What I'm Seeing Now

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"New Roof"

And that's exactly what is on this house.  A new roof.  Well, new shingles anyway, so the intent of the ad is accurate.  But be careful what you advertise!  As I looked at this "new roof," I noticed that it was in no way done professionally.  Would that concern you as a buyer?  It should certainly concern a listing agent!

Even an untrained eye could see that the shingles were not aligned properly, were wavy, differently sized, cut improperly on the edges, some short and some 8 or 10" long and hanging down!  There were gaps in the corners large enough for all manner of animalia to enter.  There was no drip edge to protect the sheathing, which I could clearly see, even from the ground.  And flashing?  We don't need no stinking flashing.

Overall I was not impressed.  Was I surprised?  Well, NO, given the professionalism of what is out there working on homes, advertising their experience and willingness to work on "even the smallest jobs" that are "just as important" to them.  Like the melting witch, I often find myself saying, "What a world... what a world..." as I sink into the ground, to disappear in a puff of smoke.  Here is one example of what the "new roof" offered.

Hard to see, perhaps, is the waviness of the shingles.  But notice how they wrap up and are nailed under the siding!  And how the siding was merely pulled up to accommodate them!  Look just over the gutter.  See the gap?  Can you tell how many layers of shingles are there?  Yep, two.  This roof's new shingles were installed OVER a previous, dried up layer.  The gutter also has a downward bow in it, kind of visible here.

Because of the lay of the house on the lot, this view is not visible from the yard!  And there was no where to safely place a ladder to get up there.  To get this photo I had to go way into a slightly higher, neighboring yard (fearing for my life) to get this shot with the telephoto lense!

Here is a closer look at what I am describing.

It's a bit blurry, but you can clearly see what I mean.

IS THIS A PROFESSIONAL JOB?

No.  Will it last?  No.  Will somebody buy it?  Probably!

Would you want to buy it?  No.

 

But you only know that because a home inspector told you some of the things going on with this roof!

My recommendation:  Geez o' flip!  When you see that something has been "remodeled," "redone," "new," "upgraded," "replaced," "modernized," or advertised with any other sexy marketing term, GET A FREAKING HOME INSPECTION!  Thank you...

 

 

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 54 commentsJay Markanich • January 13 2011 07:50AM

Comments

Amazing what we see.  I am going to adopt your saying geez o' flip!  Love that and haven't heard it a long time.

Posted by Navona Hart, Selling the Best Properties in Central Virginia (Real Living Cornerstone) over 8 years ago

Navona - flip is a good cuss word, in my book!  Yes, we see some amazing things!

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

Jay I wish you could see me shaking my head right now.  Great job!

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) over 8 years ago

Jay,

You raise a good point. New creates a certain impression. But, sometimes the shingles are old too. They might be 10 years old and available at a large discount. While they have no been on a prior roof, they have already started to deteriorate.

Brian

 

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

Joe - I think I did!  Yep, I did!

Brian - I have seen roofs with shingles from other roofs too.  That is despicable to me.  Doing that for yourself and living there is one thing, but selling it to someone else as "new" is not.  Good point.

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

I have had many conversations with people tinkering with the idea of 'saving the inspection money'

These people are simply not ready to buy if that small fee is even a consideration.

In my opinion, inspections are not an optio.

 

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) over 8 years ago

Mine too Tom.  And I see the same.  Or the realtor calls and says, "These folks are really strapped.  Can you give them a discount on the inspection fee?"  Well, if they can't afford an inspection, they probably can't afford a house!  And how about you take something off your fee and give me the full price!

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

It is quite amazing to work with people pass off on homes, especially flip projects. My husband's contractor and we do occasionally flip homes, and his only shaking his head at the work has been done ahead of him, and that he will have to tear out and do over.

Posted by Jacquie Cliff, - Real Estate and Short Sale Expert (Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA) over 8 years ago

" *.* Roofin'.  20 years experience.

Been doing it wrong for 20 years, just like my Daddy taught me!"

 

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 8 years ago

I'm getting a little seasick just looking at that roof!  I always warn people about flips and the quality that usually goes into them . . .

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) over 8 years ago

A common complaint among good contractors Jacquie.  And the only solution is to tear out and re-do!

