Monday, November 08, 2010

House Hunting: The Hoarder House

I'm reading: House Hunting: The Hoarder HouseTweet this!

Back when we first started house-hunting, I was was intrigued by a specific piece of property, but when my Realtor tried to book a tour for me, he was told they were not showing the house.

Not showing a house that's for sale?

"They're positioning it as a tear-down."

Having seen the inside of many more houses that I ever will, my Realtor explained there there was likely some significant issue with the house...and its owner. Something that prevented that person from letting others into the home.

What could be inside?

23 feral cats?

A pack of coyotes rescued from the nearby woods?

Massive amounts of stuff.

Yesterday, we were finally allowed inside the mystery house. And now I understand why they kept us out. Though I've been watching enough HGTV, to know that almost any house can be transformed into something livable, if not beautiful.

So the house's back story is that an elderly couple used to live there and their daughters are now handling the affairs of the estate. This house and its largish piece of property might have been scooped up back in the day, but it didn't hit the market until after the bubble burst.

But it's not clear if the old couple were hoarders or if the daughter occupying the house is. I mean, even if the place is a tear-down, it has to be emptied. So, for example, why not toss those home-canned tomatoes labeled "Summer 1997"?

Why not get rid of the few dozen bags of books cluttering up the place while you're at it.

It seems like the likely scenario to empty the house involves a dumpster and a bit of cheap labor, but the fact is, there were definitely some diamonds in the rough. A circa 1930 washing machine that appeared to be in good condition was buried under a pile of clothes, but looked promising.

I am no neatnik. In fact, I outed myself as a surface area abuser back in 2006, but hoarding is an entirely different story.

I couldn't even bring myself to take pictures of the place. I mean a 1970s bathroom or asbestos wrapped pipes are one thing. This mess seemed too sad, too personal, too deeply psychologically disturbed to mock on my blog.

Later this week we'll likely put a bid on a different house. It's large- larger than we need- and lacks a garage and like many of the other houses, has a strong 1970s vibe, but it's clean and well-kept and supposedly the owner is very motivated to sell.

Though perhaps not motivated enough to accept our bid.

Which is fine.

We might re-bid on That 70s House. (Same low bid as before, but maybe it will be better received given that they've dropped the price?)

It's easy to walk away from all of the houses, because at this point, even the ones we've bid on, have at least one glaring issue that prevents it from being The One. Sigh. We're largely just marking time until March when a crowd of new houses comes on the market.


Melisa with one S said...

I would have also not posted pictures of the house for the same reasons.

It's just so strange, though, that nobody has cleaned it up (or gotten help to clean it up) before putting it on the market.

Selena said...

I read this post and your previous one about being a surface area abuser. I am glad you wrote both of these as I can clearly see that I am the later (surface area abuser.) In other words, if I had to sell my house today, all the stuff could go into boxes and a storage unit so my house could be shown. I wouldn't have to sell my house as a tear down. Thanks for the new clutter vocabulary and (perhaps unintentionally) pointing out the difference.

Kim Moldofsky said...

@Melisa Honestly, sadly, I sense it had been cleaned up a bit for the open house. I mean, there was a small path in each room and I honestly think those paths might not have existed a few weeks or months ago.

I like garage sales and would have liked to picking through some of the piles. It will be sad it it all goes straight into a dumpster.

@Selena - Glad I can inform while I entertain. Yes, there is a difference between clutter covering a (or every) flat surface and packing so much stuff into a room one can barely move.

Mayberry said...

Such a shame. I have an aunt and uncle whose house gets worse every year. Their only child is going to have an incredible job dealing with it.