, 7 bedrooms - if you consider some that could prob fit a twin bed and nothing else in them a bedroom. And the plumbing must have been a NIGHTMARE because there was no rhyme or reason to the placement of the "bathrooms." There were all these twists and turns - it was just not a very comfortable house.

They were listing it $200K above what the houses in the area were selling for. The bank ended up owning it in the end.

What most confused me was that they only had the one kid, so why in the world would they need 4 uncomfortably small extra bedrooms?

My random guesses
- "Where would I stash a couple people if I kidnapped them and kept  'em around for a long time?...."
- "You know, babe, we should open a monastery. It sounds hella chill and peaceful. Oh my deity, we can sell cheeses and beer, too!"
-"Gee, whenever Major Sporting Event happens, I will list online and rent to out of town fans wanting hotel rooms."
- "Jon and Kate are divorced, the Duggars aren't popping out any more kids....Hello, there's an opening with our name on it! Honey, where are you going ?"
- "You're right, Bob. There are never enough bathrooms when our swingers club gets together at the Smiths' house"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 15, 2013, 01:08:09 PM
While the BTK house would be cool, I don't think it's the same house. the Prudie article mentions that the husband dismembered the wife, while BTK didn't do that.

Imagine how many murders there are at any given time. There's probably tons of houses that are murder houses or murder apartments. I'd love to have one sometime, weird or creepy history has always fascinated me.

Are you familiar with this house in Iowa? http://www.villiscaiowa.com

I just read a book about the Villisca murders, and it was just too weird. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Goosey on August 15, 2013, 01:12:32 PM
I thought of one -

When my husband and I were shopping for our first house, we went to see a two-bedroom townhouse. The entire thing was FULL of furniture from floor to ceiling. It was just stacked - sofas, dining room sets, desks, bed sets - you name it, this house had it and in droves. It was so bad, you couldn't see the walls, couldn't get to the back of the house and one section of the house was blocked off completely. I was wondering if the owners had run a used furniture store that had gone out of business so they were using the townhouse for storage.

So, you'd basically have to want to buy the house without seeing half of it.

We did not :-P
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 02:54:14 PM
This is one you have to buy without seeing the interior at all.

http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935 (http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935)

I am very tempted to call the listing agent and ask what the deal is. The outside looks cute, though.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on August 15, 2013, 03:16:12 PM
Yeah, I'm always suspicious of listings that have no photos of the interior.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on August 15, 2013, 03:30:39 PM
Puppy mill?  Oddly decorated rooms painted with seriously ugly discounted Oops paint*?  Satanic sacrifice and orgy area? Hoarding to the point where even the paths between piles have merged into one big mass of Stuff? Timewarp/blackhole/gate to Ehell?  A completely empty shell? 

*Paint sold cheaply because it was the wrong color or type.  Most of the time, it isn't offensive.  In fact, I search it out for Halloween projects.  On the other hand, there was this gallon of earthworm pink . . . 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on August 15, 2013, 03:56:08 PM
I'm thinking some sort of condition/structural issue that makes it unsafe...bad floor or something similar.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: cwm on August 15, 2013, 04:02:22 PM
Possibly the people trying to sell it are still living there and don't want anyone inside their home taking pictures, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 04:03:31 PM
If that's the case, they're certainly in no hurry to sell - it's been on the market since January.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Xandraea on August 15, 2013, 04:28:49 PM
This is one you have to buy without seeing the interior at all.

http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935 (http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935)

I am very tempted to call the listing agent and ask what the deal is. The outside looks cute, though.

Yeah, I'm always suspicious of listings that have no photos of the interior.

I'm thinking some sort of condition/structural issue that makes it unsafe...bad floor or something similar.

Possibly the people trying to sell it are still living there and don't want anyone inside their home taking pictures, for whatever reason.

If that's the case, they're certainly in no hurry to sell - it's been on the market since January.


Lower down on the listing it states the property is "Lender Owned", which makes me think the bank owns it, probably a foreclosure.  Some people don't take foreclosure well and destroy the house in retaliation. Another theory anyhow.

On another note .. a 3000+ sq ft house built in 1938?  That seems ridiculously enormous for that time, unless it was a mini-mansion, but it doesn't appear from the outside to be overly elaborate.  Also, "Tudor ranch style" with a walk-out basement .. seems like the real estate agent didn't know WHAT to call it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 04:31:14 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 15, 2013, 04:40:17 PM
No wonder they don't want to let you in.  Yikes!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on August 15, 2013, 04:45:44 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

$180K + all the meth you can find!!!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on August 15, 2013, 05:08:39 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Ah, toxic waste.  You need a hazmat suit to enter.  That will be expensive to clean up.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on August 15, 2013, 05:42:28 PM
I'm thinking some sort of condition/structural issue that makes it unsafe...bad floor or something similar.

I understand, after a hurricane or other disaster where people NEED to repaint in a hurry - they will walk in and buy "Oops" paint just to get a clean coat of paint up in a room.  Then they will repaint in the correct color after the insurance company check clears - if the color is really "off" what they want.

I've bought "Oops" paint and mixed it with base to get a lighter shade of whatever the color was - say a paler shade of blue for a room instead of the rather saturated color that the original bucket was.  Double or triple the amount of paint and at a much lower cost.

I've even walked in and found the exact shade in "Oops" that I had already bought three times - but needed one more gallon to finish repainting a house to get it ready to sell.  The first six gallons weren't quite enough.....
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on August 15, 2013, 08:08:00 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Ah, toxic waste.  You need a hazmat suit to enter.  That will be expensive to clean up.

When I read the listing and saw that it had more disclaimer type things (buyer has to check zoning, dewinterize, HOA stuff, etc) than actual information, I thought that house would be trouble.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 15, 2013, 09:51:46 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Ah, toxic waste.  You need a hazmat suit to enter.  That will be expensive to clean up.

Yea, rather outside our budget. And time frame.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: *inviteseller on August 15, 2013, 09:57:11 PM
Whew..finally finished the whole thread..and thought of my own.  When (now deceased ex) husband and I moved to Baltimore, we were living in a pretty upscale neighborhood but we figured for the rent we were paying ($700+ in 1992) we could maybe find a house to buy for that amount.  We knew there was no way we could get something in the neighborhood we were in for that low, but we figured, there is some nice neighborhoods we would like.  We get in touch with a real estate agent and tell her we were testing the waters, what might be out there in a basic 2-3 bedroom house with a fenced yard?  Being novices in this, we had no idea if this woman was not interested in us, misleading us, or could have cared less, but everyone said she was wrong.  First thing she told us was we would not get a loan because we were not considered residents yet (???  I had been there 3 months by that point, him 5 thanks to a job transfer) and our jobs were 'new' (He had been with the company for 6 years and was in management, I was lucky and was able to transfer my job and was also in management) but she said she could send us (not take us) to a few places.  The first one was a duplex with some shady characters hanging out on the porch..we just kept driving.  Second one had busted out windows and a boarded up door...we just kept driving.  Third one, the owner was gracious to let us in and answer questions but the house (a row house) was like something out of dr Suess.  It kinda leaned in the rooms which were all very narrow with strange low ceilings.  The steps going to the second floor were very steep and narrow.  The bedrooms, on on either side of the landing were ok, small but ok but the bathroom..by the time we got to the bathroom we had the giggles because of how strange this house was and the bathroom sent us over the edge into full blown doubled over laughter.  The tub was tilted at a very noticeable angle downward towards the drain and the sink and toilet tilted to the side.  We thanked the owner, went out to the car, and could barely catch our breath.  I am a small person and he said he would be afraid I would go down the drain when I took a bath.   Needless to say, we didn't go back to the realtor.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Xandraea on August 15, 2013, 10:05:23 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Yipes!  Stay far, far away from that one!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MommyPenguin on August 15, 2013, 10:20:21 PM
The house across the street is for sale (so is the one on the corner).  When the house across the street first got listed, it had one picture, and only one.  Also?  It wasn't even the right picture.  Either it was a picture of the house from years ago, maybe when they first bought it, or it was a picture pulled off Google Streetview or something of another house in the neighborhood.  It was the right *kind* of house, Georgian, light cream color, etc.  But the shutters of the house are blue, and they were red in the picture.  There was a tree up against the house in the picture, but there isn't one in real life.  The fence was the wrong type (wood instead of chain link).  Etc.  Very strange.  About a week or two after they first listed it, it got fixed, and there are now 5 pictures up.  5 whole pictures.  One is of the backyard and doesn't really show anything.  Another is of the back of the house, taken from the backyard, but so far away that the porch just looks dark and you can't see much of anything.  One is of the front of the house, one of the kitchen (very outdated, and who puts plaid wallpaper in their kitchen?) and one of the living room.  What surprises me is that it must be a fairly nice house.  The landscaping is beautiful, a family lives there and while I've never been in their house, the garage is very neat and organized, and they have very nice things in general, they even put cute little seasonal clings on their glass front door, so I'd imagine that the house is decent inside.  But the pictures are poorly-done and there are so few of them!

When we go to sell or rent a house, we've already talked about hiring a professional who can come in with lighting, etc., and take *good* pictures.  We've really appreciated real estate listings with good, professional pictures when we were looking at stuff ourselves.

(The house on the corner?  It's going for $50k more, and has 30 pictures, and it's GORGEOUS.  Absolutely beautiful.  Okay, so it's half a million dollars, but in this market?  It's a great deal.  It even has a reasonable yard for a corner home.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on August 15, 2013, 11:49:48 PM
I saw a house online where the real estate agent must've purposely taken bad pictures. She had very few head on shots. Most of them were at a parallel angle, like she was thinking "If I vaguely show there's walls / appliances, maybe people won't ask for a closer look." And then I got to the cheerful part about it being a great house for people who would like to (paraphrasing here) renovate, customize and tinker with things after moving in. Pass!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lilfox on August 16, 2013, 12:36:04 AM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 16, 2013, 03:44:57 AM
Whew..finally finished the whole thread..and thought of my own.  When (now deceased ex) husband and I moved to Baltimore, we were living in a pretty upscale neighborhood but we figured for the rent we were paying ($700+ in 1992) we could maybe find a house to buy for that amount.  We knew there was no way we could get something in the neighborhood we were in for that low, but we figured, there is some nice neighborhoods we would like.  We get in touch with a real estate agent and tell her we were testing the waters, what might be out there in a basic 2-3 bedroom house with a fenced yard?  Being novices in this, we had no idea if this woman was not interested in us, misleading us, or could have cared less, but everyone said she was wrong.  First thing she told us was we would not get a loan because we were not considered residents yet (???  I had been there 3 months by that point, him 5 thanks to a job transfer) and our jobs were 'new' (He had been with the company for 6 years and was in management, I was lucky and was able to transfer my job and was also in management) but she said she could send us (not take us) to a few places.  The first one was a duplex with some shady characters hanging out on the porch..we just kept driving.  Second one had busted out windows and a boarded up door...we just kept driving.  Third one, the owner was gracious to let us in and answer questions but the house (a row house) was like something out of dr Suess.  It kinda leaned in the rooms which were all very narrow with strange low ceilings.  The steps going to the second floor were very steep and narrow.  The bedrooms, on on either side of the landing were ok, small but ok but the bathroom..by the time we got to the bathroom we had the giggles because of how strange this house was and the bathroom sent us over the edge into full blown doubled over laughter.  The tub was tilted at a very noticeable angle downward towards the drain and the sink and toilet tilted to the side.  We thanked the owner, went out to the car, and could barely catch our breath.  I am a small person and he said he would be afraid I would go down the drain when I took a bath.   Needless to say, we didn't go back to the realtor.

