• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Home of a Hoarder

Status
Not open for further replies.

Jay Faustini

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
I inspected the home of a hoarder today. Junk piled up everywhere, with barely any room to move around, just narrow corridors to walk through.

Since seeing the show “HELP, I’m a Hoarder” on TV, I understand that this is a severe psychological disorder, and I want to be sensitive to the issue. But the fact remains, I could not observe half of the interior of the house due to piles of junk being stacked floor 6 ft. high in most of the rooms. This is an FHA appraisal and I am already issuing a “subject to” appraisal due to bars without a release on a bedroom window so this issue will not be the sole reason holding things up.

However, I am worried that the homeowner is incapable of making the house inspectable in a reasonable period of time (and probably will require some psychiatric help in order to actually accomplish this). She already postponed on me twice because the “house it not ready yet” and it looked like she had spent a lot of time on a few rooms (they were half cleaned out and didn’t have layers of dust on them).

I know that simple disclaimer that parts of the house were not inspectable won’t fly with the FHA. So, how do I properly present this without appearing to make light of the situation? Has anyone dealt with this type of problem before?


On a lighter note:
Anyone got a good professional term to use for “Junk”?
 

BuddyKat

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
I had a similar appraisal about a year ago, I took several pictures and sent them to the client, advised them I could not do an FHA inspection under these conditions and asked for further instructions. About a month later order was cancelled and I got a trip fee.
 

PropertyEconomics

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Mexico
I inspected the home of a hoarder today. Junk piled up everywhere, with barely any room to move around, just narrow corridors to walk through.

Since seeing the show “HELP, I’m a Hoarder” on TV, I understand that this is a severe psychological disorder, and I want to be sensitive to the issue. But the fact remains, I could not observe half of the interior of the house due to piles of junk being stacked floor 6 ft. high in most of the rooms. This is an FHA appraisal and I am already issuing a “subject to” appraisal due to bars without a release on a bedroom window so this issue will not be the sole reason holding things up.

However, I am worried that the homeowner is incapable of making the house inspectable in a reasonable period of time (and probably will require some psychiatric help in order to actually accomplish this). She already postponed on me twice because the “house it not ready yet” and it looked like she had spent a lot of time on a few rooms (they were half cleaned out and didn’t have layers of dust on them).

I know that simple disclaimer that parts of the house were not inspectable won’t fly with the FHA. So, how do I properly present this without appearing to make light of the situation? Has anyone dealt with this type of problem before?


On a lighter note:
Anyone got a good professional term to use for “Junk”?


I would think this falls WELL outside your area of expertise. While I realize you may be worried about it ... you should require what you would in a normal appraisal and let the homeowner deal with their own issues. I would absolutely NOT refer to the mental facilities of the homeowner when talking to your client. I say this in jest and with all due respect .. but hope you realize that watching a program on TV does not make us experts ...

"the home is substantially full of the owners belongings to such degree that full inspection of the property was not possible. My condition determinations are therefore based upon my observation of those areas of the interior of the residence which were visible at the time of my site visit." ...... furthermore state any inspections you were not able to complete as a result of the "owners belongings" ......
 

Bearslide

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I inspected the home of a hoarder today. Junk piled up everywhere, with barely any room to move around, just narrow corridors to walk through.

Since seeing the show “HELP, I’m a Hoarder” on TV, I understand that this is a severe psychological disorder, and I want to be sensitive to the issue. But the fact remains, I could not observe half of the interior of the house due to piles of junk being stacked floor 6 ft. high in most of the rooms. This is an FHA appraisal and I am already issuing a “subject to” appraisal due to bars without a release on a bedroom window so this issue will not be the sole reason holding things up.

However, I am worried that the homeowner is incapable of making the house inspectable in a reasonable period of time (and probably will require some psychiatric help in order to actually accomplish this). She already postponed on me twice because the “house it not ready yet” and it looked like she had spent a lot of time on a few rooms (they were half cleaned out and didn’t have layers of dust on them).

I know that simple disclaimer that parts of the house were not inspectable won’t fly with the FHA. So, how do I properly present this without appearing to make light of the situation? Has anyone dealt with this type of problem before?


On a lighter note:
Anyone got a good professional term to use for “Junk”?

Try "personal possessions".

Had a similar situation last year - sent pics to the client and asked for instructions - order canceled with trip fee.
 

Lobo Fan

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New Mexico
My suugestion is to make it subject to with a cost to cure to hire a few day laborers and renta a 30 yard dumpster. I ran into one of those once. Had to move stuff to open a door and a couple of rats the size of chihuahuas ran out. Glad I was wearing my Carharts and steel toed boots that day. You really do not have any choice with an FHA appraisal. It is what it is. You are the appraiser, and must report what you see.
 

Smokey Bear

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
My suugestion is to make it subject to with a cost to cure to hire a few day laborers and renta a 30 yard dumpster.
The problem isn't hauling the stuff out, it's the fact that he can't properly view the property and has no idea what the condition is. Hauling the stuff out is just to make the property visible for inspection. You have no idea what could be behind all that junk.
 

tjcou812

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Its also a safety issue. What if there was a fire, no way can the fire department go into the house and put out the fire and god forbid if they have to rescue them, pets and for their own saftey that they also don't get hurt or die because they are pack rats. The homeowners are not only putting themselves in danger but everone that has to get into the house.
 

Obsolescent

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Minnesota
Hoarder homes are more prevalent then one might think. A true hoarder will not allow the stuff to be hauled away as the emotional stress is too great. (I once had three hoarder homes in one week!)

Report the facts non-judgementally explaining it in a manner similar to how PE mentioned above. Include pictures. Make it "subject to" being able to view concealed areas. That will likely be the end of it. It is highly unlikely the hoarder will allow the home to be cleared out for you to do another inspection.

Worst one I've ever done had garbage (not "stuff" literally garbage - old pizza boxes, fast food containers/bags, empty beer cans) piled high and strewn throughout the home. Gas was shut off and he had a SPACE HEATER going! Attached townhome with CHILDREN! Then it needs to be reported.
 

PBKlingensmith

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
I had a shopping addict, the entire home was floor to ceiling with QVC and HSC boxes, never even opened. The home was a 2.5 story victorian with a stair case that allowed you to get upstairs from either the living room front or kitchen rear. But, when in the home in the living room, to get to the stairs, dining room or kitchen you had to go outside, walk around and use the kitchen door.
 

VegasWayne

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nevada
Junk = Personal Property
How about some pictures!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks