Buying a Crime Scene House

Source

When I drove through the neighborhood looking for an investment house, I spotted this small fifties-era home nestled in an area of nicely kept houses. Two blocks from an elementary school, it was enveloped in the sound of chirping birds and barking dogs. Despite the cheerful greetings, there was a sense of foreboding about the tree-shaded house.

The garage door was damaged beyond repair. The spider-filled interior of the garage led to a side door made of pressed wood.
The garage door was damaged beyond repair. The spider-filled interior of the garage led to a side door made of pressed wood.

I pulled into the driveway and called the realtor who was friendly and willing to meet me at the property. But something kept me waiting in the car until she arrived. Maybe I should have passed on the opportunity, but the price was right and with a little work, I hoped to turn this little fixer-upper into a profit.

Rear Window

The broken window of the nursery, repaired with cardboard, was shaded by an overgrown tree.
The broken window of the nursery, repaired with cardboard, was shaded by an overgrown tree.

Uninvited Guests

Minutes later, we opened the brand new door with its decorative window panes. Dark stains and a vague sense of unease greeted us in the living room. In the middle of the floor lay a a dead mouse. The little corpse didn't scare me off. Maybe it should have.

With my usual optimism, I plowed forward into my newest project and signed the contract to purchase the abandoned foreclosure.

Dark Stains

Past the stained floors and dingy paint, awaited the nursery with its broken window and eerie feeling.
Past the stained floors and dingy paint, awaited the nursery with its broken window and eerie feeling.

The entry to the nursery held the strongest sense of foreboding, an oppressive feeling, as if something horrible had happened nearby. Each morning when I began to work on cleaning, painting and repair, I got the feeling someone was watching me.

The Kitchen

The kitchen door led out to the covered patio where a strong odor prevailed.
The kitchen door led out to the covered patio where a strong odor prevailed. | Source

The kitchen floor had an area of rotted plywood. I hired a carpenter and hoped to find some matching tile to cover the wood. Fifty plus years took its toll on the linoleum tiles which began to pop off with little provocation.

A lot of work went into cleaning and painting the inside of the cabinets.
A lot of work went into cleaning and painting the inside of the cabinets. | Source

The kitchen cabinets held years of dirt and debris. I donned my protective face mask and swept out the accumulation of mouse droppings. With cleaning products from the dollar store in the nearby town, I removed layers of grime and grease.

After a fresh coat of paint inside, they looked like new.

The Dining Room

Painting a light enamel over the dark paneling brightened the gloomy dining area. Adding a new overhead light fixture helped as well.
Painting a light enamel over the dark paneling brightened the gloomy dining area. Adding a new overhead light fixture helped as well. | Source

Painting antique white enamel over the old dark paneling brightened up the dining area after replacing the hollow core exterior door with a solid wood paneled one with a deadbolt. Adding a new overhead light fixture also helped to reduce the gloom.

The Living Room

There were multiple holes that needed patching prior to painting.
There were multiple holes that needed patching prior to painting. | Source

Patching the many holes in the walls took a lot of time but resulted in a nice finish after a coat of semi-gloss enamel on ceiling and walls.

The Patio

Under the leaky patio cover there was a peculiar odor that began to grow stronger during the heat of the summer.
Under the leaky patio cover there was a peculiar odor that began to grow stronger during the heat of the summer. | Source

The Neighbors

The elderly lady across the street was an original resident from when the neighborhood was new. When she visited my house to check on my progress she shared a few details about the house next to her. She passed away a few months later of cancer following her only visit.

At the house next to her, cars arrived all hours of the day and night, leaving within moments.Their two pit bulls remained chained out in the yard announcing the arrival of guests.The residents' car was equipped with fancy spinners on the wheels and the man who lived there spent most of his time polishing the vehicle.

One day as I worked inside my house, the police showed up across the street responding to a domestic disturbance call after a screaming match erupted between the residents. Frankly, I had some concerns, so I kept to myself.

Back Yard

Needs work
Needs work | Source

The back yard needed major cleanup and landscaping. The exterior needed power washing before it could be painted.

The Patio

The weight of leaves from nearby trees caused the roof to buckle and leak.
The weight of leaves from nearby trees caused the roof to buckle and leak. | Source

In the patio area, I scrubbed the concrete stones with a bleach solution to kill off the green fungus. The patio roof was layered in years of decaying leaves from the neighbor's pecan tree. I climbed up and shoveled off the rich compost. I paid someone to fix the leak where the weight of the leaves caused the roof to buckle and droop.

