What I'm Seeing Now

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Julius Squeezer

I knew he was there.  Evidence of him was all over this cellar.

Julius Squeezer.

Either this guy had discarded a lot of previous, very fine, suits, or he was living with a lot of cousins.  Skins were everywhere!

And his presence was not unexpected!  This home is a very nice, century-old Victorian, with a lot of original touches and many additions.  There is a large cellar, exactly as you would imagine, with a stone foundation and dirt floor.

The house sits on 6 quiet, mostly-rural acres.  It's a beautiful setting with outbuildings and a stable.  The buyers have horses, so they were looking for this kind of house.  While there two different deer sauntered by, so we were out of town!

The Realtor said that she heard this is a Sears Catalog home.  Until then I had always thought of the Sears homes as craftsman style, and smaller.  But looking it up I found that during the early part of the 20th century Sears sold many Victorian-style homes.

After I snapped the photo, a little head popped up!  Look closely at the photo above and you can see something dark in the upper-right corner.

Big Juli moved warily, smelling me frequently.

But he posed for a nice profile photo!

I guess he was 6 to 8' in length.  This is his domain.  He has the run of the place and has access to areas I could only see, or imagine.

And given the numbers of suits laying about, he is well fed!

I called for the Realtor who wasn't fazed.  She showed no excitement until a big spider showed up, nearly 3" from toe to toe.

She did him in with no doubt of his demise!  "My client hates spiders!"  The buyers were not present, so Lenn demonstrated true agency!

My recommendation:  most people would react viscerally to the presence of a snake, or snakes, on site.  In this case, it/they probably keep the mice to a minimum!  Most, however, would prefer that the snakes keep to themselves in the cellar!  Obviously Julius Squeezer is a happy boy.

 

 

 

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 • June 19 2012 03:41AM

Comments

Good morning Jay my wife and I are of the same thoughts in that we can take spiders and other crawling creatures but snakes.  If that were our home we would be out of there quick.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 6 years ago

I'd rather see black snakes then copper heads or rattlers. Black snake sare usually calm unless you disturb a female with a nest of eggs. I still prefer  to see them before they see me. He looks like a nice friendly and healthy one and probably does keep the mice population under control.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) over 6 years ago

Jay, 6 or 7 feet long means Julius has been there for a good long time.  We've occasionally had the odd baby ring-neck snakes in the basement.  I always warn them that the pekingnese and cat are ruthless hunters and to respect the natural order.  Usually because I can't bear to see them become the subject of a tug of war, I scoop them up in a cup and return them to the woods.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 6 years ago

Some one should tell Lenn that spiders are god at keeping other vermin in check ;) Julius is a handsome boy. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

That was probably the most interesting home inspection I've ever attended. 

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

I watched a program on TV that showed a home that was built on the den of a bunch of garder snakes.  There were thousands under the home in a cave type den.  The owner had to move out because of the smell of the snakes..Even the well water smelled like the snakes. 

Great post....

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) over 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

It was very accommodating of Julius Squeezer to allow you into his home for an inspection!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 6 years ago

If there are in fact mice, I think I'd prefer a cat to to a snake.  Did the homeowner notice the molted snake skins previously?

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

James - who knows how many inhabit this joint!

Jeff - you are right, black snakes are very aggressive when cornered or near their nest.  And they bite fast!

Mona - I think Big Juli likes the woods around this house too!  Yes, he's been there a while.

Jim - he picked his head up for a nice smell and to snap a thermal image of me.  After I left he quietly moved.

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

Lenn - you didn't come up into the attic with me!  This morning when I took my t-shirt off to shower it was full of stuff from the attic!  It looked alive!

Richard - I saw something written about that but saw no show.  That was a huge problem that ruined things for that family, right?

Lisa - and to pick up his head for a nice profile photo!

Debbie - I did not speak to the homeowner or the nannie, who all got out for the inspection.  And the two dogs in the bathroom weren't talking.  Maybe it's a family secret.

Snakes trump cats when it comes to mice because the mice don't have a chance to get into the house!