*waves*  Hi from Baltimore
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 16, 2013, 08:37:33 AM
If that's the case, they're certainly in no hurry to sell - it's been on the market since January.

I wouldn't even go look at the house if they don't care enough to post pictures of the interior.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: snowfire on August 16, 2013, 10:43:05 AM
ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Yipes!  Stay far, far away from that one!

Best thing for that house would be to demolish it.  I have a friend who is a chemist working for the police department.  He's the guy who has to suit up in full hazmat gear and check the meth labs for anything about to blow up as soon as the SWAT team has cleared out the bad guys.  You DO NOT want to be anywhere that stuff.  (We got a real education when he was staying with us for a week when he was taking some classes on how meth was made.  Scary  x 10000.)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on August 16, 2013, 11:32:01 AM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: *inviteseller on August 16, 2013, 12:00:04 PM
Whew..finally finished the whole thread..and thought of my own.  When (now deceased ex) husband and I moved to Baltimore, we were living in a pretty upscale neighborhood but we figured for the rent we were paying ($700+ in 1992) we could maybe find a house to buy for that amount.  We knew there was no way we could get something in the neighborhood we were in for that low, but we figured, there is some nice neighborhoods we would like.  We get in touch with a real estate agent and tell her we were testing the waters, what might be out there in a basic 2-3 bedroom house with a fenced yard?  Being novices in this, we had no idea if this woman was not interested in us, misleading us, or could have cared less, but everyone said she was wrong.  First thing she told us was we would not get a loan because we were not considered residents yet (???  I had been there 3 months by that point, him 5 thanks to a job transfer) and our jobs were 'new' (He had been with the company for 6 years and was in management, I was lucky and was able to transfer my job and was also in management) but she said she could send us (not take us) to a few places.  The first one was a duplex with some shady characters hanging out on the porch..we just kept driving.  Second one had busted out windows and a boarded up door...we just kept driving.  Third one, the owner was gracious to let us in and answer questions but the house (a row house) was like something out of dr Suess.  It kinda leaned in the rooms which were all very narrow with strange low ceilings.  The steps going to the second floor were very steep and narrow.  The bedrooms, on on either side of the landing were ok, small but ok but the bathroom..by the time we got to the bathroom we had the giggles because of how strange this house was and the bathroom sent us over the edge into full blown doubled over laughter.  The tub was tilted at a very noticeable angle downward towards the drain and the sink and toilet tilted to the side.  We thanked the owner, went out to the car, and could barely catch our breath.  I am a small person and he said he would be afraid I would go down the drain when I took a bath.   Needless to say, we didn't go back to the realtor.

*waves*  Hi from Baltimore

Back in Pittsburgh now (Go Steelers..Boo Ravens  ;D ) but I loved it down there.  We started out in Columbia then went to Arbutus, which was such a beautiful neighborhood. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 16, 2013, 12:06:04 PM
ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

Yipes!  Stay far, far away from that one!

Best thing for that house would be to demolish it.  I have a friend who is a chemist working for the police department.  He's the guy who has to suit up in full hazmat gear and check the meth labs for anything about to blow up as soon as the SWAT team has cleared out the bad guys.  You DO NOT want to be anywhere that stuff.  (We got a real education when he was staying with us for a week when he was taking some classes on how meth was made.  Scary  x 10000.)

In my job, we visit some places that have the potential for grow ops and meth labs.  We were given a seminar by a retired police officer on the things to look for that would indicate one or the other.  It was pretty scary!  If we see any of those indications, we are to make an excuse to end the inspection, leave, call our supervisor and then the police from a safe location.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 16, 2013, 03:47:40 PM
Although you couldn't live there (you would go mad, Mad! MAD!!), I would at least like to look at the Dr Seuss house.  In the book, Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson describes that house as having slightly wrong angles, the walls on this side of the room being too large, and on that side, too short, and how creepy it felt.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on August 16, 2013, 04:25:26 PM
Although you couldn't live there (you would go mad, Mad! MAD!!), I would at least like to look at the Dr Seuss house.  In the book, Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson describes that house as having slightly wrong angles, the walls on this side of the room being too large, and on that side, too short, and how creepy it felt.

“All I could think of when I got a look at the place from the outside was what fun it would be to stand out there and watch it burn down.”

I have felt that way about a few places...  :D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on August 16, 2013, 04:42:27 PM
If that's the case, they're certainly in no hurry to sell - it's been on the market since January.

I wouldn't even go look at the house if they don't care enough to post pictures of the interior.

That was an automatic rejection for me as well.  If they aren't willing to show pictures of the interior, then the house must be in such bad condition that the seller thinks that the loss of interest due to having zero pictures would be less than the loss of interest that would be caused by pictures being present.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: sempronialou on August 16, 2013, 06:39:29 PM
We saw a house that had taken the closets out of the bedrooms and painted over the window in the master bedroom.  We called it the "adams family house".  The owner, who was smoking a cigarette, and her adult daughter were sitting at the kitchen table wrapping up all the owner's figurines that were all over the house.  There were tons of figurines.  Down the basement we figured out where clothes got hung.  There were more figurines all over a work bench, and there was a toilet just out in the open.  (Since I'm going through a basement remodel to add a bathroom, I can understand why people have random toilets or showers in odd places in their basements.)  There was a 2 car garage, but you really could only get out of one stall because the house sat right behind the other garage stall.  We passed on that house. 

Another house we looked we called "the missile house" from the movie "The money pit" (is this where you test the missiles?).  The wood floor was partially put in.  The kitchen was in progress and smelled like rotten garbage.  The basement was a dirt basement. 

Then there was the house that everything seemed to lean.  There were huge cracks in the driveway.  Inside the house, the floor was on a definite slope.  It was clear that the basement had flooded.  Most of the asbestos tiles had popped up.  It was in a not wonderful neighborhood. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on August 16, 2013, 07:33:52 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

They have an AC stuck in the most random spot near the roof + it looks like they were trying to cover the windows oddly. I guess they weren't subtle meth dealers, if there is such a thing  ::) 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on August 16, 2013, 08:31:19 PM
Zillow reports houses in the neighborhood selling for as low as $70K.  That price is near the top -- and then you have to do a hazmat renovation?  Yeah, that house going to sit there until it rots away.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mel the Redcap on August 16, 2013, 10:31:03 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Still reading through, and this is the first link I've clicked on that hasn't sold yet. It's down to $21,000 now!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 16, 2013, 10:38:37 PM
Yea, it seems a bit scrambled.

And given the states of some houses we've looked at, the prior residents must have REALLY trashed it. (Assuming that is the case here.)

Looking at it on Google Street View, it looks like it was added on to.

ETA: Just had a thought and did some Googling. It was a meth lab.

They have an AC stuck in the most random spot near the roof + it looks like they were trying to cover the windows oddly. I guess they weren't subtle meth dealers, if there is such a thing  ::)

That, I believe, is a swamp cooler, and seeing those stuck on the side near the roof is actually rather common around here.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 16, 2013, 10:47:07 PM
Zillow reports houses in the neighborhood selling for as low as $70K.  That price is near the top -- and then you have to do a hazmat renovation?  Yeah, that house going to sit there until it rots away.

recolorado.com (the local MLS web site) has recent sales in the neighborhood in the $162k - $282k, actually. But I agree $170k is a LOT to ask for anything needing hazmat renovations in any neighborhood - the report I found on it was done in March at the request of a potential buyer. I am guessing maybe a foreclosure, and either prior tenants (it is subdivided into 3 units) or squatters cooked meth there, but nobody knew until the testing was done and the bank just figured it was still worth the asking price since it's 3 units. Or they're just hoping someone is crazy enough to buy it and reno it anyway, or figures the location alone is worth the price. Or they just don't care if it ever sells.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on August 16, 2013, 10:47:29 PM
The house in which the Cleveland Kidnapper kept his victims (along with the already vacant houses on either side) have been demolished rather than rehabbed.

I kind of suspect that the same thing is going to happen to this house where three murders took place last year: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=1035377 (http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=1035377)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mel the Redcap on August 16, 2013, 11:35:00 PM
Made it to the end! My turn! ;D

My mother is a real estate agent (a good one, I promise - her ads are honest!). Two of her cats were rescued from houses she was showing, one where the previous owners had abandoned a mother cat and kittens in the laundry (Mum took the only healthy kitten; the rest had to be put down :'() and another where a hoarding renter with several pets (animals well looked after, but the house itself was a disaster) was being evicted.

When the Good Ethnic Boy and I were house hunting, we saw a few doozies, including one property where the tenants were in the middle of being evicted, were NOT happy, and were threatening violence against anyone who tried to get in to view the place. The real estate agent took us up on a hill behind the house and we could see down into the back yard, but that was as far as we got with that one. :P

Another house looked lovely, but the inspection report (it's mandatory here for the seller to pay for a professional inspection and make the full report available to prospective buyers) disclosed that the verandah had been added on later, was large enough that the plans for it should have been approved before construction, and it hadn't been approved. I pointed this out, and the agent insisted that it wasn't a problem... well yes it WAS, given that if anything turned out to be structurally wrong insurance wouldn't cover it!

A third house (out of our price range, but we didn't think it would sell for their asking price and were checking it out in case the price dropped) was gorgeous, high ceilings, lovely garden, beautifully maintained... with heavy bars over all the windows. Some effort had been made to make them look decorative instead of functional, but nope, they had been installed by someone who was intent on making sure nobody got in or out of those windows! Given that it was in a fairly high-class very safe neighbourhood, it was odd to say the least -- especially since window grills are usually supposed to be openable from the inside, to give an escape route in case of fire, and these definitely were not. We found out later that the family had immigrated from somewhere where women are kept well away from non-relatives, and they had several daughters.

