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  • FIRST POST
    • bap98189
    • By bap98189 13th Sep 17, 10:32 AM
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    bap98189
    What is the strangest house you have viewed
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:32 AM
    What is the strangest house you have viewed 13th Sep 17 at 10:32 AM
    We've been looking at houses for the past 4 weeks or so and it has been a real eye opener. Some of the things people do to convert perfectly normal houses are just bizarre. Last week was a bungalow which had a loft conversion. Only they had put in a staircase and there must have been a beam they couldn't remove, because you had to duck every time you went upstairs. My OH is 5'4" and even she had to duck considerably.

    But I think we may have seen the weirdest house yet last night. From the description it was a fairly standard bungalow which had a loft conversion. However, the owner was clearly in the building trade and had modified pretty much everything inside. The kitchen was now a very long, thin room. Almost like a galley kitchen, but so narrow, two people couldn't pass each other. Perhaps not the biggest problem in the world, but it did lead to the bathroom.

    But it was the garden that threw us. He took us outside to look at the back garden and there were a total of 5 wooden sheds. The first contained the usual gardening stuff, but inside the next one was a fully fitted bathroom complete with tiled walls and a carpet. The other 3 contained a carpeted room with a sofa and a wide screen TV, and two were bedrooms complete with beds.

    He proudly told us that because all these extra "rooms" were all in sheds, they didn't need planning permission, and he didn't have to pay council tax on them.

    I doubt we shall be putting in an offer.

    What's the weirdest house you have ever viewed?
Page 1
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Sep 17, 10:47 AM
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    CIS
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:47 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:47 AM
    He proudly told us that because all these extra "rooms" were all in sheds, they didn't need planning permission, and he didn't have to pay council tax on them.
    I wonder what he was doing with the 'extra rooms'. He's potentially going to have a shock at some point.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 13th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
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    ringo_24601
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    We visited a house that was once owned by a middle-eastern royal family member.. it hadn't been occupied for years so was full of spider-webs (So was known as 'the spider house'). Whilst trying to leave, the door handle broke and we had to shout for help from an upstairs window. The house was a lovely size and if it had been done up as if it was a house someone would live in, it would have been a good option.

    We also saw a house full of dead wasps - aka Wasp house
    • bap98189
    • By bap98189 13th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    bap98189
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
    I wonder what he was doing with the 'extra rooms'. He's potentially going to have a shock at some point.
    Originally posted by CIS
    They looked like they were used fairly regularly. None of these "rooms" were detailed on the house description, so I'm guessing his estate agent refused to list them.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 13th Sep 17, 11:07 AM
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    ProDave
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:07 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:07 AM
    I am a self employed electrician so I get to see and work in a lot of houses.

    The one I was in on Monday must come close to being the most unusual. It was an old stone cottage drastically altered in probably the 70's when it was probably quite contemporary (but it has not been touched since so is now in a time warp)

    You enter at ground level into a (leaking) flat roofed extension housing a couple of bedrooms and the utility room.

    You then descend half a flight of stairs into a semi basement (window cills level with the ground) housing the kitchen. From there you go up 6 steps then back down 2, to the living room not sunk quite as deep. finally up another stair to the upstairs bedroom suite (the purpose of the semi basement was to make enough headroom for the upstairs bedroom)

    The overall feeling is a house that does not flow, and lots of up and down stairs to get to the same level. Why does Fawlty Towers spring to mind?
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 13th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
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    BorisThomson
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:38 AM
    Not so much strange but badly marketed, I viewed a beautiful house that had a brand new kitchen and bathroom. But when I arrived I found that these were all adapted for a wheelchair user, everything was at my knees! The photos had been taken to make everything look 'normal' height, and the owner couldn't understand why she was getting lots of viewings but no offers.

    I did drop her a note later, thanking her for her time but also explaining that the agent was mismarketing the property. It would have been a perfect home for someone that required the adaptations. It must have fallen on deaf ears as six months later was still being marketed with the same pics and descriptions. Bizarre.
    • NelliePie
    • By NelliePie 13th Sep 17, 11:51 AM
    • 91 Posts
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    NelliePie
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:51 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 11:51 AM
    We walked into one house and the walls around the front door were covered in black mold and damp - we wondered if there was a leak of some description... As we looked around the house, every room, every wall was covered floor to ceiling in black mold and damp. And there were people living in it! I can't imagine that could have been good for their health. It was listed at roughly the same price as similar houses in much better condition, needless to say we didn't buy it.
    Last edited by NelliePie; 13-09-2017 at 11:53 AM.
    When life gives you lemons, find the tequila!
    MFW: FTB June 2017 £144k. Target 128k June 2019
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 13th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
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    ReadingTim
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
    Not so much the house, but one of the odder sales tactics I've seen was the one my parents employed when selling the home my brother and I grew up in.

