Author Topic: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!  (Read 93405 times)

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siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #90 on: February 25, 2013, 01:13:05 PM »

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



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!

ica171

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #91 on: February 25, 2013, 01:15:51 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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #92 on: February 25, 2013, 01:20:55 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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

amylouky

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #93 on: February 25, 2013, 01:40:53 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.

alkira6

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #94 on: February 25, 2013, 01:42:48 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #95 on: February 25, 2013, 02:05:47 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.

Snowy Owl

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #96 on: February 25, 2013, 02:12:42 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. 

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.

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snowflake

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #97 on: February 25, 2013, 04:08:58 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.

heyyoume

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #98 on: February 25, 2013, 04:57:58 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...

EveLGenius

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #99 on: February 25, 2013, 07:03:52 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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #100 on: February 25, 2013, 10:32:46 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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

VorFemme

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #101 on: February 26, 2013, 02:29:07 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!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #102 on: February 26, 2013, 02:32:43 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 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #103 on: February 26, 2013, 03:14:18 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. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #104 on: February 26, 2013, 03:18:36 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.