Folks, we have a frontrunner for Ugliest House of the Year. Warning: The pictures you are about to see are NOT for the faint of heart. I risked my health taking these pictures.
If you are brave and have a strong stomach, then I’ll take you on a tour. We’ll even see a few “before” pictures.
A little history. This was a delightful home in west Phoenix. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1656 square feet. Built in 1959. Brick construction. One car garage. 6,930 square foot corner lot. Old galvanized pipes replaced with copper plumbing. It was nice enough to appeal to a buyer who bought it in May 2006 for $213,000!
Here’s what it looked like out front in 2006. Cute, right? Nicely trimmed landscaping. Green grass.
This house went into foreclosure in 2009 and was turned back to the bank in May 2009. It was just listed for sale this weekend for, get this, $38,900. Wow. What a great price! Who wouldn’t want that house for that price? And the photos from 2006 were good. So I previewed it yesterday for a buyer. This is what I saw out front: dead grass, dead bushes, untrimmed bushes.
Now the view to the right.
Before we go inside, remember that this house has been vacant for at least a month. Tax records indicate the house was a rental. So the tenants might have simply moved out and left all their junk, er, belongings. Whatever the case, people actually lived here and lived in this condition.
If you are mentally prepared, we will now enter the house, starting in the living room. This is the cleanest part of the house. I must add that during my visit, I had to put my shirt over my nose because of the smell. It was 105 degrees in Phoenix yesterday.
The view from the living room window looking toward the dining room. The renters had kept birds (pigeons?) in cages (more on that later) in the dining room. There was bird poop and feathers everywhere on the dining room floor, which was one reason for the bad smell.
Here’s a before picture of the kitchen in 2006.
Here’s how it looks in June 2009, the after photo.
Opposite view so that you can see the milk cartons sitting out on the counters in 105 degree temperatures. Yummy.
Now to the right a bit. They grabbed what they wanted and left the rest.
Let’s take a walk down the hallway now. Wait. Stop. What’s that sound? Do I hear water dripping? Yes, I do. Oh, I see water dripping from the hallway ceiling down onto the soaking wet carpet. I had to walk on tippy toes because of the standing water. No wonder the house reeked of mold and mildew.
Oh, look. The water had caused the hallway ceiling to come down. How nice. [My initial thought was that the water came from a leaky evaporative cooler, but it could have been from a bad copper plumbing weld in the attic.]
Bedroom one. That’s not pink carpet. That’s pink attic insulation. The entire ceiling collapsed under the weight and sogginess of the water. The roof is a wood shake roof, and you could see sunlight coming in from this bedroom. The entire floor was wet and stinky.
Bedroom two with collapsed ceiling. Notice how the water had reached the far end of the room and was wicking up the boards.
By this time, I was coughing and trying to get out of there as quick as possible. The hall bathroom with standing water on the floor.
Here’s the master bedroom before in 2006. This picture was featured in an earlier post.
Here’s how the master bedroom looks like in June 2009. Everything soggy and stinky.
The master bathroom. They ran out of red paint and gave up.
They enclosed the patio and made a room addition. Isn’t it lovely with its dirty bird cages and filth and garbage? The bird cages were completely coated in bird poop. I walked through here just to the right of the cages along the little path to the doorway. The stench in this room was unbearable.
There was some kind of storage room out back, filled with dirty clothes.
They left an old car in the garage. Looks like the passenger front tire is missing. You can’t walk in the garage because of the junk.
Here’s how the back yard looked like before in 2006. Green and pretty.
Here’s how it looks in June 2009. The palm tree survived but the orange tree died.
Another view of the back yard from the other side.
And the side yard loaded with junk and garbage.
You can see how the before pictures from 2006 made this house look enticing to a buyer in 2009. But what a shock to see it in this condition. The water leak and damage plus mold remediation would cost thousands. The shake roof was messed up too. Then there’s the clean-up and bird poop removal and sanitation. Total disaster.