What I'm Seeing Now

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The Incredible Jaydini!

I have some time before my next appointment, so I thought I would slip this post in.

This has never happened to me before on a home inspection.  My client, a former client for whom I did an inspection 10 years ago, asked me to inspect a rural property to which he hopes to move permanently in the coming years.

Built in 1982 it is sitting on 14 rural Virginia acres and the setting was just gorgeous.  And the house was in pretty good shape!  It was nice to see this client again and look at his new adventure.

What took me aback was a couple of comments by the Realtor.

The house has an original oil-burning boiler, with a lot of new apparatus recently installed.  The original mainframe, however, is still there.

She asked me if I would please tell my client how much longer this boiler would last.

"I simply don't know.  How could anybody know that?"

"Well, my home inspector always tells me how much longer to expect on appliances."

"Ma'am, if I could do that I wouldn't be doing home inspections!  How can anyone possibly predict that?"

"He always does."  (I'm thinking, at this point, that this inspector is a dope!)

"On your report you'll no doubt be telling us how much all these repairs will cost, right?"

"No.  That would depend on many things - who is called, what materials are used, and the quality of replacement items.  My job is to observe and report.  A verbal approximation of repairs I might give, but do not estimate the costs of repairs."

"My home inspector always tells me how much something will cost.  But you are free to conduct your business however you wish."  Gee, don't you sense a put down there?

"I don't know any association, or Virginia state, policies that recommend that an inspector predict appliance life spans and determine the costs of repairs.  Is this inspector a member of any associations? "  She didn't know...  "You don't know?"  Well, the put down just got put down...

My recommendation:  Your home inspector simply cannot predict the future, as much as he might like to!  And don't expect him to place his neck onto a chopping block to estimate things he likely does not know. 

At least I know I am not the Incredible Jaydini!   "A man's got to know his limitations."  Dirty Harry

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • September 21 2010 02:02PM

Comments

Who's using those appliances? Got teenagers in the household?

Posted by Tammy Woodin, Sudden Valley, Washington almost 8 years ago

Tammy - I had a microwave that was not very old and a group of teens popped, apparently, 300 bags of popcorn in it and it seared the door opening!  I had to replace it, and there are instructions now on how to pop popcorn.  Bummer, I just didn't see that coming!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, while there are certainly some "average" life expectancy of most things----given that we are the land of planned obsolescence----there are certainly way to many variable to get very "definite."  That said, if I have a 20 year old mid efficiency furnace I am going to likely say it is at the end of its expected life and it would be a good idea to factor replacement in the near future.  It would be really cool if we could say that a 5am on Roctober 12th, 2011 it will expire with a cough of carbon monoxide.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Shoot I had a 5 year old fridge that just bit the dust.  Far shorter than expected life.   Yet at my mom's house there was a 45 freezer that was still working,  Far longer than expected life.  Go figure.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 8 years ago

So, Charlie, with this 28 year old unit, with lots of new stuff applied, I told them, "It will last between this year and perhaps ten more down the road."  Am I safe?

Cindy - and does your home inspector not tell you how long they will last?  We had an AC unit go out after one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I would have gone with from "today to maybe 10 years down the road" :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 8 years ago

Sound like "her home inspector", (sounds a little possessive to me) is trying to keep her happy and continue getting her business. Yep, he's a dope.

This funny because I just got off the phone with someone inquiring about an inspection. He wanted to know if I could provide estimates. I basically said the same thing as you.

Btw that is one of my favorite quotes.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jaydini - this is what home protection plans are for. At least one appliance will fail as soon as escrow closes.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) almost 8 years ago

Jay:  Way to go!!!  Don't you just love it when someone else tells you how to do your business!!  Did you tell her how to write her contract?  I think not!  Garbage in, garbage out and we all suffer from too much garbage!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 8 years ago

Jay - Something tells me her "inspector" may also offer to make repairs or to recommend a "buddy."  (But if you'd ever like to borrow it, I do own a crystal ball)

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 8 years ago

One of my daughter's friends microwaved popcorn years ago in our N-E-W microwave without removing Orville's foil. SNAP - CRACKLE - POP - MICROWAVE CRISPY It happens. The microwave still ran but who could predict for how long?

Posted by Kate Kate almost 8 years ago

Charlie - my favorite line is, "It could last a week or another 10 years."  In this case I recommended a complete service and cleaning prior to this heating season.  That might gain a month or two!

Jim - how in the world can people expect us to provide quotes for anything in the house that needs repair, no matter the neighborhood or city?  It amazes me.  And yes, he's a dope.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Cynthia - that is the rule of thumb, one if by closing, two if by sea!

Gee, Tish, people tell me my business all the time!  And often realtors, who have been to more than one inspection.  Very trained...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Wow! Hopefully you won't have to worry about working with her to much in the future.Did you ask her why she hadn't asked her inspector for tonight's winning lotto numbers?

Posted by Elizabeth Baklaich (Virtual Assistant to Steve Baklaich RE/MAX Realty Source MN) almost 8 years ago

John - that occurred to me too, but I wasn't forward enough to say it!  And, yes, I can use that ball - with age my powers of clairvoyant perception have diminished.

Nana - apparently this realtor's "home inspector" can.  You should give him a call.  Call now!  Maybe he'll throw in two appliance predictions for the price of one.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Elizabeth - maybe that's why she uses him!  He's got all the numbers, especially hers...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jaydini - I like it.  And, love your quotes.

I was about to make the same comment as John.  Sounds very suspicious on this guy's part.  I thought inspector is supposed to be objective.

 

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 8 years ago

Debbie - well, that was my morning.  It did sound suspicious, but I am not going into that little quagmire with that lady!  I am objective, and on my client's side.  I compliment realtors all the time to their clients, but don't put myself in jeopardy with silly and meaningless predictions.

This afternoon's inspection will appear tomorrow morning!  Don't tell anybody, but the title will be:

"There's No Such Thing As Mold In An Attic"  Shhh, it's our secret.

Yep.  Wait and see...  That realtor is a real cutie.  Yep.  Wait and see...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

That's a bunch of crap. Sure, we can tell people what the life expectancy of an appliance is and compare that to the appliance's age, but that's about all.  It sounds like this lady doesn't know the difference.  

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Home warranties are a wonderful thing...and renewable in our part of the world then...the life of major mechanical parts doesn't matter ...they are replaced at a fraction of the cost !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 8 years ago

Reuben - I have those expectancy charts in my book, but that wansn't good enough.  But even compared to age can be irrelevant.  A 50 gal gas water heater serving a family of 7 won't last as long as one serving an older couple, usually.  During the inspection does the inspector typically know the history of the use of the appliance in question?

S&D - you think?  It wasn't my purview to go there, but sometimes the obvious escapes people.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay. and on the other hand, I had an inspector tell my client that the furnace was on its last legs and needed to be replaced, 7 years later still running efficiently. BTW, I stopped using that guy 6 years ago!

Ty

Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) almost 8 years ago

Well, Ty, that shows to go you!  If it is old and running it might not be as efficient as a new one, but replacing it you will never break even on the cost of a new one in terms of energy savings.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

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