What I'm Seeing Now

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"What The Hell Is This!?"

While examining some very fun things in a newly-finished basement (perhaps even without a permit), from behind me I heard my client's wife scream, "What the hell is this!?"

I have to say, given some of the stuff we had been looking at, she got our attention!

I turned to see her standing in front of a doorway, pointing inside.

Well, it was the electric panel box.

It looked a bit like the spaghetti special offered at the local Italian restaurant.

The cover was missing.

There was interesting wiring.

Overall it was a very dangerous thing!

I told her not to touch anything.

She asked, "Can it be in a dark closet like this?"

Good question!

I said no, not only can it not be in a closet in newly-finished construction (and remodels), but it can't be in a bathroom.

Immediately behind the photo above is a full bathroom, and beside that, just under the shelf, is the washer/dryer set!

The panel box was interesting to say the least.

There were four white and black double taps (or double lugs for you idealists), holes all over the place where wires went in and out, the larger conductors had no "jelly," rust, and many breakers were wired with conductors carrying amperage too small for the breaker!

All fun, fun, fun!

I knew when we were upstairs that we were going to see some interesting stuff on this inspection.  It didn't photograph well, but the new canister lights in the living room were wired one to another.  Instead of burying the cables connecting them all under the drywall and protecting them with joists, they were apparently stapled directly onto the drywall and covered with joint compound, so they looked like long, little mountain ranges!

And according to my tester, when the lights were on, the mountain ranges were hot!  Impressive!

The house was bought on foreclosure and "completely remodeled."  And without permits for anything.

To be sure.

My recommendation:  when the house says it is completely remodeled, or gorgeous inside, or must see the inside, you may want to take that with a grain of salt.  And after you have your salt, you may want to take your home inspector along to have a look!  You might be very glad you did.

 

 

 

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 114 commentsJay Markanich • February 06 2013 03:49AM

Comments

Jay, that has to certainly be the 'most interesting' panel box that I've ever seen.  All I can say is "What in the World??!"

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (Realty One Group Capital) almost 8 years ago

Thanks Tamara.  Always willing to add to the mental images in one's gallery!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay.  Uncle Bob is at work again:(

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 8 years ago

Wow, that must have been quite a sight! Did anybody die on that install, I wonder?

Posted by Robert Smith, SRES, Search for Homes Brighton-Howell-SE Michigan (Preview Properties, PC - http://www.RealEstateMich.com) almost 8 years ago

What I can't figure is how that property got to contract in the first place. 

DON'T THESE PEOPLE HAVE AGENTS?????? 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay, This is why everyone should call a great home inspector like yourself!

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (Rowlett Real Estate School) almost 8 years ago

Conrad - Uncle Bob had his WHOLE crew at this house!

And buried in the attic Robert.  Actually we didn't even get to the attic.  Half way through the inspection the clients terminated it!

The wife and the female of the real estate team decided on the house and put in the contract Lenn.  You are not to infer anything from that.

Thanks Wayne, but all of this stuff was so very blatant that inspectors would have found it all with sunglasses on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay , Were the circuits labeled? Ha.  Looks like that panel needs to be completely rewired, what a mess.

Posted by Vince Chinell, CPI (VICO Home Inspection) almost 8 years ago
See Dick run. See Jane run. See Spot run. Run far away from this house as fast as you can.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 8 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Having done my share of flip houses it looks like the insurance policy is close by.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 8 years ago

I always enjoy your photos Jay and this one is no exception. I see this as a disaster waiting to happen. I hope the homeowner already has a licensed contractor in there fixing the system!

 

Posted by Julie Bentley, Saint Johns, FL REALTOR (Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL ) almost 8 years ago

If it looks like it needs attention the listing agent should suggesf a pro look at it before marketing it.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) almost 8 years ago

NO cover Vince!  NO labels!

Cindy - jump, Puff, jump!  Just don't jump into the panel box.

If there is one Raymond!

Julie - the homeowner is trying to sell this as finished remodeling!

This house has been listed for some time Edward!  The listing agent's sign is laying in the front yard, and, I'm told, has been there for some time.  Better message than that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

What a mess...and hazard. Your warning about "completely remodeled" is a good one. I guess the question when that is promoted is "by whom" and "where are the permits?"

