Virginia home with a SQUATTER living in the basement is SOLD for $805,000

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A Fairfax, Virginia home with a squatter living in the basement has sold for $805,000 after its bizarre real estate listing warning of a ‘person(s) living in lower level with no lease’ went viral.

In 2019, Thomas Burke, 79, allowed a housekeeper to move into the basement of his five-bedroom, four-bathroom house because she needed a place to stay — but she never paid rent and has refused to leave.

Now hospitalized and likely needing hospice care in the future, Burke listed his home for sale earlier this month with a surprising caveat: that a future buyer accept a squatter living in the basement indefinitely. 

Perhaps more shocking than the fact that a buyer would accept these terms is that they did so for $5,000 above the asking price — and if they met the seller’s requirements, it was paid in cash.

A Fairfax, Virginia home with a squatter living in the basement has sold for $805,000 after its bizarre real estate listing warning of a'person(s) living in lower level with no lease' went viral

A Fairfax, Virginia home with a squatter living in the basement has sold for $805,000 after its bizarre real estate listing warning of a ‘person(s) living in lower level with no lease’ went viral 

The listing warned any buyer would have'NO ACCESS' to the home's basement, and would have to agree to have someone live there with no lease

The listing warned any buyer would have ‘NO ACCESS’ to the home’s basement, and would have to agree to have someone live there with no lease

The listing went viral earlier this month almost immedaitely after it went up thanks to its unusual description, and went into contract just three days later.

‘CASH OFFERS ONLY,’ New Jersey-based realty company RE/MAX Gateway wrote, stating the specific clause in the $800,000 purchase price — roughly $56,348 less than it’s valued.  

The ad warned: ‘NO ACCESS to see lower level and Home sold AS IS ONLY, with acknowledgement that home will convey with a person(s) living in lower level with no lease in place.’ 

According to property records, Burke has owned the 3,500-square-foot colonial just outside Washington, DC, since 1997, when he purchased it for $319,000 — roughly $576,000 today.

However, according to the listing agent for the property, in 2019 the senior allowed the unidentified woman whom he had hired to clean the home to stay at the residence after she told him she was homeless.

‘Three years ago, a woman was cleaning the senior owner’s house and she convinced him that she needed a place to stay,’ Zinta Rodger-Rickert, who works for RE/MAX Gateway, told the New York Post. ‘So he offered her the basement.’ 

In 2019, Thomas Burke, 79, allowed a housekeeper to move into the basement of his house because she needed a place to stay - but she never paid rent and has refused to leave

In 2019, Thomas Burke, 79, allowed a housekeeper to move into the basement of his house because she needed a place to stay – but she never paid rent and has refused to leave 

Burke's family is now rushing to sell the property before Burke, who is hospitalized and does not have a will, inevitably passes

Burke’s family is now rushing to sell the property before Burke, who is hospitalized and does not have a will, inevitably passes

Rodger-Rickert revealed that the act of kindness from Burke, who is currently hospitalized with an unidentified illness, soon backfired when the maid refused to leave.   

‘But then she never left,’ the realtor said. ‘And she does not pay rent.’ 

‘It is essentially an individual taking advantage of a senior who is ill and currently in the hospital,’ Rodger-Rickert said, adding that Burke’s prognosis is grim. ‘He will likely end up in hospice.’ 

A neigborn told Fox 5 DC that it is a mother and daughter living together in the basement of the home, while other neighbors told WUSA9 that the mother runs a leaning service and parks a her cleaning service car in front of the house.

Burke’s family aimed to sell the property before Burke, who does not have a will, inevitably passes, the agent said. She added that he family does not have the means to hire a lawyer to oversee the squatter’s eviction — which could take years in court to pull off.

Virginia law currently prohibits that family from barring the woman from the home or turning off its utilities, until a proper court order is issued. 

The listing showed photos of the property's basement - where the squatter is reportedly currently living - completely shuttered. The lower level is described as a'walk-out basement with legal bedroom, full bath, storage, and large living area'

The listing showed photos of the property’s basement – where the squatter is reportedly currently living – completely shuttered. The lower level is described as a ‘walk-out basement with legal bedroom, full bath, storage, and large living area’

The family is now pressured to make the sale before Burke passes, taking a sum markedly less than other properties in the sought-after cul-de-sac locale

The family is now pressured to make the sale before Burke passes, taking a sum markedly less than other properties in the sought-after cul-de-sac locale 

‘We are hoping the next owner will want to deal with that process,’ Rodger-Rickert added.

The family is now pressured to make the sale before Burke passes, taking a sum markedly less than other properties in the sought-after cul-de-sac locale.