Despite my cleaning efforts, there remained a peculiar odor that grew stronger as the summer heat moved in. It was a strong, unpleasant disturbing odor like something decaying under the patio stones.

The Driveway

The concrete driveway was cracked and in desperate need of repair
The concrete driveway was cracked and in desperate need of repair | Source

The Foundation

The driveway was in serious need of repair, along with the drainage culvert which had to be replaced. I had a load of pebble rock brought in to cover the concrete driveway after hiring two guys to break it up into smaller pieces.

The major expense came after discovering that the foundation was not level. I hired a company whose men spent days under the house jacking up fallen beams to fix it. While under the house, they found the skeletal remains of a couple of cats. That was really creepy.

The Front Yard

There was a leak in the main water pipe leading to the house
There was a leak in the main water pipe leading to the house | Source

The front yard required removal of the shrubs that blocked all the windows. I hired a guy to grade the dirt away from the foundation to reduce water seepage toward the house. After he ran over the main water pipe with the skid steer, it needed to be welded and repaired.

The Bathroom - Before

The bathroom had to be gutted including the cracked tub and the sub-floor and tile.
The bathroom had to be gutted including the cracked tub and the sub-floor and tile.

Bathroom Odor

This bathroom needed to be gutted to get rid of the strong smell of mold and a leaking toilet that emitted an odor of sewage. This job was was professionally done by a contractor who replaced the sub floor and removed the cast iron tub that had deep chips and stains.

During

The wallboard and floors were replaced with hardy backer moisture-resistant material.
The wallboard and floors were replaced with hardy backer moisture-resistant material. | Source

Do you know of a house that has a strange or negative feel?

See results without voting

New Wall Tile - New Flooring

New ceramic tile for the floors and walls
New ceramic tile for the floors and walls | Source

Bathroom - After

After installing a new toilet, new bathtub, and ceramic wall and floor tile.
After installing a new toilet, new bathtub, and ceramic wall and floor tile. | Source

Cast Iron Bathtub - Before

The old cast iron bathtub had to be removed and replaced with a new one. It took two men to carry it out.
The old cast iron bathtub had to be removed and replaced with a new one. It took two men to carry it out.

Bathtub - After

The replacement bathtub with surrounding tile walls
The replacement bathtub with surrounding tile walls | Source

The Front Entrance Before

The front walkway was uneven and dangerous.
The front walkway was uneven and dangerous. | Source

The Front Entrance - After

Covering the uneven walkway was important to avoid injuries.
Covering the uneven walkway was important to avoid injuries. | Source

Ready to Market

The water heater was replaced and a friend installed a new air conditioning and heating unit in the attic to replace the old one. New glass window panes were installed and the house got a thorough cleaning top to bottom by me. The kitchen needed plumbing work, floor repair and a new solid wood door. The sixties-era built-in range and oven was repaired after a thorough cleaning.

After a Major Remodel

The house after remodeling
The house after remodeling | Source

Sold!

Major expenses like broken pipes and a ruptured sewage line along with the re-leveling of the foundation provided a valuable learning experience of what not to do when it came to investment property.

The house sold quickly to a cash investor who carpeted over the hardwood floors and rented it out to several Hispanic men. Although there was no profit made, I was relieved to be rid of the creepy house that turned into a money pit.

Exploring an Abandoned House in Durham Region

Other Crime Scene Houses of Note

Holcomb, Kansas, 1959, was the scene of the murder of four members of the Clutter family. Their quaint farmhouse was the backdrop for the book by Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. Two drifters intent on robbing the family ended up killing the residents.

In the 1980s, Dorothy Puente operated a boarding house in Sacramento, California for senior citizens whose dismembered remains were later found buried in the yard. She collected her victim's social security funds long after they went missing.

In Boulder, Colorado, 1996, Jonbenet Ramsey's parents reported their six year old daughter was missing and a ransom note was discovered. As of 2011, the house is still for sale for a reported 2.3 million dollars.

© 2015 Peg Cole

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Comments 68 comments

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 22 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh Peg,

On one hand, I wish your neighbor had been able to share her story...on the other hand...eeeeeeeee?????

In any event, thank heavens, this is an experience you are now writing about in your life tapestry - once and done. Ain't hindsight grand?

Voted UP and very very UAI. Love and hugs, Maria


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Well Peg, never let it be said that you are afraid of tackling a big project. That is quite a transformation you preformed on that old house. You did an amazing job, and it is sad that the profit was not there at the end of the task.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 22 months ago from eastern North Dakota

Great hub, Peg, and I really like your new profile pic! Your story of what you did with that house read almost like a crime novel--couldn't get enough! Great job! But I would never have tackled such a project.

