What I'm Seeing Now

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Tenants Working Hard To Find An Incorrect Solution To Everything

The house was amazing, with the tenants working hard to find an incorrect solution to everything.  It had been rented for 3 years.  It was a disaster.  Half way through the inspection my client's Realtor approached me from behind and said, "Jay, we're going home now.  You coming?"

I THINK THAT MEANT THE INSPECTION HAD CONCLUDED.  BUMMER!  I HADN'T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE KITCHEN YET!

Outside, in addition to a boat load of other things that bothered everyone, we noticed the gutters.

EVERY SINGLE GUTTER WAS FULL TO THE RIM.

EVERY SINGLE GUTTER WAS COMING OFF THE HOUSE.

EVERY SINGLE GUTTER WAS ATTACHED TO A BURIED DRAIN LINE IN THE GROUND.

EVERY SINGLE BURIED DRAIN LINE WAS FULL OF MUD AT THE GROUND LEVEL.

EVERY SINGLE BURIED DRAIN LINE HAD AN EXIT NOBODY COULD FIND.

Okay, that is pretty normal!

But this particular gutter had more in store!

This gutter was draining its load onto the AC compressor!

Indoors the tenants noticed a problem.

The problem the tenants noticed was that the AC air flow was VERY low indoors.  It is hardly blowing at all actually. 

And they noticed, OBVIOUSLY, that the gutter was draining directly onto the AC compressor.

Their solution to fix the problem is interesting, to say the least!

And there it is!

Keep the water off of and away from the inundated compressor!

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT WHEN THE AC IS NOT BLOWING HARD, THE PROBLEM IS WATER ON AND AROUND THE OUTDOOR COMPRESSOR.

A ramp and dam is built on the left side.

A deflector is carefully placed on top.  Hint:  DON'T cover your AC compressor!

This is a three-year-old compressor.  See the dryer vent to its left?  The fins are full of lint.  That might be a part of the problem, huh?  And that poor electric meter is so battered by water it is coming loose from the house.  Yummie!

BUT, ALAS AND ALACK, THIS "SOLUTION" DOES NOTHING TOWARD THE IMPROVEMENT OF AIR FLOW INDOORS.  WHAT MIGHT HELP IS REPLACING THE ONE FILTER IN THE CEILING OF THE UPPER LEVEL.  THAT WAS SO CLOGGED WITH, UM, STUFF THAT NO AIR COULD GET THROUGH IT NO MATTER WHAT IS DONE OUTSIDE!  IF I HAD TO BET, THAT FILTER HAS NOT BEEN REPLACED SINCE THESE INGENIOUS FIX-IT MASTERS HAVE BEEN IN THE HOUSE.  THAT'S THREE YEARS!

Impressively, it is obvious to me that nobody, no homeowner, no neighbor, no friend and certainly no property manager, has been by this house to see it in three years.  This house is a disaster.  It has had such NON-CARE by the homeowner that the tenants have tried to fix things themselves.

I ASSURE YOU, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

This house is a mess not because of the tenants, although they aren't the cleanest people in town.  It has been destroyed, and I mean destroyed, by the homeowner.  I am not sure what he thinks he is doing with his "investment," but in its present state I cannot imagine that anybody would buy it.  I am shocked the Realtor and his clients thought it wise to offer a contract and "see what the home inspector finds."

My recommendation:   when it is known that a house is an "investment property," and the condition has every appearance of non care, I would recommend that you NOT wait to see what the home inspector has to say.  As much as you or your clients see, what the home inspector will see is likely much, much more.

A WORD TO THE WISE...

 

 

 

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 53 commentsJay Markanich • June 26 2012 04:35AM

Comments

Who is the man in the window? He seems to be spying. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. I just showed a house where the gutter dumped straight onto the electric meter. It had wood siding and the paint had peeled from water damage. We didn't need an inspection to move on quickly. If something that obvious went untouched imagine what was hiding. Yikes.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 5 years ago

With the right camera, Jim, that could be Mosby!  And yes, definitely spying...

Randy - that there is a best practice!  Probably best to see it as you did and move on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

I think the man in the window was a ghost. He looks pretty old and not very tall. LOL

So the French drain was not working at all... Curious. I wonder if they did'nt connect the drain properly and it got filled with dirt and debris after the first rain.

That home is what I call a "walk away". If you inspected the entire home you might have called it a        "run a way".

 
Have a good day in Virginia.

