Woman tries buying home from Brooks Houck, finds someone else already living there

BARDSTOWN, Ky . (WDRB) -- A woman set to buy her first home in Bardstown says she was scammed by the seller, and now she’s out hundreds of dollars.

Rachel Kiefer and and her realtor, Steven Elmore, made an offer on the Bardstown home, and a contract was accepted. For she and her daughter, it was the start of the American dream.

“We finally found the perfect little three-bedroom, one-bath ranch house,” Kiefer said. “I fell completely in love with the house.”

After some agreed upon repairs, Kiefer and Elmore went to do a final walk through on March 2, 2018, before closing. To their surprise, an unexpected person answered the door.

“I said, ‘I’m sorry who are you?’" Kiefer recalled. "She said, ‘I live here.’ My heart dropped."

Kiefer said the woman told her she moved in two weeks prior.

“I have never seen a seller do anything like that in my whole 23 years,” Elmore said.

“It was just a shock," Kiefer added. "I went home and just cried."

The seller of that home is Brooks Houck. Last week, he was arrested on four felony theft counts of stealing shingles from Lowe's. He's also the main suspect in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers. Houck said he did not honor the contract with Kiefer, because the contract was set to expire before closing.

“It's not my fault that the buyers can't perform under the time period at which they put in the contract,” Houck said.

So, he rented the house back out.

“That's what I chose to do ... right, wrong or indifferent," Houck said. "That’s what was done."

However, the contract was not expired on March 2, the day of the final walk through when another person was found to already be living there.

Even if it was expired, Elmore said, “We didn't use ‘time is of the essence,’ and so to be plus or minus a couple days is not a big deal.”

Now Kiefer is out $1,249.90 from the credit report, appraisal, title search, termite exterminators and home inspection.

“(Houck) feels no remorse at all that about us being out that money,” Kiefer said. “I think that he is lacking an inner moral compass.”

Her realtor said they tried to get Houck to reimburse the money.

“Per his agent, he said that he wouldn't give us anything,” Elmore said.

“It was hard to come up with that money," Kiefer added. "We had to save our pennies."

After talking with several attorneys to try and get her money back, Kiefer said she was told legal fees would cost more than the money she's out.

Now, her American dream will have to wait a little while longer.

“To have that ripped away, there's no words for it," Kiefer said. "It's just mean."

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