Mike - that's pretty much the case, and I have heard it many times from building supervisors and contractors!  Worse is the building supervisor who says, "What's a nail supposed to be dipped in?" when I ask why they don't used dipped nails outdoors!  You dip it in BS buddy!

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

Jay, I am amazed at the people that will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home and want to "save" the cost of a professional home inspection...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

I wish General Contractors would do the work instead of just being general.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 8 years ago

it takes a good inspector like yourself to catch things we don't see or don't know about.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay

Nice blog and a great example of the importance of having a home inspection, prelisting and for the buyer.

Posted by Michael Johnson, Metro Charleston SC (Carolina One Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jay,

I have not seen some of those professional tricks since Charlie and Nutsy shingled Charlie's garage.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Having a home inspection for any house, new or old is key!  I always recommend it to my clients.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Home Inspection

Home Inspection

Professional

Professional

Two words , not that hard to remember. But some how lost in the conversation. Spend hundreds and save thousands.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) over 8 years ago
I wonder if there was a pre-listing inspection and if the cost of a new roof was priced into the listing?
Posted by Chris Eckert Real EstateTeam, Selling the Mid-Peninsula Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Jay, when the roof waves the inspector makes waves.

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

Jay - There's not much left to say.  Crappy job, worthless "new" roof and a homebuyer that was "saved" by their inspector.

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

Jay, John summed it up best. The words crappy and worthless say it all. Good thing they were smart enough to get a home inspection. Congratulations on your gold star!

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 8 years ago

Great post!  Running into similar mis representations, I think a lot of us refrain from the "new" word and refer to specifically what might have been replaced and in what year and whether we are talking partial or complete.  These are excellent reminders for us all.

Posted by Gayle Henderson, Your Terravita Resident Specialist (RE/MAX Excalibur) over 8 years ago

Is sure is crazy out there, just like the wild west.  I had a buyer who didn't want to spend $450 on an inspection and I almost keeled over.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 8 years ago

Excellent post Jay.  It is amazing what we see as home inspectors. There are so many "Hack Job" repairs out there it's crazy.  A good Home Inspection can save a whole lot of money for home buyers down the road.  Not to mention the safety issues that can arise from poor quality workmanship.  keep up the good work and great inspections.

 

Posted by Jim Keilson, Specializing in Mold and Radon Gas Testing. (Maryland Home Inspection Services, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Bet the dip in the gutter is right over a basement window well too! Nice catch and great post! Think I'll take my inspector to lunch!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay -- Good tips, and also ask to see the paid receipts, contact info, etc. With Angie's List and a bit of investigation, it's amazing what one can find out about the quality of contractor's work and reputation these days.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 8 years ago

Jay, never a dull moment out in the field. At least they DID hire an inspector.

Posted by Craig Snead, Real Estate Investor (Quality Home Investments, LLC / Dearborn Heights, MI) over 8 years ago

Jay  I think I know the firm who did that work - only kidding :)

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 8 years ago

Jay, thanks for showing us that. Amateur dos not mean bad or poor workmanship, but it can. Paid for work does not always mean professional or well done, but it should. I flip a four-letter word? That would be my count.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 8 years ago

Chris - someone called just last night and before even saying hello said he is looking for a home inspection and would I give him a discount.  Guess what I said?

Thanks Valerie.  I expect the homeowners had no idea!  That's often the case.

Harry - the GC should hire what he knows to be good work and then CHECK it before he pays for it!

Russ - it just takes a good look to catch a lot of this stuff.  So I look!

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

Michael - I have tried and tried to get pre-listing inspections started out here and to no avail!

Steve - personally I cannot understand why Nutsy would let Charlie get away with that.  Where is his integrity?

Because Patricia, you be smart!

Don - would that all would understand such a principle...

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

Chris - I have not heard of any inspector around here successful in performing pre-listing inspections.

Charlie (Hank) - these weren't the only waves in this home inspection!

John - if they don't proceed with this house.  There were many other things too!

Thanks Sue.  Didn't get a lot of those as a kid!  I got a lot of "sentences" written on the board though...  with me doing the writing.

