Author Topic: Weird features spotted while house hunting  (Read 93172 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5892
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #435 on: January 27, 2012, 02:38:23 PM »
Friends of my parents had a house that was built on a hillside.  You entered the house through the attic to a little entry room.  Then you went down the stairs to the main floor where the kitchen, living room, etc. were.  You went down one more flight to get to the bedrooms.  I imagine it was great for sleeping in the summer but a mite chilly in the winter.

I lived in a house that was built on the side of a huge rock (aka, the Sugar Loaf in Rio, which is basically a 400m tall block of granite). The house was built vertically. You would enter a little lobby, with a natural rock face for a wall, a staircase going up and a garage to your right. The next floor had a living room and dining room. Then, the next had an office, a bedroom and a kitchen, which was not very handy for a dinner party. Another flight of stairs and you had a TV room and another bedroom. Then came the last bedroom and a kind of shed. Then a tiny pool (more like a hot tub) and then a half flight up to a deck.

Man, I had great legs back then.

Daquiri40

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 284
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #436 on: January 28, 2012, 04:00:15 PM »
Quote
Another one near my ILs was listed as a two car attached garage. We pull up, and the driveway is only 10' wide, leading to a 9' garage door. Curious, we actually did go inside, to find a garage that is 35' deep, so two cars DO fit! But, there was no back garage door or driveway that would allow egress for the first car.
The garages are technically two car because you can fit one car behind the other.  There are condos built around here that have these type of garages.  I looked at the model.  The car in back, backs out and then the car in front can move.

The condo itself was so small, I was claustrophobic just looking at it.  The master bathroom was so tiny, I think 4 squares of tile covered the floor.  The big selling point was the basement.  It was rough plumbed for a third bathroom and you could finish the rest of the basement for extra living space. 

The living room was so small, I sat on the couch and stretched out my legs and reached the other side of the room!  And I'm only 5'3".

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7763
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #437 on: February 07, 2012, 06:16:19 PM »
We just made an offer on a foreclosed house to use as a rental property. It's very cheap - one reason being that the furnace was stolen.

Wow. How would they get it out of the house? Wouldn't they have to dismantle it?

And why??

Why?  "Hey, free furnace!"


Along the same lines my parents looked at a home where someone had run off with the deck. All the photos the realtor had of the house showed a deck in the back yard but when they went to look at it, the back door opened out onto nothing and then 6 feet down, a cement pad where the deck had been.

After looking at several houses that would not pass the inspection required to get a VA/USDA mortgage here in the US, we had to specify to our realtor that we only want to see houses that would pass. We have seen houses missing: all the kitchen cabinets, the air conditioner (Florida, it is required just to keep the walls from molding), heater, water heater, shower faucets, kitchen sinks, anything you could possibly imagine. Most of the houses included in the above were fairly new, and the prior owner had been the first person to own that house. There is a movement in our state government to locate and criminally prosecute these owners for stealing the furnishings of the homes, especially since the house must be bought with a conventional loan or by an investor with cash (neither require inspections).
We also found houses with collapsed ceilings, DIY exposed wiring, walls reinforced with cardboard, etc. There are entire communities with half finished houses, as the housing bubble burst, many of the construction companies went under and the houses sat vacant with no doors or windows for years.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #438 on: February 08, 2012, 01:18:01 PM »
That is federal, not just Maryland. If it doesn't have a closet it isn't a bedroom. Realtors might call it a bedroom, but when you try to have it appraised to sell the place, nope. No closet, no bedroom. Other things vary from state to state (like ceiling height) but that one is everywhere. Also basement rooms do not count. The square footage contributes to the overall value; but it is not part of the overall gross living area so any rooms down there are extra. If you have 3 bedrooms on the main level and 2 in the basement it is a 3 bedroom house.
Thus concludes our appraisal class for today.  :)
How does one distinguish a basement from a lower level?  Our house is a split foyer; you enter on a landing, and go up 7 steps to the upper level (3 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, 2 baths) or down 6 steps to the lower level (family room, 1 large bedroom, laundry, 1 bath).  At the back of the house is a sliding door to the back yard from the family room, so the lower level is not entirely belowground.

