Author Topic: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!  (Read 93872 times)

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jedikaiti

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #105 on: February 26, 2013, 03:59:16 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.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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mmswm

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #106 on: February 26, 2013, 04:09:33 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.
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ladyknight1

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #107 on: February 26, 2013, 04:13:26 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.

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #108 on: February 26, 2013, 04:28:22 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!
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

ica171

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #109 on: February 26, 2013, 04:42:39 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.

Sterling

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #110 on: February 26, 2013, 05:13:12 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.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #111 on: February 26, 2013, 05:23:07 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.
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Jocelyn

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #112 on: February 26, 2013, 07:21:27 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.

Eeep!

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #113 on: February 26, 2013, 07:37:47 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.
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Arrynne

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #114 on: February 26, 2013, 08:16:14 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>

Elfmama

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #115 on: February 26, 2013, 10:25:39 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?
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mmswm

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #116 on: February 26, 2013, 10:34:05 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

Page 6.

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.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:59:49 AM by mmswm »
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ica171

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #117 on: February 27, 2013, 12:27:53 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.)

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.

paintpots

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #118 on: February 27, 2013, 06:57:08 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!

oogyda

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #119 on: February 27, 2013, 09:59:51 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. 

It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.