What I'm Seeing Now

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Mommy, I'm Hot. Then Go Stand Behind The Fridge...

Flips always provide so much fun.  I run into things on every inspection of a flipped house that I have never seen before.  And never before imagined!

Take this fridge for instance.

It's not the best, but not the lowest quality either.

It was moved from the other side of the kitchen to this side.  It looks great!

You can see that the wall was changed to accommodate this new location. 

And you can see that this opening was created specifically for THIS PARTICULAR FRIDGE!

That's never good thinking.  When the time comes to buy a new fridge, the owner better measure carefully!

But I digress...

Standing first in front and then beside the fridge, I felt moving cold air.

Looking around the kitchen I did not see an HVAC register.

So why am I feeling cold air flowing?

Pulling the fridge out, I discovered that the cavity behind was completely unfinished!

No drywall, plumbing and electrical completely exposed and not secured to anything, and an unattractive spot.

But why the air flow?

Do you see it?

In order to create the space for the fridge, things had to be removed.  Like the HVAC duct!  This is why I didn't see an HVAC register in the kitchen!  It's no longer visible - but it's there!!

Can you imagine the conversation?

"Mommy, I'm hot."
"Then go stand by the fridge."

The coolest spot in the kitchen is beside the fridge!  And in winter, a major side benefit, it will be the warmest!  Unless someone is cooking...

My recommendation:  if you ever, EVER, think you won't need an inspection of a flipped house (because it's so GORGEOUS inside), give me a call so I can pound some sense into your head.  Nicely of course.  When we're done, you'll understand.

 

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 68 commentsJay Markanich • August 02 2011 03:35PM

Comments

Amazing story! Unbelievable what people do to save a few bucks. We should all write a book.

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group about 9 years ago

Jay, I'm amazed at what people think they can get away with! I'm sure having the heat blow directly onto the refrigerator in the winter is very efficient!

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) about 9 years ago


What were they thinking??

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Nice catch.  I just made a similar discovery on a flip myself.  They owner/agent did a Herndon townhouse with very nice quality materials in the kitchen.  But instead of ordering custom cabinets, they bought off the rack mid-high end stuff and guess what..... after they installed them, the vacant space waiting for a fridge was too small to accept ANY fridge.  So there was just a vacant space...

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 9 years ago

I'm sure they included the fridge hoping that no one would look behind it and see their excellent craftsmanship. 

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties ( Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816) about 9 years ago

Intero - I intend to.  Can you refer me to a publisher?

Connie - it won't affect the fridge that much, and it won't affect the kitchen either!

Lenn - I told you this would turn you on!  They were thinking that it's only one duct, so what's the problem!

Justin - planning ahead.  The motto of every Flipper out there!

It was jammed up against the wall completely Jim.  And look at the top - there is 1/2" clearance!  The drywall extended behind the fridge about 4".

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I've got an inspection scheduled for Friday afternoon. It's a flip. I just can't wait. It's going to be fun!

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 9 years ago

 ROTFL

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) about 9 years ago

Have some fun widdit Robert!  Not much you see is as you see it...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Donne - so what's your point?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay - Ok, seriously now!  I've heard of some whacked out DYI projects but this is definitely right up there in the top five.  Don't even get me started on wanna-be investor flippers who think they know what they're doing simple because they attended some 60min webinar of real estate investing from some bozo claiming to be a guru.  LMAO!!!

Around here (Los Angeles & Ventura counties), it's pretty easy to tell the truly professional investor flips and the wanna-be investor flips.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) about 9 years ago

Actually Donne, your icon said it all!  In my previous answer you couldn't see the twinkle in my eye.

I have had many flipper posts and am very jaded when realtors say that the inside is "gorgeous!"  Well, usually not.

I will have another one tomorrow, same house.  You'll love it too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

But Jay, won't that cool air in the summer help pull the warm air off the Refrigerator - that would have collected in that special box otherwise?  I thought there were recommended clearances for Refrigerators, so there was air flow around them -- and this flipper just wanted to make things tidier while keeping things cool.   ROFL

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 9 years ago

O-M-G. What a WEIRD thing to do! That fridge should be working overtime when the heater kicks in this winter!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA about 9 years ago

Steven - this guy didn't know what he was doing at all.  Wait til you see tomorrow's post!

