On inspection reports I don't let it slide - but, what to do about leaning trees?
A home inspection years ago proved something interesting. I didn't notice until going into the attic, when I saw that about 1/3 of the roof structure was brand new. How could that be?
At that point I began wondering about the rest of the house!
Taking that roof-structure hint (wink, it was a pretty big hint!) I investigated the rest of the house further.
Things began to unfold and I was able to determine that the center portion of the rest of the house was all new too! ALL THE WAY TO THE BASEMENT!
It seems that a large tree had fallen onto the house!
Going out into the yard it was easier to figure out what the lump in the back yard was. It was a tree trunk covered with dirt!
Seeing things like that makes an impression! And I haven't forgotten it.
So when I see trees now, that are leaning toward the house, I always note that on the report.
In this case there were four trees.
Three had buds, ready to develop into leaves this spring.
Buds mean the trees are alive.
One was obviously dead, covered with ivy. Ivy is a parasite and if a tree it is infesting isn't dead yet, it is a sign that the tree is on its way out.
In this case, not only was the tree covered with ivy, but there were no buds. And the limbs were definitely dead.
And it was leaning dramatically toward the house.
What to do?
In my opinion such trees need to be cut down. Can the seller be asked to do that? Yes. But will they?
I'm putting my money on the buyer needing to do it, after settlement!
All I can do it note the fact on the report.
My recommendation: the entirety of the yard needs to be looked at. Sometimes there are dangerous things there that a buyer should know about. When one buys a house, one buys what is around it too! And when a leaning tree is in someone else's yard, more fun is in the offing!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560