The votes have been tallied on all the Curbed sites; here now: the Rookie Roosts 2012 Horror Story finalists. One of these guys—the one with the most wretched first-time home-buying experience to tell—will win a $2,500 gift certificate to the home store of their choice, funded jovially by Curbed. Let the voting begin!
Editor's Note: This poll will be open until Monday, April 2 at noon EST. Voting irregularities will be strictly policed.
UPDATE: Poll's closed. Thanks for playing!
Here's a refresher of all the worthy contenders:
Boston: A guy urinating all over copper pipes:
"Upon our return three days later, we soon discovered that it had been a mistake for my wife (see, all her fault) to leave the deliverymen alone in our apartment while she went to buy them drinks. Like any normal people in the business of customer service, they had capitalized on their time alone in our home by peeing into a box full of plumbing fixtures. Imagine a sauna in which steam is created not by pouring water over hot rocks, but rather by a fat guy urinating over copper pipes. This is what our entire condo smelled like."
The Hamptons: A cat-piss stench made our eyes water:
"Our broker took us to this East Hampton Village home as the last home on a day we saw 16 properties. As we walked in to the house this stench of cat piss hit us — enough to make your eyes water. I almost vomited. [...] Meanwhile the house seriously needed to be blown up. Literally. Blown. Up. Try to picture a house that looks as if your 90 year old grandmother was born, lived, birthed her 7 kids and then died all in the home without doing one renovation over her 90 year life. And maybe her body was still in one of the bedrooms – we didn’t stick around too long to find out."
Washington D.C.: A homeowner in his boxer shorts:
"The agent does the whole ring the doorbell, knock on the door, giving it a final 'hello! real estate agent showing' to secure the space. Silence greets him, so we step in. We check out the kitchen, the bathroom, living room, etc. I then noticed a door to the basement so I called out to the agent that I was going downstairs. As I began to descend, a door suddenly opened and an overweight man in boxer shorts and black tube socks burst out of one room and ran into another one. I screamed and ran up the stairs. We all then ran out of the house."
Atlanta: Operation Ceiling Death Eagle:
"For the first major project, my experienced reno friends used a garden hose to spray all of the ceilings to remove the ancient popcorn texture. It rained 50 yrs of cigarette smoke and filthy ceiling curds on our heads like an Amazonian jungle storm of nasty. [...] Apparently the filth was holding the house together because after we removed the popcorn, the plaster ceiling began collapsing in my bedroom. [...] I lived in the guest bedroom during the master bedroom renovation—aka Operation Ceiling Death Eagle. I couldn't even use the living room because it was haunted and the streaks of yellowed nicotine down the walls seemed like the ghost was murdering people in the attic at night."
Philly: A two-inch pipe and a moldy bucket:
"During my first shower in our new home, my wife noticed a strange sound coming from downstairs. She came down the steps to see my shower water, streaming from the high hat lighting fixture onto a strategically placed couch left by the previous owner. Turns out the entire full bathroom—toilet, sink, and tub—were all tied into a single two-inch, unvented PVC takeaway. [...] Second problem: During a nighttime rain storm, we awoke to find a puddle of water on the kitchen counter. We inspected a particularly water-damaged soffet to find, inside the soffet framing, a quart-sized bucket that had been built in behind the drywall. The infamous bucket, covered in black algae and disgusting mold, had captured who-knows-how-many years' worth of disgusting roof-filtered rainwater, and spilled over who-knows-how-many times. We ended up gutting the entire kitchen."
Detroit: A house on the city's demo list:
"So after securing the house with a door that I can open with a key (for the first few visits I had to unscrew boards and climb through the window), I started the quest to get the utilities hooked up. The house had been vacant for almost 30 years, so all of the utilities were nonexistent; no gas, water or electricity was coming to the house, there weren't even meters. That's when I found out my house was on the Detroit Demo List....ACK!!"
Chicago: A short sale without end:
"We were 3 months into the short-sale with the inspection (no major issues) and appraisal both done when we finally sat down to close. Of course, there was an outstanding bill due on the unit that almost stopped the deal at the table when the seller's bank found out. "A little paperwork" turned into 5 hours at the title company while the sellers' attorney faxed back and forth to the bank promising to pay the bill as soon as we were through to keep them on-board with the sale. I'm still shocked we actually left with the keys that day. After submitting an offer in March, we finally walked into our first home in June. And I could bitch about the shape the sellers left the place in, but as a short-sale we knew what to expect. There weren't any boot holes in the walls at least."
Los Angeles: Brown water and $4,500 to fix it:
"While going through inspection, I noticed that anytime I turned on a faucet, the water started coming out brown. The inspector said it was normal and that would go away after a while?he was wrong. It turns out the pipes were galvanize steel and had rusted. I needed to replace the pipes in the whole house. That’s another $4,500 hundred I had not budgeted for. That $4,500 didn’t include replacing the tile that needed to be removed to get behind the wall. On top of that, the contactor found a leak behind the bathrooms sinks which required me to purchase a new vanity. He also discovered another leak behind the kitchen sink which required me replace the wood with dry wall. WHAT A MESS!!"
San Francisco: Mummified rats and an unfinished kitchen reno:
There were structural problems, the kitchen cabinet shelves were destroyed, the bathroom floor was slightly collapsing, the electrical was substandard, and all the way down the line. [...] By the way, do you realize how many dead, mummified rats can life inside a drop ceiling of a bathroom? My wife and I moved in a month after the bathroom, a structural beam,the front porch, seven windows and two skylights, and half of the electrical and plumbing was replaced. Over the course of the next 10
months, I replaced the rest of the electrical, and gutted and started building out our dream kitchen. Then, one day, my wife left, and I was stuck with the mortgage, contractor bills, and a 25% complete kitchen reno."
Seattle: Cigarette butts and cat feces mania:
"The entryway carpet was caked with mud, but for whatever reason, figured it was worth our time to do quick walk through. [...] The place reeked of smoke, due in part to a flower pot in the kitchen filled to the brim with cigarette butts. The kitchen cabinets and hardwood floors were damaged beyond repair, and dishes in the sink actually had mold growing on them. A bong was sitting on the coffee table along with a small bag of weed. ][...] And—the icing on the cake—A cat’s litter box is in the hallway, completely filled with cat feces and radiating the most vile stench imaginable. In fact, the wall behind the litter box was also sprayed with feces and urine."
· All Rookie Roosts 2012 posts [Curbed National]