Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

It was a lovely place - until they awoke

A US couple who bought a house in Maryland last December are suing their estate agent and the agent's mother for $2m, claiming she didn't tell them about their new home's terrible snake infestation.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the smallest snakes found in Jeff and Jody Brooks' new Annapolis house were mere hatchlings, only inches long.

The largest, however, measured a full seven feet and was found last month in the basement, directly below a bedroom where their infant daughter slept.

The Brookses bought the home in December for $410,000, but only lasted there until April, when they were driven out by the snakes.

"The Brookses are seeking more than four times the price of the house in their lawsuit against real estate agent Barbara Van Horn of Annapolis, Champion Realty Inc and former homeowner Joan Broseker, of Severna Park," reported the Baltimore Sun.

According to the newspaper, Broseker is Van Horn's mother.

Most of the snakes the Brookses have found have been black rat snakes, which can live for up to 25 years and grow to seven feet long, but are not venomous.

The couple have found skins in the walls and marks left by snake faeces. A snake inspector confirmed that the Brookses' home was infested with snakes and was unsafe for children, according to their lawsuit.

The Brookses' suit is for $2m, or to rescind the purchase and return the house, which, they say, is uninhabitable and worthless.

"You're staring at financial ruin," Jody told the Baltimore Sun. "What do you do with two kids? This was our 20-year house. Now, we're maxed out." ®

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