So do I have a 4 bedroom house, as it was sold to us, or only a 3 bedroom?

It has been so long since I looked at one of those I had to ask someone. It varies from county to county, and in cases where the county is not clear an appraisal would have to show homes of similar circumstance. So if one was called a 3 bedroom, all would have to be called 3 bedroom, with sales data to support it. It also depends on who would be doing the underwriting in a lending scenario, apparently, which honestly was news to me. I learned something today.  :)
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13989
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #439 on: February 08, 2012, 01:22:24 PM »
My house is similar.  The front door comes in at mid-level.  Upstairs has 2 bedrooms, the bathroom, kitchen and living room.  Downstairs is a rec room, bedroom, washroom and laundry room.  It was listed as 2+1 bedrooms, 1.5 baths.

ETA:  But the basement square footage still wasn't calculated into the total square footage.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #440 on: February 08, 2012, 01:27:29 PM »

I love houses like that. For some reason they always feel bigger inside than they should (to me), and open and pretty.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

faithlessone

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2731
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #441 on: February 08, 2012, 01:42:11 PM »
I always think that when my best friend's parents eventually sell their house, the estate agent is going to have an absolute field day describing/selling it. Her dad is an architect, and designed the house from scratch about 25 years ago. It's wonderful, but quite bizarre, to be honest.

It's built on a slope, with the front door at the top. Inside the house, there are no less than four levels going down, and three going up.

You go in through the front door, and there's a large open-plan kitchen/dining room, with a very spacious attic above. There's also a utility room off that, with two areas, one with the washing machine / tumble drier, and one with two huge chest freezers and a built in wine rack. Then you go down a small flight of stairs to a long landing with a toilet/cloakroom and walk-in cupboard. Another short flight of stairs leads you to a large dining room, with french doors onto a patio, and a connected study/library. A third flight of stairs then takes you down to the main living area, with a large 'formal' sitting room and a slightly smaller 'casual' sitting room. There's also another toilet, and another walk-in cupboard. There's another set of french doors leading from the 'formal' sitting room out onto another patio, which looks over a large lawn. They just got a small fountain installed back there as well.

Also from the dining room level, you can go up a longer flight of stairs to a landing with two bedrooms, a large bathroom and a walk-in airing cupboard. Up another short flight of stairs there's two more bedrooms, one of which has been turned into a study so that the mum could work from home. Up the final set of stairs, there's the master bedroom (which is massive), with its own ensuite - which has a bath and separate shower cubicle as well.

Like I said, it's completely wonderful, even if it's huge, and a complete nightmare if you're not good with stairs. I stayed there for about a week a few years ago (while my parents were on a second honeymoon), and my thighs looked wonderful in a very short space of time!

Giggity

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8622
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #442 on: February 08, 2012, 08:20:23 PM »
Faithlessone, I would love to see floor plans of that place! It sounds gorgeous. I love individual non-cookie-cutter homes.
Words mean things.

Marisol

  • with a parasol.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1917
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #443 on: March 01, 2012, 04:14:56 PM »
Oops, sorry Slartibartfast & gramma dishes, I'm sure your red carpet looked lovely! It was just unusual to see, especially since the house was overpriced!

I've never liked red carpets.  You see them in a lot of churches and I always think it looks too harsh for what should be a peaceful setting.  And if you wed in a church with a red carpet you ought to check your colors.  If you choose a jewel tones purple your wedding will look like it is for the purple hat society!

JennJenn68

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 712
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #444 on: March 01, 2012, 04:18:33 PM »
Oops, sorry Slartibartfast & gramma dishes, I'm sure your red carpet looked lovely! It was just unusual to see, especially since the house was overpriced!

I've never liked red carpets.  You see them in a lot of churches and I always think it looks too harsh for what should be a peaceful setting.  And if you wed in a church with a red carpet you ought to check your colors.  If you choose a jewel tones purple your wedding will look like it is for the purple hat society!

I remember the first time we walked through the house we would eventually end up buying.  "Like the kitchen floor... Nice fireplace... Good, three bedrooms... OH MY GOD!  That red carpet in the master bedroom has to go!"