We went to an open house for one that had been shut up for long enough that the portable air conditioners and fans the agent had brought in were struggling to overcome the damp, musty smell in most of the rooms. That property looked fairly okay except for a couple of odd strips of missing carpet in the living room (what causes a ruler-straight six-inch gap in the carpet across the whole room?!), several sections of guttering and downpipes that had been removed and stacked against a fence, and a huge garage, big enough to hold at least four cars, with power outlets every few feet across the top of the walls. The previous owners had been running something that needed a lot of electricity in there...



The house we eventually bought-- well, for one thing we were lucky just to find out it was for sale, because the listing agent hadn't put it on the two major online websites we were looking at. The only ad for it we ever saw was a tiny one in the newspaper, one column wide and about an inch deep, with a nearly microscopic picture that didn't show much at that scale and a couple of lines of text. It was only a couple of blocks away from where we were living at the time (a location we really liked and were having trouble finding somewhere as good), so we drove past it, liked the look of the front, and went to the open house the next day.

It had a few things that would need fixing (falling-down back fence, dead tree in the front yard) and a few other 'features' that might put people off (homemade 'feature' walls done in amateurish textured sponge-paint in primary colours, fixable staining where enormous salt-water fishtanks were cheerfully bubbling away and laminating salt onto the walls), but was generally in good shape and had some features we loved (the location, a long narrow room that had obviously been set up as a home theatre and could be again, tons of power points installed where the fishtanks were, a pair of small children's bedrooms at the front of the house that we could use as private studies). Then the listing agent proved (again) that he wasn't doing a great job, when he chattily informed us of a few reasons why the owners had to sell and needed at least three months between contract signature and closing instead of the usual thirty days... so we put in an offer, lower than their asking price by enough to cover replacing the fence and some basic garden remodelling, but with 'up to three months' as the closure period. We were the only prospective buyers who were willing to wait that long, so we got it. :D

Two days after we moved in, a joy-riding idiot in a stolen car missed the curve in the road and hit the dead tree in the front yard hard enough to uproot it and snap it in half, so we didn't have to pay to have it removed! We just had a large attractive boulder put in to replace it; our neighbours now use 'the big white rock' as a landmark when they're giving people directions, and any future joy-riders will find it hard to drive away after hitting THAT. >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on August 17, 2013, 12:02:04 AM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Still reading through, and this is the first link I've clicked on that hasn't sold yet. It's down to $21,000 now!

It looks even junkier on Google Maps. There's no garage door, just a large sheet of plywood
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: KenveeB on August 17, 2013, 06:53:52 AM
My mother is a real estate agent (a good one, I promise - her ads are honest!). Two of her cats were rescued from houses she was showing, one where the previous owners had abandoned a mother cat and kittens in the laundry (Mum took the only healthy kitten; the rest had to be put down :'() and another where a hoarding renter with several pets (animals well looked after, but the house itself was a disaster) was being evicted.

It's amazing how often that happens. My current foster dog was abandoned, locked in a bedroom after her owners pulled a midnight move-out. No one knows how long she was there before the landlord finally caught on and went in. The same day Animal Control found her, they were called out to another home where the same thing happened, but the dogs there had already starved to death. :(
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: blue2000 on August 17, 2013, 07:06:15 AM
Made it to the end! My turn! ;D

<snip>

We went to an open house for one that had been shut up for long enough that the portable air conditioners and fans the agent had brought in were struggling to overcome the damp, musty smell in most of the rooms. That property looked fairly okay except for a couple of odd strips of missing carpet in the living room (what causes a ruler-straight six-inch gap in the carpet across the whole room?!), several sections of guttering and downpipes that had been removed and stacked against a fence, and a huge garage, big enough to hold at least four cars, with power outlets every few feet across the top of the walls. The previous owners had been running something that needed a lot of electricity in there...


Might have been a thin moveable wall to divide the room up. I've used those.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on August 17, 2013, 09:19:39 AM
Saw another type of house-hunting horrors today.

There was a show about real estate on TV this morning.  They were looking at a one-bedroom apartment that was valued at 1.7 million USD.   :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on August 17, 2013, 09:40:30 AM
Saw another type of house-hunting horrors today.

There was a show about real estate on TV this morning.  They were looking at a one-bedroom apartment that was valued at 1.7 million USD.   :o

Was it in NYC or LA? That does not surprise me. I remember reading about the BBC's Sherlock, and it was stated that their 2-bedroom flat on Baker Street in Central London would be worth at least 10 million pounds. Yikes. That's some deal Mrs. Hudson's giving them...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on August 17, 2013, 10:06:32 AM
Saw another type of house-hunting horrors today.

There was a show about real estate on TV this morning.  They were looking at a one-bedroom apartment that was valued at 1.7 million USD.   :o

Was it in NYC or LA? That does not surprise me. I remember reading about the BBC's Sherlock, and it was stated that their 2-bedroom flat on Baker Street in Central London would be worth at least 10 million pounds. Yikes. That's some deal Mrs. Hudson's giving them...

Well, after 130 years or so, they are probably grandfathered in under some kind of price freeze....
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 17, 2013, 12:57:10 PM
Ooh, my turn!

Parents and I went out on a random house-hunting spree one day (we were in a horrible apartment at the time...if anyone remembers the Apartment Hellions posted on the main site - that was me). We did find a few, uh, memorable things, such as

- the house for sale by owner which was...almost nothing but staircases and very small rooms. And the all-concrete basement had a very distinct smell of mold. "Oh, you can just air that out," she said breezily with a handwave when our faces all twisted up in dismay upon first smelling it. Sorry, lady, but that smell had long since permeated the concrete, no way was that coming out without mucho $$$. Nice house otherwise, though.
- several signs with attached container of brochures (we didn't actually look at any of the houses, far too pricey) in one single neighborhood, all proclaiming prices about double for what anything in that neighborhood would go for. Even putting that aside, why were so MANY houses in that neighborhood being sold? :o
- a couple of interesting bathrooms. My mother liked one in particular. It was very purple. She adores purple. Dad and I do not. The rest of the house was seriously blah, anyway.
- and The 60s House With The Bordello. No, really, hear me out. This house has an upper floor, a ground floor and a basement. The upper floor is an apartment all its own, carpeted in the most god-awful retro carpeting. None of it even matches - the bedroom is shag in that strange orange-brown-yellow cat vomit color, the living room is also shag in a revolting pickle and baby poo green, the bathroom (yes...carpeted bathroom) is a dark blue, kind of plush carpet that's actually pretty nice, the kitchen (yes...carpeted KITCHEN!) is a very thin orange and yellow design that's actually kind of decent. The appliances - avocado green stove, avocado green fridge. Ground floor is about what you'd expect (again with retro appliances - including a built in over the stove microwave that they stopped making parts for 30 YEARS AGO! and doesn't work), also includes a four-seasons room that USED to be the garage but is now its own separate room with furnace (no AC) (yes they built another garage). And then you get to the basement...and you swear you've stepped into a bordello. Bright. Red. Shag carpeting. All over the floor. All up the walls. Well, what walls aren't papered with a FUZZY snot-green and tobacco-stain-yellow fleur de lis pattern wallpaper. And a movable bar. I swear, the only thing it was missing was a pole.

We bought the bordello house.

Most of the carpet had to come out after an unexpected flood, but we still have pictures somewhere. Should I share? :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 17, 2013, 01:32:04 PM

...   We bought the bordello house.

Most of the carpet had to come out after an unexpected flood, but we still have pictures somewhere. Should I share? :)

Please?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: shhh its me on August 17, 2013, 02:16:08 PM
This is one you have to buy without seeing the interior at all.

http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935 (http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-sale/CO/Denver/80219/601-S-Alcott-Street-85257935)

I am very tempted to call the listing agent and ask what the deal is. The outside looks cute, though.

Yeah, I'm always suspicious of listings that have no photos of the interior.

I'm thinking some sort of condition/structural issue that makes it unsafe...bad floor or something similar.

Possibly the people trying to sell it are still living there and don't want anyone inside their home taking pictures, for whatever reason.

If that's the case, they're certainly in no hurry to sell - it's been on the market since January.


Lower down on the listing it states the property is "Lender Owned", which makes me think the bank owns it, probably a foreclosure.  Some people don't take foreclosure well and destroy the house in retaliation. Another theory anyhow.

On another note .. a 3000+ sq ft house built in 1938?  That seems ridiculously enormous for that time, unless it was a mini-mansion, but it doesn't appear from the outside to be overly elaborate.  Also, "Tudor ranch style" with a walk-out basement .. seems like the real estate agent didn't know WHAT to call it.

There is a redemption period in foreclosures(set by law varies by state) in which the bank has foreclosed but the "owners" still retain possession and may redeem their mortgage.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: shhh its me on August 17, 2013, 02:42:18 PM
FHA does do rehab loans that you can use for required repairs - I believe they're called 203(k), and HUD has similar programs. I don't know anything about VA or USDA loans, though.

Yes its called a 203(k), Because the loan has some many additional requirements many lenders forgo offering them. The other reason their are not popular is they don't(at least didn't several years ago) allow for any DYI ,Unless buyer is a licensed contractor or under supervision of a contractor in some cases.   
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 17, 2013, 04:18:45 PM
Alright...pictures ahoy! I did remember a little wrong on the wall carpet - it was BLACK fur shag interspersed with red and black non-fur shag. And yes, that solid red stuff is also fur shag. It's as...crazy as it sounds. And looks.

(And that wallpaper is so not a fleur de lis. Why did I think it was? What is that pattern anyway?)

The bedroom?/office/crafting room/whatever. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204983856992_139292_n.jpg) This, I believe, was the only non-carpeted room, being as I don't think we ever moved that desk.
The bar. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/248846_228204980523659_1828168_n.jpg) See what I mean about it just needing a pole? ;)
A handy little nook off the bar room. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204977190326_2950216_n.jpg) Mom uses it for her sewing supplies now.
And the view from the hall upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/248846_228204973856993_6188458_n.jpg) Most everyone would just go "Oh my god" when they looked down the stairs and saw that. I think that's quite the appropriate reaction!

(ETA: Here's pictures of the upstairs!

