What I'm Seeing Now

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The Scorch Looks Bad, But It May Be Easier To Fix Than They Think

Sometimes buyers see things that look really bad, because, of course, the home inspector points it out.

Imagination can be a good or bad thing.  We have a tendency to conjure up in our minds things that might be worse than the reality!

The scorch looks bad, but it may be easier to fix than they think.

There could be many things wrong here:

> The wiring could be bad.


> The GFI that controls this receptacle could be broken and water got into the connection causing it to fritz as it wasn't properly shut off.


> The receptacle could be bad.


> The cable servicing it could be bad.


> The thing that was plugged into the receptacle was bad, and the GFI did not work as it was supposed to.

I suppose we could go on.

That's a lot of bad!

But the repair is probably easier than anticipated by the buyers or sellers.

Hopefully there is enough cable left inside the wall to trim it off and make a new connection to all new stuff!

Nonetheless, it appears on the inspection report.

"It" will have to be made it right!

I don't know that they will do anything about the siding having charred and melted, but that is not the major concern here.

My recommendation:  certainly when things like this are discovered on a home inspection it must be evaluated and repaired by a professional.   Once the buyers have a receipt from a bona fide electrician that says it was repaired and now functions correctly they are covered.  And all worries cease.  The scorch looks bad, but it may be easier to fix than they think.

 

 

 

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 36 commentsJay Markanich • March 04 2013 02:41AM

Comments

Good Morning, Jay. Mine is not to reason why. Mine is to put it in the report and have the guys that make the big bucks find out why it doesn't work...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Yes, sometimes, home buyers think it costs much more to repair/replace certain things and other times it's the opposite.  In my line of biz, most are pleasantly surprised by the cost of refinishing hardwood, but at times are shocked by the cost of carpet or tile.  Oh, and kitchens...some have no cencept and find it out costs 2 to 3 times what they thought.

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

As in my former profession the decision is based on perception.  If their perception is that is a major issue the more they think about it the worse it becomes. 

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

Hello Jay,

Another great blog that continues to point out the necessity of a good home inspection.  Items like this may be minor, but discovering them allows the opportunity for the buyer and seller to negotiate repairs and (hopefully) move forward with their contract.

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

Just wondering. Did you perform the lick test to check if there was any stray current? 

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

Hi Jay,

I'm with James Q. on this one. Did you? Not all testing equipment is as good as the "Lick test". :-)

Have a great day and week ahead in Bristow y friend.

Best, Clint McKie

 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 6 years ago

That's right Michael.  I don't know what happened, and don't diagnose.  I just report!

Debbie - kitchens are a lot more work!  But costs are what costs are.  Cheaper often is not better.

James - perception can be everything sometimes. 

Lisa - this pretty much stood out!  But still, we point things out and the chips fall thereafter.

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

I prefer holding my client's hand as I touch everything Jim.  The lick test is better with mold, as you know - chickeny.

Clint - current travels from one to another and I like to demonstrate that!

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

What I find so odd about this matter is - - why is that house even on the market with that clear defect???

It's the old saying, you're going to fix it now or you're going to fix it later.

Most buyers would freak out to see that scorch.  Or, did the seller and the listing agent think no one would notice????

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

While I can't answer your first question, Lenn, that wasn't the only clear defect.  The house has been rented for a year and is now being sold.  I won't comment on the listing company, but it's reputation precedes itself.  It would not surprise me if the "agent" has not been to the property.

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

Good common sense post.  Most people go to worse case in their heads, but really can be fixed, probably fairly easily.  Also, true to what Lenn said #9

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) over 6 years ago

Key advice here - have the appropriate professional evaluate, and if fixed with documentation, then decide whether to move forward. Excellent advice!

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

I think the worst part of that repair is probably replacing the siding.  The electrical part is a pretty easy fix!

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) over 6 years ago

Brien - I think that's true.  It's interesting that sometimes on home inspections what bothers a buyer doesn't bother me so much, and vice versa!

Gary - that's it in a nutshell.  We inspectors don't diagnose, even if the problem seems obvious.  We just report.

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

That will never be the right color if repaired, for sure Marc.  But hey, it isn't the right color now!

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

I would be scared if I saw that house. I always worry about electrical problems.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

Gita- this wasn't the scariest thing about this house!

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

I am a proponent of having experienced eyes to bear in Real Estate because the purchase requires it....The post is proof of that...

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

This one was easy to see Richie, but sometimes the bad stuff isn't!

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

Jay, so I take it vinyl siding is an electrical overheat detector---the same way it tells you when you have parked your grill too close to it?

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

First thing I thought of was Christmas lights, which reminded me of the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase! Remember how many strings of lights he had plugged into one another? Yikes!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 6 years ago

Reminds me of one year when my husband was out to sea and I was standing in the Kitchen when it sounded like a gun went off in the dining room.  The cat flew by me almost faster than the sound of the outlet exploding!  

I emailed my husband, he contacted a former shipmate who was also an electrician, and he replaced the whole mess.  

I always wondered if the cat's tail was smoking as he flew by.

Posted by Monica Hess, Kentucky's Feng Shui Master (Feng Shui This Kentucky) over 6 years ago

Jay, perhaps they had an impromptu cookout right there with a small hibachi?  ^_~

At first glance with your title I thought Gwen might have a new blooper as you meant "porch" in your title.  Whatever the cause is the owner needs to get it corrected NOW!

Posted by Bruce Walter (Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana) over 6 years ago

I thought of Fred's movie too. "Hey Rusty, untangle this for me will ya?"

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 6 years ago

Good point, sometimes it's an easy fix.

Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Realtors (www.LiveWorkSiliconBeach.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :) ) over 6 years ago

Seems to be Charlie!  I see vinyl melted by the sun's rays hitting the windows on one house, melting the house next door!

Fred - they sure plugged something in there!  But who knows what caused the scorch.

That's funny Monica!  Well, sorry for the trouble, but picturing the cat is funny!  When my brother was about 3 he peed into a receptacle on the floor.  I still remember the blue flash hitting him right on his peepee!  He danced quite the dance!  He claims not to remember that now.

Bruce - nope, not an MLS listing!  This was a true scorch!

 

 

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

Scott - he asked Rusy that about Halloween.

K&K - well, hopefully too in this case!

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

I know we can always trust vinyl siding to show off overheating (my ex-son-in-law once melted his siding having the grill too close to that house) but I didn't think it would melt from overheating electrical wires. Regardless, it's a pretty easy fix. 

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 6 years ago

I think may have been a very hot flash Sue.  And I see melted vinyl siding, from grills, a couple of times a month!

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

Only melted on one side? But it is the hot side. Maybe a short in the past.

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

Looks like there may have been a gap between the box and cover Rob, perhaps only on that side, and then a hot burst.

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

I had one of those once!  It happened during a major rain storm that was blowing through.  The clue was when I lost power to half my house.  Fortunately, my beau back then was a contractor.  He detected the source was an outlet out on the back patio, that had come into contact with too much water and shorted out.  The event scorched up the wall.  He fixed it in no time at all.  I was grateful my guy was in the building trades, rather than working on Wall Street that particular day:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 6 years ago

Great story Myrl!  Good you could get it fixed!  Scorches sometimes look worse than they are.

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

Big problems are frequently not big expenses and are expected in houses.  People should not be surprised when we find the problems, but rather treat them as part of the process.

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) over 6 years ago

Nothing like a little melted siding to make the buyer nervous.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 6 years ago

'Tis the process Rafi!  'Tis!

Lyn - a little here and a little there (and a lot over the deck where the grill melted it!)...

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

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