16 people, something boiling and a Guinea hen.

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

This is a new one for me.

We found an adorable ranch home for a buyer of mine. (No... that's not the new part!)  During the inspection, we also found a great deal of mold in the attic.  Every surface in the attic was covered with a grey beard.  Now usually with homes like that we find a bathroom venting into the attic, raising the humidity up there, and causing all that mold.  Nope... the bathroom was vented through the roof.

We guessed (the inspector and I), that perhaps at one time the bathroom vented into the attic... as the roof appeared to be about 8 years old... maybe at that time they corrected it.  No real way to tell, I guess it'll remain a mystery, but we contracted for a mold remediation company... and my buyer went forward.

They have since moved in, and heard an interesting story from one of the neighbours.  A few years ago the owner had the house rented to a lovely young couple with 2 children.  At some time during their lease, they had about 16 people living in this 3bedroom house for about 3 years.  The owner was an out-of-state owner, so they didn't know.  Of course the neighbours did.  The matriarch of the family spent all of her time in the kitchen always having a pot, or two, of something boiling on the stove to feed the 16 people.

In addition to that, they owned a Guinea Hen (yeah, I had to look it up, too... see the picture) who roamed the neighbourhood.  (and no, the neighbourhood is not zoned for fowl).

So... our forensic real estate is now figuring... with 16 people in the house... that's got to mean at least 10 hot showers per day... constant pots of boiling something-or-other steaming on the stove all day... and a Guinea Fowl, the place had the humidity of the Amazon rain forest, much of that humidity making its way into the overwarmed attic.

Mystery semi-solved.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



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Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Wow - so glad the buyers weren't scared off by this. Many terminate the contract by much less than a gray beard.

Apr 18, 2019 03:23 PM #1
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

These are not the brightest birds in the world. No fear of anything many die by getting hit by a car

Apr 18, 2019 04:03 PM #2
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Hi Alan May 16 people in a 3 bedroom house is disgusting.... a neighbor should have called the board of health.... especially after the adopted that creature...

Apr 18, 2019 04:05 PM #3
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Fun story Alan May . I have sold several homes to one particular ethnicity and they always had a lot of relatives move in with them. Typically about 12 people to a 3 bedroom home.

Apr 18, 2019 04:16 PM #4
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Mold has gotten a bad rap...understandably but ratrely as scary as imagined.

Apr 18, 2019 05:58 PM #5
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Detective May was on the case. The showers and non-stop cooking could certainly explain the mold issue.

Apr 19, 2019 03:11 AM #6
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Alan. What a story this is. Glad that remediation was possible.

Apr 19, 2019 04:03 AM #7
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Alan. Wow, you buyers must have really wanted that house! Sounds like a lot of investigation to isolate the humidity. Enjoy your day!

Apr 19, 2019 05:16 AM #8
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Well that seems like a logical explanation for that mold!  We had a buyer under contract for a home years ago that identified lots of mold in the attic.  Fortunately the buyers and sellers (and agents) worked together and kept things on track.  No 16 people and a guinea hen to explain the mold at that house though :)

Apr 19, 2019 07:40 AM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Alan- years ago I had a call from an owner who had been renting her home out while she was out of state. Neighbors later told her that the young couple had no children but did have a pet monkey. This adorable monkey destroyed their expensive Tiki hut as well as much of the interior. 

Apr 19, 2019 11:37 AM #10
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

This story is a testament to the varied and unusual scenarios we encounter as part of our profession, Alan!  16 people in a regular sized home will contribute to a lot of shower activity and humidity.  Not to mention pots of whatever cooking on the stove.

Apr 20, 2019 01:06 AM #11
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Alan May

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