One listing for another five-bedroom colonial block’s away from Burke’s home asks for $999,900 for the 3,224 square-foot residence, which is smaller than the senior’s home. The property, like Burke’s, boasts four bathrooms.

Another ad asks $939,900 for a five-bed, four-bath estate in the neighborhood, while another post asked for $975,0005 for another five-bedroom home — this one even smaller, at 3,192 square-feet with three bathrooms.

The law currently assumes that a person who occupies the land of another does so with the latter’s consent — meaning it’s up to the trespasser to prove their claim to the home. And while it’s current unclear whether any sort of contract was drawn up between the two parties, Burke did give the squatter consent to live there, meaning whoever takes the home could be subject to a fierce legal battle. 

The home, built in 1964, sits on .46 acres and measures 3,548 square feet. 

The house also needs some serious work, with the listing admitting there are'original windows, some with rot,' a broken dishwasher, and a sliding door that needs replacement

The house also needs some serious work, with the listing admitting there are'original windows, some with rot,' a broken dishwasher, and a sliding door that needs replacement

The house also needs some serious work, with the listing admitting there are ‘original windows, some with rot,’ a broken dishwasher, and a sliding door that needs replacement

Agents made no effort to tidy up the home before taking photos for the listing, with recycling piled on the counter in the kitchen

Agents made no effort to tidy up the home before taking photos for the listing, with recycling piled on the counter in the kitchen

Zinta Rodger-Rickert, who works for realty company RE/MAX Gateway, says Burke's family does not have the means to hire a lawyer to oversee the squatter's eviction - which could take years in court to pull off

Zinta Rodger-Rickert, who works for realty company RE/MAX Gateway, says Burke’s family does not have the means to hire a lawyer to oversee the squatter’s eviction – which could take years in court to pull off

The house needs serious work, with the listing admitting there are ‘original windows, some with rot,’ a broken dishwasher, and a sliding door that needs replacement.

‘Powder room toilet is shut off and it leaks in lower level. Deck supports appear to be in good shape, not to today’s code and upper decking boards are in poor shape,’ the listing continues.

The lower level — the one that is off-limits — is described as a ‘walk-out basement with legal bedroom, full bath, storage, and large living area.’

‘Home is livable but needs some TLC,’ the listing says, noting that in addition to fixing the window rot, sliding door, and deck surface, the carpet needs to be replaced on the main level, the exterior needs to be painted, and all three toilets need to be replaced.

While the current owner is not doing any of this before selling, they say they received one estimate that the work would cost about $25,000.

They also made no effort to tidy up the home before taking photos for the listing, with recycling piled on the counter in the kitchen and two bathrooms piled with toiletries and even dirty jeans.

'Powder room toilet is shut off and it leaks in lower level. Deck supports appear to be in good shape, not to today's code and upper decking boards are in poor shape,' the listing continues

‘Powder room toilet is shut off and it leaks in lower level. Deck supports appear to be in good shape, not to today’s code and upper decking boards are in poor shape,’ the listing continues

'Home is livable but needs some TLC,' the listing says, noting that in addition to fixing the window rot, sliding door, and deck surface, the carpet needs to be replaced on the main level, the exterior needs to be painted, and all three toilets need to be replaced

‘Home is livable but needs some TLC,’ the listing says, noting that in addition to fixing the window rot, sliding door, and deck surface, the carpet needs to be replaced on the main level, the exterior needs to be painted, and all three toilets need to be replaced

While the current owner is not doing any of this before selling, they say they received one estimate that the work would cost about $25,000

While the current owner is not doing any of this before selling, they say they received one estimate that the work would cost about $25,000

While the current owner is not doing any of this before selling, they say they received one estimate that the work would cost about $25,000

Despite all of that, they insist it’s a ‘great opportunity to own in Mantua! Large spacious colonial on cul de sac street.’ 

Social media users think otherwise. The listing was shared by the Instagram account Zillow Gone Wild, where commenters expressed shock and horror.

‘There’s a squatter in the basement who won’t leave so they’ve decided to just flee,’ one speculated — correctly, it turns out.

‘Is the basement haunted? Feels like the basement is haunted,’ wrote another.

‘They really said Mystery Basement Goblin ™️ NOT sold separately,’ wrote a third, while a fourth quipped: ‘This is how they finally get rid of their 32yo deadbeat son.’ 

‘It’s like you’re buying a house and getting a person for free,’ one more joked.

Another commenter compared it to the Oscar-winning movie Parasite, while another pitched a possible Netflix show called Mystery Tenant.



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