House Hunting - the good, bad and exceptionally ugly!

The “pink bathroom” discussion on the realtor thread prompted this thread.

Most of us have shopped for a home (apt, condo, whatever) at some point. Thought it might be fun to share the eye opening “good, bad, ugly” - from exceptional perks to exceptionally ugly or weird features!

The home we are currently in was owned by a couple who were HEAVY smokers. While we knew we would have to Kilz and paint every square inch inside, we had to laugh when they finally moved out and because of the excessive smoke yellowing the outline of EVERY item hung on the way was visible! One of which was a VERY large rifle above the window seat window! What a task that was repainting everything - I’d never tackle that again!


We have moved so many times that we have soooooo many stories!

Aside from the all over pink house, in that same house hunting trip, we saw a house that had weapons in every room. Hand guns, rifles, you name it. Our realtor was in shock that they had a lockbox on a house and left weapons strewn around. The house itself also had a weird utility easement taking up almost the entire front yard so it was a no go no matter what.

Another “memorable” house was what we now refer to as the “ferret house.” You could smell the animals from the front yard before even going inside- they had ferrets, dogs, and cats that had the run of the house. It was the dirtiest house I’ve ever set foot in.

We also saw a 1/2 done house where the owners had run out of money. No flooring, no front stoop or steps (we had to hoist our relator up to the front door), 1/2 a kitchen, etc… Unfortunately they were asking top dollar as if it was done. You could also hear the high school marching band rehearsing from inside the house because they cheaped out on the windows.

In our current house hunt we had “the mold house” which reeked of mildew and damp (turns out they had a leak in the roof that they ignored for a decade and water had migrated down all the walls), “the money pit house” which had giant holes in the basement floor and a broken down and flooded conservatory, “the barn” which was a super cool house but was only accessible from a weird alley, “the foreclosure” which was also a super cool giant Victorian which would have been appealing had it not been adjacent to a fire station and a daycare, and “the falling down house” which had a structurally un-sound three story addition and every single room was a different color paint with matching counters, tile, trim, etc…

My favorite house hunt was the only time we moved from a high cost of living area to a very low one. We had a weekend to find a house and saw 14 homes. Every single one was way better than what we were leaving. That move was a joy!


Not a house we were looking to buy, but the one I grew up in was arranged that you had to go through almost every single room to get to the next one. The bathroom and one bedroom were separate, but that was it. I had to walk through my sister’s bedroom to get to mine and mom had to walk through both of ours to get to hers. Dad had the separate room, but that was right off our living room without a door, so only “sort of” a bedroom - it did have a closet.

When I was young I didn’t think anything of it because the way one is raised is the way things are, right?

There’s no way in the world I would want a house built like that. In my older age I wonder WTH the designer/builder was thinking.


I’ve never gotten to house hunt. DH got a new job shortly after we married and the boss had a rental he offered us to live in.

Anyway, it was an old country house, with saplings growing up next to the foundation, overgrown bushes, shaggy calico cat carpet covering hardwood floors, carpet in the kitchen, rotting hardwood in the 5’x5’ bathroom, homemade kitchen cabinets, ceiling falling down upstairs, paint overspray on the leaky old windows.

We got some stuff done on the boss’ dime, then bought it 5 years later and the work continues indefinitely. I love our place. We got a great deal on it so when I wish I had gotten to pick out a house I can just pretend house hunt online (and be glad I’m not paying those prices).


We bought a house my wife had never seen. It was 2002 during the last housing boom. Every house we were going to look at had an offer on it before we could go see it. We lived 2 hours away from where we were moving and I had our 2 Ds with me. My wife was back at home working. I saw a house online that looked just like what we were looking for. I scheduled an appointment and the girls thought the house was wonderful, it was in a great school district and while a bit dated it hadn’t been “remuddled”. It was basically in unupdated but good condition. It was before smart phones so my mother had a video camera and filmed the house. We made an offer on it before my wife could even see it and frankly I offered what I felt would be counteroffered. He accepted our offer by the time I got home and I got to show my wife the video of the home we just bought. She thought it was perfect and we still live there. Whew!


