MOVING IS SO FUN! – said no one ever. This part of Texas is a seller’s market right now, so some home sellers are stretching the bounds of common decency because they can get away with it. We looked at a half-million dollar home that had only been on the market for a few days and it was FILTHY with dirty laundry all over the laundry room floor and bras hanging to dry. We passed on that house with those red flags from the start.
Buying this house was a crazy ordeal from start to finish. I’ll spare the gory details, but we almost walked away several times. The only thing that kept me coming back was that this was the house I liked most.
Honestly, I was going to go over this house and paint, change some light fixtures, and make it my own anyway, so it really isn’t the end of the world. It’s just that I have to live with some un-fun things while I slowly make my way around this house working on it. Actually, maybe I should be grateful for it, because these things will help me convince my husband that more budget should go for updates. Silver Linings!
I honestly feel a little guilty about writing this, because aren’t there more inspiring things I could write about? But I decided that writing this out would be cathartic, and maybe if you’ve been in this situation before, we can laugh about it together …
The Funny Surprises I Found In My New House
I picked out some of my “favorite” surprises to share with you. Honestly, some of them would start to seem repetitive if I went down the entire list. I mean, how many holes in my wall do you want to see?(I’d like to see zero, but that’s not possible! Ha!) And I’m going to skip things that just require touch-up paint or deep-cleaning .
**And when I say surprises, I mean surprises! I’m not talking about normal wear and tear, or even the things we noticed when we looked at the house and then decided to buy it anyway. That stuff is all fair in my opinion, because we knew about it and factored it in to our decision. I’m talking about the damage that was done to the house between looking at it and moving in, and the damage to the house that was cleverly hid during house-hunting and even the inspection!**
1. Holes Behind the TV
When we got the keys to the house and I came in to check the state of things, I did a double-take on this wall. Wait, are those a whole bunch of INTENTIONAL holes in the wall next to the fireplace. Yes, yes those are holes. Instead of hiding the tv cords in a less intrusive way, they made holes for the cords to work through. We’d have to have the same size tv and place it in the exact same spot (which is now much harder since they took down the tv mount, which was supposed to stay per contract … leaving even more holes).
Moral of the story: there are better ways to hide cords. Figure that out instead of disfiguring your house!
2. Art Held Up by Permanent Foam Tape
Things that are secured permanently to the house are supposed to stay with the house, that is just real estate 101. But I guess there is a gray area when things that aren’t meant to be permanent ARE PERMANENTLY ATTACHED! I can’t say I would have wanted whatever was on the wall here, but I certainly didn’t expect the permanent damage to the wall when they pulled it off and took it with them.
It took me THREE HOURS OF METICULOUSLY SLOW cleaning to get these off the wall. Parts of the wall are permanently damaged with a large chunk of dry wall missing.
Moral of the story: there are better ways to hang things in a semi-permanent way to drywall! There are places that permanent foam tape works and removes alright, but not on drywall.
3. Clumsy Movers??
I can assure you that this large hole in the ceiling was not there before. It looks oddly similar to the end of a bed-frame, so my best guess is someone was carrying their bed-frames out holding them vertically instead of horizontally. Re-doing the laundry room was not high on my list, so I’m going to stare at that hole for a while. Yay!! If you stare at it long enough, it almost looks like abstract art. Is that in the shape of the Colosseum??
Moral of the story: if movers or you damage things while moving out of the house, you are responsible for that repair. We’re talking common decency here!
4. I hope they are loving that Closet Rod
Matt and I joke about this missing rod. There was this incident where the previous owner tried to take all the curtain rods (that were in the contract to stay) and we happened to have a walk-through of the house when some were half-off walls. More alarming than missing curtain rods was that they may take the security equipment that my husband was really looking forward to. We compromised with them, through Realtor communications, that they could take all the curtain rods that were off/half-off, if they would please remember to leave the security equipment.
So, a missing curtain rod in our closet seems fitting. We hope that rod is getting put to good use! (And if it isn’t obvious, we realize the closet rod probably broke, but it is a lot more fun to just group it in with all the other rods.)
Moral of the story: when you are selling your house, check with your Realtor before taking down your curtain rods. Oh, and if something breaks like this closet rod, fix it.
5. At Least the Lights Still Work
THREE light fixtures in the house are similarly broken. And if you’re curious, I haven’t replaced any of them yet. Water Lalapalooza has taken all of our repair focus for the moment, but I’ll be working on those before too long. I can only look at a broken fixture so many times.
Moral of the story: If you break anything like this, just fix it. Don’t leave the repair for someone else.