Disgusting green carpet in the upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248260_228208570523300_1505448_n.jpg) This is now my living room.
Disgusting orange carpet in the bedroom. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/248460_228208643856626_3438223_n.jpg)
Kitchen. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/247648_228208677189956_5912347_n.jpg) My flash wouldn't turn off and lightened everything - I swear, they were avocado green appliances!
And the bathroom. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/246853_228208700523287_5436950_n.jpg) I really need to repaint it. I don't like purple.

The ground floor's quite sane, so we don't have pics of it. Gorgeous white carpet in the living room though, and sheer white curtains with heavier rose pink drapes and valance over. It's breathtaking, honestly!)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on August 17, 2013, 04:47:47 PM
You know, that bar is so awful I might have been tempted to keep it. Think of all the laughs!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on August 17, 2013, 05:18:42 PM
LOL!  Poor Bordello House. 

There is no doubt in my mind that it heaved a HUGE sign of relief when you moved in and let it shine in its true beauty!  Just think of all those years that poor house was left cringing in embarrassment.  I bet the other houses wouldn't even let it play with them when the owners were away and houses play.   ;D

Interesting that the top floor and the basement were both so ... unique, but the ground floor was so nice!   ???
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 17, 2013, 05:22:07 PM
exitzero - we still have the bar. ;) Just not the floor carpeting. The basement flooded during a hellish storm and we had to take it all up.

gramma dishes, the previous owner was a retired cop who had his buddies over for man nights, and the top level was where either his or his wife's mother lived (can't remember) - their daughter was the one who put the house up for sale after they died, so we had some very nice chats with her. Although, she was unable to sufficiently prepare us for the basement. (Can anything sufficiently prepare someone for that? Haha!) She just called it a "man cave". About fell over laughing when we made the bordello comparison though.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: HorseFreak on August 17, 2013, 05:38:30 PM
I love that house! The basement is awesome.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: shhh its me on August 17, 2013, 06:12:11 PM
@ Liliane

Well at least they committed to the look
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on August 17, 2013, 06:13:44 PM
Saw another type of house-hunting horrors today.

There was a show about real estate on TV this morning.  They were looking at a one-bedroom apartment that was valued at 1.7 million USD.   :o

Was it in NYC or LA? That does not surprise me. I remember reading about the BBC's Sherlock, and it was stated that their 2-bedroom flat on Baker Street in Central London would be worth at least 10 million pounds. Yikes. That's some deal Mrs. Hudson's giving them...

We saw the tease but didn't stay for the show.  We were going out for lunch later and didn't want to spoil our appetites.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: doodlemor on August 17, 2013, 06:43:05 PM
Alright...pictures ahoy! I did remember a little wrong on the wall carpet - it was BLACK fur shag interspersed with red and black non-fur shag. And yes, that solid red stuff is also fur shag. It's as...crazy as it sounds. And looks.

(And that wallpaper is so not a fleur de lis. Why did I think it was? What is that pattern anyway?)

The bedroom?/office/crafting room/whatever. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204983856992_139292_n.jpg) This, I believe, was the only non-carpeted room, being as I don't think we ever moved that desk.
The bar. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/248846_228204980523659_1828168_n.jpg) See what I mean about it just needing a pole? ;)
A handy little nook off the bar room. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204977190326_2950216_n.jpg) Mom uses it for her sewing supplies now.
And the view from the hall upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/248846_228204973856993_6188458_n.jpg) Most everyone would just go "Oh my god" when they looked down the stairs and saw that. I think that's quite the appropriate reaction!

(ETA: Here's pictures of the upstairs!

Disgusting green carpet in the upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248260_228208570523300_1505448_n.jpg) This is now my living room.
Disgusting orange carpet in the bedroom. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/248460_228208643856626_3438223_n.jpg)
Kitchen. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/247648_228208677189956_5912347_n.jpg) My flash wouldn't turn off and lightened everything - I swear, they were avocado green appliances!
And the bathroom. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/246853_228208700523287_5436950_n.jpg) I really need to repaint it. I don't like purple.

The ground floor's quite sane, so we don't have pics of it. Gorgeous white carpet in the living room though, and sheer white curtains with heavier rose pink drapes and valance over. It's breathtaking, honestly!)

Here is some music to accompany the pictures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACHPtToZApk

This will open a new tab, and then one can click back to see the pictures.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on August 17, 2013, 06:53:03 PM
Thank you, Liliane for the pictures.  They certainly gave us a good laugh.

We especially enjoyed the little red tutu over the window in the bar and the staring, white eyes of the outlet in the nook. 

The table in the nook looks like it has the sort of fold up leaves that would make it a round table.  Our question is, how could anyone sit there when the table was at its full size? 

However, the 1930s vanity in the 'Whatever' room is quite classy. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 17, 2013, 06:55:24 PM
Thank you, Liliane for the pictures.  They certainly gave us a good laugh.

We especially enjoyed the little red tutu over the window in the bar and the staring, white eyes of the outlet in the nook. 

The table in the nook looks like it has the sort of fold up leaves that would make it a round table.  Our question is, how could anyone sit there when the table was at its full size? 

However, the 1930s vanity in the 'Whatever' room is quite classy.

You're right about the table! I think it's actually a little more spacious than it looks. I don't actually know - we haven't tried to fold the leaves up.

I'm glad you've all enjoyed the pictures, they really are hilarious!

Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Amara on August 17, 2013, 08:25:41 PM
Now I know what homemade bordello looks like.  :P
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ica171 on August 17, 2013, 08:53:42 PM
FHA does do rehab loans that you can use for required repairs - I believe they're called 203(k), and HUD has similar programs. I don't know anything about VA or USDA loans, though.

Yes its called a 203(k), Because the loan has some many additional requirements many lenders forgo offering them. The other reason their are not popular is they don't(at least didn't several years ago) allow for any DYI ,Unless buyer is a licensed contractor or under supervision of a contractor in some cases.   

I think they might now. We were just looking at a house that would qualify for a 203k, but ultimately decided to go conventional (or would have, had we bought it) because of all the paperwork that would have been involved.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 17, 2013, 09:32:32 PM
Now I know what homemade bordello looks like.  :P

Oww...and now I know what laughing myself into violent coughing for the umpteenth time feels like! ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 18, 2013, 03:01:39 AM
FHA does do rehab loans that you can use for required repairs - I believe they're called 203(k), and HUD has similar programs. I don't know anything about VA or USDA loans, though.

Yes its called a 203(k), Because the loan has some many additional requirements many lenders forgo offering them. The other reason their are not popular is they don't(at least didn't several years ago) allow for any DYI ,Unless buyer is a licensed contractor or under supervision of a contractor in some cases.   

Still requires licensed contractors, I believe.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on August 18, 2013, 03:57:51 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Still reading through, and this is the first link I've clicked on that hasn't sold yet. It's down to $21,000 now!

It looks even junkier on Google Maps. There's no garage door, just a large sheet of plywood

But, it shows that the pole isn't holding up the roof!  It seems to have been put in for a floodlight for the driveway.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Optimoose Prime on August 18, 2013, 05:58:34 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Luci on August 18, 2013, 08:02:46 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on August 18, 2013, 10:22:12 PM
FHA does do rehab loans that you can use for required repairs - I believe they're called 203(k), and HUD has similar programs. I don't know anything about VA or USDA loans, though.

Yes its called a 203(k), Because the loan has some many additional requirements many lenders forgo offering them. The other reason their are not popular is they don't(at least didn't several years ago) allow for any DYI ,Unless buyer is a licensed contractor or under supervision of a contractor in some cases.   

Still requires licensed contractors, I believe.

When I was house hunting back in December 2012/January 2013, our Realtor mentioned that we would need to use a licensed contractor if we went that route with some of the houses we were looking at.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: sevenday on August 19, 2013, 04:15:20 PM
I am in the beginning stages of purchasing a house through HUD with FHA financing.  We are using the 203k option, but I was told that the licensed contractor is only a requirement if you finance the cost of repairs.  For example, 70k house, 2k worth of repairs listed.  In theory you could get a mortgage for just the 70k and then pay for and do the repair work yourself as long as it was not a major structural item. (This house has only very minor work listed, with most of the expense in replacing a section of drywall and installing carbon monoxide detectors; all of which we have experience doing ourselves.) I'm still not clear on if there needs to be an inspection after - I know you do if you're financing the repairs.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Wulfie on August 22, 2013, 12:01:09 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Still reading through, and this is the first link I've clicked on that hasn't sold yet. It's down to $21,000 now!

It looks even junkier on Google Maps. There's no garage door, just a large sheet of plywood

But, it shows that the pole isn't holding up the roof!  It seems to have been put in for a floodlight for the driveway.

I am so tempted to do a road trip to go see this mess.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Midge on August 22, 2013, 02:57:05 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.

When we were looking for our current place, we looked at one house where the "theme" of the living room was: CLOWNS! It was painted pink, and there were clown statues, clown pictures, a clown afghan on the couch ...

There was also a "built in" desk in the upstairs hallway that was made of paneling.

We actually considered it; the problems would have been easy to fix, and it was in a great location, but we found a place we love.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Xandraea on August 22, 2013, 03:34:37 PM
Another theme house:  the theme was.. Houses. You know, like a little kid would draw a square with a triangle on top, a rectangle for the door, maybe a window, and a little chimney on top?  That kind of house was all over this house.  The floor tile was cut, the wallpaper borders.. it was everywhere.  This same house also had metallic striped wallpaper in the kitchen, an extra staircase 5 feet from another that led to the same room .. it was weird.  Unfortunately when renovating, the new owners found that the former owners' multiple cats had soaked the subflooring and everything stunk and was falling apart.  After considerable effort, the house is now beautiful!  One would never guess the horror it had once been.  I absolutely would NOT have been able to see past the ick to envision what the home could become. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 22, 2013, 05:42:05 PM
Update on the meth lab: It appears to have been de-listed and re-listed... at the same price, but with a more flattering pic of the front.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LeeLee88 on August 22, 2013, 07:12:02 PM
When DH and I were looking for our first house, we came across this great little arts and crafts style that was just perfect for a starter home.  Until we found the door with a big padlock on it in the basement that we weren't allowed access to.  The house was not active at the time, and since that was the only place the furnace and water heater could be since they weren't anywhere else, that was a problem.  Then we found about the scrabble offender two doors down.  As in a full-on r@pist who'd just been released from prison, and the incidents weren't "oh my girlfriend was young and her parents found out", either.  Met him on the sidewalk, found out about him later.  Then the seller wanted the full purchase price in cash only, and refused any inspections.  Our agent informed us that there was no way we'd be buying that place.  She was a great agent, and worked with us doggedly to find a great house within our absolutely pathetic price range.  Excellent lady.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mel the Redcap on August 22, 2013, 07:49:16 PM
Goodness, LeeLee88, how could you possibly turn down such a prime opportunity? I mean, there were no red flags in that at ALL! ;D

/sarcasm :P
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: LeeLee88 on August 22, 2013, 08:31:18 PM
Goodness, LeeLee88, how could you possibly turn down such a prime opportunity? I mean, there were no red flags in that at ALL! ;D

/sarcasm :P
Tell me about it!  Apparently the seller was totally offended that we weren't jumping at the opportunity, and our agent couldn't believe he wasn't pulling her leg.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on August 22, 2013, 11:15:39 PM
My wife and I are still looking for a house and we came across This one, which neither of us can really figure out (http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=286418953&ListingID=301599585&CMID=-1&Sort=1&RTR=50&LI=155).

