Monday, September 14, 2009
Looking at a House
at 9:25 AM
This weekend, we were out of town and saw a cute neighborhood that caught our eye. There was also a lovely house that had a superb price, so we called the realtor and asked to see it. She showed up and showed us the house.
Read moreIt was nine years old and the "second owners" were selling it. When I heard that, my antenna went up. This house is in a vacation area with a beautiful lake within the block. Most people don't buy it and get rid of it that quickly. These homes are usually a decent investment and in this location would likely be in a family for a lifetime, if not longer.
The first thing we noticed was a shower. It was a brick style shower with a porous feel to it. I have never seen anything like it, but what caught your eye was someone had recently painted it black and they did a sloppy job! The black paint was like this blaring red flag that something was wrong. Granted, there was a gray/black tile and the toliet was black, but the sloppiness was just so notable. My mom was with me and she immediately suspected mold. I couldn't agree more. Everything these else was spotless.
As we walked out of the bathroom, I asked the realtor why they were selling and she said, "The woman had triplets and this is just too much for her now. Also, the kids are allergic to everything." The word allergic jumped out at me. It matched my suspicions of mold. I wondered if this was a subconscious "slip" by the realtor? Were the children allergic or reacting to the mold?
Then I started looking around the kitchen and I saw water stains above the cabinets. The realtor quickly explained they had an ice damn. I didn't believe her story because ice damns usually effect the story where the gutters and roof are first, not the second story down unless they are really severe.
When I went upstairs to the second story and saw the lovely porch overlooking the pool and backyard, I could clearly see a builder made some fundamental mistakes in building the roof and deck area, and that is what caused the leaking. There was flat roll roofing and and the posts when right into the roofing. The flat roof design had major flaws and was caulked all over. Hello! The entire roof area and railing were put in by someone who had no idea what they were doing. This was likely the cause of many of the water issues that had now dried up under what I would call temporary fixes. But I couldn't help but wonder what mold still lurked in the walls, waiting to come alive after a few showers...
Visually, the house was just beautiful. It had vaulted 9 to 12 foot ceilings, bamboo floors and looked like a pricey loft from the inner city of Chicago. It had two balconies, a whirlpool tub. It was everything anyone would want for a second home. Visually, it was a great buy. The reator even told us it was $20,000 less than what they paid for it, which with the economy lately, could happen.
The entire house had a upscale appeal. It was clear the original owners had expensive taste, but likely built this place on a budget, as it was their second home. That in and of itself wouldn't scare me. It was the black shower, and what the realtor said that put me into caution mode.
While I was upstairs, the realtor told my mom that two sisters and their parents owned this home, and that they came up every weekend. This clearly tells us the "triple story" was just another "story". That wouldn't stop the other sister and parents from enjoying this place more, would it? Also, if three related families owned this home, wouldn't that make taking triplets all that much easier?
We went back to the neighborhood over the weekend, and despite what the realtor said about them being there every weekend, there was no one there. When I told my husband what my mom said about them being there every weekend, he said, "What a joke!" Is she nuts? I looked in the cabinets and there are no dishes whatsoever in the kitchen anywhere. No one comes up there every weekend."
I remembered, too, there was only one bed in the house on the main floor. There were no beds in any of the other bedrooms. They were vacant.
Isn't it amazing how facts can give away a lie? This realtor tried hard, but failed miserably. She really shot her own foot when you think about it.
When I talked to my mom a second time, she said, "Oh yeah, the realtor also said when we were looking at the house, 'Yeah, the previous owners bought this house from a builder, but they haven't been able to locate him."
That realtor, I think without even knowing it, is subconsciously sabotaging herself with this house. She is trying to sell something she doesn't believe in, and does it ever show, even if only subconsciously. Is she ever wasting her time or what?
So many people when they lie never add up the facts to see if their lie will fly. It's almost funny, in hindsight.
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