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

Punta Gorda City Council met and decided to sell the property after the appraisal came back higher than expected.

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

“I had a meet and greet in the house next door. And they showed me pictures of the rats versus the size of the lady’s dog in this home I was in… The dog would have lost. So I said, you know, if I get in, I promise you that something will happen,” Carey said.

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

The property neighbors call the ‘Rat House’ appraised for $440,000.

“Oh, I was thrilled, I really expected it to be a lot lower. And I guess it wasn’t in quite as bad a shape as we thought it was. So I’m thrilled,” Carey said.

The city council doesn’t expect the house to stay on the market for long.

Carey and the mayor, said people are already contacting them interested in buying the house.

Carey said neighbors can’t wait for the deal to get done.

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

One interested buyer anxious to get in on the bidding showed up at council with a simple request.

Kenneth Hall, a Punta Gorda resident said, “I wanted to look inside the house. I don’t bid on anything blind. I’m curious about coming to this house.”

The city says the rat problem has been eradicated but neighbors said they’re still around.

The house will soon be on the market and upkeep will be the new owner’s problem.