Well, I am looking for an apartment and contacted a realtor about a nice one. The post had just gone up and the realtor already had 94 contacts. That is probably a 1% admission rate.


Oh my! In that kind of market I bet the ugly ones get pounced on too.

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I looked at an apartment in NYC that had a bathroom completely done with black tiles with mood lighting. You couldn’t see anything while in the bathroom.
The really good one was the one we lived in for 10 years out in a suburb. The house was built by a lawyer while he was out of a job. He had nothing to do but to supervise building of the house. He did such a good job, we never had to replace anything while we lived there. The house appreciated 100% when we sold it.


Back in the days when we were looking for our first house, we toured several dozens of older homes before deciding we would much prefer to do the work outside than inside (we bought a new house, and just the two of us landscaped the yard to our liking). In the process, we saw a house where the couple was divorcing, and the wife set up a temporary apartment for herself in the garage. The other amazing feature of that house was the original to the place, lime green shaggy carpet… in the kitchen. We also saw a house where the owner was a science enthusiast and set up a real chemistry lab in the playroom in the basement. It was not an illegal meth lab or anything like that. Very clean, cool looking chemistry demo lab, the kind you would find at some big Science Center where experiments are being demonstrated to kids. After looking at his stash of chemicals, we decided to pass. :joy: We also saw a house with different calico fabric used as wallpaper in every bedroom, complete with matching bedding and furniture covers. Our realtor (a dude) ran out of that place like a bat out of hell!

The hunt for House1 was not that bad. We wanted a new constitution and explored a lot of sticks… :slight_smile: Saw a lot of nice properties in the process of hunting. The realtor was amused that we had to tour 50 houses to decide on the very first one we saw.

The recent house hunt did not yield too many oddities, but the house we ended up buying needed a lot of TLC both inside and outside.


When we bought the farm we have now we looked at the house briefly before touring the land, barn, and other buildings. Afterward we were asked if we wanted to see the house again. I looked at H and asked, “Do we need to? We love the property and can’t get that elsewhere. We can live with “whatever” in the house.” He agreed. Here we are 24 years later without a single regret.

We never did change that much either. We replaced one carpet and painted a few rooms - added a fridge and dishwasher. At some point we updated the windows and replaced the roof. Last year we added central air when the furnace died and needed replacing. The rest is still like we bought it except 24 years older. To be fair though, the kitchen and dining room floors are supposed to be getting replaced in August after our May date had to be put off.

Outside we put in recycled plastic livestock fencing around our pastures (looks awesome) and fenced in a veggie garden.


OMG, I forgot that we saw a house with a sex swing and “toys” in the basement!


Oh wow I knew you all would have some good stories!! :hushed:

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In the first 18 years of our marriage we lived in three apartments and bought 8 houses. Then we moved where we are now and have stayed 25 years. All but one were brand new and under construction when we purchased but in each house hunt we saw a lot of resales. Some were fantastic and some were awful. One had a mountain of laundry on the couch, floor, coffee table that was larger than all the clothes our 5person family owned. I am still amazed by people who agree to a showing and don’t even close the toilet. (Even worse, realtors who take and post photos with open toilets!).
ETA Fortunately no sex toys in any basement!


