Champions House of Animal Excrement Update: The Vomiting Visitors, the Sacrificed Pig, and the Helpful Neighbor

5623 Willow Walk Ln, Champion Forest, Houston, 77069

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, HoustonHas it really been a whole year since the famed house at 5623 Willow Walk Ln. in Huntwick Forest — touted by its sales agent, Paul Gomberg, as “the Filthiest House in Houston”first appeared on the market? No, but the Chronicle‘s Darla Guillen has provided a “one year later” update on the storied property a full 4 months early. And really, with some of the newest pungent and juicy details she reports, why wait?

Gomberg first put the property on the market last December, detailing the home’s assembled collections of condiments, garbage, and animal deposits. “The foul stench of animals & their waste products permeates,” the listing summary noted, and at least one photo description included the always-colorful descriptor “feces galore.” In early January, Swamplot featured one of the tamer images from that listing as its Home Listing Photo of the Day. Later that week, Gomberg came out with this video tour of the property:


What’s happened since? Gomberg tells Guillen that a couple of agents have reported to him that their clients who toured the house ended up vomiting inside. “That’s how stinky the place is,” he tells her. “People ask to see it, and I tell agents, ‘It’s really yucky in there.'”

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

Gomberg also relates that the owners’ pet potbelly pig, which was likely responsible for a fair portion of the feces shown strewn about the house in the listing and video, is no more: “They went to Disneyland for 10 days and the pig was eaten by their dogs,” he tells Guillen. “They didn’t leave enough food for the dogs.”

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

The listing has been updated with new photos showing various public health warnings attached to the property, and notes on some of the more poop- and trash-filled scenes indicating that much of the mess has now been cleaned up.

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

Gomberg credits some of the cleanup (including the removal of a dung-stained carpet pictured above) to the efforts of a concerned neighbor, who spent a reported $1,200. “You could smell it from the street,” he says.

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

Offers as high as $218,000 have been made for the property, says Gomberg, but he reports that mortgage lender PennyMac Loan Services at one point instructed him not to accept any offer less than $280,000. Records indicate that’s the price the current owners paid for the property when they bought it in July 2012.

Since mid-April, the asking price for the 4-bedroom, 3-and-a-half-bath home has been set at $200,000. Gomberg “believes the bank may place the home under foreclosure by the first Tuesday of September,” Guillen notes.

5623 Willow Walk Ln., Huntwick Forest, Houston

The Smell Remains

20 Comment

  • Why doesn’t this lazy bum get this mess cleaned up instead of making ridiculous videos?

  • oh man, that pig & Disneyland story can’t be real, right?

  • Why should he? He doesn’t own the house. If anything, the bank should clean it up.

  • @meh, if you want 3 to 6% commission, you need to put some kind of work in to make the home marketable. I’m not saying do the cleaning yourself but organize someone else to do so. If you can’t do that, don’t keep listing the house. The video was an interesting attempt. But, this realtor failed those folks because the property taxes they paid could have gone toward cleaning the place. Total mess all around with realtor and people who create this sty.


  • I hope this guy is providing hazmat gear to prospective buyers. Seem unlikely, so maybe they are signing waivers? And if it can be smelled from the street, isn’t it a public nuisance? So many questions.

  • He may be missing a business opportunity by not cleaning it, but it’s still not his responsibility. If they were really interested in selling the house, then they should have cleaned it up themselves. Considering the condition and the 23 missed payments, I would be surprised if the property taxes are being paid anyway. Obviously if they have kept him as the realtor both parties are satisfied with the relationship as it stands.

  • If the owners are being targeted for cruelty for animals because the dogs ate the pig, how about the other side of the coin, the owners saved the dogs by leaving a pig for them to eat? Several dogs were saved vs. one pig. This is a version of the Trolley Problem. How do you see it?


  • @ Observer. This house is beyond simple “clean up.” It’s going to require a complete interior renovation that will cost well in excess of his commission.

  • Throwing money at this house to try and sell for a commission is not worth the effort. The off chance of it being sold (short sale) would be a miracle.
    The cost of cleaning and fixing this place to be livable is going to be expensive. 150K+ I estimate. That stink has permeated all surfaces, etc. The wood sub flooring would need to be replaced, vents, insulation. Think of the roaches and other critters that where attracted to the smell.
    I gagged when driving downwind of a pig feed lot, much worse than a cattle yard. I can’t imagine the stench of this home. This place was non ventilated, hot, moist etc.

  • Is the story about the pig getting eaten by dogs something that really happened or an allegory for the bank’s handling of this property? $280k? A house that probably cannot even be gutted to be remodeled and is likely a teardown in a neighborhood that is well past its prime and in a market that only gets worse with every day the energy biz takes it on the chin, and the bank won’t take less than $280k???? Move-in ready and decently updated comparables in that neighborhood are not getting $280k. Is the banking industry really so completely clueless that they cannot pay someone to sit on the internet for 3 minutes to find out that they should take $218k for this house and giggle like school children at the deal they got?

  • And here comes HCAD, who in 2016 raised the appraised value by $32k to $308k. ;)

  • Obviously realtors do not clean and prep a property but these sellers seem like they desperately need some kind of an intervention and basic level education on how to care properly for property to avoid financial disaster. Are they getting this from their rock star realtor? When encountering something as jarring as this, most professionals will try to address the hbderlying causes in the human condition.