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

None of them there permits, Gary!  Remodeled is meaningless to a home inspector.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Wow! What a mess- I always suggest that my clients really look at the house before we write up an offer so that if it is that blatant we can skip the time, money, and heartbreak of an inspection like that.  

The remodelers were trying to save money, and created huge headaches for anyone stupid enough to buy that house.

Posted by M. Lynn Delatte (Developers Realty) almost 8 years ago

Yours would be the best policy Lynn!  They actually terminated the inspection half way through.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Good morning, Jay....you could not have picked a better title to go with that photo!!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) almost 8 years ago

Wow, very scary-who does this kind of thing.  If you are going to be a dyi, at least be competent.

Posted by Frank Free, Lake Norman Real Estate since 1992 (Lake Realty) almost 8 years ago

Begging to differ, Barbara, but my client picked the title!

F&M - DIY and competent are two words that don't often go together!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Wow,that is really scary! I would suggest the buyers move on to another house....

Posted by Scott Fogleman, Greater Good Group (New Home Team 804-573-9592) almost 8 years ago

Looks like a Flux Capacitor to me! Hey Doc... what year is this?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 8 years ago

They ran away half way through the inspection Scott.

Fred - the house was built in the 60s.  The panel I would guess was updated in the 90s.  This work in the 13s!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay, this is unbelievable! No permits, no inspections and no sale. The results from flipping on a shoe string budget. Give jay a call for those so called remodeled foreclosures.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 8 years ago

When the realtor told me the seller was being difficult about even allowing an inspection on the contract I knew we were in for some fun Mike!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Holy S*#@, that is epic. Reminds me of this bad boy, which might be the grandfather of your panel.

.wires gone crazy.

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 8 years ago
Spooky! I'm thinking it was a hazard to the person installing this stuff if hey knew so little. ZAP!
Posted by Scott Nowling, Prudential Starck (Prudential Starck) almost 8 years ago

I am wondering why anyone would ever put an offer on that after seeing the electric panel!! One of the things I always do when showing a property is look at the electric panel.  Usually the cover is on & it is easily accessible so there's not much I can tell - that would be for the home inspector.  But if I ever saw something like this I would tell them to run the other way - or at least plan on the cost of re-doing the electrical in their price.  That is crazy!!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I'm also surprised they didn't note the electric panel and some of the other stuff you mentioned before writing an offer?  I know very few buyers that would have gotten past the electrical panel spaghetti nest without saying "if THIS is that whack, what else is wrong that we can't see?". 

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) almost 8 years ago

That looks like a monster from the sea!  Scary !!                                                                                                               

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 8 years ago

The answer is simple, it looks like a DIY project

Posted by Doug Dawes, Your Personal Realtor® (Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA) almost 8 years ago

There should be little surprise with seeing something like this from a 'flipper'. The scary reality is that a few short years ago, there would have been multiple bids on that house

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 8 years ago

That's a fire waiting to happen! Glad the prospective purchaser's investigated! So many don't, just to save a buck, and that savings could cost them everything in the long haul!

Posted by Rebecca Lee McAnallen, Big city experience, small town service (RGS Title, LLC ) almost 8 years ago

Oh! That's scary! These are the things that need to be fixed before house inspection, otherwise, it'll be a lost opportunity for the seller.

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) almost 8 years ago

They mudded over the power supply line connecting the new lights? What kind of feature were the calling it? Heavy hand texture (in places or lines)! Have a mountain range on your ceiling!

 

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 8 years ago

All I can say is Run Forest Run!  Get away from that house as fast as you can.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Ph.D., Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) almost 8 years ago

Whoa!!  that may well be the worst mess I've seen in 25 years of real estate and a few more in home construction.  Things like this all ways beg the question...... "what the hell were they thinking??"

Posted by Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you! (Janisch & Co.) almost 8 years ago

The point to have an inspection by a pro is made over and over again....Until its up for sale, what defects lie beneath the surface who can say....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 8 years ago

Wow that is scary!  A home inspection can save you a lot of headaches now and in the future.  I hear so many times, well it was like that when I bought it!  Sorry, but that doesn't make it right.  

