Author Topic: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!  (Read 96007 times)

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mmswm

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2013, 08:28:22 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.







(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)
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #46 on: February 23, 2013, 08:58:44 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.

Garden Goblin

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #47 on: February 23, 2013, 10:07:19 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.

MommyPenguin

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #48 on: February 23, 2013, 11:04:01 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>.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2013, 11:44:40 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.

Jones

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2013, 11:48:00 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.

snappylt

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2013, 12:04:45 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 01:07:35 AM by snappylt »

Shalamar

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2013, 04:42:01 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.

cicero

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2013, 06:31:45 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?

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Catananche

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2013, 07:33:17 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.

siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2013, 07:55:19 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!

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2013, 08:09:31 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.
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Thipu1

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2013, 09:19:29 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. 


Garden Goblin

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2013, 09:38:58 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.

veryfluffy

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Re: S/O: House Hunting Horrors!
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2013, 09:41:44 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.