According to reports, a house listing in Cayce, South Carolina- a small town of 12,000 near the state’s capital of Columbia – has an unusual request for anyone interested in potentially buying the property: “don’t bother asking” about the tenant who lives upstairs, rent and lease-free.
“Upstairs apartment cannot be shown under any circumstances. Buyer assumes responsibility for the month-to-month tenancy in the upstairs apartment. Occupant has never paid, and no security deposit is being held, but there is a lease in place. (Yes, it does not make sense, please don’t bother asking.)”
The home is a quaint two-bedroom equipped with a separate cottage. Marketed for only $130,000, it’s a relative steal in South Carolina’s fairly competitive housing market.
In addition to the odd request, the “nightmare house” listing indicates that the dwelling will be sold “as-is”- in other words, sans repairs or warranties.
The realtor that represents the house, Randal Longo, states that he has absolutely no clue as to who the “tenant” is, or why the owner is being so secretive about the whole listing.
“[The owner’s] got some mystery tenant up there that apparently he can’t answer many questions about, which is kind of strange.”
Longo has a host of other active properties on his roster, and rave reviews of his previous work on the company page seem to indicate that he hasn’t represented a property this unusual in the past.
All of the mystery surrounding the house has social media in a frenzy, and many users worldwide are clamoring to find (or create) answers to explain away the oddity of the listing.
@valhallabckgirl Oh, sure – there's someone renting the attic forever for free. Probably no connection to the huge hole in the ceiling. I'm booking my flight
— Tom (@tom_marzipan) May 8, 2017
Pictures of the home seem to indicate decay, and a large hole in the ceiling suggests the property may not have been renovated for years. Other peculiar decorations, including a large metal sculpture of a paperclip in the backyard, add to the public’s general uneasiness about the whole listing. One Twitter user even went so far as to claim that someone may have died in the house (this in reference to what appears to be either blood or dried red paint on one of the windows). Leaks from the upstairs facilities and torn-away upholstery in the kitchen also seem rather ominous.
Reports claim that the internet’s curiosity has done one major thing for the small South Carolina town of Cayce: it’s put it on the map big-time. Posts about the listing have poured in from many major outlets- Fox News has a story, as does Mashable, Teen Vogue, and Pajiba. The house itself even garnered a whopping 1.3 million page views on Zillow– more than 100 times the population of Cayce itself. Since waking up to what he described as “dozens” of phone calls and emails from random strangers around the country yearning for more information about the house (Zillow even asked if the listing was real), Longo has removed the listing from the site. He tells sources that he hasn’t actually seen the house and that most of the information he knows about it comes only from online and the owner’s account.
Records on the house listing don’t seem to hold many keys to answers either. The only information a check of the public directories reveals is that the property was bought in 1997 by a couple originally from the Isle of Palms (an even smaller town than Cayce, on the outskirts of South Carolina). Attempts to reach the couple have been unsuccessful, as the numbers listed in the directory are either incorrect or disconnected.
Some social media users have made daring plans to go see the house- including Twitter user Bekka Supp, who claims to have already bought a ticket to South Carolina.
The proprietors of the home have recently resolved to change the terminology in the house listing, according to Longo.
[Featured Image by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images]