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) almost 8 years ago

"on a workmanlike manner. ."

That is what I remember from the National Electrical Code Book. .

I guess that electrician did not read that part. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 8 years ago

Scott - that's a beaut!  Don't you love it when your client screams from another room!

Don't know if there was a zap Scott.  But I told my client to get away!

Christine - it may have been behind the closed door and they didn't see it first visit through.

Bliz - see comment above!  I don't think they were too careful when they walked through first time.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Ah yes. the old spagetti turnpike.  This is what keeps us in business.  Unforutately, I see this far too often.  Too many jacklegs doing too much work.  Oy!

Posted by Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 8 years ago

Christiansens - truly!  I think it sucked down Ahab.

Doug - and all too often we inspectors see such DIY!

Ed - I think they took their time with this remodel, but overall it's a mess.

Rebecca - there were many electrical issues through the house, not surprisingly!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

That is called master command room in chaos in my opinion. I have seen this a couple of times.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 8 years ago

WOW is correct, I to say RUN Forest RUN,  The only person who may be interested in this home is a Licensed Electrician who loves a great challenge.

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I was a Power Lineman for 4 years.  I have been in Real Estate for 28 years. 

     I have seen a lot of Electrical Boxes and Panels.

 Your Panel is the WORST that I have ever seen!

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Jay, you just gotta love when the client puts words in your mouth and you don't have to say it yourself :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 8 years ago

I once inspected a house with a detached garage.  There were stairs to an upper area with an open sub-panel on the wall of the stairs.  Oh, there was NO HANDRAIL on either side!  Better not trip,  ZZZZZTTTTT

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) almost 8 years ago

Jay, Really wonder why they spent money for a home inspection with such glaring problems. This should have caused an imediate exit from the property and on to the next home. Inventory in this area must REALLY be low for buyers to actually consider this.

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) almost 8 years ago

Hi: You simply can't make this stuff up.

Posted by Randy Hilman REALTOR® Associate Broker, Guide & Mentor to Home Buyers & Sellers (Randy Hilman Homes) almost 8 years ago

That was startling.  Jay, I imagine you encounter a vast variety of non-compliant build-outs in your business.  But that one was indeed startling.  I’m glad you were there to protect the buyer, definitely.
Good info.  Well delivered.  As ever!
Regards and respect,
J

Posted by James Locklear, Social Media Training , Virtual Services, Search Engine Optimization Lattitude - SEOL (Online Marketing Advertising Consultant) almost 8 years ago

Jay - I agree wholeheartedly - remodeled shmodeled.  I never trust what some of the "flippers" are doing inside these homes.  Repairs are non-existent.  You'll like the blog I wrote on this topic:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/3373180/lipstick-on-a-pig-always-get-a-home-inspection-

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 8 years ago

Holy Cow! Just because you can buy everything needed to build a house at home depot doesn't mean you should. Some things are best left to an expert.

Certainly no one should ever wire their own house or attempt to sell their own house without a Realtor. 

Posted by Steven Schafer, CDPE, SFR, ABR, SRES (Exp Realty - Atlantic County) almost 8 years ago

Inspectors of older properties have all the fun.  Our inventory here in Sun City Texas is too new to have much in the way of homeowner projects and we certainly don't have basements to remodel. 

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-818-6700) almost 8 years ago

WTF?????  Somebody do something quick!!!

Posted by Robert Hicks (United Country River City Realty) almost 8 years ago

It's NASA's new project do to budget cuts.

Houston...we have a problem.

Posted by Pete Xavier, Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide (Investments to Luxury) almost 8 years ago

Doesn't work in without permits equate to working without a safety net while walking on a tight rope? 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay -- you commented that the cover wasn't on, of course they couldn't put the cover on-- there are at least 5 wires that go over the outside edge to get inside.  Maybe the person doing this work was going to come back later and finish making it pretty, and got sidetracked.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 8 years ago

Harry - master control room to say the least!  Great call with that wording!

Graziella - that house would certainly be a great challenge for any electrician!

