Abandoned Punta Gorda ‘Rat House’ sells for $440K


A city is one step closer to deciding the future of its rat-infested home nearly a decade after its owners abandoned it.

The Punta Gorda City Council met and decided to sell the property after a higher-than-expected return appraisal.

This Punta Gorda home has been a priority for Deputy Mayor Debbie Carey since she won her seat on the city council four years ago.

“I had a meet and greet at the house next door. And they showed me pictures of the rats compared to the size of the woman’s dog in the house I was living in… The dog would be lost. So I said, you know, if I get in, I promise you something will happen,” Carey said.

Four years later, the council voted to sell the infamous home on Belaire Court.

Neighborhood property called ‘Mouse House’ is valued at $440,000.

“Oh, I was so excited, I really expected it to be a lot lower. And I guess it’s not in as bad shape as we think. So I’m excited,” Carey said.

The City Council does not expect the home to last long on the market.

Carey and the mayor, said people have contacted them wanting to buy the home.

Carey said neighbors can’t wait for the deal to be completed.

“As soon as we got the appraisal, I sent it out to all of them so they could see, you know, what we were up against. And they’re excited too! They didn’t think it would be this good,” Carey said.

An interested buyer anxious to participate in the tender showed up at the council with a simple request.

“I want to go inside,” said Kenneth Hall, a resident of Punta Gorda. I don’t bid for anything blind. I am very curious about coming to this house”.

The city says the rat problem has been eliminated, but neighbors say they’re still here.

The house will soon be on the market and maintenance will be a matter for the new owner.

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