I didn't watch the video because of the time element, but I will keep in my inbox for later. Good to see you back in business!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 22 months ago from Orlando, FL

The remodeling looks great, especially the bathroom. I am allergic to mold and when I saw the photo of the bathroom I started to wheeze! A friend of mine purchased a home...she didn't "love" the home, but it was a steal. It wasn't until 3 weeks after finally settling in the house that she discovered via a neighbor that the previously family had a teenage daughter who was in a rocky relationship, when she ended the relationship...the young man sadly killed himself on the back porch. Oh my! My friend was livid! She tried to sue the realtor who knew this important fact...after a few months, my friend began to accept what happened and still lives in the home. It was a rough road there for a while.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Maria, It's so true that hindsight is twenty-twenty. Looking back now, it's clear I should not have bought the house.

There were other neighbors who later spoke of a felony arrest that occurred at the house involving violence. When I asked about the details, people got really quiet.

It got to the point that whenever I was working in the house I started singing gospel songs to try to lift the mood of eeriness.

Thank you for coming by so quickly and for the votes and hugs. Love you.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Peg...Very interesting story on several counts. Flipping houses is serious business and I commend you for tackling this. Spooky tales connected to houses are even more serious. I have a few stories of my own that still give me the willies.

Great writing....great read. UP++++


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Mr. Mckbirdbks, Thank you sir for your compliments about the house. Yes, it was quite disappointing that I let it go for such a ridiculous price. The only plus was that the improvements were good for tax purposes. Thanks for reading this and for the kind words.

A package arrived today with a beautiful book. I can't wait to have time for a good long read. Thank you so much.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi SubRon7, Well it's so nice to see you. That was definitely more project than I could handle on my own. Paying the contractor(s) was what really brought up the costs of repair. I did as much as I could on my own. It was a live and learn experience. Glad you like the profile picture, too.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Oh dear, Sunshine. That is quite a story. It seems like realtors should be required to divulge any known issues like that before a person buys a house. Sorry to have given you the wheezes. Me too, every time I went over there. Thanks so much for sharing your friend's experience.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Fpherj48, I would love to read some of those stories of your experiences in this type of situation. Sounds like great material for a dark and stormy night or Halloween. Thank you so much for the comment and positive remarks.


DJ Anderson 22 months ago

Peg, I am hooked on renovation TV shows. It is amazing what a true

makeover can do for a worn out looking property.

We had a neighbor who decided that he and his wife and grown kids would take a sad little house and turn it into a nice home and property.

They each had full times jobs and worked on this house after work hours and on the weekends. Our neighbor said, "Never again!"

After all was said and done, he said they came out equal considering

all the time and money they put into it.

What a great idea to take an old home and bring it back to something

better than anyone ever thought it could be. It takes not only boo-koos

of money, but dependable contractors, and lots of time.

You did a fine job on this home. You should feel proud of your accomplishment.

DJ.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 22 months ago from eastern North Dakota

Well, I didn't mind the inside so much, but OMG! outside--uff-da! I watched the whole video, Peg, and really have to wonder what went on there. The police tape suggested something bad....


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello D J.

We watch the renovation TV shows, too. I really like the work that Mike Holmes does on Make It Right. Reminds me of some of the contractors we've hired out here to help finish out our house. You have to wonder about some of them.

Early in our build, we did a lot of bartering for services like drywall tape and bed which takes a certain expertise to get right. Also we hired out the major work like installing the septic tank and the underground plumbing. It was quite an experience on this house and a couple of others we took on.

Thank you for coming by and for your great comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

Hi Peg, this was a very interesting hub. Just by looking at the pics of that house I got a creepy sensation. You did a great job on the renovations though, so well done for persisting. There were obviously more that happened in the house that you still haven't found out about. One house we bought also had a creepy feel about it..as though you were being watched when no one else was about etc. I guess it's the chance you take buying an older house....they have history.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

What a shame you didn't profit from all your hard work. It was interesting to see the house after each room was made over. I can imagine how it must look now with only four men living in it. Phew! Hee.. Well done Peg...


