What I'm Seeing Now

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This Commercial Inspection Was A Commercial For Unprofessional Work

I knew when I was walking around the outside of the unit that this commercial inspection was a commercial for unprofessional work.  The corrolary to this is that the "management" company might need consideration also.

My client was buying a doctor's office condo in a building of office condos.  The seller said the condo "management" did lots of work in anticipation of the sale.

Apparently many spots on the attractive 2x4 trim needed to be "shored up" with some straps.  How did "management" do that?  Of course, with drywall screws!  This had been done just a couple of days before our visit, so they hadn't the time to rust yet!  But they will rust!  And cause further damage to the wood.  It seems that "management" did not notice...

The image on the right shows something interesting.  The roof above is flat.  Ideally it is sloped such that rain water can exit through one of four "downspouts."  The downspouts are really holes cut with a pan to simply drain the water outside the roof.

One of those four drains is that dark rectangle visible over the strap.  It is completely blocked by this attractive wood trim.  Apparently "management" did not notice that either...

These same 2x4s had rotting spots all over, which they "touched up" with paint. 

EXCELLENT, JUST EXCELLENT.

One of the sales features was a completely new HVAC system installed in 2008.  Unfortunately there was a recent leak into the unit which surely will be taken care of by "management."  So not to worry. 

But there is no access to the roof from inside the unit to be able to investigate, and "We're sorry," said the note.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THERE ISN'T ACCESS FROM ANOTHER UNIT, WHICH THIS HOME INSPECTOR WILL FIND OUT!

Underneath the unit was not entirely visible, but there is ponding all over the flat roof.  In addition to the ponds, there is cracking and bubbling.  But the roof was painted recently by "management" to hopefully seal these areas of leaking.  THE ROOF DOES NOT ANGLE TOWARD THE DOWNSPOUTS TO DRAIN WATER AWAY PROPERLY.

I was able to learn that the unit being purchased is NOT the only unit with roof leaks!  Gee, surprise, surprise.

Also, the professionals who replaced the formerly very old HVAC unit, which was said to have been there since 1991, decided to use the old wiring for this new unit in 2008!  Why would they do that?  You tell me...

And the photo on the right shows a fine example of this old wiring, which, when it rains, rests comfortably underwater.  Overall, to me, this is frightful.

I was not impressed.  Would you have been?

My recommendation:  commercial inspections are just as important as home inspections.  But they must be done with the future in mind.  Are they being sold because everyone knows that a big assessment is coming up, like, in this case, a roof?  If everyone knows "management" does a poor job of maintenance, why do they put up with it?  These are some of the things needing investigation.  But be sure to have a peek!

 

 

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 26 commentsJay Markanich • December 19 2011 06:36AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay. Rotsa Ruck. Sadly, there are those in the industry that minimize so as to maximize profitability...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Does Billy Jay have a brother that does commercial work ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 7 years ago

So I take it you did not deliver good news to your client?  You are right a commercial inspection is just as important as a home one.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay.  This does not look good...and looks like Management has no clue.  Love your sense of humor.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

And then try to sell it to others Michael!

He does not Sally!  But a product like a cracked cable is not something he would sell.  He might sell one that is installed with Put Yer Putty! but not cracked.

I just deliver the news James.  I don't rate it as good or bad, just observe and report!

Thanks Debbie.  So did my client!  He is no dummy, buying a fairly large doctor's office from a doctor.  We'll see what comes of this.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

This looks like a simple case of finding the cheapest repair companies. I think the work shows that emphatically. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Agreed Jim.  And how much would it have cost to use new cable when installing a new HVAC system?  Or new wood trim when the old is rotting and failing?  This goes on and on.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jim, the biggest difference between these types of structures and a single family residence is that the problems expand exponentially.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Jay, great analysis.  And a very good point about not only looking at issues from a current perspective, but also an ongoing future perspective

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- "drywall screws" on the exterior straps??? What were they thinking?  There are specialty exterior siding screws which are just as easy to install, and designed for the job.  Re: the wiring -- don't you realize that it is getting really expensive, and if they put in good wiring -- someong might have actually come by and tried to steal it?

You are right, if I were the current owner, I would be talking to the management company about getting things fixed, on their own dime, since they didn't do the work properly the first time around, and I would be looking into a replacement company to manage the property ongoing.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 7 years ago

Charlie - it's Jay...  oh, and you are right, these things go on.  I wonder if they thought the note about not having roof access was to scare me out of trying to get up there?

Chris - you have to think things through to their logical conclusion.  The buyer will be inheriting those future considerations!

They were thinking how convenient it was to have some drywall screws in their box or bag Steven.  And as to the wiring, there was another unit right next to this one, for a different unit, which was installed in 2006 and they used new wiring!  Whaddyano!  That there installer was a goodun.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Gotta love our home inspectors - they save the day for us all the time!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Barbara-Jo!  We like to think so, but there may be times when we do not!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I HATE flat roofs.  I know many older luxury townhomes in Montgomery County that have flat roofs that leak like a seive.

I went on a listing appt. once for one of those very expensive townhomes and the owner had a sump pump on the flat roof attached to a hose flung over the back of the roof that ended about 8 feet above ground. 

Of course, it could have been used for an outside shower.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

They are almost always a problem Lenn.  It's just a matter of time.  You can tell this one has been a problem before by the many coats of paint.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, well I got the "J" part right---that is 33%---not bad for baseball :)  Sorry about that

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

I was kidding, of course!  I like Jim too.  Your batting average is much better than .333.  And your slugging percentage is out of sight!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Oh my, there are so many things wrong with these pictures.  I hope you're client asking for professional repairs.  Geeze!

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 7 years ago

Wow, you must see a lot of scary examples of people trying to cut corners. This just shows why inspections are so important, especially for homebuyers who might not notice faulty repairs.

Posted by Eric Proulx (RealEstate.com) almost 7 years ago

I suppose so Mike.  We'll see how far they go, as he intends to get back to me.

Eric - those weren't the only things, just a couple of the more fun ones!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Great inspection stories with equally great pictures.

Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by Anthony Daniels, SF Bay Area REO Specialist (Coldwell Banker) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Anthony, and as always, I am glad you stopped by!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Another very good reason why folks should hire an excellent inspector, they're not expensive, they're PRICELESS!

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 -) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Ken.  Information is information and we go about trying to see it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

The funny thing with commercial inspections is that people just don't seem to care all that much about defects.  The roof leaks?  Put a bucket under the leak.  No big deal.

No emotions involved.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 6 years ago

Reuben - I saw one of those little kiddie pools up there on the metal trusses once!  By the time the next rain fell, the water in the pool had evaporated and it was ready to fill again.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

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