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purchasing house with a squatter

I put in an offer on a short sale house about 5 weeks ago. I went to look at the house again yesterday, and discovered that someone broke into 1 of the windows, and is now living in the house - sleeping bags, bags of food out, trash. The guy even put his shoes on the built in shoe rack. He put his dog in the basement, and there's about 50 piles of mess in the basement. He apparently dragged something over the floor, as it's now all muddy and scraped.

Should I call my realtor to cancel my offer? I just got too freaked out, but it's a beautiful house in the right price range only 25 min from work. This is in a rural area. 1 neighbor is an old lady, the other is across the street. I'm assuming the squatter came in at night. I'm just afraid that he'll come around if I move into the house.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:17 PM on Mar. 9, 2010 in Home & Garden

Answers (13)
  • I think if you make sure the lights are on and they know someone is living there they won't come back. It is very freaky though.

    Answer by BlooBird at 1:20 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I would call the realtor and let them know that there's a squatter. Then they can get the cops or someone involved to kick them out. Let them know you still want the house but it has to be put back the way it originally was. And when you move in, it might not be a bad idea to invest in a security system or a dog of your own.

    Answer by AmberBrat at 1:22 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • yeah I think you should tell your realtor and through realtor the police. You need to know if owner broke something or if squatter has. Plus if mortgage for yourself does not get fully approved the squatter could be the reason.

    Answer by lfl at 1:23 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • oh that would freak me out i dont know if i would buy it!

    Answer by joycegina at 1:23 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • call the realitor immediantly and make sure things are back to the way they were or you will cancel the sale. but do it now because in some states a squatter will get rights and you have to evict them like you would a tenant.

    Answer by laura970 at 1:32 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • Tie the dog up outside or call animal control---bag up his crap in garbage bags, lock all the doors and windows and set the dog outside, with all his crap---with a note saying you purchased the home and are not interested in a roommate, write that you have contacted the police and told them about the situation and there will be extra patrols and warn if you even think he is around you'll call the cops and have him arrested and put up no tresspassing signs all over the property---he will not want trouble--he will more than likely move on. And call the cops and have then really do those extra patrols!! They will do it if asked most of the time!!

    Answer by blue_glass_mama at 1:34 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I would call the realtor and work together with the police to get the situation resolved. You shouldn't have to give up a house that's perfect for you b/c of something like this.
    I would also insist the realtor pay for the damage repair, since it sounds like you haven't finalized the sale yet. If the realtor doens't want to do that, at least insist on a lower offer on your part, since you'll have to take care of the damages.
    I would imagine someone who is in the position of squatting in a house wouldn't want to cause more trouble for himself. Once the police deal with him and the house has a "SOLD" sign out front, I don't think he'd be coming back. If you are worried about it, see if there is a neighborhood watch you can join, or ask the police if they would make an effort to patrol your neighborhood more frequently for the first couple of weeks.

    Answer by StellarJKD at 1:37 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • well that could happen to any empty house. I would tell the squatter and the police, but I wouldn't decide to cancel the order. I'd just see what you can do to take care of the situation.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • CALL THE REALTOR AND CALL THE POLICE! I thought squatting was ILLEGAL???

    Answer by Ann_Ony_Mouse at 1:43 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • The realtor needs to deal with this ASAP. You can also call your local code enforcement to report the problem.

    Squatters broke into my parents' home last year, after the woman who bought the place from us abandoned it. (We sold the house after they died.) I found out because I happened to drive by and saw that the front lawn and plants were dead, and then saw graffiti on the walls and mirrors inside. My brother is now trying to buy the house back.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:32 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

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