Wow Fred, that is quite an honor!  I'm blushing...

Charlie - when you hear that you know you're in for some fun!

Rafi - be sure to carry water with you in case you need at drink at the top of the stairs.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I can understand why the panel cover was missing, I mean, why bother, it's so scary looking, that's probably a safety factor itself.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 8 years ago

It is a blessing you found it before a fire took that house! #SmallBlessings

 

Love and light,

Laura

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 8 years ago

That ones a gem, thanks for the laugh.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 8 years ago

Oh my goodness..that homeowner should never be allowed in the home improvement store alone again

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) almost 8 years ago

Most foreclosure contracts have a right to inspect clause. Looks like somebody blew it here. Scary Panel.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) almost 8 years ago

Jay I spoke to Uncle Bob about this one and he told me when to comes to peoples lives he will not jeopardize that.  So in this case he is not the one who did the electrical. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 8 years ago

looks like an alien from a bad 60'sd sci fi show!! Probably not the best look for an electrical panel stuffed into a closet!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D (federalfinanciallawgroup.com) almost 8 years ago

Ridhi - it was surely a lost opportunity for this seller when my clients ran away.

Than - I wished the photos came out because I had never seen that one before!

They did Paula.  When I pulled up to the house I knew it was going to be an experience.

J&R - I don't know.  The cover could not be installed there was so much wiring here and there.

Richie - apparently the scream happened when the lady opened the door!  It was dark and some light was shown on the subject!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Kim - this inspection saved my clients many 10s of thousands!

Fernando - never read it for sure!  If this was even an electrician...

Brad - they apparently did not see the whole house.  Our inspection was the first the husband saw of the house.

Randy - and I don't!  That's why photos are so fun!

Thanks James.  I was afraid to approach the box to have a closer look!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jan - the word remodeled means red flag to me, not to come in and see our wonderful house!

Steven - that's why people go into "different" trades.  Some excel and some don't.

Brian - we obviously have more fun here!

Robert - maybe a couple of hand grenades?

Peter - maybe NASA could do this sort of thing now, since they don't do space anymore.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Yes, Paul, and Flippers do it all the time!

That's right Steven!  And I did not find the cover anywhere in the house!

Robert - they didn't want anything metal getting that close to the box!

Laura - I think the sellers think the house is done!  I don't know what more they expect to do.

Rob - when the lady screamed like that, we were already laughing at the bathroom on the other side of the house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jeanne - maybe some form of red tattoo on the foreheatd?

Bill - NOW it's "fixed up!"  I can only imagine what it used to look like!

James - I don't know that we would ever hear that from him!

Paddy - danger Will Robinson!  Danger!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

If a home is older and not kept up well it is always wise to suggest a pre listing home inspection and take care of all the issues before home is marketed.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) almost 8 years ago

Calling this spaghetti is giving spaghetti a bad name. Shame on you!

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I think you are saying that perhaps the "flippers" do more damage to a house than the original foreclosure had! Very interesting blog....and educational.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jay,

FUN, FUN, FUN.

Don't you just love it when we have those AH HA Moments? LOL

I hate to see stuff like this. Makes you want to try and fix it. But you know this ain't going to happen.

Very good Featured post my friend in Bristow.

All my Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 8 years ago

In your line of work, you've see it all, I imagine.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 8 years ago

Oh my goodness, this is something that "You must see the inside!" Jay.

If it weren't so wrong, it would be funny.

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 8 years ago

I bet that was a surprise! I almost hate to show up at home inspections in the older part of the county, after as much as 80 years, some odd things have been done. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) almost 8 years ago

I saw a house in a nearby town with panels like that in the utility room, which was the way out the back door, so heavy traffic. The house had been a Showcase when it was built and had all sorts of "neat" things in it, and I assume that as things "broke" they had problems tracking down the correct wiring and just left everything exposed.

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) almost 8 years ago

Edward - I do pre-listing inspections for one flipper in the area.  None of the others would WANT one.  In fact they would actively avoid one.

Marshall - I LOVE spaghetti too.  I agree.  Shame on me.

Thanks Barbara.  And that can truly be the case sometimes.