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi there again James. Yes, that video was a bit on the strange side when it came to the locking door on a closet or bedroom (?) and the police tape as well. Something went down there.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Jodah, Thanks for adding your experience about that house you owned with the creepy aura. There's no mistaking that feeling when the rooms seem off in some inexplicable way, especially in certain areas where the feeling is stronger. Your observation of these sensations shows that your sensitivity to such things is well developed. I'm glad you could pick up on that from these pictures. Thank you for your visit and comment.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida

So, you never found about what went on in that house? It's creepy that you felt creeped-out in the hallway leading to the kid's room. I shudder to think what that indicates.

On a different note, you did a nice job of repairing the home. I can't believe the investor covered hardwood floors with carpet! Why would anyone do that?

Are you still flipping houses, Peg?


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Your repairs look wonderful, Peg. Fixing all the problems sounds like it was a major undertaking and very time consuming! It's a shame that you didn't make a profit after all your hard work.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 22 months ago from Northern California, USA

Every house seems to expel messages about the people who lived there. I was once in a creepy house such as the one you shared here. I imagined something bad must have happened in the house. I later learned that my suspicions were correct... people died in the house and the sellers were trying to keep it a secret. But one day, a neighbor was walking her dog and just started chatting about the number of people who mysteriously died in that house. Now, I trust my feelings. If a house feels eerie, then it is probably because something bad happened in that house. By the way, you did a wonderful job on the renovation.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 22 months ago from The Beautiful South

This is something I always wanted to do. I will console myself with your experience and tell myself that would probably have been my luck, too. I remember the story "In Cold Blood". Now I would freak out if I got a house like that...or even next door to it!

Great article! ^+


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Always, We were shocked to see carpet put over those nice floors within days of the purchase. We went back to show them how to operate the A/C. The guy who bought the house had planned all along to use it as a rental. He lived in out of state. Within a few weeks, we saw the old appliances had been removed and tossed into the back yard and the renters were parking on the grass in front. You're right. What a shame.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Bravewarrior, Yes it was really disturbing to think about what might have gone on there. In the nursery there were decals of stars and moons and other indications that a child had lived there. Also, in another bedroom, there was a closet with a lock on the outside. The condition of the oven was unimaginable along with the bug infestation. Yikes. No, I'm out of the fixer upper market although currently working on repair of my Mom's home which I've written about on my blog.

Thank you so much for the visit and comment.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello AliciaC, Thanks so much for the comment about the repairs. We had several opportunities to rent or sell the house to buyers whose credit would not allow them to get traditional financing. We couldn't offer owner financing at the time due to a layoff, so we had to settle for a cash buyer. It's been years ago now, but seeing the pics again has brought the memories back. I enjoyed doing the work and found satisfaction in the project.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 22 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Looking at the photos, Peg, this home really looked like the perfect fixer-upper flip house. But that odor under the patio would have had me nervous, too. The story of the goings on at that house was frightening. You certainly invested a lot of work, care and resources in this project. The before and after photos of the bathroom, the front entrance, etc. are amazing. The home looks so inviting. I’m only sorry it didn’t yield a substantial profit for you. Next time! :-)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America

I think definitely that something untoward happened in that house you had, and am glad you disposed of it.

We have a similar house in Central Ohio that neighbors avoided and still avoid. After the first owners of several years departed, the house never kept another owner for more than about 2 to 4 years and it has been empty once again for two years - it's creepy, beginning to decay again, and painted a peeling black and gray. Dead grass and mostly dead trees. Walkers and joggers do not like to pass it. It shouts "terror."

The first owners, a family of four, lived a tortured existence. The infant daughter was abused in every way possible for several years and neighbor's complaints were met with "Mind your own business" by the courts back then.

The mother was psychotic and uncontrollable, another daughter was mentally and physically ill, and the father - we were never sure. A few years before he died, he was bedfast; the property fell into disrepair, never having been maintained well. The house had been painted a dull brown and he'd insisted that the family wear only brown clothing. The interior walls turned brown from tobacco smoke with closed windows. One daughter left and the other disappeared. The mother was hospitalized several times and disappeared.

There have been three successive owners and a death has caused each family to move. It sits empty, but is not for sale. It should probably be razed.

Thanks for the Hub!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

Wow, Peg, you certainly did a great job on that creepy house. I do hate you did not make a profit. Whew, that was a lot of hard work. So, you never found out if anything terrible happened in the house?

I know I would not want to live in a house where a terrible crime happened for sure! I've had a few creepy things to happen in a couple of houses I have lived in but never knew of any instances that something bad had happened in them. I hope it is required of realtors to tell of any such happenings before selling a house.

Flipping houses can be a profitable business no doubt. It is hard to know of all the unforeseen expenses.

