Horror Story: Mountain Climbing Through A Home

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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“Last week I was out showing handyman specials to a buyer client.  One property definitely stood out from all the rest.  As a matter of fact, in my 6 years of working in real estate I have yet to see its equal! The home in question was a small 3 bedroom bungalow on a nice sized lot, and located in a mature and very nice subdivision.  There was no key in the lockbox, so I called the listing agent for the code.  He returned my call saying he would be right over to let us in.  The agent showed up in fine form…as drunk as a skunk! He proceeded to warn us that the owner had a few quirks.  One being that he was a great collector of stuff, and the other was that the house was a little full.  Whatever that meant!  We entered the home via a side door (which I thought was odd) that opened to a small hallway. To the left was a bathroom.  We couldn’t see the condition of the bathroom because of all the boxes piled in front of the doorway.  To the right was the staircase to the basement, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.  Straight ahead was a doorway leading into the kitchen.  Under the doorway was an old broken kitchen table and a few large garbage bags that were filled with clothing.  I would have worn proper shoes if I had known beforehand that we’d be doing a bit of mountain climbing The kitchen was a total disaster! Bags after bags of garbage and used clothing littered the floor.  The counters were covered with half eaten food that was rotting and growing mold.  We really should have left at that point but our curiosity got the better of us.  The entire living room was filled with plastic storage containers and boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.  No wonder we couldn’t enter through the front door! The owner was kind enough to create a pathway to the master bedroom which lead directly to the bed as this room was also filled to the brim!  We were unable to view the other two bedrooms because they were ENTIRELY filled with boxes.  It just kept getting better and better.  The basement however was the finale! Just like the rest of the home, you could not see three of the four walls due to the amount of boxes stacked floor to ceiling. On the back wall of the home, the owner had dug through the foundation to make an opening that went underground straight into the backyard!  This ‘cave’ was about 4 feet wide, 5 feet high and about 9 feet in depth. The listing agent explained that the owner could not afford to rent any more storage units, so he simply created his own storage space.  I happened to notice that one of the floor joists had been cut (approx. 12 wide) to accommodate a ‘clothes line’ (according to the listing agent).  There was maybe one inch at the top of the joist left to support the fridge sitting directly above this cut joist.  Yikes!!!  Frankly, this home should have been condemned.  The structural integrity had been seriously compromised. That’s my horror story and perhaps one very good reason to preview properties prior to taking clients out.”

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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