Are the poles holding it up?  Is the pink fencing helping?

$35,000?! I know the economy is different over there, and I know that $35k would be an anomaly in the states too, but...I don't think you could even get a lock-up garage for $35k here!! But I do like the 'sweat equity' line... :o

Still reading through, and this is the first link I've clicked on that hasn't sold yet. It's down to $21,000 now!

It looks even junkier on Google Maps. There's no garage door, just a large sheet of plywood

But, it shows that the pole isn't holding up the roof!  It seems to have been put in for a floodlight for the driveway.

I am so tempted to do a road trip to go see this mess.

We are thinking about one this weekend - want to check out a couple houses in Westport and figure we might as well swing on by.  I think it actually looks better in the Google maps picture, I was doing the "But honey, it just needs some love!" that one or the other of us does with every house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on August 22, 2013, 11:36:22 PM
Goodness, LeeLee88, how could you possibly turn down such a prime opportunity? I mean, there were no red flags in that at ALL! ;D

/sarcasm :P
Tell me about it!  Apparently the seller was totally offended that we weren't jumping at the opportunity, and our agent couldn't believe he wasn't pulling her leg.

Did it ever sell at all?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on August 23, 2013, 05:28:36 AM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.

When we were looking for our current place, we looked at one house where the "theme" of the living room was: CLOWNS! It was painted pink, and there were clown statues, clown pictures, a clown afghan on the couch ...

There was also a "built in" desk in the upstairs hallway that was made of paneling.

We actually considered it; the problems would have been easy to fix, and it was in a great location, but we found a place we love.

The only logical course of action with the clown house: A flame thrower. Seriously. Just knowing a house like existed, I'd never sleep again.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Margo on August 23, 2013, 06:15:29 AM
Not house-hunting, but selling. My business partners and I own a building across from our offices (it used to be out office until we moved to bigger premises) We're in the process of selling it but contracts haven't yet been exchanged. It's supposed to happen today (both exchange and completion)

I arrived at work today to find that there were scaffolders starting to put up scaffolding rod the building (the buyers are going to change it from offices back to a house)

Er, no. You don't get to stick scaffolding up to start your structural repairs until, y'lknow, it's your property.

Apparently they'd also planned to have the phone compnay come o change the phone lines at 10 this morning.

What makes it more  :o is that these buyers  have been messing us around - we were ready and able to exchange contracts 8 weeks ago, so it isn;t as though we've been holding them up!

The scaffolders have been told, politely, that they need to leave (quite apart from anything else, I would imagine the insurance issues get quite complicated if you've got people who are essentially trespassing..)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Tsaiko on August 23, 2013, 06:57:35 AM
Update on the meth lab: It appears to have been de-listed and re-listed... at the same price, but with a more flattering pic of the front.

Because it was the bad picture of the front of the house that was scaring off potential buyers and not any of the other problems like the fact the fact is basically a environmental disaster being sold as is.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 23, 2013, 07:02:50 AM
Update on the meth lab: It appears to have been de-listed and re-listed... at the same price, but with a more flattering pic of the front.

Because it was the bad picture of the front of the house that was scaring off potential buyers and not any of the other problems like the fact the fact is basically a environmental disaster being sold as is.

There you go using logic again :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 23, 2013, 12:19:48 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.

When we were looking for our current place, we looked at one house where the "theme" of the living room was: CLOWNS! It was painted pink, and there were clown statues, clown pictures, a clown afghan on the couch ...

There was also a "built in" desk in the upstairs hallway that was made of paneling.

We actually considered it; the problems would have been easy to fix, and it was in a great location, but we found a place we love.

The only logical course of action with the clown house: A flame thrower. Seriously. Just knowing a house like existed, I'd never sleep again.

CLOWN HOUSE!  Can you imagine the Halloween Haunted House tour that would make?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mel the Redcap on August 23, 2013, 06:24:18 PM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: exitzero on August 23, 2013, 06:32:24 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.

When we were looking for our current place, we looked at one house where the "theme" of the living room was: CLOWNS! It was painted pink, and there were clown statues, clown pictures, a clown afghan on the couch ...

There was also a "built in" desk in the upstairs hallway that was made of paneling.

We actually considered it; the problems would have been easy to fix, and it was in a great location, but we found a place we love.

The only logical course of action with the clown house: A flame thrower. Seriously. Just knowing a house like existed, I'd never sleep again.

CLOWN HOUSE!  Can you imagine the Halloween Haunted House tour that would make?

Oh, Lord, yes I can imagine it. All too clearly.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gmatoy on August 23, 2013, 11:59:08 PM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.


I am a substitute teacher and I have subbed in a school library that has dolls and stuffed animals everywhere! Really rather cluttered and I'm grateful that I do not have issues with eyes everywhere! (This reminds me of a TV show that my granddaughter watches, it is about a nanny named Jessie and one episode was about everyone's phobias: dolls, clowns and porta potties!)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on August 24, 2013, 09:23:37 AM
Yeah, I'm always suspicious of listings that have no photos of the interior.
Better than the listing photo I once saw that showed a messy house, culminating in a picture of the master bedroom where there is a man in the bed. The covers are artfully draped, but there is no evidence of pajamas.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on August 24, 2013, 09:36:19 AM
Alright...pictures ahoy! I did remember a little wrong on the wall carpet - it was BLACK fur shag interspersed with red and black non-fur shag. And yes, that solid red stuff is also fur shag. It's as...crazy as it sounds. And looks.

(And that wallpaper is so not a fleur de lis. Why did I think it was? What is that pattern anyway?)

The bedroom?/office/crafting room/whatever. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204983856992_139292_n.jpg) This, I believe, was the only non-carpeted room, being as I don't think we ever moved that desk.
The bar. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/248846_228204980523659_1828168_n.jpg) See what I mean about it just needing a pole? ;)
A handy little nook off the bar room. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/248846_228204977190326_2950216_n.jpg) Mom uses it for her sewing supplies now.
And the view from the hall upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/248846_228204973856993_6188458_n.jpg) Most everyone would just go "Oh my god" when they looked down the stairs and saw that. I think that's quite the appropriate reaction!

(ETA: Here's pictures of the upstairs!

Disgusting green carpet in the upstairs. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248260_228208570523300_1505448_n.jpg) This is now my living room.
Disgusting orange carpet in the bedroom. (https://sphotos-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/248460_228208643856626_3438223_n.jpg)
Kitchen. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/247648_228208677189956_5912347_n.jpg) My flash wouldn't turn off and lightened everything - I swear, they were avocado green appliances!
And the bathroom. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/246853_228208700523287_5436950_n.jpg) I really need to repaint it. I don't like purple.

The ground floor's quite sane, so we don't have pics of it. Gorgeous white carpet in the living room though, and sheer white curtains with heavier rose pink drapes and valance over. It's breathtaking, honestly!)

Here is some music to accompany the pictures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACHPtToZApk

This will open a new tab, and then one can click back to see the pictures.
Serendipitously, the ad preceding the video was that for a clothing store for young people, featuring pretty young things dancing around in low-riding jeans.  >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on August 26, 2013, 10:12:55 AM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.

This is a horror story waiting to be written.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Amara on August 26, 2013, 11:19:41 AM
Calling Rod Serling.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: MrTango on August 26, 2013, 11:33:38 AM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.

This is a horror story waiting to be written.

The only thing I could think of: "Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes."
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Midge on August 26, 2013, 01:53:54 PM
For some reason the comment about plaid wallpaper in the kitchen reminded me, back when I was house hunting in the Midwest, I saw a few "theme" kitchens that were over the top.  One was apples - apple wall paper, apple curtains, apple shaped cookie jar, apples on the tea towels, you name it, it had apples on it.  Another was roosters, everything had a rooster on it or was shaped like one.

I get indulging a theme when it's your house, but if you're trying to appeal to prospective buyers, maybe tone it down?

Years ago, I looked at a house owned by a collector of Precious Moments figurines.  If you've never seen these, they are porcelain figurines of children with giant heads, giant eyes, and insipid faces.  Those things were *everywhere*, in every room, and the eyes followed us around as we tried to look at the house.  We were totally creeped out.

Was it in Corpus Christi, Texas?  If not, there are 2 of them.


We only looked at about 15 houses when we were home shopping and only looked in a 12 mile rural area. We found two that were Precious Moments inundated and both both had the same kid on a potty figure on the back of the toilet in the general bathroom, and tow that were obsessed with birdhouses. I'm afraid trends are lot more general than we thought.

When we were looking for our current place, we looked at one house where the "theme" of the living room was: CLOWNS! It was painted pink, and there were clown statues, clown pictures, a clown afghan on the couch ...

There was also a "built in" desk in the upstairs hallway that was made of paneling.

We actually considered it; the problems would have been easy to fix, and it was in a great location, but we found a place we love.

The only logical course of action with the clown house: A flame thrower. Seriously. Just knowing a house like existed, I'd never sleep again.

When we walked out of there I muttered, "I'm not gonna sleep tonight."
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Tierrainney on August 26, 2013, 02:56:27 PM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.

This is a horror story waiting to be written.

The only thing I could think of: "Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes."

I collect and have a lot of what I collect, so I also have a room with wall to ceiling shelves with my collection. But I restrict it to that room and if I ever have to sell the house, the first thing I will do is start to remove my collections from the house. Both because to non-collectors it is very off putting and because I don't want my collection touched or broken by a house buyer.

Oh, and the Precious Moments Houses are everywhere. When we were looking to buy this house, one of the ones we looked at had lovely build it cabinets with glass fronts in the living room. every shelf was so jammed full of Precious Moments figures that you really couldn't see any individuals, just thousands of oversized eyes staring at you. :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: amylouky on August 28, 2013, 09:44:18 AM
We looked at a house that was apparently owned by the world's best gardener and canner. The walls in the kitchen, living room, and hallway were lined with shelves that had been built to hold the many, many, MANY jars of green beans, peppers, squash, etc.  My guess would be doomsday preppers but seriously? You could hardly walk through the hallway becuase it was so narrow due to the shelves on both sides.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on August 28, 2013, 09:47:03 AM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.