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

Gayle - this ad is probably written by an agent who has no idea what a good new roof should look like, but only with the understanding that the roof is new.  But who knows!

Justin - inspections usually catch more than that by the end!  You keeled?  Did you have the vapors?

For sure Jim.  And thanks.  I am experienced enough that things like this are typical to me and I kind of expect them!

Chris S. - actually it was right over the rear door!

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

Chris O. - there are a lot of those lists out there today!  I find myself listed on them now and then, and surprised to find out that people really like me!

Craig - that is for sure!  I enjoy my work very much too.

Karen - you just might!  If it was a firm...  if it was a "handy man" you might also!

You are right Robert.  My biggest problem with new construction and remodeling, particularly flippers, is the word professionalism.  There ain't much!

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

Jay, at least the shingles were new. lol It is amazing what people will do to save a buck.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

Home inspectors don't make or break a deal.  Homes do.  As I was reading this post I was actually hearing the voice of my favorite inspector through the whole thing.  Long Southern drawn out explanations with no inflection one way or the other, just good information.  Then I could see him with his eyes to the ground...knowing what he was thinking, "what a world...what a world."

Well written, and fun to read.  Thanks for the post!

Jason

Posted by Jason Smith (Crye-Leike Realtors) over 8 years ago

Michael - they didn't save much as far as my inspection went!

Jason - you are right, homes ruin deals.  Glad you enjoyed the post!

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

Good post. I'm amazed at what people will try to get away with. I had a seller tell me that a furnace was new, only to discover that it was installed 7 years earlier. An agent listing this house should get a complete property disclosure from the seller, with the completion dates for each job done. At no time should the word "new" be used with a roof in this condition. As agents, we need to disclose what we know - or see. Here in Connecticut, things are getting even more restrictive, as buyers' attorneys are asking to see proof of work permits pulled prior to building or remodelling and final inspections by the municipality's building inspectors. I will not sell a home without a professional inspection.

Posted by Millie C. Legenhausen, CRS, GRI, CIPS, MBA, Realtor (Calcagni Real Estate, Hamden, Connecticut) over 8 years ago

Millie - I had that same furnace thing not long ago in an inspection with Pat Kennedy.  A "new" furnace in a remodel was 7 years old!  And around here, so often, things are done by flippers, et al, without permits and it is buyer beware!

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

Jay, that's amazing. Hopefully it'll hold up (after a sale) long enough for the new homeowners to fix it.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 8 years ago

I wonder if the roof has a permit ? My quess not 

Posted by Jose Belman Jr., Jose Belman Jr. over 8 years ago

I love the nailing on that roof! What person doing that work could possibly think that was okay.

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

Jay, I have a better suggestion.....if you are going to buy a house...any house....get a home inspection by a competent home inspector!

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) over 8 years ago

Eric - that's a thought!  Who knows how long it will last...

Jose - I would doubt it.  In fact, I am not sure you need a permit for a roof, but in that jurisdiction I don't know.

Jim - I don't know, consistent pattern, equally spaced, all across.  Seems okay to me...

Damon - that has been the consistent theme all along!   But now, with the added sexy marketing ad additional concerns!

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

What a waste of time and resources. It wouldn't have been that difficult to get this right.

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

No, Reuben, just doing it right!  My job was kind of easy.  Once you see one aspect, you can pretty much condemn the whole thing right then!

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

What a shame, the owners get taken again.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 8 years ago

It always makes me wonder what else has been done to the house with shoddy workmanship that we can't see.  That's why I always encourage my clients - buyers and sellers - to engage the experienced eye of a good property inspector like you!

Posted by Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula (Wende Schoof) over 8 years ago

I always feel badly for people Ken, who pay for a service to be able to sell their home and then get taken like that.

Wende - thanks but sometimes stuff we can't see slips by too!  We inspectors have a better shot of finding those things though!

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

"At least I have a roof over my head" Oh, what? Wait a minute!

Posted by Sam Fischer over 8 years ago

Sam - for sure.  That roof is not likely to be there too long!

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

Close but not matching is never good enough to pass your inspections....and should not be for anyone else's either ! 

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

And it helps to use the right nailing technique and proper placement S&D!

I'm so picky...

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

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