Clint - right, never.  But man, so many things in this house - what a disaster!

Jill - just when I think that, I see something new!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Tom - sometimes you wonder about things to the point that they do seem funny.  If they weren't so tragic.

Karen - older homes are always a mish mash of things over the years.  Then flipper gets involved and tries to "fix them up!"

Travis - you might be right!  Sounds like too many people adding salt to the soup.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Sometimes you just wonder what people have in their head. In this case it seems all about the money and a quick flip, which now could be a flop. Why don't do it correct the first time-just wondering? They must have known that this will not pass a inspection, even for a amateur. Dangerous, Dangerous, Dangerous... don't walk away-RUN!

Posted by Annett T. Block, Your NextHome in Fort Lauderdale Beach (NextHome Connect Realty) almost 8 years ago

LOL here is to hot mountain ranges.  This would be perfect for your next brochure on Why hire a home inspector.  smile 

Posted by Rain Silverhawk, 208-610-0011 Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate Realtor (Keller Williams Sandpoint rain@lakeandhomes.com) almost 8 years ago

Client and I walked into a remodeled.  You know how when you used to put your hand on those globes that had the electrical charges and your hair would stand on end? Well when we walked near an area in the living room and flipped the light switch on, our hair stood on end. I flipped the switch off quickly, hoping not to get charged. When I did that all the lights in the house came on and dimmed then brightened and dimmed again. We got out of there as fast as we could. Called the agent and was told "Yes there are some electrical issue that will be taken care of prior to closing". I told her I would have the electrician out ASAP if it were me because there is an electrical short somewhere and the house could go up in flames. Got an email the next day thanking me because the seller decided to call a different electrician who caught the issue, turned the power off. The electrician didn't know what really kept the house from burning. he turned the switch on and knew what the problem was immediately. Other electrician didn know what he was doing. the seller had the experienced electrician go over the whole house. My client went on to purchase a different house but the charge house was pending the next week. Also the breaker box looked as bad as your photo.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) almost 8 years ago

Annett - all that is true and my clients took your advice, half way through the inspection they ran away!

Rain - I wished that photo came out because I have truly never seen those ranges before!

Theresa - good for you for being proactive!  A good electrician is worth his weight in gold.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Takes a brave man to shoulder this line of work!

Posted by Justin Mason, Tenant Screening Services (AccuRental Tenant Screening) almost 8 years ago

Jay, I really like the wiring over the front of the panel into the breaker. That is special ; ) Oh by the way you can have a panel in a closet as long as it is not a clothes closet and it has proper service clearances.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Justin - I would do inspections for free if I could.  I love it.  But sometimes they sure get fun!

Don - not here as to the closet thing.  Or at least in that county.  But nonetheless, everything else made this fun, fun, fun til her daddy takes the panel box away...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Looks to me like, open that door look and run out.  An electrical fire waiting to happen.  Hats off to you!!!

Posted by Susan Jackson (America's Network Realty Group, Inc) almost 8 years ago

Susan - that was a very interesting inspection, and although the clients terminated it halfway through, the report was still epic in length!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Jay - such fun to read your blogs always, and this was no different.    Love it - and the added benefit of learning at the same time?   Incredible!

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Looks like my brother-in-law worked on it!  How does any one do something like that.  

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Hi Dags.  Well, does it get any better when a client's scream makes for such an interesting post?

Gene - I don't know!  Why don't you ask your brother in law?    ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

The spaghetti bowl of wiring. Photo courtesy of the electricians union in your area.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 8 years ago

Lyn - I'm going to guess that this guy (or these guys) is/are not electrician(s)!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago
Hi Jay, we love the ones that daisy chain to another spaghetti filled panel! Lol
Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 8 years ago

Bob - those really are the best, especially when they use enough oregano.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

The worst thing is - how to explain this to a client without loosing face ???

Posted by Gijs Van Breugel, TERRA FRANCE | International Estate Agents (TERRA FRANCE | International Estate Agents for France) almost 8 years ago

As Realtors, we have all seen boxes like those in your photos and they are frightening!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 8 years ago

I didn't have to explain much Gijs!  Just what was wrong!