Cynthia - that fridge will work no matter what.  But what a great spot to get cooler and warmer!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Give 'em a break, Jay.  They were just trying to keep the fridge a little cooler.  What about when the furnace is running?  Ok, that was an oversight ;)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 9 years ago

Oh my goodness, Jay!  What were they thinking?  Not everyone is cut out to do flips!!!!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) about 9 years ago

I did give them a break Reubs!  I didn't just recommend an electrician to review some things, but to tear it all out and start again.

DeeDee - that is for sure.  I wonder if people like this do honest work in any field...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Same old story - just with different examples.  I don't trust any flips based on what I have seen. Also. in our brokerage, when our buyers want to waive a home inpsection (any home) we ask then to sign a waiver.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) about 9 years ago

That's a great idea Anne, but even still you should push the issue.  The cost is so minimal compared to what might be inherited.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, I am a firm believer in the value of a home inspection for any property

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Great post! Inspections are KEY, flipped by a pro or not, you never know what you could get yourself into!

Posted by Ben Blonder, Buyers, Sellers, Investors! (Broker/Owner, Keller Williams) about 9 years ago

Chris - I know you are!  And you should be.  Good for your clients!

Ben - and get a real experienced bull dog.  It's best!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

It never ceases to amaze me the home made modifications people make to accommodate a particular need they perceive. Thankfully most are discovered with careful due diligence. Sadly the ones are aren't discovered become the stuff lawsuits are made of. Great post Jay!

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) about 9 years ago

William - thanks, and these are the instances that specifically recommend a home inspection!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

I've seen a lot of tricks of "flippers" in my day, but that was a first. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) about 9 years ago

Jay, I've seen a lot of cheap tricks from flippers, and this one ranks up there.  Didn't this flipper think the new owner might eventually notice that there is no HVAC in the kitchen ?

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 9 years ago

And WHO thought that was a good idea?!?  My guess is no one but the gamble was that the fridge wouldn't be moved

 

Posted by Diane McDermott, Charlotte NC Real Estate Market (Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC) about 9 years ago

holy smokes! That's a very interesting example you have here, and perfect for people to see why it's important to have inspections done. Many inspectors might have just gone past this though without pulling the fridge out, so good for you that you're this thorough!

Posted by Reba Haas, Team Reba, CDPE (Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com) about 9 years ago
What a story... Never lie or cover up it will always come put in the wash!
Posted by Susan Gaieski, Director for Social Media & Technology (Water Pointe Realty Group) about 9 years ago

Haha! Job well done...or maybe not well done...depending on who you ask.

Posted by Mike Yeo (3:16 team REALTY) about 9 years ago

Jay, most flipped houses we can tell from the first step in. They buyer gets so enamored because it's not a foreclosure piece of crap and there's new carpet and paint. I gotta slow them down quickly! Last one I looked at, there was a drop ceiling in the bathroom of all places. Any guess to what was up there?

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) about 9 years ago

LOL unbelievable... lipstick on a pig still fools many buyers, sadly.

Posted by Andrew Robb, RE/MAX Realtor - Peoria, AZ (RE/MAX Renaissance Realty) about 9 years ago

I think we have all learned that lesson.  Thanks for the reminder.  :)

Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) about 9 years ago

Gregory - I have had lots of posts on flippers and this one is right in there!

Brian - new owners don't notice things like that!  They are enamored, instead.

Diane - that could be.  This home inspector likes to look behind stuff however!

Reba - what got my attention was the blowing air!  Not often do you feel blowing cool air coming from behind the fridge.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

It sure did this time Susan.  And hopefully again and again in the future.

Mike - I don't know what the listing agent said, but that report has been sent!

Drop ceiling Eric?  Staining from the bathroom above?  The bats?  The original light and fan apparatus?

Andrew - and that lipstick is very common with flips!

Joy - just trying to be instructive.  Any time I can demonstrate something, you will see it here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay -- Nice catch.  I had buyers, as well as myself, who were fooled by a flip a few years ago. It was beautiful. Not so, when we got down to the nitty gritty of the inspection. LOTS of shortcuts and actually things done that took a heck of a lot of imagination.  What a mess.......but it looked great!

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 9 years ago

How funny! So interesting to see and hear. I can't imagine who wouldn't want an inspection when buying a home.

Gretchen

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Jay...great story and pictures :-) I will bookmark this post to show my clients if they should decline my recommendation for an inspection.