Bst, Clint McKie 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

Clint - he is slightly downhill, just over 6", and his brilliance is shining in the sunlight!  I was saying how poorly maintained everything was when we were outside and that the inside was likely worse.  It didn't take long indoors for the buyers to say they were going home!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Sometimes I am very confused as to why the Buyers even bothered writing an offer on this property.  It is NOT like anything was hidden from view!  I am not sure what the buyers had expected when performing an inspection on what appears to be a dump, in the first place.

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Realtor Advocate/Short Sale (Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC) over 5 years ago

Gutter guards should be a mandatory thing when installing gutters. I love it when gutters have become chock filled with debris and you can see where trees have begun to grow.

 

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) over 5 years ago

That sounds like great advice to me, Jay.  Sounds like this damage is rather costly too.  It's too bad.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

Dan - I agree.  It may have been one of the "let's see what the inspector says" moments.

I put that recommendation on nearly every report Doug.  With them any future problems are solved.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

If this owner doesn't already know about this stuff and is just trying to palm off a problem, he is in for one big shock Debbie.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay - With rental properties ourselves, and a daughter who owns a property management company, we have learned the need for regular owner inspections. Little things - particularly stuff that is easy to "fix" by the tenant - can quickly grow to expensive big things if they're left alone. We visit every quarter.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) over 5 years ago

Good policy Dick.  When I managed a couple of properties in my area for a friend, I made two inspections a year, leaving a checklist for the tenant (which the owner also got) saying what things were wear and tear, what the owner would be fixing and what things the tenant would be responsible for.  It worked well.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

That is just shocking!  If the owner was acting as property manager, he/she was asleep at the wheel!  If a professional property manager was involved, this is a sheer disgrace.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 5 years ago

Could be either or Kathryn!  Either way, this house is a biggie mess.

Can you supersize me?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, Looks like that meter is too close to the AC unit also. But guess that may be the least of the issues ; )

 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

That distance is typical here Don.  The gas meter is there too.  In that era builders tried to put everything in one spot!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hello Jay,

I can only say "Run Buyer, Run...Fast!"

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC Team) over 5 years ago

I thought so too while we were outside Lisa, but they did not come to that decision until just as I got to the extremely interesting kitchen!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay -- wow!   And they put in a bid on it?   I am kind of surprised that there wasn't a hose bib in the midst of that second picture.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Timely information Jay, for people with investment property and for homeowners.  Preventative maintenance can prevent major problems later.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 5 years ago

There is one Steven.  To the left of the conduit beside the window, about half way up the window.  It had been painted so much the handle would not turn.

Properties need to be managed well, or any monies made in rents will evaporate in losses when the house is sold Chris.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, I know you'll get a kick out of my recent post... seems we've walked the same properties before... http://activerain.com/blogsview/3355878/the-crazies  

Posted by Janell Kittleson, Rentec Direct (Rentec Direct) over 5 years ago

That's a big yuck Janell.  My worst inspection was the new basement bathroom that did not discharge anything into plumbing but into a huge pit under the bathroom!

This one was fun:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2531579/hoarding

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, it kind of makes you feel like you are inspecting in a third world country some times doesn't it?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

And, given these tenants, the repairs would have been what they had done in their country Shadow.  None spoke English.  I like listening to them talk about me and say bad or impolite things.  Then, as I am about to leave, thank them very politely, with very adult words, phrasing perfect sentences in their language.  I usually finish by saying something like, "Be careful because some of us Gringoes actually understand what you are saying."  The looks are priceless.  These guys, in trying to "fix" some of these problems, really destroyed this house.  The neighborhood, overpopulated with multiple cars parked in front of every house, has been pretty messed up too...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

This is what happens when owners don't care enough to adctually manage the propeties they own. Bad for everybody.

Posted by Bill Fields (Bill Fields Learning Systems) over 5 years ago

One of my colleagues in my office has a listing with a tenant in it. He has made impossible to show the condo. The most memorable encounter was the tenant was sound asleep in his bed nude. He had looked all the screen doors so we could not get to the electronic box to get in. However, when we looked through the wide open window we could see him sleeping. After several attempt with different prospects, I told the agent you will never sell that unit until the guy moves out.

Posted by Diana Roca (Century 21 Camelot Realty Inc.) over 5 years ago

Agreed Bill.  At very least, hire a manager!

Diana - the rental contract should have a clause in it that prevents that.  Make it a financial penalty if he does not allow entrance!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay, well, my heart goes out to the Realtor. The listing agent is just a person trying to make a living, but this property is a big piece of work. Going to be quite a job to get that sold, many showings and hours later, and then suddelnly the Seller might get mad since the listing agent "is not doing his/her job!". This house looks like a piece of work, and the most work for the listing agent!

