The 8 Worst Home Sale Horror Stories

By Jennifer Holder on 2 September 2014 0 comments

If you've ever purchased or tried to sell a home, you know it's a process. Credit checks, home inspections, down payments, and more could delay your sale. And after you purchase the home, it's yours for life. So if you missed something during those grueling weeks of closing, it's your problem for life — or until you try to sell it. (See also: 25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing)

Below we've listed eight horror stories of people who fell in love with their home before realizing its dark past.

1. It's Not a Math Problem — It's a Meth Problem

When Dawn Turner's son purchased a foreclosed home in rural Tennessee, he thought he was getting a steal. But after three years of living in the home, he and his family found out from neighbors the home was considered "unfit for human inhabitation" by local health authorities because the former owner produced methamphetamines in the home. From there, the new homeowners were financially responsible for bringing their home up to code. Dawn now runs MethLabHomes.com to make sure this doesn't happen to other homeowners.

2. Goldilocks' Family, I Presume?

When a man returned to his home in Miami, he discovered some unwelcome house guests. His home, which he had been renting from a friend for the previous two years and was listed in a short sale, was filled with a family of strangers. A scammy realtor moved the family in, changed the locks and walked away with $3,600 in profit. Not cool.

3. No Need to Worry About Satanic Murder Pits

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that home sellers do not have to disclose if the home was the site of a murder, suicide, or satanic ritual. The ruling came after a homeowner filed suit because her home was the site of a murder/suicide. This is 2014 — prospective home buyers are advised to use the Internet to find out if someone died in new home. You might have to really dig into some geocities websites to find out about satanic rituals, however.

4. Beware of Blue Powder

Another cringe worthy story comes out of Pennsylvania. When Liz Spikol purchased her home, there was a disclaimer. It simply read, "We have seen a mouse." After closing months later, Liz started noticing blue dust raining from the ceilings. Turns out, the former homeowners didn't just see one mouse, they saw an entire infestation of mice. After a small leak forced her to open the ceilings, she found dead mice, skeletons and more blue powder. The powder was poison, and the mice were there by the dozens.

5. Free Pet!

During a home inspection in Philadelphia, a home inspector found a 15-foot boa constrictor in the crawl space. Apparently the snake had gotten loose years earlier, and the owner thought it was dead. Upside? No mice.

6. Does It Come With a Fort?

In Long Island, real estate agent Mike Litzner of Century 21 American Homes was showing a home to a prospective buyer and found a homeless man with a large fort and lots of alcohol. According to Mike, the potential homeowner asked, "Does he come with the house?"

7. Home Buyer Plagues

Although a home inspector passed Justin and Kate Treher's home, he missed some problems. For instance, the previous homeowner supposedly installed and tested the sump pump in the basement, and it failed shortly after move in, flooding the basement. Then the lovely sunroom was filled with termites, costing the couple $2,000 in repairs. After the termites were eradicated, they discovered the sunroom was entirely covered in mold — there was no caulking around the windows to keep the moisture out. Make sure you check for any extra friends, and use more than one home inspector if necessary.

8. Slightly Haunted

When Gregory Leeson listed his Dunmore, PA home for sale, he wanted to be honest. His home was "slightly haunted." Nothing crazy, just the usual: footsteps, knocking, and screams. His listing went viral, and ghost hunters from around the world were knocking on his door. Turns out, he didn't have to be so honest. Pennsylvania law only dictates that home sellers have to list any "material defects that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property or an unreasonable risk to the people living in the home." And since proving you have a ghost is pretty much impossible, it's not required. But your state might be different, so make sure to check with a real estate agent if your home gives you the heebie jeebies.

What are some of your home buying (or selling) horror stories?

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