This is a horror story waiting to be written.

The only thing I could think of: "Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes."

Bravo.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CocoCamm on August 28, 2013, 04:40:28 PM
A little while back my parents were thinking about buying a vacation/investment property so my mom, grandmother and I went to to FL to check out some condos. Most were just normal little condos nothing out of the norm. Then there was the Coronary Condo.

This was one of the few condos that someone was currently living in but the agent was told no one would be home. Upon arriving he still does the loud knock and announced our arrival loudly several times as we entered. We proceed to amble around checking out the nooks and crannies, opening up cabinets and closets, giving everything the once over.

Well color us surprised when we opened up the living room closet and found a curio cabinet (the kind you would expect to find Precious Moment dolls in) filled to the brim with guns of all different sizes. What made it even more....strange...was the fact that not only was the cabinet not locked the door was open. Now we aren't gun phobic but we come from a area of the US were it's expected that your firearms will be locked up in a gun cabinet. So that was a little strange but we just shut the door and moved on.

Upon opening the guest bedroom door we were greeted to the sight of a young man sleeping (dead????) half falling out of bed. Needless to say we first had heart attacks and then we turned tail and ran! We were sure he had been shot with a curio cabinet gun and was dead! The agent closed the bedroom door and knocked several more times trying to rise the man but to no avail. Of course we were now convinced he was dead.

The agent followed up with us later that night and informed us that he found out the gentleman was a stripper that worked nights and was apparently a very deep sleeper.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 29, 2013, 01:42:17 PM
Well, that is exciting. Just to point out, in Florida, guns are expected to be kept out of the reach of young children, but any legal adult over age 18 can own a gun and they are not required to be kept in a locked cabinet.

I would think one would put them away before having a showing however.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on August 29, 2013, 01:50:53 PM
When my niece was in college, my sister went to help her move into her first apartment.  They had a little trouble with the key at first, but with a little jiggling they got the door open.  Only to find a very surprised and scantily dressed young man.

It seems that my nieve had transposed the numbers for the apartment, but my sister insisted that the landlord install a dead bolt lock for my niece's apartment and advised the young man to make the same demand.  They weren't trying to open the door that hard - and that door was easy to get through.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on September 03, 2013, 09:41:49 AM
We weren't house-hunting on this one but it was an eye-opener.

Our next door neighbors were German and had a small child.  They didn't speak much English but we always exchanged a friendly nod and smile when we met in the hallway.  They also seemed to be doing a lot of work in their apartment because there were always construction materials outside their door. 

It wasn't until they moved out and the Real Estate agency held an open house that we saw what was really going on.  They had literally turned the apartment upside down.

  The apartment was a duplex with a balcony leading off a bedroom on the second floor.  Probably because of the small child, they had decided to put the bedrooms on the first floor.  The living room,
 kitchen and dining room were moved to the second floor.  Also, for some odd reason, they decided to reverse the direction of the interior staircase.

The place looked like something out of Harry Potter.  Most of the renovations were almost certainly illegal.  The plumbing and wiring were definitely not up to code.  The co-op board, let alone the city 
would never have approved them. 

After viewing the place, we shuddered to think what might have happened since our apartments share only a partition wall. 

We have new neighbors now.  They also have a small child and they have done a ton of new renovations getting the place back to rights. 





 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Kaymyth on September 05, 2013, 05:40:09 PM
How could I have forgotten the doll house?!?!?

We looked at one place that was quite nice, a bit smaller and more 'cramped' than we liked. Of course, some of the cramped feeling might have been due to the HUNDREDS of dressed-up china dolls on display, on shelves, in nooks along the side of the staircase, posed on chairs, arranged on windowsills, standing in corners, sitting in the middle of the dining table like a centrepiece... We were getting more and more giggly as we went through and found MORE DOLLS everywhere, then got upstairs and opened one door to find the all-doll room, with wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling shelves FULL. OF. DOLLS.

ALL STARING RIGHT AT US.

I hypothesise that the infestation started in that room and then spread to the rest of the house when things got out of hand.

This is a horror story waiting to be written.

The only thing I could think of: "Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes."

Bravo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrGtxf-8ISc
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on September 05, 2013, 09:16:56 PM
We looked at a house that was apparently owned by the world's best gardener and canner. The walls in the kitchen, living room, and hallway were lined with shelves that had been built to hold the many, many, MANY jars of green beans, peppers, squash, etc.  My guess would be doomsday preppers but seriously? You could hardly walk through the hallway becuase it was so narrow due to the shelves on both sides.
I looked at a house that had a large jammed-to-the gills pantry. Items were organized by group (canned vegetables, cereal, crackers, etc.) and alphabetized within groups.  There was a huge quantity of each item -- like 100 cans of creamed corn, and every item was meticulously lined up and pulled to the front.  It was like a tiny perfectly-stocked grocery store. 

No one was home, which was a shame because I really wanted to meet these people.  Maybe they were doomsday preppers.  If so, they were darn tidy ones.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on September 05, 2013, 10:07:28 PM
We looked at a house that was apparently owned by the world's best gardener and canner. The walls in the kitchen, living room, and hallway were lined with shelves that had been built to hold the many, many, MANY jars of green beans, peppers, squash, etc.  My guess would be doomsday preppers but seriously? You could hardly walk through the hallway becuase it was so narrow due to the shelves on both sides.
I looked at a house that had a large jammed-to-the gills pantry. Items were organized by group (canned vegetables, cereal, crackers, etc.) and alphabetized within groups.  There was a huge quantity of each item -- like 100 cans of creamed corn, and every item was meticulously lined up and pulled to the front.  It was like a tiny perfectly-stocked grocery store. 

No one was home, which was a shame because I really wanted to meet these people.  Maybe they were doomsday preppers.  If so, they were darn tidy ones.

Maybe most of those cans weren't actual cans of food? Some people will save old cans or make fake ones to make their pantry look full, especially those that can't afford a lot of food.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jedikaiti on September 06, 2013, 12:13:48 AM
Or some of them were dummy cans being used to store valuables.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Carotte on September 06, 2013, 02:17:43 AM
Or some of them were dummy cans being used to store valuables.

I can't imagine being in a rush for something and having to tear through 98 fake cans or creamed corn.

"Where the *expletive* did I put those *expletive* pearl earings, the diced or the peeled tomato cans? or was is the tomato paste?"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on September 06, 2013, 07:48:21 AM
Everyone knows that the pearls go in the corn, and the diamonds go in the tomatoes (diced, not whole).
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Slartibartfast on September 06, 2013, 11:04:12 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: starry diadem on September 06, 2013, 11:16:14 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 06, 2013, 11:29:18 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I agree!  If somehow it could be altered just to reduce the rather alarming amount of pink, it's actually a very cool place!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on September 06, 2013, 11:29:43 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .

Didn't I see this on CSI?   :)

The fake rock barbeque!  The truncated fake trees!  The pink-trimmed kitchen with the toaster built into the wall!  The not-particularly-realistic mural!  Not anywhere near my price range, of course, but I have to admit, it would be tempting for the kitsch value.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on September 06, 2013, 11:32:42 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I agree!  If somehow it could be painted or otherwise altered to reduce the rather alarming amount of pink, it's actually a very cool place!!

Eh, I could live with the pink-trimmed kitchen, but I'd have to do something with that room with ceiling and walls covered with gold fabric.  Actually, if I had the kind of money to spend $1.7 million on a house, I'd consider replacing the mural with some kind of photographic/electronic version.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Eeep! on September 06, 2013, 11:50:36 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I agree!  If somehow it could be painted or otherwise altered to reduce the rather alarming amount of pink, it's actually a very cool place!!

Eh, I could live with the pink-trimmed kitchen, but I'd have to do something with that room with ceiling and walls covered with gold fabric.  Actually, if I had the kind of money to spend $1.7 million on a house, I'd consider replacing the mural with some kind of photographic/electronic version.

I would totally keep everything - even that ridiculous gold room! After all, there is a regular house up above!  If only I had millions to throw around. :(
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on September 06, 2013, 12:48:39 PM
Heck - live downstairs (repaint a bit - new appliances for the kitchen & wire it for internet access) - then use the ground floor house either for guests or for rental property.

Can you imagine the awesome parties in the "basement" with no danger of neighbors complaining about the noise?  Lack of parking, maybe.......but noise? 

And, in the event of zombies, go downstairs and wait them out.....
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: daisy1679 on September 06, 2013, 12:57:00 PM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .

Didn't I see this on CSI?   :)

The fake rock barbeque!  The truncated fake trees!  The pink-trimmed kitchen with the toaster built into the wall!  The not-particularly-realistic mural!  Not anywhere near my price range, of course, but I have to admit, it would be tempting for the kitsch value.

I'm pretty sure this is the house they used for that episode! If not, then they must have copied it, because the  "outside" sure looks the same  :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sirius on September 06, 2013, 01:23:17 PM
When we were looking at houses we looked at one that was too large for us two (among other things) but as we were coming out of that house we noticed that someone was putting a "For Sale" sign in front of the house next door.  Our realtor got the door code and we looked at it and loved it.  We looked at several more, but decided we liked this one, so our realtor called the company that was offering it for sale.  He put the phone on speaker (told the guy he was doing it) and the seller told us, "That house is going for $149,000."  Under the circumstances that was a steal, so we put in an offer. 

Then the company tried to tell us, "He gave you the wrong price.  That house is actually $169,000."  We didn't fall for that one.  They also tried to claim that because we were getting such a good deal they shouldn't have to fix the problems our inspector found.  We didn't fall for that one, either.  Finally they decided that a buyer in the hand was definitely worth two in the bush, and took our offer, and we moved in two months later.  Our realtor had warned us ahead of time that the company selling the house might try both of those things.  We not only got a nice house when the market was at the bottom, we got a good interest rate.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mandycorn on September 06, 2013, 04:32:54 PM
I've started watching the tv show Flip or Flop on HGTV, following a married couple who flip houses and I saw one that was absolutely horrifying.

They bought a foreclosure at an auction, without touring the inside, based on the neighborhood and square footage. Once they got into the house, they found that someone had vandalized the entire house: breaking every window, slashing the blinds, and smearing unnamed substances on walls and floors. The worst part, though, was that every sink, toilet, and tub had concrete dumped into the water, where it then hardened. They had to replace every single one of them, and a large portion of the plumbing.