Posted by Tanja Cisliek (Future Home Realty) over 5 years ago

Thanks Jay, one adventure after another with fix it specials, these things generally make for some extreme bargains as long as the cost of repair is researched well before making an offer.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities) over 5 years ago

 

Something I do with my buyers is a pre-inspection walk through with a blank tablet and pen - I have them write down a list of questions to ask the inspector.  In this case, they would have drawn the right conclusion soon and we could have moved on to the next thing!

Posted by Muriel Lawty (Keller Williams Downtown Seattle) over 5 years ago

Jay - Some flipper could come in and cover all that up with siding, and no one would ever know. . .LOL

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 5 years ago

See Jay - this is why I get the tour of the house - BEFORE - I list it... 

Btrw - when does your new show start airing? Yeah, here in Hollywood, there would be a network for you too. :-)

Posted by Terkel Sørensen, Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales (Real Estate Places) over 5 years ago

Jay, I love Myrl's comment above, "Some flipper could come in and cover all that up with siding, and no one would ever know. . .LOL!"  The title of this post is priceless and right on target! 

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 5 years ago

Tanja - unfortunately this particular realty firm specializes in trashy places like this.  They probably saw little unusual.

Bob - that is the critical thing, determining what you are getting into when you purchase.

Muriel - that is a very good policy!  I don't ever remember coming into a situation like that!

Myrl - one of their specialities!  There were so many things on this house that siding could not cover up though, I have to wonder what a flipper could do!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Thanks Terkel.  That would be a lot of fu, but they would have to edit out a whole lot of my siliness!

Sharon - thanks.  That is pretty much the crux of it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Sounds to me like the agent had no idea what they were looking at when they showed the house and wrote the contract.  All of this damage is so obvious.  As a REaltor® I would never suggest to the home inspector that we are done.  That is his time and not mine.  He has a responsibility to the buyer who hired him.  I would think that some buyers would not want to pay for an inspection if they left half way through.  That is not the inpsectors fault

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Good grief! What I wonder is, was the real estate agent that clueless, or did the prospective buyer ignore his or her recommendations? Some people just won't listen, as I'm sure you know. 

Posted by Sheila Cox, Katy & Sugar Land Real Estate Agent (www.KatyHomesForSaleTX.com) over 5 years ago

That could be Larry, but the buyer wanted to terminate the inspection while we were still outdoors and the realtor suggested they go inside to see if there was anything more.  The inside visit didn't last long!

Sheila - I can't understand why they even put a contract in on this house, but I might be right in thinking they wanted to see what I would think about the house.  Thinking maybe it wasn't so bad!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

These are easy problems to fix.  Just slash the price!

Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) over 5 years ago

My understanding was that it is priced way undermarket to begin with Thomas, but I don't know the extent of all that.  I just do my thing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Hello Jay,

Glad to hear they threw in the towel on this one.  Hopefully the next home they negotiate on will be in better shape - of course, you will be there to show them what's what!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC Team) over 5 years ago

Jay- Makes me wonder who would spend the money to put a new air unit in and then do this to it? The owner is down right abusing his investment. I agree, don't think I would have advised an offer to clients in the first place on this one. Hopefully the next one you inspect for them will be better.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Your Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Agent (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) over 5 years ago

They did finally Lisa.  I was glad too.  When I am looking at houses like this I fear for the buyers.

Amanda - that unit is three years old and those tenants have been there three years.  It may be that the seller was trying to get the unit ready for tenants and then let it go.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

I have seen homes like this my favorite was the guy that wanted siding and put floor tile all over the exterior of his house.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Jay, Another great story as always. Being a landlord is dangerous wityh tennents like that.

Posted by Wayne Jackson, North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake (Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109) over 5 years ago

Jay there is in my mind a bigger question about this house. Looking like this, how the Hell did it get to the inspection stage? 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 5 years ago

Well, obviously, Gene, he got it on sale!

Wayne - if you want to be a landlord, take care of your house!

I don't know Tom.  I think they just wanted to see what I would have to say about it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay - Nothing like an absentee landlord.

Posted by Brad Baylor (ERA Coup Agency) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay , I see hoeowners doing this most often.  You wonder if they are suicidal!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 5 years ago

I think this guy was/is way, way absentee Brad!

Bob - it sure killed this deal!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Good advice but as you said in the end, the tenants were left to fend for themselves & weren't the most knowledgeable. Some people really shouldn't own a house.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 5 years ago

They shouldn't yet, as they are used to tenancy Lyn.  But when they do, they need to take some classes!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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