Posted by Ann Nguyen, Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 9 years ago

I saw this re-blogged today and thought it was a great article. Most flippers in my area are doing nothing more than painting and laying down carpet and hoping to make a couple thousand dollars so we don't see stuff this dramatic for the most part. I'm thankful for that.

Posted by Nathan Tutas, Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago
Your posts are Realtor and Purchaser eye openers to say the very least.
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 9 years ago

I enjoyed reading your post! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Posted by Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL, QuickFreeMLS.com - Listings In Paradise (SaraMana Properties - QuickFreeMLS.com) about 9 years ago
Wow... This is absolutely ridiculous. Hard to imagine someone would be so stupid as to do this.
Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) about 9 years ago

sdfgeg - thanks for the extra points!  You will be deleted once my concern is followed up on.

Barbara - I am amazed at how people go to such great, and imaginative, lengths to do things wrong or dangerously.

Gretchen - I can't either!  But some don't get one.  To their eternal shame...

Thanks Ann.  I hope it helps you!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Nathan - then you haven't met the creative ones yet!  Here they make "substantial improvements..."

Cheryl - sometimes my eyes get opened!

You are welcome SaraMana.  Stop by again!

Irina - stupid or sly.  To say the least, it is a problem!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay:  I had to laugh when I read the end of your post.  You probably could make a living as a head pounder!!!

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) about 9 years ago

Thanks Carol.  One other time I suggested that people call me so I can "pile drive" some sense into their heads.  That might be a bit of a strong image...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Great job catching this.

 

You have to watch out for the flipped houses.

Posted by Keith Lawrence, ABR, SFR (Christie's International) about 9 years ago

You have to watch closely Keith!  I have run across none that were not very fun and interesting!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, it turned out that the drop ceiling was put in because they wanted to cover up a lot of mold and a damaged ceiling where a fan might or might not have been before. Brutal.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) about 9 years ago

This is obviously a super Energy Star frig. With the cool air blowing on it all the time, the compressors sure to come on less often. Of course when the heats on is another story. Oh and as I understand it according to our good bud Charlie, people are headed, so pound sense will likely have little effect, but I admire your effort.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 9 years ago

And they didn't think you would notice....  AH HA!  They don't know Jay the inspector very well.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 9 years ago

Well, what's your problem Eric?  Wouldn't you want mold covered up, so it's not a problem?

Jim - you are right of course, what was I thinking!  Should I not try to pound?  Maybe pile drive would work?  I think the Super Energy Star should catch on - we need it.  Our planet is wasting away.  Soon we'll be Mars.

Judi - almost didn't see you peeking around that corner!  This one was hard to miss!  But thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

They could've just called it Moss and said it's part of the house garden.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) about 9 years ago

That's a big yummerooski!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay - I can't think of any good reason not to have an inspection on a flip.  As to the fridge, my first thought when I saw it was that it would be a problem to fit a new one.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 9 years ago

But, Christine, that was something the flipper thought to be important - "the perfect fit."  Good for you for recognizing an immediate problem.

And I can't think of a good reason either!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Just another good reason to have a quality home inspection.  Thanks for the post.  Have a great day.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 9 years ago

That was a weird house all around Gene.  This was but one odd thing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

That's hilarious!! What were those flippers thinking! I gues that fridge better never break!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) about 9 years ago

And, Donna, when it does, there is no guarantee that the newer version of it will be the same size.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay, this would be funny if it weren't for the fact that some hapless buyer would have bought this house and found out later that the flipper did some 'creative' remodeling. Excellent catch!

Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 9 years ago

Jay, it's amazing they thought no one would ever notice, until maybe it's too late. That's why a home inspection is always a must on any home! Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 9 years ago

Sharon - the buyer knew about the remodeling, just not the creativity of the extent of it!

Pamela - and the buyer and realtor had been in the house twice and had not noticed it!  Good policy on the inspection!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Jay:  I've never seen this, very strange and these types of owner changes, makes it hard for re-selling!

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula, Realty Works Temecula (Realty Works Temecula) about 9 years ago

Jane - this flipper is trying to sell it!  And I think my client was the second contract, the first falling through, and he is still thinking about it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

All I really want to say is "you are kidding me." But I see by the pictures that you aren't.  That investor should be ashamed.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) about 9 years ago

Not kidding Charita!  That kitchen was not the only thing that was funny about the house either!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

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