Blessings


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

I think so, too, MarleneB. There's a certain feeling when entering places that, if we pay attention, can alert us to conditions. Interesting that you found out about the history of that house and your gut feelings were correct. Thanks for sharing that experience and for taking time to leave a thoughtful comment.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Jackie Lynnley, You probably would have enjoyed restoring a fixer-upper. It does take a lot of patience and a few carpentry skills along with some cash to pay outside contractors for the specialized stuff like A/C repair and for me, electrical work. I don't like to mess with that stuff.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Genna East, Thanks for the "amazing" comment and the empathy about the possible goings on there. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the house, taking a thermos of coffee and my stereo with me to work each day. Painting the dark oppressive dining room paneling really brightened up the area. It was a good feeling of accomplishment to fix the house up.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Oh my goodness, Patty, what a story. That house sure had its share of trauma and strangeness; a brown house with brown walls and wearing clothing of brown. That is quite strange. And the history of abuse along with the aura of terror is really creepy. That would make a good hub.

This house had tobacco stained walls that drizzled brown water as I washed them down with bleach and a floor mop. I wore out two mops. During the sixties when everyone seemed to smoke, this must have been the cigarette capital of the neighborhood. Sometimes I considered asking the police to investigate the strange odor under the patio but I had no evidence to persuade them, just an uncomfortable feeling.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 22 months ago from West Virginia

Wow that was a lot of work! I know what you went through as we have had this house remodeled and we had a shyster of a contractor too. We have learned lots obout what to do, who to trust and not turst with this house. We also learned how to do things ourselves. Have you ever considered smudging the house before and after fixing them up? If you do not believe in this, it is good to do it anyway.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Faith, There was a neighbor who told me of the felony arrest that "went bad" but she didn't provide more details. Yes, I believe that a realtor ought to advise their client if the house is the scene of a violent crime or that sort of thing. I don't think it is required, though.

With this one, it was a Pandora's box of unexpected pitfalls. One day I showed up to find a foot of water in the crawl space after a pipe broke. The week before, the water main on the street flooded the front yard. When they turned the water off to repair it, then back on, it burst the old lead pipes under the house. You never can predict these things.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

LadyG, I can understand your frustration with contractors who do not perform as promised. We've had our share who worked on our personal home and messed things up. The guy who did our drywall texture forgot to smooth the blobs of plaster down and left it very bumpy and uneven.

I'll admit, I had to look up smudging since I did not know what that meant. No, I never did that.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 22 months ago from North America

@PegCole17 - My goodness, how creepy - Surprised the police did not think the smell was a human body decaying and rush over to have a look. You were brave to stay and finish that project and I admire you for that.

The creepy house in my city is dark and different from the entire remainder of the block. And it is only 1/2 block from an elementary school.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean

So glad that a cat was all you found. That aside, what a brave undertaking and a great job! Thanks for sharing this experience.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

@Patty Inglish, I never notified the police since I had no direct evidence, only a feeling. Later I wondered if they could locate a specific area of concern with bloodhound or dogs trained for that. Isn't it interesting that your creepy house is also located near an elementary school?


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi MsDora, Yes, it was a mixed blessing about the cat, although it was only a skeleton by that time. No odor remained. Thanks for the visit and kind comment.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 21 months ago from North America

That's a good idea about the K-9 unit sniffing out the clues. I wonder what they'd find around the creepy house here, too.


woahthere profile image

woahthere 21 months ago from USA

I thought I was the only person to think about weird things like this ...


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Woahthere, It's not just you. Did you notice the orbs in the picture of the living room? There are at least three or four. BTW, I like your user name.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton

pegcole this was absolutely fascinating.. compelling ny friend


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 21 months ago from California

May I link this to my hub about buying a House in California? I was living in Sacramento when that boarding house thing happened, very ugly.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Frank, Nice to see you here and I really appreciate your assessment of this. Thought about you just today. Thanks for coming by.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Timelesstraveler, Most certainly and I am flattered that you want to link this one to your hub. So you remember that story about the boarding house? That was creepy.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 21 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

You did a wonderful job on the house! What a nasty mess that bathroom was! The difference is just amazing! I don't think I would ever live in a house that gave me these feelings. I hope it sells quickly and makes you a nice profit for all that work you have done!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Sheila, Thanks so much. This was several years ago and the house did sell, unfortunately for not as much as I'd hoped after all the required repair. At least it was done and over with. The place really gave me the creeps.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Sheila, Thanks so much. This was several years ago and the house did sell, unfortunately for not as much as I'd hoped after all the required repair. At least it was done and over with. The place really gave me the creeps.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