We've been living in this house now for fifteen years.  Guess which feature I still haven't gotten around to ditching? ;D

I'm terminally lazy, I must admit.  And one can get used to almost anything when you live with it long enough.

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13065
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #445 on: March 01, 2012, 04:35:56 PM »
Sold this house rather than bought it (but it got a LOT of comments) - mauve (dusty pink) carpet in the living room and master bedroom (also closet & hallways - kids' bedrooms were blue). 

I got asked if there was harwood UNDER the carpet and asked several more times if I was SURE that there wasn't (seven year old house that we had built from on a vacant lot) hardwood under that carpet (I really think that she wanted to be able to rip the carpet up to check for herself but I wasn't going for that).

Once the mauve & blue (striped) couch and other accessories that tied the carpet to the decor scheme - it didn't look "right".  But the first comment on the bottom of the information sheet was a new flooring allowance...................
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

jedikaiti

  • Swiss Army Nerd
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2790
  • A pie in the hand is worth two in the mail.
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #446 on: March 18, 2012, 07:19:11 PM »
But I don't think any weird feature tops the house that FH was renting before we moved in. It had a secret room behind a bar in the basement. It was a cut out in the wall that opened when you pushed a hidden button in a bookcase next to it. The secret room had cement floors and display cases lining the walls. Similar to this: http://www.dickblick.com/products/claridge-sliding-door-display-cases/  except they didn't have shelves, just pegboard in the back, and the sliding doors locked. I'm convinced it used to be the home of an international illegal arms dealer. I can't imagine what else that room could have been used for.

So I just chatted with my Mom, who's a realtor in the area, and she has a couple of amusing theories... 1) Old, leftover bomb shelter; 2) "Vacation" home for 1930s-era Chicago mobsters who occasionally had to leave town to get away from the heat. (Apparently, some of them did, in fact, have homes in the area for that reason, and might well have added a secret room to hide their illegal booze.)

:-)
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

JoW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 929
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #447 on: March 18, 2012, 07:25:41 PM »
I can see the logic behind a bomb shelter.  Heck, I wish I had a bomb shelter.  If I was building a house I probably would include a bomb shelter.  But I would call it a tornado shelter and I would only stock it with supplies to last a few hours. 

I live in tornado alley.  Most years I spend a couple nights in the basement hiding from tornado-bearing storms. 

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6188
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #448 on: March 19, 2012, 12:11:29 AM »
I always told DH that if I ever lived in Tornado Alley again, I was going to have a tornado-cellar if I had to go out in the back yard and dig one with a teaspoon!

And where have I come the nearest to a tornado?  Right here in Maryland, which is nowhere near Tornado Alley!  An F-1 about 15 years ago came through my back yard.  Minor damage, mostly to the neighbor's trees, which got their tops twisted off and thrown in my yard.  It also sucked the glass out of a storm window that was already cracked, and tore off the top of the bird feeder and filled just one of the two compartments with dirt.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It's true. Money can't buy happiness.  You have to turn it
into books first.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

flowersintheattic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 641
Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #449 on: March 20, 2012, 10:09:29 PM »
But I don't think any weird feature tops the house that FH was renting before we moved in. It had a secret room behind a bar in the basement. It was a cut out in the wall that opened when you pushed a hidden button in a bookcase next to it. The secret room had cement floors and display cases lining the walls. Similar to this: http://www.dickblick.com/products/claridge-sliding-door-display-cases/  except they didn't have shelves, just pegboard in the back, and the sliding doors locked. I'm convinced it used to be the home of an international illegal arms dealer. I can't imagine what else that room could have been used for.

So I just chatted with my Mom, who's a realtor in the area, and she has a couple of amusing theories... 1) Old, leftover bomb shelter; 2) "Vacation" home for 1930s-era Chicago mobsters who occasionally had to leave town to get away from the heat. (Apparently, some of them did, in fact, have homes in the area for that reason, and might well have added a secret room to hide their illegal booze.)

:-)

Ooh, these are actually pretty good theories! Definitely not ones we ever thought of. And I didn't know that Chicago mobsters had "vacation" homes in the area....I might have to do some more research into my hometown...
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"