SNAKE DEN OR DREAM HOME? The five-bedroom house sat on pastoral acreage in the American countryside. At less than $180,000, it seemed a steal. But it wasn’t a bargain. Ben and Amber soon realized the dream home they had purchased for their growing family was infested with hundreds of garter snakes. Throngs of reptiles crawled beneath the outer walls. At night, the young couple said they would lie awake and listen to slithering inside the walls. It was like living in a horror movie. The home was most likely built on a winter snake den, or hibernaculum, where the reptiles gather in large numbers to hibernate. In the spring and summer, the snakes fan out across southeast Idaho, but as the days get shorter and cooler, they returned to the den. At the height of the infestation, the home buyer said he killed 42 snakes in one day before he decided he couldn’t do it anymore. He waged war against the snakes and “they won.” Buyers had little recourse when they decided to flee the home. They had signed a document, noting the snake infestation. They said they had been assured by their agent that the snakes were just a story “invented” by the previous owners to leave their mortgage behind. The buyers filed for bankruptcy and the house was repossessed. They left the home the day after their daughter was born, just three months after moving in. The house briefly went back on the market. Now owned by the bank, it was listed at $114,900 a year later. The property has since been taken off the market, while the bank decides what to do with it. The moral of the story is to have a good inspection. These buyers were attracted by a price. They didn’t have a proper inspection of the home before purchasing. It seems the real issue was the agent who cared more about selling the home than his clients.
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