Sharon - this is a classic!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I've seen some pretty ugly DIY projects that were cosmetic disasters. And that's OK - if the people living there are happy, who am I to holler "ugly!"

But... Why oh why would anyone take that kind of chance with electricity?

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 8 years ago

Fortunately, remodels without permits doesn't occur more frequently. Why would any agent ever list a home that was unsafe or didn't have permits? 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 8 years ago

I don't know Marte.  This stuff is always dangerous.  This was more than DIY - they thought they were fixing it up!

Kimo - around here no permit is the norm.  And as to this agent, I don't know why he would not think more and see more before listing it because now he has a big disclosure problem.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I was reading some of the other posts, and when I looked at the photo, I was reminded of a time when I was still living at home and my father (who has since passed away) used to work the General Telephone Co. and the companies preceding them. He was trained to install phones and lines. They were trained in electrical of course because everything needed to be brought up to code and they needed to know what code was. He was always taking a continuing course in electrical updates for city and county codes and also state. Further on down in the years, my dad went into a different department because go ing up and down the telephone poles got to be too much and he had developed a fear of heights. My folks decided they wanted CH/A. They had a gas furnace so dad wanted everything brought up to code. After it was installed and my sisters and I got ready clean the dishes after the evening meal, we told him the kitchen faucet was giving us a shock every time we turned the water on. Of course it was in our heads. Later he decides to take a shower/bath. We never heard such whooping and hollering and he came running out of the bathroom,clothed of course, ran to the breaker to turn the power off. He got on the phone to the HVAC company and the gas compamy. They were there in 15 minutes because he was gonna kill somebody or rip them another hole. We were lucky no one was hurt or electrocuted. My mother was having a difficult pregnancy at the time so a lot of lives were in danger. After that I always would ask him "What causes the lights to do this or that?' He never hesitated and would come to check it out. He did that for everyone. So now I pay close attention to the electrical in the inspection reports. it's one of the first things I look at. Oh by the way the HVAC company sent my father a statement saying PAID IN FULL! They didn't want a lawsuit or lose their license. I know I get pretty winded but if you turn your water on and geta shock go turn the power off and call the fire dept. They will know who to contact. 

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) almost 8 years ago

Theresa - that is quite a story!  Yes, that can happen when there is a cross or improper grounding.  He knew what was wrong.  Good thing they took care of it right away!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I never knew that joint compound made a good conduit, but I am sure it is hard to pull it through.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) almost 8 years ago

Ha Chuck!  Woulda, coulda, shoulda on our world!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Great post.  I haven't come across quite your same situation, but I have had occassion to see an electric box like this one.  It was an older home that had a finished basement where the homeowner did all the finishing.  It was to say the least an electrical nightmare that was not safe at all.  I advised my buyer that if she was interested in this home, the first thing we should do is have an inspector look over the electrical system.  as fate would have it, we found another home close by that had no electrical surprises and she bought it.  Home fix it projects are fine for some things, but improper electrical wiring is not something to fool around with. 

Posted by Tom Esposito (Alpharetta Home Solutions) almost 8 years ago

okay, that's funny!

home depot, you can do it, they can help!

i've been building for 35 years and still think electricity is mysterious. i can sweat a joint, lay a roof, run baseboards and hang doors and cabinets and pound beers with the sheetrock crew...but the electric is left to the electricians.

if there are any insurance adjusters reading this, can you advise if this is covered or can you make a case for arson?

what the hell is this? i believe the technical term is "steaming pile of clusterf**k"

Posted by Michael Ford, California+Hawaii+Oregon almost 8 years ago

That's entirely correct Tom, and I'm glad your client found another house!

Michael - my client sure gave a great title for the post!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Did you say spaghetti? I loove mine with meatballs. Kind of like the person who "wired" that panel, a real meatball. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Ha!  That and some crunchy, baked bread would make a great meal on a night like this Jim! 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

I always say those inspections are "cheap insurance." That's also the risk of buying a foreclosure or short sale... no disclosures and minimal information. Caveat emptor really rules in these cases.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) almost 8 years ago

I agree Nina.  It is a small fee that can help avoid a lot of stress and expense!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 8 years ago

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