    For some reason, they thought that rather than the usual unqualified, shiny-suited, hair-gelled, branded mini-driving spiv, their EA would be a sales professional, able to identify what was important to the buyer and highlight that in the property, rather than getting sidetracked by some bit of decorating or electrical installation that my parents were very proud of, but which wasn't important to the viewer. Needless to say, this wasn't the case.

    Furthermore, rather than make themselves scarce when viewings were taking place, they just continued with whatever they were doing at the time, studiously ignoring the buyers and not even correcting the obvious mistakes or lack of information on the part of the sales monkey, for whom the house was a much of a first timer visit as it was for the viewers...
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 13th Sep 17, 1:23 PM
    • 233 Posts
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    Car1980
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:23 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 1:23 PM
    Probably the house where the corner of the lounge was about half a foot lower than the rest of the room. "There's no subsidence!" shouted the vendor, even though nobody had said a word.
    • Beanboysmum
    • By Beanboysmum 13th Sep 17, 10:06 PM
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    Beanboysmum
    Probably the house where the corner of the lounge was about half a foot lower than the rest of the room. "There's no subsidence!" shouted the vendor, even though nobody had said a word.
    Originally posted by Car1980


    Still laughing at reading this
    thankfully I haven't viewed any odd houses however the house I've just bought the previous occupier really liked wallpaper as each wall in every room has a different paper.
    What will be my sons room had Ben 10, 1direction and 2 shades of lurid green in a contrasting print.
    Totally divine
    • cjmillsnun
    • By cjmillsnun 13th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
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    cjmillsnun
    For us it was the house we bought.

    A fairly conventional 3 bed Radburn style ex council house that had been extended front and rear.

    However the ceiling in the lounge was gloss plastic panels that looked like they had years of nicotine staining (they weren't stained by nicotine, that was just the pattern and colouring of the panels!), there was dark wood panelling everywhere on the walls and the electrics were visibly unsafe (exposed wires)

    In all fairness it looked like a cross between a 70's pub and a tarts boudoir.

    As you can imagine it was very cheap. Having ripped off all the wood panelling and the plastic ceiling we found plastered walls in reasonable condition. The ceilings needed a skim and there were some repairs required to small areas on the walls as well as some general filling. The electrics needed a full rewire, there was no getting around his bodgery as when we removed it there wasn't much of the original wiring left.

    But all in all we found a lovely house underneath the rubbish. We're happy as it is massive, dry, and well insulated. With what we're doing to it (pretty much a full renovation) it will be how we want it.
    Last edited by cjmillsnun; 13-09-2017 at 10:26 PM.
    • Green hopeful
    • By Green hopeful 13th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
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    Green hopeful
    We have viewed lots that have been unusual. One with the large living room entirely in a dark burgundy including the carpet, walls, radiators and ceiling. It felt like the ceiling was about to fall on your head. The house was pretty dated but trying to make a positive comment, I said the ensuite was nice. The Seller immediately said he was taking it with him. There was also a five metre high 'hill' complete with fake stream in the small estate garden.

    We also went to one we called the witches house. My husband would not even view so I took one of the kids. It was a Victorian house with towers and turrets but clearly needed lots of structural work. The agent bravely showed us round passed endless full and very smelly cat litter trays. We were nearly sick from the smell.

    Didn't buy either. I can see passed most things but they were awful.
    • Natbag
    • By Natbag 13th Sep 17, 10:46 PM
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    Natbag
    When we went to view our first house, the living room had dated dark blue and beige striped wallpaper and a huge framed picture of the Titanic above the fireplace. It was grim! Oh, and artex on almost every wall. No idea why we bought it, other than that we were poor and it was cheap.
    • EssexGirl
    • By EssexGirl 13th Sep 17, 10:54 PM
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    EssexGirl
    Probably the house where the corner of the lounge was about half a foot lower than the rest of the room. "There's no subsidence!" shouted the vendor, even though nobody had said a word.
    Originally posted by Car1980
    That reminds me of a flat we viewed. There was such a slope on the floor a ball would have rolled across the room with no help. The estate agent wouldn't admit it though.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 14th Sep 17, 2:38 AM
    • 29,702 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    When we were house-hunting in Spain, we viewed one village house where you had to bend double to get through the passageway from the living room to the bedroom, and where the existing owner would still have access to the roof terrace.

