We’ve seen homes marketed in a lot of strange ways over the years, but rarely do we see them pitched quite as honestly as this one.
Dubbed “the filthiest home in Houston” by its own real estate agent, this house definitely lives up to what its listing boasts.
The home’s squalor includes fur balls that fill the floor and make their way up the walls, garbage-filled bedrooms, rotting food in the kitchen, a bathroom piled high with soda cans and fountain drinks, and — worst of all — a room where the floor is quite literally coated in animal poo.
The filthiest home in Houston, indeed.
“I’ve had people come in for a showing and run right out, and I’ve had some that have dry heaved and even vomited,” says listing agent Paul Gomberg of Rockstar Real Estate Group of Keller Williams Conroe in Houston.
Gomberg is not easily intimidated by this mess. In fact, he managed to have some fun with the property, producing a short video tour.
According to Gomberg, the house wasn’t always in such wretched condition. In the video, he shows images from an old listing during the home’s “glory days” three years ago. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom house was pretty much your standard suburban home: cream-colored walls, brown leather furniture, warm wood floors, and handy white built-ins.
But then 12 dogs, six cats, and a pot-bellied pig took over and “converted this lovely home into a giant toilet,” Gomberg says.
The living area has hairballs in the corners, pet hair on the blinds, bags of food lying around, and pet messes in the closets. And that’s the clean floor — the second floor “only gets worse.”
Kicking down doors, Gomberg reveals rooms stuffed with garbage, old fountain drinks and soda cans piled high in the bathroom, and a room covered in dog poo. “You can’t take a single step without getting a shoe coated in poo,” the agent says.
Gomberg assures Yahoo Real Estate that while he’s not making excuses for the previous owners, they at least didn’t live in the filth. They apparently bought a new house while living there, remodeled it, and moved in, but weren’t immediately able to send for their animal army, nor did they have the cash to board them. So the pets stayed behind.
“No question that it’s beyond the norm, but they didn’t abandon or abuse them. They visited every day to give them food and water. It’s just for a short period of time they had nowhere to put them so … they left them in the house,” he says.
Gomberg estimates that the animals lived in the home without their owners for between 10 days and two weeks, during which most of the damage was done.
“They were just of the mindset that they were going to let the home go into foreclosure,” he says.
Amazingly, shockingly, and unbelievably, despite all this filth, the 3,500-square-foot house already has a pending offer. Because it’s a short sale, it may take a while to be accepted by the bank — which Gomberg says hasn’t actually seen the place yet — so the house is still being shown to whatever brave souls care to take it on.
The home’s $125,000 price point is really moving the potential sale, Gomberg says.
“In that little subdivision, if the house was in normal shape, kind of how it was before, it would be worth between $280,000 and $310,000,” he says.
Putting $50,000 or $60,000 into the house to fix it up, then turning around and selling it at the market rate would leave a pretty tidy profit to whoever has the guts to fix it up, he adds.
“Even if something went wrong and you had to put another $50,000 in on top of that and you’re in the thing for $225,000 or $230,000, there’s still room to make money. You have a bit of a cushion at $125,000,” Gomberg says.
For his part, Gomberg says that when he finally got to see the house, he decided to list it exactly as it was.
“I just wanted full disclosure,” he says. “It’s a disaster, so let’s show it as-is so everybody knows this is the horrible house you’re going to end up with. I’ve just walked into too many homes where you get the feeling they slapped on some paint and put on a new carpet and just covered up the problems, and I didn’t want that here.”
The goofy video has also helped out Gomberg’s business, Rockstar Real Estate Group, in which he offers buyers the opportunity to drive around in a limo while house hunting.
“It’s been great,” he says. “I get a lot of people calling every day. I have a few hundred new leads in the area.”
Video provided by Paul Gomberg of Rockstar Real Estate Group of Keller Williams Conroe in Houston.