Alright, I think I’ve got complaining out of my system now. Honestly, at this point I’ve learned to laugh about all this. One of my favorite movies of all time is Pure Luck. I’ve had a lot of Pure Luck moments this year. I quote it more than any other movie. Whatever keeps us sane and doesn’t damage the brain, right?! Ha!
And I know it could be so much worse!! I know there are horror stories out there of unexpected things. I am just saying my prayers of gratitude that it wasn’t worse!!!
From my home to yours,
The holes! I filled so many holes when we moved into our house, it took me a couple months to hang anything on the wall because I refused to make holes the walls. in addition, we discovered broken sprinklers, silicone in place of grout on the counter and cockroaches!
Oh my goodness, I feel your pain! I bet those were all really fun things to deal with!! … and the cockroaches, that would be worse than anything!!
One house we moved into was really bad. They took all the curtains and rods–all light fixtures and bulbs- the built in range oven racks including broiler pan–the kitchen facet was half taken out. We had a new baby. We had had a walk thru. But everything was there. Our realtor could do nothing?? He said we needed pictures?? Any way please be careful when going into a new house!!
That sounds like a nightmare! What were they going to do with all of those oven racks anyway?!?!
Our buyer’s agent was a pro at handling things. Seriously, she was a gem. She knew how to talk to the other people in an assertive, but kind way and always seemed to get the issues solved for us. There were so many issues, we got to see her work her magic many times! But you are right, once it is done, you have to take them to court to get it worked out and most people just give up before it comes to that. I’m so sorry you had to deal with such insanity!!
Caroline Calkins says
Horrible story – I was nannying when we bought our house and I brought the three kids (ages 13,11, and 6) over to play in our new empty space. They initiated a game where we took turns hiding and finding a little toy car – and over the course of the next hour I found two ‘adult’ magazines and one similar DVD hidden in various spots! Luckily I was able to dispose of them while the kids were counting to 59 with their eyes covered! What an introduction to homeownership that was.
Oh my goodness!! I’m so glad you were on top of finding things. I love the coincidence of you thinking of THAT game and there happened to be that kind of stuff in the house!! Lol
Andrea F. says
Always fun to move – however annoying all these things are, you are all safe. When we moved into our current house we knew it was older and we would find “things” – what we didn’t plan on was undisclosed asbestos, structural termite damage and electrical wiring that wasn’t even remotely up to code. I am forever thankful that we found the truly dangerous things in the first 6 months and the house didn’t burn down with us in it.
Oh goodness! I’m so glad you found it as quick as you did. It is such a pain when people don’t act like responsible adults and try to get away with things.
Sally Bauman says
Hahaha! Well I thought I was the only one who had weird sellers! I just moved last weekend and she was out when she was supposed to be (after a threat from our lawyer) but NOTHING was cleaned or wiped down…in fact we even had a plate of food left in the microwave and a half drank smoothie on the counter! Our local Restore was given a whole moving box full of extra stuff she left behind as well…we even had wood flooring and a piece of granite left by her but the flooring was outside under a tarp so was all mouldy so couldnt donate it! We had to replace some of the appliances as they werent working properly either…I think we are finally turning that corner with it being our place now!
Oh gross!!! It is so annoying when there is stuff left behind, especially gross stuff!! I’m so glad it is starting to feel like home now!
HHHHaa– call a dry wall man-those are easy,small repairs-after the texture is fixed-you will never know!! I have lived in my house, in a suburban neighborhood for 20 years-I will bet when you get to know the other neighbors-you will find out that the former family was considered ‘strange’ we have a lot of corporate relocations here-and we see this all the time-classy people would not have left that mess for you-but hey-its all cheap to fix-don’t let it color the enjoyment of your new home!!
Yes! It was hard not to let it affect me at first, but the more I settle in, the more I can laugh about it and just enjoy my home!
Cheryl McCauley says
Ok, we’ve had many of those same issues and more. Once we bought a home that had an adorable little girls room with a mirrored wall with a ballet barre attached. Yes, they yanked it off the wall leaving many holes and taking the cute personality with it. On this house, the owner took the fake gas logs that go inside the firebox and the stainless dishwasher and fridge had to be replaced because they let a toddler climb inside them! The thermal plastic in the fridge was cracked and useless, and the racks in the d/w collapsed with only a dish or two. Nice!
