A major hoarder property in West Sacramento

If you’ve seen or heard of the show Hoarders, you may have come across a house like this. A client purchased this West Sacramento property earlier in the week for nearly $20,000 and gave me permission to do a video before they do a complete remodel. This property can best be described as a “hoarder’s delight”. There is rubbish and junk everywhere throughout the house and it has some very obvious condition issues too.

As I mentioned in the video, it can be very challenging to get a loan on a hoarder property because of the health & safety and potential or actual condition issues. However, it is possible (If FHA, it would probably take an FHA 203K loan because a traditional FHA loan won’t work).  I’d be curious to hear from anyone who has found success on either side if the equation, whether obtaining the loan or brokering the loan.

What do you think of a house like this? What types of potential health and safety and condition issues do houses with hoarding face? How does hoarding impact life and even real estate?


      • says

        I’ll take as many as they’re willing to get rid of. I know some kids who would love to have a fishing pole. I’m going to find out if there’s a charity for “fishing poles for kids” or something like that for donation too. Let me know what works. Thanks.

        • says

          That’s great, Jason. My client has given me the green flag, so let’s meet up. Can you meet me at the property? I am very busy today, but I can swing out there. Tomorrow probably won’t work for me. Give me a ring at 916.595.3735. We should get these ASAP because you know how it goes with vacant properties and stuff staying in the house. 🙂

  1. says

    Wow, just wow. I’m fascinated by the show Hoarders, and I’m so curious as to what leads people into this lifestyle. My heart is just hurting for the people that lived in these conditions. Thanks for the interesting video, Ryan.

    • says

      Thanks Barbara. I hear you what you’re saying. People are broken internally to the point where they cannot engage in life with others. It hurts real people too (family, friends and neighbors) and not just their property value.

  2. Cory says

    Ryan, now tell us the truth, this is really staged and you are trying out for a guest appearance on Hoarders, right?? 😉 Wow!! It’s crazy to think that somebody was actually living in this house, if you can even call it that, and to think of the health hazards within: mold, rats, and who knows what else. I imagine that assessing value on a home like this is not such an easy task either. Judging by the last couple of before-after videos that you did for this same client, I’m thinking that this will easily be the most dramatic change to date. Stayed tuned for some much-needed neighborhood clean-up!!

    • says

      Cory, you found me out. I really staged this. I went to the dump and picked up three entire bins of debris, set it up in the house, and then poured rain water everywhere in order to get that nice mildew odor. It was really so much work. I sure hope this video goes “viral” in order to pay me back for all that effort. 🙂

      I hear you on the health issues. What a concern.

  3. says

    I just watched Horders last night and was thankful that I’ve never come across a home in this bad of condition yet. It looks like more of a tear down then a rehab. Did you really say this was in average-good condition? Because ‘poor’ appears to be more accurate.

    • says

      Thanks Ben. You’re right about this one. “Poor” condition is absolutely a description here. There is no way this one could even pass as “fair”. When I said “average to good”, I was talking about a different hoarder house I appraised where I had to make an extraordinary assumption that the walls and floor covering were in average to good condition (and there were no other issues too that could potentially be caused by the piles of stuff). I wouldn’t appraise a hoarder property without being able to use an extraordinary assumption in the report. There could be some pretty serious issues lurking behind all the debris.

  4. says

    Awesome video! I hope the new owners will let you come back and make another video of the finished property, or better yet, maybe they will document the process and let you post it here.

    Talk about destroying the value in a property! So much stuff to haul away.

    I am morbidly fascinated with the show “Hoarders”, too. After each episode, we clear out some more junk from somewhere in our own home – never want anyone to find it looking like this in a few years. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this fun one!

    • says

      Thanks so much Alison. Maybe I will have to go to a mid or post-video after my client rehabs this hoarder property. A few people have said that. It certainly would make for an interesting clip. I’ll think on that.

      I’ve heard the same thing from friends after they watched Hoarders. It was time to throw something away. 🙂

  5. Mark says

    Hey Ryan – what a mess! I once turned down a job similar. When I opened the door, after shimmying around the gapping hole in the front porch, I opened the door and I tell you no lie…there was junk piled (rather neatly, actually) all the way up to the ceiling with a little path that wound through the home. The house was like a rat’s maze. The floor was caving and it was too dangerous to go in. Crazy!!!

    Quick question: As I watched your video of the home that the roof and walls were caving in, it must have had water intrusion…you said that you stated that you could not see the floor and you had to “assume it was in average to good condition”. How can you make such an assumption when the rest of the home is in poor condition?