I know foreclosures get vandalized, but I think the worst part for me was the creativity with the cement. That was one I'd never heard of and I was amazed (in a bad way) that somebody would think to do that.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 06, 2013, 04:42:43 PM
...   The worst part, though, was that every sink, toilet, and tub had concrete dumped into the water, where it then hardened. They had to replace every single one of them, and a large portion of the plumbing.

I know foreclosures get vandalized, but I think the worst part for me was the creativity with the cement. That was one I'd never heard of and I was amazed (in a bad way) that somebody would think to do that.

If it was a foreclosure, then the identity of the previous "owners" were known.  I would think that the bank or whoever owned the property could find those people and go after them for the vandalism, including a choice of paying for all the repairs and replacements or spending a significant amount of time in jail.  I DO understand their frustration, but basically what they did was still both not only morally, but also legally wrong.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on September 06, 2013, 04:45:05 PM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I love the fake-boulder barbecue. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 06, 2013, 04:48:08 PM


I love the fake-boulder barbecue.

I do too, but wouldn't it be dangerous to use inside?  Maybe not if it's natural gas or electric, I guess.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Hillia on September 06, 2013, 06:04:45 PM
...   The worst part, though, was that every sink, toilet, and tub had concrete dumped into the water, where it then hardened. They had to replace every single one of them, and a large portion of the plumbing.

I know foreclosures get vandalized, but I think the worst part for me was the creativity with the cement. That was one I'd never heard of and I was amazed (in a bad way) that somebody would think to do that.

If it was a foreclosure, then the identity of the previous "owners" were known.  I would think that the bank or whoever owned the property could find those people and go after them for the vandalism, including a choice of paying for all the repairs and replacements or spending a significant amount of time in jail.  I DO understand their frustration, but basically what they did was still both not only morally, but also legally wrong.

Problem is, you can't prove they did it.  'We moved out...if someone broke in after that, it's not our fault'. 

The house we rented in Phoenix had been totally vandalized by the owners on the way out; they smashed holes in the drywall, ripped out the security system alarm panels, poured bleach on all the carpets, poured red syrup on the carpets then mixed in sugar and flour, smashed the glass door on the oven, and tore down all the blinds and shredded the window screens.  The rental company got it fixed up, but before we could move in, the jilted girlfriend of the former owners'  teenage son broke in and drew a giant naked woman on one wall in pink spray paint, drew a corresponding naked man on another wall, wrote slurs about someone named Jazmyn in purple Sharpie marker all over the kitchen counters, and used the same pink spray paint to write more about Jazmyn on the cinderblock walls.  They could theoretically have traced the family through the bank, but there was no way to prove they had done the damage, so the new owner (our landlord) ate the cost of fixing the place twice.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: o_gal on September 09, 2013, 06:35:38 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .

Hmmm, is it worth $1.7 million to be able to bring people in and honestly say

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair!

 8)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wx4caster on September 09, 2013, 10:14:37 AM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I love the fake-boulder barbecue.

That barbecue looks like something from the Flintstones.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on September 09, 2013, 05:38:58 PM
This house (http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/09/05/the-1970s-cold-war-era-home-built-26-feet-underground/) looks pretty neat, and it's a bargain at only $1.7 million.  Of course, the fact that the entire thing is built as a nuclear bunker underground and is a time capsule from the 70s only adds to its charm . . .


I love it! It's so terrible, it's charming.  What the French call jolie-laide, I believe.

I love the fake-boulder barbecue.

That barbecue looks like something from the Flintstones.

Now I want one just like it....
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pinkflamingo on September 17, 2013, 04:25:01 PM
I am currently living next door to a real estate horror.

It's a foreclosure and while the previous residents didn't trash the place before they left, they didn't make any kind of improvements to the property while they lived there except for building an illegal two car garage. So, when there was an open house in early June, prospective buyers were treated to dated fixtures, cracked walls, loose gutters, a missing downspout, and a roof so badly damaged there's a tarp tacked to a section of it. Although, I'm sure the buyers had a clue of what they were in for when the listed price was about $100,000 less than the going rate for the neighborhood. Two weeks later, we had a huge storm in the area that ripped off the loose gutters, most of the eaves, and a small portion of the roof. About a week after that, raccoons moved in (if they weren't living there before). About a week after *that*, the realtor's sign vanished from the lawn as did anything even remotely related to the bank that owns it.

My neighbors and I are almost hoping the village condemns it so that it will finally get demolished.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on September 17, 2013, 05:01:25 PM
I suspect the house behind me is deteriorating into a housing horror.  It's a foreclosure that's been empty for over a year.  The bank had a possible buyer, but the county refused to let the sale go through because the house was full of zoning and building violations.  In fact, I don't know how the original owner was able to sell it because outbuildings spread almost to the property lines on both sides, despite a required 15 foot setback on each side.  After that, the county property records look like it was passed around several family members, probably depending on who could pay the mortgage. 

For a week, it was listed on a real estate agency's website with photos. Most of the house is a giant family room, one that has been expanded several times -- and I'd be greatly surprised if anyone had ever bothered to pull building permits for anything.  They used to throw some epic parties back there.  The rest of the house is only three bedrooms with one full bath and several half baths.  There is also a swimming pool, and a large gazebo that hasn't been used for much since the original owners built it. There are small trees starting to grow in the swimming pool. 

The county won't let the property be sold unless the violations are corrected; the bank doesn't want to pay for any changes.  The lot is 1.2 acres, big enough for a developer to build two or three houses if they share a driveway, if the bank and county ever figure out who is going to bulldoze the house.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on September 17, 2013, 05:08:50 PM
My in-laws home will be a disaster when they actually sell it.

They designed the house themselves in 1981. It is very large, with a giant barn of a living room. All of the common areas have commercial style fluorescent lighting, just bare fixtures. The house has original pale beige carpet that has been through multiple appliance-related floods in the house as well as three kids. They never pulled it up, so I am certain (from the odor) there is mildew in the padding. The house has dual sliding-glass doors opening out to the unfinished back porch. The house has settled, so one set no longer opens. There are 2" gaps under the doors from the two bathrooms on the bedroom wing of the house, and the bottom opening of those doors sit 15" above the ground. The house has original windows and screens, many that no longer open. It has original blinds, many with missing slats. The walls were never painted beyond primer. There are no pictures hanging on any walls in the house. There is broken and cracked tile in each bathroom, the kitchen and the breakfast nook. The trim around doorways, along the base of the walls, and on window sills has never been nailed or glued down. To top it all off, there are 1' pieces of wiring sticking out at every window and exterior door from 1981, just in case they wanted to install an alarm.

I somehow think they are going to have a hard time selling it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: WolfWay on September 24, 2013, 11:45:19 PM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Redwing on September 25, 2013, 08:16:19 AM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D

That was great!  Horrifying, but great!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on September 25, 2013, 10:34:05 AM
^^^  Gotta' love the photograph by Mr. Skivvies!    ;D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: jaxsue on September 25, 2013, 01:50:53 PM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D

I'm laughing so hard at these. Thanks for posting!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Cami on September 25, 2013, 02:33:59 PM
Seattle has its own regular bad realtor photos site: http://seattle.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/weird-terrible-photos-real-estate-seattle-queen-anne.php#more
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on September 25, 2013, 03:13:11 PM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D

I'm laughing so hard at these. Thanks for posting!

I'm not only laughing, I'm seriously puzzled at how someone can take a picture looking directly into a mirrored surface, and leave no evidence of their presence.

Surely vampires would not be so bold in revealing their existence?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on September 25, 2013, 03:15:06 PM
Seattle has its own regular bad realtor photos site: http://seattle.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/weird-terrible-photos-real-estate-seattle-queen-anne.php#more

These are really funny too, but man, some of those houses are gorgeous! I would love to live in Seattle.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wolfie on September 25, 2013, 03:42:25 PM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D

I'm laughing so hard at these. Thanks for posting!

I'm not only laughing, I'm seriously puzzled at how someone can take a picture looking directly into a mirrored surface, and leave no evidence of their presence.

Surely vampires would not be so bold in revealing their existence?

that one got me too. You can't even see a tripod so it's not like timed it and ran out of the shot.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: doodlemor on September 25, 2013, 06:38:39 PM
I thought you lot might appreciate this tumblr.

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

 ;D

I'm laughing so hard at these. Thanks for posting!

I'm not only laughing, I'm seriously puzzled at how someone can take a picture looking directly into a mirrored surface, and leave no evidence of their presence.

Surely vampires would not be so bold in revealing their existence?

If you look closely, I think that someone is standing outside and the camera can be seen in the window.

I just loved these!  I laughed harder and harder as I went through the pages.  Thanks for the site - it's in my bookmarks now.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on September 26, 2013, 02:56:02 PM
Reminiscent of the old "It's Lovely, I'll Take It" blog before it started showing only weird furniture.  Which was shortly before the plug was pulled completely.  I enjoyed it.   :)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Mediancat on September 27, 2013, 07:32:51 AM
They, like so many of the good humor sites, were acquired and then ended by the Cheezburger Network. Alas.

Rob
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: zyrs on October 10, 2013, 06:58:04 AM
So my wife and i have been house hunting for a while.  And we finally found a house.  We thought.

We made an offer contingent on inspection and put down the earnest money.  The offer was accepted.

And then the inspection... needs new roof (that we were aware of), sheathing, siding, garage, foundation, it has two types of wood eating insects, black mold, mice, earth settling issues seemingly associated to drainage and oh by the way, it has been on fire at least once.  All of this stuff was not obvious and luckily we had a good inspector. 

 We decided that was just too much for us to take on.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Julian on October 10, 2013, 08:34:43 PM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors. 
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on October 10, 2013, 08:54:56 PM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Good grief, it's like a train wreck...I can't stop looking at these flubs!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: andi on October 10, 2013, 10:00:17 PM
I sent it to my FIL - he used to do home inspections. Just wow
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on October 11, 2013, 01:03:07 AM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

"While inspecting a 120-plus-year-old home, I found this attic stairway opening directly outside the door from an attic bedroom. I sure hope the people sleeping here don't sleepwalk."
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20615425_21190478,00.html

 :o
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: atirial on October 11, 2013, 07:42:04 AM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.
That site is addictive! I should be working, and I keep thinking "just a few more won't hurt"
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Twik on October 11, 2013, 08:38:36 AM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

"While inspecting a 120-plus-year-old home, I found this attic stairway opening directly outside the door from an attic bedroom. I sure hope the people sleeping here don't sleepwalk."
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20615425_21190478,00.html

 :o

How do they get *into* the bedroom? Leap the chasm?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Two Ravens on October 11, 2013, 09:04:17 AM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Well, there goes my morning. I think my favorite so far is the WWII mortar shell that required military specialists to remove...
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Seraphia on October 11, 2013, 10:36:24 AM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Well, there goes my morning. I think my favorite so far is the WWII mortar shell that required military specialists to remove...