    Also in Spain, I know someone who viewed a house with a dead dog in the kitchen.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
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    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 14th Sep 17, 4:16 AM
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    Murphybear
    For us it was the house we bought.

    A fairly conventional 3 bed Radburn style ex council house that had been extended front and rear.

    However the ceiling in the lounge was gloss plastic panels that looked like they had years of nicotine staining (they weren't stained by nicotine, that was just the pattern and colouring of the panels!), there was dark wood panelling everywhere on the walls and the electrics were visibly unsafe (exposed wires)

    In all fairness it looked like a cross between a 70's pub and a tarts boudoir.

    As you can imagine it was very cheap. Having ripped off all the wood panelling and the plastic ceiling we found plastered walls in reasonable condition. The ceilings needed a skim and there were some repairs required to small areas on the walls as well as some general filling. The electrics needed a full rewire, there was no getting around his bodgery as when we removed it there wasn't much of the original wiring left.

    But all in all we found a lovely house underneath the rubbish. We're happy as it is massive, dry, and well insulated. With what we're doing to it (pretty much a full renovation) it will be how we want it.
    Originally posted by cjmillsnun
    This reminds me of a bungalow we bought a few years ago. It was owned by a lovely old couple who couldn't manage the large garden, which was fabulous and reminded me of the garden in Alice through the looking glass. It was very old fashioned and in need of updating. There was a whole wall covered in pine panelling which was the first thing to go. The carpet was taken up and revealed the beautiful original wooden flooring which we had renovated and was a talking point.

    I still miss that bungalow and wish we could have transported it with us when we moved to Devon
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Sep 17, 7:09 AM
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    Davesnave
    Too many to list! Viewing houses with land, we soon realised that anything we could afford with a reasonable house was going to have terrible land, or the land would be lovely and the house a complete wreck.

    For example there was the cottage owned by a plumber who'd seen too many episodes of Grand Designs. His genius stroke was to remove the original staircase and reposition it in the middle of the house, which was potentially a good idea, but with his ground floor layout, the only way to get upstairs, or from one end of the ground floor to the other, was via the conservatory, which he hadn't built.

    As he'd had run out of money, the en-suites the plumber had created in all the bedrooms also hadn't been kitted-out, so the sole washing/toilet facility was on the ground floor, only accessible at night by going outside through the unbuilt conservatory.....

    We offered £260k for that one, originally marketed at £335k. It was a good, sound shell with new windows, but virtually everything else needed to be re-done.

    Our offer was rejected. We breathed a sigh of relief. While the house had enough woodland to see us in fuel for the rest of our days, it would have been quite a project sorting it all out.

    Six months later, it sold for £240k.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 14th Sep 17, 7:25 AM
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    Davesnave

    We also went to one we called the witches house.....
    Originally posted by Green hopeful
    Yup, had one of those. Old property done out downstairs with green snot-coloured tiles and a witchy/occult theme in every room. Both owners were ill.... hacked and chain smoked throughout. We didn't get into two bedrooms because their teenage children scowled fiercely at us when their door was opened....but by then we didn't care.

    There were 9 dogs, most of which jumped up at us with muddy paws, the land was horribly steep and very boggy where it wasn't, the drive was owned by someone else and the access was dangerous. All in all, we felt sorry for the delusional pair of sick weirdies.

    The property sold the following week for £450k.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 14th Sep 17, 7:56 AM
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    tori.k
    I feel quite left out we've not seen anything to strange, the oddest being the pine clad house normal looking on the outside yet the older sellers had clad the whole of the downstairs in Orange pine cladding, the lady of the house liked her tan and was almost the same colour as the walls and ceiling so kinda had a chameleon effect going on it was quite a distraction.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
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    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 14th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
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    Fosterdog
    I viewed one that was originally a two bed but the changed to a three bed, really good sizes for all of the rooms but to make the conversion possible they had to move the stair case close to the front door, it was literally the door swung open and had at most an inch gap before you reached the stairs, which they had also added a turn at the bottom so you walked in to be face to face with the banister. Fine for every day but getting furniture in and out would be a nightmare.

    Then the second double bedroom was in the centre of the house so had no window, not the end of the world, they added a skylight. Except it was almost like a chimney going up through the attic in the centre of the room with the skylight at the top. I never understood why they didn't just go for a loft conversion like other houses in the street had, it must have cost them more to do it the way they had.
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