I can’t help but wonder what they have planned with the fake gas logs!!! lol. That is so sad about the mirrors, and really just so TACKY to remove something that should have obviously stayed with the house. Our inherited dishwasher is awful. A.W.F.U.L!! But it still sounds a lot better than what you describe. Something can always be worse!! Counting my blessings. 🙂
Ughhh. I’m so sorry. Our last two homes were new builds so we didn’t have those weird experiences and thankfully the homeowners before that were meticulous attorneys so everything was spotless – haha. Our first house, though. Oh my goodness. It was an insane seller’s market in the Washington, DC area. The house we bought went on the market on Thursday and bids were due Sunday night. We had a $50K escalation clause and still had to increase it to get it WITH NO HOME INSPECTION. Anyway, it was a cute, very small (under 1,000 sq ft) bungalow and the former owner came from an equestrian family so there were beautiful fabrics and furniture and paintings of horses etc. in this lovely 1930s bungalow.
When we moved in…all of her beautiful things were gone and we realized she was an absolute slob. The refrigerator had cat hair and spilled food all in it. There was spaghetti sauce (I hope that’s what it was – it’s the story I told myself) on the ceilings in the kitchen. Holes EVERYWHERE from all of her artwork, TV, etc. The window in the bathroom had a giant hole in it like someone had punched through the glass. I stayed up past midnight our first night scrubbing the kitchen cabinets and realized they were not ivory/off white but stark white and covered in filth.
We can laugh about it now but I cried and cried at the time thinking we had made a horrible mistake. Ironically, it was the best real estate decision we’ve ever made because we sold it two years later for a 63% profit. 😀
Yay about the profit!
And isn’t that true about buying a “very” decorated house?! Unless the owners are going to be responsible about properly patching it up when they move, there will be lots of holes! I can tell the owners thought about patching a few holes, because there are two places that have putty in the holes … of course, they did that in such a way that it left a mess and destroyed the wall texture in that area. There are proper ways of patching holes!! Hmm, I think I just thought of a blog post idea! 🙂
And I’m with you, let’s just keep thinking “ketchup”!!!
Our first house had a BIG surprise that’s for sure. A big hole around the kitchen sink pipe leading to under the house for lots of MICE and who knows what else to come into the house. I also learned to not count on the inspector, and if there was ever another time we went through the buying process again, we would open every cabinet and move every appliance and inspect behind because the mice were so bad there were holes chewed around outlets and even a dead one under the fridge they left! It was a nightmare!!how could the inspector have missed this stuff was beyond me, but I was told they don’t move appliances in a basic inspection!! Who knew!! A complete gutting and remodel of the whole kitchen happened after but took money planned for other things!! Live and learn!
OH MY GOSH!!!! This crosses a line by a mile. If I had found Mice, I’m not sure how I would have reacted!! I probably would have died!!!! I’m kind of dying just reading about that. Ahhhhh!!!!!
We just moved at the beginning of August. No big bad surprises, as the people we bought the house from were very nice and considerate! BUT they did take all the window coverings. There were no blinds on the windows to start with, just curtains, and they took all the curtains and rods. They did patch and paint, so there was that. So…we had to put up new coverings on all the windows. It was an expense we weren’t counting on. We talked with our realtor and apparently in our area it is common to take window coverings and since we didn’t know to put it in the contract, they took them. Oh well…I like what we have up on the windows now, we got a chance to make it our own from the get-go. 😉
Sonja Bobo says
Love this post. Pure Luck rocks!
I’m so sorry they left your home in such disarray. I feel your pain. We bought ours a year ago and the seller purchased a home warranty for us in case anything broke. Well, the water dispenser on the fridge broke and after 5 months, 8+ repair men and more hours on the phone than I could tolerate, we told the home warranty people to just leave it alone. (They wanted to ‘fix’ it so we’d have two different vertical doors with two different handles that didn’t meet in the middle or match.) So when our air conditioning/heat pump unit went out we decided to fix it on our own. (The previous owner had done multiple patch jobs on it & the warranty company would do the same. Plus, it’s in triple digits most of the summer here.) $13,500. Plus, the fridge will need to be replaced within two years (but after the warranty expires). Plus, the hot water tank was toast and we had to replace that too. $1,000. Plus, the cheap windows let in so much cold air that one bedroom was 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house. $1,400 to replace just that window. (The arch looks great but is pricey.) None of this turned up on the inspection and we bought this one instead of a similar one because this one looked well cared for and kept up. Ugh. Thanks for letting me vent a bit. I’ve followed your blog for a long time and know you’ll have your home in great shape and full of incredible organizing ideas soon.
Oh wow! That sounds sooo awful!!!
And isn’t that ALWAYS the case – the appliance needs the work AFTER the warranty! Vent away – it is helpful for me to realize this kind of thing happens to more than just me! 🙂
Kimberly Schrader Grimes says
We had some of the same issues! It really is crazy!
So crazy! Sorry you had to suffer with that too!!