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

Good morning Jay. I would have been hangingg from the rafters or knocked you down getting out of there. Amazinf pictures. Great story, well written.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 6 years ago

  Lucky you...I would have been screaming all the way to the mailbox....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

Jay, With country comes snakes.  At least this is one of the non-poisonous variety.  We rarely see any of the bigger snakes around our home, mostly the little garter snakes and not much more.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 6 years ago

Squeezer is the master of this domain. I have seen a lot of basements that could have used a guard like this one has.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 6 years ago

As long as you're having fun - that's what counts.

Posted by Robert & Leslie Lang (Weichert, REALTORS® - McKee Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Was with a couple looking at a house in Woodmoor, Silver Spring, Maryland.  It was a 1940's brick colonial in a close-in suburb, we saw 2 large snake skins when we went into the basement.  Needless to say, all three of us bolted, never to return again.  

Posted by Debbie Cook, Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc) over 6 years ago

I know snakes serve a purpose but I am still not a fan of them. But even less desirable are spiders...Wasn't there a song in the 70s called spiders and snakes?

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 6 years ago

He does look like a happy boy.  I could have used his services this past winter.  After living on a farm, I don't get to excited about snakes (depending on the type), but I do like to see them first and from a distance.  8=)

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago

Jay, I haven't seen any Black Snakes here yet, but the Garter Snakes come out every once in a while. One was feasting on some frogs in our basement window well.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

One wonders who was inspecting whom?  Yes to those skins and what they say too....good post

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

I would have screamed like a little girl and ran the other way.  Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but I don't do snakes.          

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Jay, how exactly do you tell boy snakes from girl snakes? :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 6 years ago

Had that been a house I was looking out, out in the country like that, I would have taken it as a good omen. After all, you're right: snake in basement = much lower mouse invasion potential. I think that's a win for me AND the snake! 

Posted by Mary Elizabeth Allen over 6 years ago

Sounds less expensive to keep than a cat would be, haha!  I don't mind snakes, but I hate mice.  Nice pics!

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) over 6 years ago

OMG! I would have freak out. But your point is valid it does help to balance cycle of life. 

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) over 6 years ago

Jay, great story and pics. You are right that the snake keeps the mice away. That said, if my wife were involved the snake would have to go. 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

Jay not another snake! They make my skin crawl:)

Posted by Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret, Associate Broker in Northern Virginia ( United Real Estate (703.216.5635) cheryltee47@gmail.com) over 6 years ago

Great post!! I would have RAN out of there!!  Just the look of the cellar makes me scared!  I live in the burbs of Texas now, but I'm a city girl at heart!  Bugs, Spiders, snakes, and even ants scare me.  I can't help it, I'm a WIMP! 

Posted by Andrea Pena (Amcap Mortgage, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Call a licensed pest control contractor then call me back once those things are gone. Lol

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) over 6 years ago

Sheila - he was about 6 feet away.  Not close enough to do anything to you!

S&D - that would have been about a 100 yard dash, and across the road!  Call me, I want to watch.

Bliz - there was a garter snake carcass on the dirt floor.  And small, only about 18" long.  Maybe Big Juli did it in.

Joe - seeing no mice, or evidence thereof, I guess he is earning his keep!

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

R&L - this inspection was fun!  And Julius helped...

Debbie - they could have been years old!  Or maybe not!  I grew up in Kensington so I went to Silver Spring a lot.

Gary - many of both present in this joint, apparently!

Mike - during the winter snakes aren't much help.  They sleep...

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

Mike S. - they are very common here and are good gardeners too!

Thanks Richie.  The skins were everywhere, high and low!

Christiansen Team - even if this was a rattler, he was far enough away not to be a problem!  And I saw him before he saw me.

Charlie - lipstick.  Boys don't stay in the same place without some young nearby - girls have young nearby.

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

Mary Elizabeth - I think Big Juli is a real winner!

Jennifer - you never have to scoop the poop bin with snakes...

Ritu - the purpose of EVERYTHING is to keep the balance of life!  Everything is created to eat something else!

Tom - and the mice get to stay?

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

Cheryl - I don't see them very often in the house, but do outdoors!

