Afraid of snakes?

Garter_SnakeI know I am on a roll this week writing about icky stuff but there are people who are deathly afraid of snakes.

Several years ago I sold a home in St. Paul in the west 7th area. The neighborhood is near the river and there are areas where there is a lot of limestone right under the soil. The stone makes the soil warmer and garter snakes just love the warmth.

The snakes don’t bark and they don’t bite. They are not poisonous and they won’t at your food or your house. They eat insects and sometimes lie in the sun on a sidewalk or against the foundation of your home. They can not climb steps or walls to get into a home but they can fall in through a basement window.

The home buyer purchased the home in the winter and discovered the snakes in the spring and could not live in the house. She complained that they were not mentioned on the sellers disclosure but neither were the mosquitoes, bees, bats, birds or crickets that live on the property. There is a section on the sellers disclosure that asks if there is anything that the seller knows of that could diminish a reasonable persons enjoyment of the property and the buyer really thought the sellers should have mentioned snakes.

She ended up having to sell the home because she could not live in it. It is likely that there are a small group of people who could not live in a house if there were garter snakes on the property. You know who you are and you need to let your agent know. Try to stay away from the rocky areas near river bluffs and don’t buy the house when the ground is still frozen.

People who have allergies or fears should take that into consideration when house hunting and do a little extra research.

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2 Replies to “Afraid of snakes?”

  1. Hi Teresa,
    I can completely relate to the buyer of the home you sold, we too are experiencing an issue with snakes that was never disclosed to us. We purchased our home the end of November, at no time did the sellers, the sellers agent, nor the caretakers for our home mention the snake issues. Now that the weather is warming up, we are being invaded with garter snakes. A few in the yard is to be expected, but when you find them in your home daily and can visibly see them slithering throughout your yard this is definitely an issue that should be disclosed. Contrary to what you have written, snakes do bite and they do climb stairs and walls. We are told there is a nest in our home of several hundred snakes. This is an expensive and timely process to remove the snakes from inside your home. It’s my opinion this information definitely should be disclosed by sellers.
    Thank you.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      I am sorry to hear this. Yes sellers should disclose that there are snakes in the home that does belong on the disclosure it could be considered and infestation. Even in November I would think a home inspector would find evidence of the infestation.

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