Here were some of the contenders and winners as shared by "Curbed":
In Washington, D.C., prospective homebuyers were looking at what they thought was an empty house. As part of the search, they opened the door to the basement and prepared to check out the downstairs. The home searcher writes
: "As I began to descend, a door suddenly opened and an overweight man in boxer shorts and black tube socks burst out of one room and ran into another one. I screamed and ran up the stairs. We all then ran out of the house."
In Atlanta, despite a home inspection, a buyer had no idea how much work was needed on a 1960s-era house that had been vacant for a year. The homeowner writes:
"For the first major project, my experienced reno friends used a garden hose to spray all of the ceilings to remove the ancient popcorn texture. It rained 50 years of cigarette smoke and filthy ceiling curds on our heads like an Amazonian jungle storm of nasty. ...
Apparently the filth was holding the house together because after we removed the popcorn, the plaster ceiling began collapsing in my bedroom." And that was just one project.Â
In Detroit, an interior designer bought a two-story brick home at a county auction for $5,000. Her extensive research did not unearth the fact that the home, which had been vacant for 30 years, was on the city's demolition list. She couldn't get any utilities turned on until she got the demolition officially canceled. She writes
: "I spent days at the Coleman Young building navigating the ridiculous maze of "go to this dept, no that dept, not MY dept, pay this fee, now that fee, oh, and don't forget these fees" until I finally got the piece of paper that said I'm off the demo list (I hope this bit of info makes it to the wrecking crews)."
The winning story came from Philadelphia, where the homeowners uncovered a plethora of plumbing woes, after their home inspector pronounced the house "solid." As the husband took his first shower, his wife discovered that the water was draining through the ceiling onto a couch on the first floor. And then there was the bucket in the wall. The homeowner writes:
During a nighttime rainstorm, we awoke to find a puddle of water on the kitchen counter. We inspected a particularly water-damaged soffet to find, inside the soffet framing, a quart-sized bucket that had been built in behind the drywall. The infamous bucket, covered in black algae and disgusting mold, had captured who-knows-how-many years' worth of disgusting roof-filtered rainwater, and spilled over who-knows-how-many times. We ended up gutting the entire kitchen.
Can you top these stories? What's your worst home-hunting or homebuying horror story?