How could I forget?? We did encounter one “gem” while searching for the current home. I posted about this house somewhere in this forum. It looked like a crossover of the Biosphere and a municipal dump. :slight_smile: When I texted the listing to our realtor, he encouraged us to take a look - just for fun. So we went to the open house…the listing photos (which have been retaken since that open house and are still available) just did not give this place any justice… the turd filled cat litterboxes all over the master bath deserved a special mention. The flag in the laundry room served a function: it covered the hole in the wall (a rotted chunk fell out at some point?). In the retaken pics, the laundry walls look freshly drywalled, but the flag is still there. There were bottles of booze and cat feeders all over the kitchen counters, the bedrooms were littered with filthy clothes, and the windows in the sphere were patched with duct tape. Needless to say, not even a developer wanted to touch this place listed for $1.8M. Apparently, the owner lived in Europe for a while and got fascinated with European methods of home construction. He came back and built a house with those standards in mind… the walls were at least a foot thick. I’m sure in its prime, the house was a masterpiece. Somehow, it slowly rotted away, and the owner let the kids and their buddies live there for free… the kids and their pets trashed the place and would not move, so the owner got mad and decided to list the house, so there would be constant showings inconveniencing the kids. He priced high so the house would sit and sit on the market until the little pests would get tired and move. At least that was the story the realtor who held the open house told us. It finally sold for $1.3M. :flushed: 10882NE14th**Lane

(If you look up the address, the retaken pics come up. The kitchen was seriously cleaned up, and the laundry room was patched up… gone are the piles of trash and dirty laundry and the booze bottles. Google maps show that the place has been bulldozed down. Good riddance!)


my parents bought a house mostly because it had 5 bedrooms, but my mother also liked that it had wallpaper. What? It had weird wallpaper. One the family room walls, we kept trying to rehang a shelf (also came with the house) because it looked like it was on a slant. Turns out the wallpaper was printed crooked (I don’t think it was hung crooked). In the kitchen, one wall was decorated with those 12 x 12 mirrors. Every time you took a bite you could see yourself taking a dozen bites .

One day at a bar I was staring at the walls and it came to me - that was the same red, flocked wallpaper that was in my parents’ bedroom. Classy.

By the time they moved 3 years later, all the wallpaper except one bedroom had been removed. That room had been mine and there were little pink rosebuds on it. Fine (well, kind of, I was 16) for me, but when I went to college my brother moved into that room. He was so happy to have his own room he didn’t care.


We have looked at some gems over the years with everything from dirty dishes crusted with food stacked up in the pantry, a master bathroom that had been turned into a hair salon with 2 chairs and a pedicure station, and various design “don’t”s. The worst house was a foreclosure where the occupants ruined everything - cabinets, flooring, and plumbing fixtures and spray painted graffiti inside and out. The kicker was they punctured the basement oil tank and there was 2” of oil on the floor so you would have had to have an environmental clean-up. I was so sad when we walked out that I sat in the car and cried. I know it was just a house but it didn’t deserve to be treated like that.


Both of my Ds are hoping to buy houses in the near future, and they’ve been sending me links to lots of listings. So fun to look at give honest opinions! (The opinions will have to be more serious and muted a bit as they get closer to being able to actually buy.)

Pink tubs, yellow tubs, blue tubs, seen them all. Walls? It’s a fixer-upper, who needs walls? Septic system the responsibility of the buyer - RUN AWAY! Fake wood paneling, a different color in each room. Hideous wallpaper. Dirty carpets. Missing tiles. My favorite so far was the picture of the fuse box - with a grand total of 4 fuses - not breakers, actual old style fuses.


I love how the selling agent always acts like you are the only person ever to notice a certain weird thing or deficiency. We toured a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, owned by a prominent physician and society spouse. As soon as we walked in the door, we were practically slapped in the face by the smell of cat urine. You could not get away from it anywhere in the house. We mentioned to the relator what a shame that was, as it negatively impacted our impression of an otherwise gorgeous home. She acted like she could not smell it at all, lol! I bet she ran into the back yard for air as soon as we left.

Fuse boxes can be dealt with… but taking the responsibility over a questionable septic system without an inspection - yikes, no thanks. You might get stuck with an unbuildable property (seen a couple of such listings lately… can’t repair the old septic, and no chances of building any new designs due to the environmental issues).

While I’d much rather be on a public sewer system, I wouldn’t have a problem buying a property with a septic tank in an area or town where all the houses do not have public sewer hookups.

The one town or area that I’m familiar with here locally is entirely on septic and any property purchase requires an inspection and repair of the septic before title changes.

Again, a house with a septic tank would not my be my first choice.