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What is your best horror story

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Donna Quixote

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
OK, we all have them, those houses you will never forget. What was your worst horror story. For me there are several. The crack house with pad locks on every door and cabinet and a guy showing me around in dirty boxer shorts who did not speak English. Kept thinking I was not getting out of there alive, and that does not count the smell of death coming from the basement. Another is the broken waste pipe in a basement that had overflowed and the waste was oozing down the outside of the pipe. Too bad there is not smell-o-vision that can go along with the pictures in these reports.

Give it your best shot, what's your story!:icon_question::icon_question:
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
The first time I got married!
 

wickedness1

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
I think our worst horror story was the vacant house that had the human femur bone in the furnace. That one's still under investigation.

We had another one where the loan officer met us at the house. The crawl space opening had a refrigerator, a stove & a few other heavy items in front of it & we insisted on everything being moved. The whole crawl space was filled with crap...literally crap. The loan officer assured us that he was going to get the HO a loan to fix up the house & plumbing if we just didnt mention it in our report. Now that LO is in Federal prison on similar dealings. Needless to say, we declined doing anything further.

The last nighmare one I can think of is a bungalow style house we were appraising for Bankruptcy purposes. The HO had the second floor "attic" taped off & insulated & he kept arguing that we couldn't go up there. Finally we told him that its our job & if we go under oath we will tell the court that access was denied to the "attic". Finally after a long "stand off" with the HO, he agreed to let us into the beautifully finished second floor that had a full bath & 3 additional bedrooms :) County records has it as un-finished space... well, its definately heated & finished.
 

Tom Barclay

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Oregon
Had one many years ago that I refused to go inside to inspect. Walked around the home(older DW-Manufactured) and could see the middle of the home was bowed out almost 12" from the corners over 50'. Both sections were equally bowed. Rear patio was poured concrete in about 10' squares and it was all jumbled up with corners sticking up a foot or more. All on a steep hillside, obvious signs of landslides, trees sliding down the hill roots and all. All this during our rainy season. Family with kids was living in it and trying to refinance. Just told the guy that I thought it was unsafe to enter even for a few minutes let alone have his wife and kids living there. Would have cost many times the value of the home to make the site safe. All I could do was recommend that he take his family somewhere safe until he could get a pro out to look at the site and give him some options. Not sure what they did, but was always looking at the news dreading that I'd see that house with his family in it at the bottom of the hill.
 

Walter Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
New Jersey
One that stands out for me was the urban row house with the strange sounds coming from the basement. The house was being siezed by the U.S. Marshall and the tennant had dozens of caged fighting chickens stacked down there.
 

KenRossman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
My 1st HUD foreclosure, maybe 30 years ago, was boarded up. Went in, checked out the pitch black 1st floor & thought something wasn't right when I opened the basement door & could see some light. Called out if anyone was there - no answer. Go down and after going through a small room I go into a larger room, unfinished with at least 25 addicts on the floor all around the perimeter apparently in neverland. Almost jumped through my skin to turn around & run up the stairs & out (that was when I could still run) Then called 911 and waited for a officer to clear it out so I could finish. That taught me to always check the security of the boards all around before going in...
 

Steve Forstner

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Had a nice ranch out in the country. House was older, but seemed in decent shape. There was a pole barn off to one side and I went out to walk through it and noticed it was a drive through with doors on both ends. I also noticed there were a lot (I mean a LOT) of bulldozer tracks leading from the front doors and out the back doors of the barn. So, I followed the tracks into the back yard.

I'm walking along following these tracks and I notice a piece of pipe sticking out of the ground. I thought that was odd, so I stopped and poked around a bit more. Most of the soil was disturbed and it took only a few minutes to locate a piece of siding and a corner of an aluminum window frame. A little more poking and I realized what I had.

The previous owners had taken apart and BURIED a mobile home. A little farther back on the property I found some bow trusses from one of the older mobiles, maybe a 10x48, and another half filled hole with the rest of the trailer.
 

panappr

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Built in 1908, So Central Los Angeles. The house had a 5' attic pitch, unfinished with roofing exposed and plywood flooring with no heat, 3 beds a dresser for the kids and an extension cord leading from the bathroom downstairs. It was Christmas 2002 and I've never forgotten that.
 
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