    • says

      Mark, that sounds wild (and dangerous). I may not have articulated myself clearly enough in the video that I had to make this assumption on a different hoarder property I inspected. Go back and listen to it and let me know what you think about the communication. This house in the video is absolutely in poor condition. I made sure to add some extra text on the screen saying “(not this one)” when talking in the video, though my words also bring clarity too. I definitely don’t want to bring confusion.

  6. says

    Almost 7 months later, I had to come take another look! Our sons’ room is looking a lot like a hoarder’s room: crammed with books and toys and beanbags. We’re clearing it out this week, taking it down to nothing but carpet and drywall, then re-doing it as a minimalist space.

    We were going to make a video but can’t get a wide enough angle view on the space to make it work. 🙁

    Thanks again for putting something out there to motivate us to get rid of a bunch of JUNK!!!!

    • says

      My boys are very similar. They tend to accumulate so much junk today – especially after Christmas. Good luck. When you taste success, do let me know. My boys could use an overhaul too. Maybe you can start a business on the side. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks for the comment. What makes you think I disagree with you? I think there is a profound difference between clutter and hoarding. Hoarding stems from deep issues while clutter is simply too much stuff.

  7. says

    Wow, Ryan I do not envy your task of having to attempt an appraisal at a hoarders hide out! Yikes!!! But thanks for sharing. I think its time to go clean something. Just watching the video made me feel uncomfortable for you. 🙁

    • says

      Thanks Holly. It’s properties like these where we just have to take a shower after the inspection. I’ve referenced this video many times with my own kids to help them see the importance of letting go of stuff and not letting it pile up. 🙂

      Happy cleaning!!

  8. Noreen says

    I have quasi-hoarders across the street and my home is on the market, everything got worse this weekend as they decided to have a yard sale? What a mess. The “yard sale” is still there after a week and if history repeats itself, it will be there forever. Is there anything I can do to “encourage” them to clean up. It’s hurting my property value big-time.

    • says

      Hi Noreen. I’m so sorry to hear of your situation. Have you heard any negative feedback from agents or potential buyers? What is your relationship like with the property owner?

      Hoarding is a deep issue, and so is the remedy in many cases. I am very realistic about that, so I am equally not too optimistic about change in many cases (sorry, but it’s true). However, if you have even a cordial relationship with the people across the street (and they are not militant somehow), I might suggest knocking on their door to talk with them about it. I’ve done this before. 🙂 You can be respectfully frank and say something like, “Hey, I noticed there is quite a bit of stuff in your yard from your yard sale. I’m so sorry to say something like this, but is there any way you can clean it up this week? I am trying to sell my house and it’s making it hard because of the view from across the street. I’m sorry to say this, but buyers have said some pretty negative things about our street because of the way your yard looks (if that’s true of course). Do you need any help? How about we rent a dumpster on Saturday and work together? I need to sell my house, but most important, I would love to help and do one last neighborly thing together before we move on.”

      It’s an uphill battle as it is to get results, but if you have a terrible relationship with the property owner, something like this obviously wouldn’t work. If you feel more comfortable you can always write a letter, though the real action step in this is getting a time-frame commitment to help deal with the situation. You can always send a letter that says you’ll knock on their door for follow-up in two days.

      Ultimately code enforcement may need to get involved, but that is a lengthy process which may or may not yield results. For more immediate potential results, I would say the best bet is to reach out in person or with a letter. While I am not an advocate of taking responsibility for other people when they’ve created a mess, I do blur that line when it comes to this issue. If something is bothering a neighbor so much, it is sometimes worth it to spend some money and put some time in to helping someone solve an issue. That’s not ideal in many cases, but when we need results, we have to change the way we think and sometimes color outside of the lines of what we would normally do. That’s my take anyway.

      Let me know how it goes or if you have any follow-up thoughts. I hope your house sells soon.

  9. says

    WOW! That is super heavy — how tragic to be LIVING in that environment… I have seen hoard-like properties via photos on the MLS and kudos to those Buyers who can see past the distraction. Honestly, for even $20K the property in your video blew me away… I mean, tell me they bought the property because of the location?!?!

    • says

      I know, this one is definitely hairy. This one was a gnarly property, but the investor who bought it is really savvy and knows how to make deals happen. They cleaned it up and I think they sold it for $40K right away. The location wasn’t anything amazing. I think he just saw potential to squeeze out a little profit or maybe even build it out to resell.


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