Andrea - this was a big house, with a big cellar, with many defined areas.

Rob - the worst thing I have run into in a cellar is a raccoon.  They are nasty, territorial and will attack.  Frightening!

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

Jay, we could use a few more snakes around here... the mice population seems to be soaring.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 6 years ago

When I first moved to the country, I took my long-handled axe to snakes (after holding them down with a rake).  Now, I have come to a truce with them and we live in peace.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 6 years ago

Jay, great action photos. I have to admit I've never had anything close to like that happen to me at an inspection. I enjoyed all the comments. 

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com) over 6 years ago

arachnicide?   geeze, Lenn.  and you left a witness behind?

 

Jay, you guys aren't paid enough.

 

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 6 years ago

I have a critter phobia. I would not have been happy to see a snake in the house. I don't care if it's only the cellar. But I dislike mice even more than snakes. So if Juli keeps the mice away, I'm all for it.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, Great story as always. I think snakes are much better mousers than cats. Unfortunately we almost never see any kind of snakes here in North Idaho.

I have great respect for Kathrine #36. I used to hate spiders but now I sometimes just take them outside instead of killing them. they won't hurt you if you are nice to them.

Posted by Wayne Jackson, North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake (Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109) over 6 years ago

Oh come on Jay, this home has character! It has wild life. A rustic feel. Country living.

There are a lot of positive ways to spin this one!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) over 6 years ago

Jay- I DO NOT like snakes!  Saw too many of them on my first girl scout camping trip.  And, way too many on our hunting lease in South Texas.  Just too much of an ick factor for me. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago

Chris - where you are they probably have a very short hunting season!  The rest of the time is spent hibernating.

Kathryn - most people do not live in peace with them!  I think they are fine, unless, of course, it is a rattler and in my house!

There wasn't too much action Adrian.  He posed pretty still for that shot!

It was awful Alan.  It ran and ran, finally screaming when it was hit with a board and then popping loudly under her shoe.  I'm still shaking...

 

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

Tammie - Big Juli is a mouse whisperer, and really has them under his thumb.

So to speak.

Wayne - we have a spider here that is a real jumper/biter.  They don't take kindly to the old 8x11 piece of paper and into the yard thing.  No snakes there?

Donald - that's what I said to Lenn about the snake.  She only really reacted to the spider!

Kathy - one Boy Scout camping trip a 6' rattlesnake crawled right through the middle of our tent!  We finally caught up to him and did him in.  Our troop enjoyed rattlesnake for dinner.  It really does taste like chicken, although the meat has a compact fiber, not so long as chicken muscle.

My brother got the rattles!

 

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

Jay, We have some great rat poison for the mice. It is the same basic thing as the drug coumadin. The mice and rats eat it and  go off and bleed out. If the dogs get in it you  just take them for a shot of vitamin K. 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

Such a great story!  I'm sure that in those "parts" there are all different sorts of characters lurking "under foot!"

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 6 years ago

Interesting Tom.  I guess the Vit K causes clotting and thickening of the blood.  There were poison traps all around the house, but maybe don't work well.

Jan - there are probably more organisms in that house, of all varieties, then there are people in that county!

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

Jay, I have seen Black Racers going around yards from time to time. They are an enemy to mice and other predatory snakes. They are a good thing to have around - in small numbers and in their proper place! Fun story :)

Sharon

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 6 years ago

I have a real phobia of snakes.. So I would have been out of there in a heart beat!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

Sharon - if this guy is alone, he is the small number and in the right place!

Joan - you have nothing to fear of any snake unless you trap them or step on them.  They usually feel your presence before you see them and intentionally try to get out of your way.

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

Jay, you just gave me a real great reason to never want to be a home inspector.  

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) over 6 years ago

Gary - things like this are fun!  What I don't like is running into raccoons in crawl spaces or cellars.  They are dangerous and nasty!

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

Snakes. Lucky you.  Here in Minnesota I'll see a garter snake every once in a while, but that's it.  The cold keeps the riff-raff out ;)

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

Riff raff Reubs?  Big Juli keeps out the riff raff!  Now, if they could only teach him to go after termites...

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

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