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