Have you seen the recent news story about the couple in Annapolis, Maryland who are suing their real estate agent along with everyone else involved in selling them a snake-infested house? One of my first thoughts when I heard about this situation was “EWWWW!” Then I started thinking back on the past 12 years of our “we buy houses” experiences. Here a few of the more remarkable ones.
We bought a house in Woodbridge, VA a few years ago. Everything about the house itself seemed totally normal. Sure it needed a bit of fixing up inside – replace the carpet, repair some drywall, upgrade the appliances – but nothing much beyond our normal scope of work. Once we closed on the deal however, we discovered a colony of rats living in the backyard. When I say a colony, I mean it look like an overgrown ant hill, but it was rats! Hundreds, if not, thousands of them. It took several months of constant, weekly extermination by a pest control company. We finally got rid of all of them and were able to reestablish a nice and safe yard area before selling the home.
There was a house in Washington, DC that had been owned by a hoarder. It was so packed with trash and belongings that there were literally only very narrow walkways through each room. You couldn’t see the walls, the floor, the ceiling. You were surrounded by walls of trash.
We brought in and filled about five 30 yard dumpsters. To put it in perspective, one 30 yard dumpster is the equivalent of around nine pickup truck loads of debris. We used five of them! We actually found another bedroom that we didn’t even know existed. That is how loaded the house was with junk.
We gutted the house down to the studs and entirely remodeled it. By the time we were finished, it was beautiful, and hard to imagine how bad it had been in the beginning. There’s no way the original owner would have been able to sell it to anyone other than a real estate investor like Express Homebuyers.
Another house we bought years ago had bones under the floorboard. Someone had cut open the hardwood floor in the living room and put bones in the crawl space. These bones were large bones that were consistent with human remains. If they weren’t human they were that of a very large animal - one not likely that you would find in the District. One looked very much like a knee joint. I called the police thinking that it was likely the remains of a human being. They took them to the Smithsonian and claimed that they were not human remains. I still have my doubts.
Mold is often caused by a roof or plumbing leak. Mold has been an issue in several homes we’ve purchased in the DC metro area. We’re talking houses filled with so much mold you could have used a spoon to scoop it off the floor. Those places required bringing in highly trained mold remediation specialists in hazmat suits over three days. They had to isolate the affected areas using negative air pressure, tear out all the drywall and flooring, and use advanced equipment and chemicals to kill off all the spores.
Once the mold was completely killed off and removed, we had to reinstall all new drywall, flooring and finishes – pretty much rebuild it from the ground up. Again, I’m not sure who else other than a “we buy houses” company would have been willing to buy a property in such a poor condition.
Lastly, we’ve bought quite a few homes in the area that have been plagued by horrible pet odors. Many of these homeowners had simply let their cats or dogs go to the bathroom on the floor or carpet – not just once or twice, but probably consistently for years. In one home in Prince Georges County, Maryland, we found three inches of pet feces caked to the floor. In case you’re not aware, urine stains wood floors and soaks all the way into the subfloor when there’s carpet. In most of these cases, we’ve had to completely remove the decorative flooring, underlayment and subflooring and spray bleach and other chemicals to kill all the bacteria and alleviate the stench. Then we replaced it all back up to the finished floor.
These are crazy, extreme examples of house buying nightmares. If you’re worried about buying a snake-infested house or a house with other unseen horrors, make sure you hire a licensed, certified and recommended home inspector. A home inspector will provide you with a full report of the condition of the home as well as recommendations for necessary repairs so you aren’t unpleasantly surprised after you move in.
If you want to sell a home in need of extensive repairs because of pests, junk accumulation, water or pet damage or any other unpleasant conditions, your best bet for finding a buyer is a reputable “we buy houses” company, such as Express Homebuyers. To get a fair, cash offer on your home today, call (877) 804-5252 or fill out the form below.