Jody and Jeff Brooks, a couple with three kids, is suing a real estate broker and the former home owner from whom they bought the house, for selling them a place that’s infested with snakes.
A couple looking to settle into their home, purchased via a broker, were in for a nasty surprise. Jeff and Jody Brooks bought the house on the Broadneck Peninsula, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, in December, 2014. The house was located in the rather quaint St. Margarets neighborhood of Beechwood on the Burley. It was supposed to be a 20-year home, a place where you really settle down.
The couple had rather simple plans, too — an office downstairs for Jody, separate bedrooms for the children, Thomas and Lilly, a baby-room for their infant daughter, and a backyard to romp around. The house had one more advantage that had sealed the deal. It was mere minutes from Jody’s parents’ home, and that meant a reliable baby-sitting service that actually loved the kids dearly. The home was supposed to be a way-into-the-neighborhood house for a family starting out. With such dreams attached to the home, it was a no-brainer to sign on the dotted line and arrange for a $410,000 mortgage.
However, all these dreams were shattered when the couple moved in. It started with noises in the dead of the night, but soon they grew louder. Upon inspection of the hidden nooks and crannies and the rafts and lofts, the family discovered a horrendous secret, which they claim neither the seller nor the broker divulged – the house was infested with snakes – black rat snakes, to be precise.
It turns out the former home owner took steps to keep the news about the snake infestation a secret. Though the house smelled, the Brooks took the pains of cleaning up the place thinking it merely needed some TLC. But, when Jeff pulled out a 3 and a half-foot snake from the wall outside, the nightmare was just beginning. As for the odor, it is a known fact that black rat snakes release a musk to signal about an ideal den.
The couple, along with some help from local townsfolk, has pulled out more snakes than they dare to count, perhaps in dozens. Most of the snakes, Jeff says, were 3 to 4 feet. It is not known why the Brooks continued to live in a place where they extracted snakes almost every week. Fortunately, black rat snakes aren’t poisonous or else the law enforcement might have had to arrest the couple for endangering the children.
The couple is now demanding $2 million from the broker and the seller for keeping them in the dark about the snakes.
[Image Credit: Getty Images / Paul W. Gillespie]