April 14, 2022 by Abode Camp in Finance, North America

Home Going for $800K Comes With Basement Squatter

Home Going for $800K Comes With Basement Squatter: ‘It’s a Seller’s Market’

Virginia home listed for $800,000 in cash warns the new owner won’t have any access to the lower level and can’t even view it – because another person will be LIVING there with NO LEASE

A home listed in Fairfax, Virginia has five bedrooms and three bathrooms – and an entire level that is off-limits to prospective buyers

The listing, which is going viral, warns that home is sold ‘with acknowledgement that home will convey with a person(s) living in lower level with no lease in place’

It is unclear if the the ‘person(s)’ are the previous owners who don’t plan on leaving, or if there is a previous squatter on the property

The listing also demands cash offers and says home is sold as-is – with rotting windows, a leaking toilet, and a deck in ‘poor shape’

The seller admits home ‘needs some TLC’ and estimates $25,000 in renovations

A house that sold for over $800,000 in a popular Virginia neighborhood this week came with five bedrooms, a colonial structure—and at least one person living in the basement.

The property in Fairfax, Virginia, had received five cash offers by the close of business yesterday, listing agent Zinta Rodgers-Rickert of Red Truck Realty told Newsweek. Its owners accepted an offer above the asking price of $800,000.

The listing for the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house has baffled social media users with its bizarre warning that any buyer will have to agree to have someone living on the lower level — with no lease.

In fact, the listing warns that despite the more than three-quarters-of-a-million price, a new buyer will have no access to see the lower level at all, and will presumably have no recourse in getting the downstairs ‘neighbor’ to ever leave.

An online listing specified that the home was being sold “AS IS ONLY” with acknowledgement of “a person(s) living in lower level with no lease in place.”

The Fairfax housing market is highly competitive with a median sale price of $627,000, according to the real estate firm Redfin. On average, homes sell for approximately three percent above the listing price, while hot homes can sell for about six percent above.

Although this home needs renovation, has some rotting windows, a deck that is not up to code, a dishwasher that does not work and a toilet that leaks in the lower level, it is large and well-located in an area with excellent schools.

Rodgers-Rickert said there are currently two people living in the basement and at least one of them has lived there for three years. For the property’s current owners, an eviction process was too time-consuming and financially and emotionally draining. So Rodgers-Rickert offered to try selling the house along with the stipulation of basement tenants.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think there would be this kind of interest in the property,” she said.

Based on initial conversations, the broker said that she expects the new purchaser will start a formal eviction process.

The property listing was shared on the popular Instagram account Zillow Gone Wild, where it entertained thousands of viewers.

It is also in somewhat of a state of disrepair, and the current owner requires a full cash payment.

‘CASH OFFERS ONLY,’ the listing begins. ‘NO ACCESS to see lower level and Home sold AS IS ONLY with acknowledgement that home will convey with a person(s) living in lower level with no lease in place.’

The house also needs some serious work, with the listing admitting there are ‘original windows, some with rot,’ a broken dishwasher, and a sliding door that needs replacement.

‘Powder room toilet is shut off and it leaks in lower level. Deck supports appear to be in good shape, not to today’s code and upper decking boards are in poor shape,’ the listing continues.

The lower level — the one that is off-limits — is described as a ‘walk-out basement with legal bedroom, full bath, storage, and large living area.’

“800k for 5 bd, 4 ba, and your own serial killer,” joked one commenter.

“They really said Mystery Basement Goblin NOT sold separately,” another person chimed in.

“Cool we finally got a sequel to Parasite (2019),” quipped a viewer, referencing the South Korean black comedy thriller that featured a family secretly living in the basement below another family. Another bemused commenter referenced a U.S. crime drama series, asking, “What in the Ozark?”

There’s a squatter in the basement who won’t leave so they’ve decided to just flee,’ one speculated.

‘Is the basement haunted? Feels like the basement is haunted,’ wrote another.

‘They really said Mystery Basement Goblin ™️ NOT sold separately,’ wrote a third, while a fourth quipped: ‘This is how they finally get rid of their 32yo deadbeat son.’

Another commenter compared it to the Oscar-winning movie Parasite, while another pitched a possible Netflix show called Mystery Tenant.

‘It’s like you’re buying a house and getting a person for free,’ one more joked.

One comment observed the listing’s reflection of a hot housing market. “If this doesn’t tell you it’s a sellers market,” it said.

Home prices are continuing to rise in the United States. Between December 2020 and December 2021, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index jumped 18.8 percent.

While the current owner is not doing any of this before selling, they say they received one estimate that the work would cost about $25,000.

They also made no effort to tidy up the home before taking photos for the listing, with recycling piled on the counter in the kitchen and two bathrooms piled with toiletries and even dirty jeans.

Despite all of that, they insist it’s a ‘great opportunity to own in Mantua! Large spacious colonial on cul de sac street.’

Social media users think otherwise. The listing has been shared by the Instagram account Zillow Gone Wild, where commenters have expressed shock and horror.



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