House in the Woods Should be Called House on the Highway

People should be aware about an Airbnb property called the House in the Woods in Issaquah, WA. Cool home? Yes! Accurate listing? No! The host claimed it as a Business Ready Listing, but according to the Comcast technician, the Internet and Cable Account had not been set up. Airbnb requires hosts to notify guests in a timely manner if any listed amenities are not available. This host did not; he merely gave a partial refund for the inconvenience. The deferred maintenance issues were noted, photographed, and reported, some of which were paramount to our safety. There were dangerous steps leading to the unit, no smoke detector, and possible electrical issues including buzzing switches, flickering lights, numerous junctions boxes in ceilings, and burned out bulbs.

There was a security issue: no way to lock door between units from the upper unit side. The property was located 60 feet from an extremely busy highway; it was very loud hearing tandem dump trucks start rolling by at 3:30 AM. There was no privacy. The previous home owner operated a landscaping company and had several sheds, trailers, vehicles, work equipment, and a large junkyard located directly behind the home. All could easily be viewed from the wraparound deck, master bedroom and master bathroom. Men were on site all day, moving equipment around, working on noisy gas powered tools, and riding around the property on a noisy four wheeler. If we could see them, they could watch us as well. When we returned from an afternoon outing, one of the men appeared to be snooping around the home. He wasn’t doing maintenance, as he had no tools. What was most disturbing is he ran away when he saw my husband approaching the house. He ran towards the highway, up around the house, and back down to the commercial business. It was scary. The host dismissed it as nothing when we notified her.

At 2:30 AM, on the second night of a two-night stay, we realized one of the men was actually living in a red pickup truck located in the workspace behind the home. We became aware of this when the truck’s headlamps shone through the bedroom window each time he started the truck. It is winter; he ran the engine about once an hour, likely to warm himself. There were questions in our minds keeping us from falling asleep afterwards: is the man homeless? Is he a felon? Is he dangerous? Do we call the police? Needless to say, we were very troubled to learn this was not a quiet serene home located in the woods as the host wants people to believe. It was crazy that other reviews describe it this way. It should be named House on the Highway, as the host’s inaccurate description minimizes the truth. We were totally wigged out by the immense lack of privacy, no separation from the commercial business operation, catching a strange man creeping around the house, and finding another man living on property in a pickup truck visible from the bedroom.

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2 Comments

  1. UPDATE Host actually provided an amicable refund! I had messaged Host several times and they finally relented.
    Airbnb never even bothered to send automated confirmation that we placed a Resolution Request!
    Hopefully the Host will change their listing to more accurately reflect the situations future guests will encounter at the home, although they haven’t thus far….AND they must deal with their friend who operates the commercial landscape business. Best choice would be to sever ties and get rid of the commercial junkyard all together, as having strange men on property is creepy for a secluded location like theirs. Without being privy to their agreement, Host may rely on income from the business lease to help defer payment for the mortgage, who knows?
    Host purchased the home one month earlier and obviously inherited several deferred maintenance issues, which should have been handled before listing it. Problems were either ignored or items were not noticed by them because of inexperience. And they had not contracted with comcast for internet/cable services until i pointed out they are a Business Ready listing, and business people require the service. I cannot state if or when they will take care of all the problems.
    We understand many people overlook those types of things, or just don’t see them. The home looks really cool in photos and at first glance during walk thru, they may have had their eyes open only to the cool vibe and been sold a bill of goods….rental income $$$ etc…Some people only see what is on the surface, you know, the pretty, shiny things….which makes us wonder if they hired an inspector and received report before buying this money pit? If not, big mistake. Plus it is located on a very busy highway. They can do nothing about that fact.
    We have performed many residential rehabs, whoever did the work in this home was a complete hack, poor installation, electrical & plumbing issues, questionable choices for cabinet placement, etc… What made it both cool and a nightmare at the same time is they reused items from estates and such…difficult to make things originally designed for a different larger space work in tight quarters.
    We learned our lesson….no more Airbnb for us.
    Hopefully the new Host has learned a few lessons as well….Be honest, Make sure the home is prepared, clean, secure, and has no weirdos hanging around.

  2. “There were dangerous steps leading to the unit, no smoke detector, and possible electrical issues including buzzing switches, flickering lights, numerous junctions boxes in ceilings, and burned out bulbs.”

    That says it all. Then the sneaky man in the truck. I would stay there ever!!!!

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