What I'm Seeing Now

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Truss

Let me list for you the definitions of the word "truss," and you tell me the commonality among them.  From Oxford.

1 Framework of rafters, posts, and struts which supports a roof, bridge or other structure
2 A padded belt worn against the skin to support a hernia
3 A large projection of stone or timber, typically one supporting a cornice
4 A compact cluster of flowers or fruits growing on a single, supportive stalk

If you guessed that the commonality is SUPPORT, you would be right!

The purpose(s) of a truss is SUPPORT.

I received a call the other day from a Realtor I had never met.  He found me on line.  He had seen my blog posts on problems with properties purchased from Flippers.

The house his client is buying is not near my house, virtually opposite me on the Washington beltway.

It is a long drive, and in total an inspection would take a lot of time.

However, I had a day completely free and he said two things that swayed me into not referring him to someone else:

1.  The buyer is a young, single, female teacher
2.  The house is a flipped property

Growing up in a household with a brother and mother, I watched my mother get taken time and time again by unscrupulous people.  I vowed as a kid that I would help single women when I could.

AND I DO.

Secondly, I am so fed up with Flippers I could scream.  On the phone the Realtor said this house boasted of lots of things, all "new," "safe," "to code," etc.

The features list said, "Entirely new roof with electric ventilation fan."

The shingles were new, and not all well placed.  Judging from the various, and I mean VARIOUS, rotting locations of the sheathing the roof was not entirely new.  And the attic fan, you can see in the photo, was not even hooked up electrically and was very old.  The duct work is coming apart, as duct tape, we all know, does not work.  And the duct work and its insulation is coming apart ALL OVER THE PLACE.

But, you can see, in the middle of the photo, that the shingle nailers (because they weren't roofers) cracked a truss.  How can I tell?  Because the roof on this 1977 house had turned a bit darker tan with time.  The crack in the truss is very fresh.  You can see the bright color there.

This is not SAFE because this truss provides no SUPPORT.  I can read that the definitions of the word truss share the word SUPPORT between them.  This spot is a danger to anyone standing thereon.

This photo represents three of the MANY, MANY problems this house would have presented to this buyer.

My recommendation:  especially when you see boasts about repairs, or if a Flipper is involved, be certain you get a home inspection prior to purchase.  Home inspectors are objective and there to help.  Flippers don't like us much, but that is BESIDE the point.

 

 

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 30 commentsJay Markanich • December 23 2011 06:48AM

Comments

Kudos Jay * Up To Code is not the same as You Should Feel Comfortable Buying it!  

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 7 years ago

Wallace - a lot of this house may have been "up to code," but a lot was not and nonetheless there was so much dangerous stuff here I couldn't care less what the code says!

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

We always advise home buyers to obtain a professional home inspection.

Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Longwood Gardens IMG_2136

 

Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera.

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 7 years ago

Good advice of course, Roy.  Merry Christmas!

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

Hi Jay.   Having a home inspection is essential.   I agree with you that you see flippers with new,new,new!   They might look great, but the Buyer must really investigate how things were done.    Just because they say new, doesn't mean done right.   I have seen it time and time again.    Great post! 

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) almost 7 years ago

That has always been the case in my experience, Carol.  And I don't say that to drum up business!

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

Another good one. Thanks great blog again. Good luck and happy holidays

Posted by JOSH EVANS *JoshEvansHomes 516-655-5000 (Village Properties of Mineola, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Code has various meanings and can be interpreted as one needs them to be.  However when dealing with peoples homes and therefore their health and safety code becomes a word with only one meaning. 

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

Same to you and yours Josh.  And thanks!

James - the code is minimal, as you know.  Safety is paramount, as you know!  I pay more attention to safety and frankly don't know all the codes anywhere.

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

Good morning, Jay. C'mon, do you really expect the codes department to get off their duff, get out of the car and look in an attic? Man! You are expecting way too much...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) almost 7 years ago

Michael - I don't even know if they do that on flips!  If so, going into the attic is likely a "not our job" job.

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

Glad you were willing to make the trip to help her.  Terrible to have a truss that you can't trust.

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

What can you trust in Debbie, if you can't trust a truss?

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

"To code" is the worst house you can build legally. These guys look like the missed even that minimal standard. 

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

Jay, Just more obvious reasons to have a home inspector.  Must be nice for a flipper to be able to say something has been done, but then not actually have to do it.....geez. 

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 7 years ago

We ALWAYS strongly recommend a professional home inspection. Especially for new inexperienced buyers.

Posted by Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you! (Janisch & Co.) almost 7 years ago

Jay, I often see do it yourselfers drill through or notch trusses or joists, and think to my self " what were you thinking ".

I am not sure what force would cause this type of damage, perhaps a skid of shingles dropped onto the roof by a crane or something similar?

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

Jay - While your experiences with "flippers" might cause one to question their collective honesty, I fear the concept of "If I can get away with it, then it's okay" seems pervasive in all aspects of business. That's why we all need to remain on guard, especially when making such a large purchase as a home.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and I hope the new year brings continued prosperity.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 7 years ago

Jay -- so we need to have the house inspected if we are buying it from: flippers, contractors with new construction, someone who has lived in the house and may have deferred maintenance and those that are REOs.   Did I miss anyone?

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

Jim - I tease the building supervisors on new construction who tout their houses as "built strictly to code..."  They don't like the teasing one bit!

Bliz - they can get away with a lot without an inspection!

Jeanne and Ralph - for sure.  It is the SMART thing to do!

Chris - it happened from above, for sure.  Perhaps too many people and shingles in one spot.

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

I agree John.  The other pervasive thought is the "it's not my job" mentality.  And Merry Christmas and all it brings to you and yours.

Steven - yeah, everyone else!  When I buy my next house I am hiring a good home inspector, just because!

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

Hey Jay- at least the ride was worth it seeing that you helped in more than one way. I told one contractor who had a problem with my report that its guy like him that keep be busy.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

That is for sure Eric!  They DO keep us in business.

Have a MerryChristmas!

 

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

You could write a page on just that picture alone.  

Merry Christmas Jay.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 7 years ago

I thought I done did Jack!  Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Izzy and Mickey.

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

Lots of good stuff here Jay.

A good home inspection is so important today, too many things can get thrown together and missed by the average buyer.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 7 years ago

Jay: some of the best worst flippersmin our area just happen to be Reators. It drives me crazy! Greta post and I love all the definitions for truss. Happy New Year!

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 7 years ago

I have to wonder about guys who leave stuff like this Tom.  Flippers are famous for skirting things.

Anne - just making a point that a truss is supportive!  There are a lot of Realtors here too!

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

I just inspected a flipper house this morning where the buyers actually cut the inspection short; they had seen enough before I was even done.  Perhaps the icing on the cake was the handrail bracket attached to drywall with sheet metal screws.  Of course, I pulled it right out of the wall :).  Not a big deal... but it was a great example of the way a lot of other stuff was done.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 7 years ago

It's always good to give a little object lesson on something really weak before Grandma pulls on it and falls down the stairs Reubs!  The Flipper is probably thinking, "Hey, those were really good sheet metal screws!"

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

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