  • This place (like many mold-generating Houston dwellings) is a biohazard situation. It would be unethical to attempt to mask the fact by having anyone without proper protection gear clean the place. That said I am surprised that someone at the bank didn’t have some “undocumented workers” come in and clean it before now. The bank obviously could care less. As long as they are allowed to carry this “asset” on their books as being valued at mark-to-whatever(probably HCAD value) they are probably content to keep and let it rot instead of selling for a huge loss, even if they have to pay some tax (that will definitely result in a tax deduction).

  • On a related note, realtors may not required to clean up properties, however, in some cases, it would be money better spent to line their own pocket. For example, I purchased a 37 year town home from estate which comprised of eight family members in Mexico who apparently did not have the means or interest to clean up the place. It had sat vacant and un-air conditioned for three years prior to listing. It was 92 degrees inside the house when I saw it. Vines covering the windows and some of the roof, mildew on the walls, toilets with 3 years of mineral deposits, etc….Maybe it would have cost the broker $600 to vacuum, mop, throw out a few remaining belongings, trim the yard, and check the a/c unit (it was turned off in the attic and was 3 years old). The house was listed for $240k after a price drop from $265k after 10 days on the market). I made a lowball offer of $175k though I was I was willing to pay up to $230k. The estate accepted and the realtors basically lost $3300 because it was a mess and the a/c was off. If the house were clean (not updated) I would have never made a lowball offer. Not a very smart realtor………

  • @JT
    That’s easy to say in retrospect. What happens when the owner decides to take the house off the market or switch realtors because the house is not getting the interest they thought it would? I’d rather take the $5250 “risk free” than spend $600 out of my pocket to (MAYBE!) get an additional $1650.

  • @PROTAGORAS: Your posts sum up why so many people hate realtors. Your first post essentially says “It’s the homeowner’s job to make the house appealing. The realtor is just here to type up a listing and collect a commission.” Your second post essentially says “I’m just the realtor- why should I have any skin in the game? Just write me a check already.” Even the hardest working realtor doesn’t add 5-6% worth of value. You are all merely transaction costs – inefficiencies allowed to persist because of your strong lobbying efforts. I want to gag every time I hear a realtor pretending he’s some sort of savvy professional. Yes, you may meet the technical definition of a professional in that you’re paid for your services, but please stop sullying the word for real professionals. Realtors are nothing more than severely overpaid clerks and chauffeurs with access to a database. (And before you ask if I know that you made 6+ figures last year and that you drive a Range Rover and so who’s the dumb one now: yes I do, and realtors still are. Otherwise, they’d be adding real value somewhere, instead of taking middleman cuts for no value added.) How dare @Observer suggest realtors do some work/take some risk to earn a commission! Perhaps you’re right- he must be “NEW TO THE GAME” and not understand what a disgusting racket realtors are running. Sickening.

  • I am not fan of the protectionist racket that is real estate sales licensing, but even still it is a two-way relationship. As the consumer I can (and have) refused to pay a default 3-6% commission on a house transaction. Should a real estate agent want to earn more, they are free to negotiate and try to impress me. There are even firms out there experimenting with different business models other than a 3/3 split. Bottom line — if you don’t want to pay the commission, don’t hire an agent who won’t negotiate it. And if you want to maximize the amount you get from the transaction, don’t hire one at all.

  • @Notnu
    Firstly I’m not a realtor or in the real estate industry at all. Secondly when you do find a realtor that takes it upon himself to physically make a house more appealing before he lists it, please let me know! I will be glad to hire him. I will need him to weekly cut my lawn and recaulk all the showers. I also might need a small donation from him for minor foundation repair. Awesome – thanks.

  • As the listing agent on this lovely property I can say with a certainty that a quick $2500 clean up would not even scratch the surface. The horrible stench alone won’t simply disappear with a little clean up. The homeowner did not have the money to spend to clean it up at all. Rather then post a typical realtor misleading listing with pretty pictures with flowery descriptions like ” this once fabulous home needs a just a little TLC to bring it back to its former glory” I decided to go the straight forward honest route. What you see is what you get- No bullshit!! It was originally listed for $125,000 as a short sale. I could have sold this dump 50 times already, but PennyMac thinks that they are smarter then everyone else. Telling me repeatedly to counter all offers @ $280,000. I sent PennyMac pictures of the home, the marketing video, agent feedback to as well. They don’t give a fuck at all!! So very soon it will be their fucking problem. I brought them an all cash offer for $218,000 close in 20 days and they send me a denial letter. Btw: I told this buyer that at $218,000 he’d better plan on living there because he’s going to be buried in it (upside down) and it was too much to pay for this filthy piece of shit house. My marketing was brilliant actually as here we are almost 9 months later and it has appeared again in the media because of the public’s fascination over this house and apparently the shit that was once all over the place, and PennyMac’s brain damaging refusal to budge on a short sale, the slimy pool which has concerned neighbors wondering if they have a future Zika virus breeding ground in their backyard. Yeah, this house sucks. Soon it will be foreclosed upon and I bet there will be of action on it downtown at the Harris County Family Building.