I would have had to track down that smell of decaying meat! However, as an investor what you discover could pretty much sink you when it comes to resale, as you may have to disclose it. Perhaps it was best you never quite knew? What a huge project! Kudos to you for undertaking such an enormous project, although I sure wish there were more reward in it for you.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 21 months ago from Stillwater, OK

You never know with some of these places. Usually it is best to trust one's gut instinct. Sounds like you had quite an adventure.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Flourish, You're right about that. Perhaps it was better not knowing. The effort and results were somewhat therapeutic despite the financial end of the project. Right after that, the real estate market crashed. I got out just in time.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Aviannovice, I agree about trusting our instincts. Adventure? Yes that's for sure. I learned quite a bit about what not to do with fixer uppers.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas

Too bad you never found out the reason for your feelings about that house but on the other hand you do not have to live with that information if it was really bad. You did a nice job on that renovation. I love watching many of the HDTV shows that address home renovations. Too bad that house was such a money pit for you.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Peggy W, I agree that maybe it was better not to know for sure. The house had a really bad feel to it and I was glad when it was no longer mine. Thanks for taking a look at the renovation and for the nice remarks. Money pit truly describes this one. I love those DIY shows on TV as well.


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 21 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

The investor carpeted wooden floors? What a waste. I dislike carpet. I enjoyed this hub about places that give us the creeps, but we aren't sure why. Very interesting. Thanks.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 21 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

I thought so, too, Cam8510. He immediately rented it to a group of guys who parked their cars on the front lawn. It was disappointing after all that work.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 20 months ago from sunny Florida

Very interesting...did you feel after the work was done to transform this little place that the remnants of what disturbed you were gone along with the disrepair?

I purchased a historical home for a song and set about the renovate it..what a grand adventure..it was a 14 room place with those ceilings that went on upward forever. But circumstances having nothing to do with the house caused us to have to move.

Thanks for sharing this .

Voted up++++ and shared.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

What a major undertaking. I've always wanted to do that but was afraid of just what happened to you, hidden expenses. You did do a nice job. As to the feel of the house, who knows, maybe drug dealing and/or....

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 20 months ago

I like horror and science fiction but I have yet to get into the reality TV show type of horror. Looks like you did a good job fixing the place up.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 20 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Pstraubie48, No, the feelings of unrest remained in the same areas of the house. I actually started to dread going there by myself to work. It was a huge relief when the house sold to another investor.

Thank you for voting and for your sweet visit.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 20 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Mary, It was a huge undertaking and an enormous money pit. Had I been able to do the foundation repair and other major work I hired out it would have been profitable. Foundation work is not cheap.

I had a feeling that something like you mentioned was going on there.

Thank you so much for coming by to check this out and for the votes.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 20 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hi Poetryman, Nice to see you today and thank you for the comment.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 months ago from Templeton, CA

Peg,

I really admire you for doing so much of that work yourself. I never would have attempted anything like this. What a difference you made. It must have been satisfying to look back and see what you accomplished. It's a shame you didn't get much return on your investment.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thanks, WannaB. I did everything I could do myself and hired out the rest. In a better marketplace, I would have made a profit. As it was, I broke even. After all the creepy experiences there, I was glad to be rid of the house.

Thanks so much for coming by.


Sarah 5 months ago

I really enjoyed this post, especially the photo progress. Great job fixing it up! The history of these kinds of places always intrigues me.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Thanks for stopping in, Sarah. Posting these photos really brought the project back to life for me. Ah, memories...


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 months ago from North Texas

You certainly made huge improvements on this house! It looked amazing when you got done.

I'm still wondering what crime occurred in this house other than letting a couple of cats starve to death under the house . . .

I have lived in a couple of 'haunted' houses. Not nice.

Very good description on what it takes to fix up an old neglected house, and how it can, as you say, turn into a money pit quickly. The photos showing before and after were excellent!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 months ago from Dallas, Texas Author

Hello Au fait, Thanks so much for checking this out. The project was way too much for me to do by myself and I ended up hiring a lot of the heavy work out, like leveling the floor, remodeling the bathroom and the air conditioning repair. I did enjoy the painting and fixing up inside although, there was an unsettling feeling while I was there alone working. A realtor let it slip that there had been a felony arrest of the previous tenant so I'm not sure what was involved. It seemed shady.

Anyhow, I'm glad to have sold it and hope that my gut reactions were not based on any bad things happening there. Just a feeling...and an odor of decay.

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