My eyebrows hit my hairline at the 20 amp circuit with no ground and no interrupt.... going to a shower heater fan. Was someone plotting a murder!?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: HorseFreak on October 12, 2013, 05:43:52 PM
My circa 1810 apartment in NH almost burned down while I lived there in college. It had been divided by a wannabe handyman (my landlord was an idiot) into a store and two apartments. Neat place, but a wiring disaster. During the winter my roommate tried to run an electric space heater at the same time as a hair dryer and the other roommate noticed a weird burning smell in the her room where the breaker was. We turned everything off and called the fire department who had an electrician look at the wiring. Some idiot had installed a circuit breaker panel without removing the metal cut-outs over one of the switches so it was stuck on and couldn't trip. The smell was the wires in the wall burning.

Landlord got cited an the wiring was repaired on an emergency basis which was probably more expensive than doing it right the first time.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Nikko-chan on October 12, 2013, 07:26:11 PM
I just got done with house hunting horrors one, and can't continue because I am going to bed.... you all were right. It IS like a train wreck! How stupid can people be?!?!?!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: wx4caster on October 12, 2013, 08:41:24 PM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Well, there goes my morning. I think my favorite so far is the WWII mortar shell that required military specialists to remove...

My eyebrows hit my hairline at the 20 amp circuit with no ground and no interrupt.... going to a shower heater fan. Was someone plotting a murder!?

Most can be categorized as lazy or stupid. But the one I cannot wrap my head around is the bathroom with his and her toilets.  ??? What on earth were they thinking?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on October 12, 2013, 09:19:44 PM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Well, there goes my morning. I think my favorite so far is the WWII mortar shell that required military specialists to remove...

My eyebrows hit my hairline at the 20 amp circuit with no ground and no interrupt.... going to a shower heater fan. Was someone plotting a murder!?

Most can be categorized as lazy or stupid. But the one I cannot wrap my head around is the bathroom with his and her toilets.  ??? What on earth were they thinking?
That both of them had Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and neither one wanted to be relegated to the 'kid's bathroom'?  Conjoined twins? 

The ones that got to me were the ones where there were extension cords coming off power strips coming off multi-taps coming off more power strips.  EEEEEK!
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on October 12, 2013, 10:50:21 PM


Most can be categorized as lazy or stupid. But the one I cannot wrap my head around is the bathroom with his and her toilets.  ??? What on earth were they thinking?
I would just as soon be blessedly unaware of any and all evidence that my housemates do, in fact, use a toilet. 'Nuff said.  ::)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: pwv on October 13, 2013, 05:04:03 AM


Most can be categorized as lazy or stupid. But the one I cannot wrap my head around is the bathroom with his and her toilets.  ??? What on earth were they thinking?
I would just as soon be blessedly unaware of any and all evidence that my housemates do, in fact, use a toilet. 'Nuff said.  ::)

One advantage of having his and hers toilets would be that he could leave his seat up and not have to listen to her nag him about it.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Luci on October 13, 2013, 08:20:34 AM


Most can be categorized as lazy or stupid. But the one I cannot wrap my head around is the bathroom with his and her toilets.  ??? What on earth were they thinking?
I would just as soon be blessedly unaware of any and all evidence that my housemates do, in fact, use a toilet. 'Nuff said.  ::)

One advantage of having his and hers toilets would be that he could leave his seat up and not have to listen to her nag him about it.

My dad was one of 9 kids. The outhouse was a 3-holer - two regular and one toddler height. I never wanted to think about that, either.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Green Bean on October 13, 2013, 09:16:49 AM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: BarensMom on October 13, 2013, 12:36:44 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.

2 questions:  Were they there in addition to the bed and were the lids open or closed?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on October 13, 2013, 01:14:56 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.

2 questions:  Were they there in addition to the bed and were the lids open or closed?

And a third question:  Were they occupied?  :-\
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Elfmama on October 13, 2013, 03:11:42 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Sebastienne on October 13, 2013, 03:20:03 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.

I read it as viral marketing. You will love this house so much, you will never ever want to leave it.

Creepy, creepy viral marketing.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: magicdomino on October 13, 2013, 05:14:20 PM

The ones that got to me were the ones where there were extension cords coming off power strips coming off multi-taps coming off more power strips.  EEEEEK!

There have been daisy chains almost that bad in my house.  It was built in the 1950's when sound systems were a radio and maybe a record player, and there was only one TV in the house.  No microwave ovens, no computers, no cell phones to charge, no plug-in air fresheners.  You didn't need more than one outlet per wall, or even per room.  Now, whenever a room is built or remodeled, I go a little crazy with outlets.  There is no such thing as too many outlets.  The electrician for the addition did question why I wanted a single outlet and a double outlet in the walk-in closet, so I told him about my friend's master bathroom.  A multi-tap outlet with his electric razor, somebody's electric toothbrush, her curling iron, somebody's hair dryer, and a Glade plug-in.  I can stuff all the rechargeable things in the closet.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on October 13, 2013, 05:27:30 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.
What the eye has seen, cannot be unseen. I wouldn't want that image popping to mind every time I went into my bedroom.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on October 13, 2013, 05:39:47 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.
What the eye has seen, cannot be unseen. I wouldn't want that image popping to mind every time I went into my bedroom.

It wouldn't bother me. Caskets aren't evil or anything other than another piece of woodworking. As long as they were removed (or I could get rid of them), I would see it just as evidence that the previous inhabitants were a little nutty.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: gramma dishes on October 13, 2013, 08:12:11 PM
...  I would see it just as evidence that the previous inhabitants were a little nutty.

Or were Scouts and took the "Be prepared" motto very seriously.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 13, 2013, 08:59:48 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.
What the eye has seen, cannot be unseen. I wouldn't want that image popping to mind every time I went into my bedroom.

It wouldn't bother me. Caskets aren't evil or anything other than another piece of woodworking. As long as they were removed (or I could get rid of them), I would see it just as evidence that the previous inhabitants were a little nutty.

I like the Amish made ones that can be used upright as bookcases until needed for another purpose.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: TeamBhakta on October 13, 2013, 10:13:04 PM
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20722552_last,00.html)

Weird, strange and outright dangerous things found by house inspectors.

Yikes  :-X

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20057325_20089634,00.html

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,1632942_1384887,00.html

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20048555_20072383,00.html

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20048555_20072395,00.html
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on October 14, 2013, 12:05:22 PM
I heard this one this week on the radio. The topic was "the strangest thing you ever saw in someone else's home". Of course, the realtor had the best story. The home she was taking clients thru was otherwise normal, but when they walked into the master suite, there it was: 2 beautiful,solid hardwood, intricately hand carved caskets.

Her clients passed on that one.
Why? Were they built into the walls or something? Presumably, the current occupants of the house would be taking their caskets with them.
What the eye has seen, cannot be unseen. I wouldn't want that image popping to mind every time I went into my bedroom.

It wouldn't bother me. Caskets aren't evil or anything other than another piece of woodworking. As long as they were removed (or I could get rid of them), I would see it just as evidence that the previous inhabitants were a little nutty.

I like the Amish made ones that can be used upright as bookcases until needed for another purpose.

Now I kind of want one. I would love to be buried in my bookcase. No one needs to know.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: VorFemme on October 14, 2013, 12:56:25 PM

I like the Amish made ones that can be used upright as bookcases until needed for another purpose.

Now I kind of want one. I would love to be buried in my bookcase. No one needs to know.

Me, too, the question is how many books can I fit into the bookcase/casket with me?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: mumma to KMC on October 14, 2013, 03:13:54 PM
http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com/image/63014479176

My inlaws "remodeled" their kitchen and back room/entry way area a few years ago. It went through many different phases before they decide to expand the bathroom so that you have to walk through the bathroom to get to the side porch.  I guess it's slightly better than it used to be, where the toilet was right next to the window, the window was pretty much floor to ceiling, and the back porch was right on the other side of the window. Oh, and for some reason, there was never ever a curtain that provided any protection.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Thipu1 on October 15, 2013, 08:56:06 AM

I like the Amish made ones that can be used upright as bookcases until needed for another purpose.

Now I kind of want one. I would love to be buried in my bookcase. No one needs to know.

Me, too, the question is how many books can I fit into the bookcase/casket with me?

I seem to remember a trend a few decades back in which kits were available to build your own coffin/bookcase.  Heck, even now there are CD cabinets that are built to resemble Egtian mummy cases. a friend has one about six-feet tall. 

I certainly wouldn't mind having a nicely carved wooden coffin in the house.  Fitted with a glass top it could make a spectacular coffee table.   

Personally, I wouldn't mind
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: o_gal on October 15, 2013, 11:12:16 AM

I like the Amish made ones that can be used upright as bookcases until needed for another purpose.

Now I kind of want one. I would love to be buried in my bookcase. No one needs to know.

Me, too, the question is how many books can I fit into the bookcase/casket with me?

I seem to remember a trend a few decades back in which kits were available to build your own coffin/bookcase.  Heck, even now there are CD cabinets that are built to resemble Egtian mummy cases. a friend has one about six-feet tall. 

I certainly wouldn't mind having a nicely carved wooden coffin in the house.  Fitted with a glass top it could make a spectacular coffee table.   

Personally, I wouldn't mind

Coffee table maybe, but maybe not the dining room table: http://voices.yahoo.com/what-happened-eva-evita-perons-body-416352.html?cat=49
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 15, 2013, 11:14:30 AM
I think I need to start a thread with what you want to take with you when you go. I would definitely take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Jocelyn on October 15, 2013, 08:52:38 PM
I think I need to start a thread with what you want to take with you when you go. I would definitely take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
My Kindle. If I had everything on it that I've bought over the years, it would have 0 memory left. And it will take an eternity for me to finish all those books. ;)
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: Ms_Cellany on October 16, 2013, 11:08:50 AM
What do you do with the books when you need the coffin?
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: ladyknight1 on October 16, 2013, 12:34:17 PM
Have an estate sale?  >:D
Title: Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
Post by: lady_disdain on October 17, 2013, 03:45:41 AM
Take them with you, of course. You will have plenty of time for readi