Annapolis “Snake House” Sounds Like a Real Estate Nightmare

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Photo via the Virginia Herpetological Association
Photo via the Virginia Herpetological Association

Imagine this: You buy a lovely house in Annapolis for $410,000, imagining that you’re going to live there for decades. You’ll raise your kids there. The future stretches out before you, happy and cozy and safe. And then you see a snake. And another snake. And another.

That’s allegedly what happened to Jeff and Jody Brooks, who recently filed a lawsuit against the real estate agent who, they say, sold them a house that’s infested with black rat snakes. According to the Baltimore Sun, a family that had previously rented the house moved out after finding multiple 3-4 foot long snakes in the house, as well as snake skins and snake scat. The subsequent tenants still refer to the property as “the snake house.” They got so fed up with the problem that they left a dead snake outside their landlord’s front door, before moving out. And then the Brooks family bought the house.

In their $2 million lawsuit, the Brookses note that a few months after closing, they spotted an 8-inch snake. Then a 3-foot snake. Then a 7-foot snake. Then a 4-foot snake. The family hired a snake inspector, who said that the house was unfit for children.

The family has since moved out of the house to live with Jody Brooks’s parents. According to their lawsuit, they’d also be willing to settle for rescinding the purchase of the house. Under Maryland law, real estate agents are supposed to disclose “material facts” that might impact the price of a home, or a buyer’s likelihood to buy a piece of property.

This story is the second-worst real estate infestation story I’ve ever read. The first? This one, about rats in Los Angeles. The moral of the story? Be careful what you buy!


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  1. be careful in what manner? the reason for the material facts disclosure requirement is because it is difficult to “be careful” in discovering things that an agent or prior owner is intentionally covering-up.

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