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Home Buying Horror Stories We Can't Believe

Buying a home is supposed to be one of the best experiences of your adult life. But what happens when something goes terribly wrong? While at RMCU we have had our fair share of “horror stories” with the home buying process; buyers backing out at the last minute, inspections going wrong, and homes not appraising for the loan amount are about the extent of the stories from our end. But, in honor of Halloween, we did a deep dive into Reddit to give us more insight into the absolute horror of purchasing a home when something goes really wrong. 

Home Buying Horror Stories We Can't Believe

Has Been Meth Lab

In Montana especially, this is a very common issue: homes being used to produce meth. Once a dwelling has been used for the production of illegal methamphetamine, it requires some serious cleanup. Thankfully the Montana DEQ is working to offer help to those who find out their home is a former meth lab. There is even a list of known contaminated properties in the state of Montana. 

Walk-Through Surprise

This is probably the most common of horror stories, as we have seen it happen more than once. The seller promises to do substantial repairs identified in the inspection. Several times before the closing date, the seller promises that the work has been done. But, when the buyers and their real estate agent walk through the property on the morning of the closing, not a single fix has been made. Fortunately, this situation typically doesn’t blow up the deal. Instead, the closing agent escrows enough money from the seller to cover all repairs.

Bidding Wars 

Bidding wars seem to be the most common horror story across several markets. A bidding war occurs when several buyers are interested in a property and the offers keep increasing in value. At a certain point, the home won’t appraise for as much as buyers are offering and then what? Unless you have the cash to make up the difference, you are out of luck.

Too Good To Be True

Is the price too good to be true? Probably. But has it ever been this bad? One couple learned while at the closing table that the new home they just bought was once owned by a serial killer.

A Haunted Presence

Is the house haunted? A Realtor in New England had three couples decide not to make an offer on an 1800s era townhome because they could “feel the presence of the previous owners.” While this may just be an old house that gives off creepy vibes, all three buyers used the exact same phrase. Majorly creepy!

The Fake Florida Realtor 

We found this incredible story out of Florida! When a man returned to his home in Miami, he discovered some unwelcome house guests. His home, which he had been renting from a friend for the previous two years, was filled with a family of strangers. A scammy realtor moved the family in, changed the locks, and walked away with $3,600 in profit. Not cool.

A Famous House Comes With Strings

Someone somewhere has purchased a home that was featured in a movie or television show. Our favorites include The McCallister House from Home Alone which sits stoically in a northern Chicago suburb or The Goonies House in Astoria, Oregon. Most owners of these properties know what they are getting themselves into, but a famous house can come with trespassers. The Goonies House used to embrace trespassers and ask for donations to keep the trail leading to the house clear of vegetation, but not anymore. If you have the opportunity to buy a “famous” house, do your research. What are the trespassing laws in the city? Can you restrict people from the public thoroughfare in front of your home? How comfortable are you with people staring at your home? All things to consider when buying a famous home. 

 There were so many horror stories that we found online that we encourage you to go do your own research so that you are prepared for whatever might get thrown your direction! To make sure you don’t end up with your home buying horror story, make sure you have a good Realtor and schedule an appointment with one of our qualified lenders. They will walk you through the process and give you all the tools you need to prevent your own home buying horror story.

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