What I'm Seeing Now


Reliving The Dream, Or Is It A Repeat Nightmare? And A Surprise Hire!

The other day I had a home inspection on a house with many, many difficulties.  Two of them in particular related to a dangerous oil tank causing problems and a crawl space too small to enter.  Here is the post.

My first inspection a couple of days later had exactly the same scenario, among many, many other problems!  Was I reliving the dream, or is it a repeat nightmare?  And a surprise hire!

Incredibly the house had a dangerously-supported oil tank (yes, that's resting on a pile of concrete blocks on top of a sagging deck!) and a crawl space opening not much larger than a patio paver!

And, like the other house, I really, really wanted to get into that crawl space because there was a lot I could see from the opening!

But alas, I am too big.

I joked at the other inspection that what I needed was a chihuahua I could train to run around a crawl space with a camera strapped to its back.  I called it a "Little Doggie Cam."

Laying on the ground, peeking in, I wished that I could interview a candidate for the job.  It's a hire I would probably make right away.

Magically, and out of the blue, appeared my candidate!

Meet Chiquilina (pronounced Cheeky LEEna)!

Vital Statistics:

Length:  9"
Height:  4" to the shoulder
Weight:  2.5 pounds
Scamperability:  fantastic
Energy level:  very high
Willingness to enter the crawl space:  Born to do it!  Bad to the bone!

Chiqui entered the crawl, ran the length of the sagging wood beam left to right, and circumnavigated the very wet foundation of the house like she had done it many times!

Coming out she didn't even ask for treats!

As you can see, she was a bit embarrassed by my applause too!

Obviously she does this all the time.  No big deal, you know?


Now all I have to do is train her to wear the cam!

She seems content with the little liver treats!  And some cold water.  Billy Jays immediately called to say he is sending over some dihydrogen monoxide.  A whole case!

I will be the only home inspector in America, probably, with a "Little Doggie Cam!"

My ad line will be Crawl Spaces R Us!

The other inspectors can only look and be jealous.  Again.

My recommendation:  be careful what you wish for!  You might just get it.  So, may I say goodbye?

This is Jay the Home Inspector and his new hire, Chiquilina, signing off!  May we meet again!  And in the crawl space of YOUR dreams.

I have too, too much fun...




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • May 17 2013 12:20AM


Too funny.  I say don't look a gift horse -- er pooch--in the mouth

Posted by Sheila Morales, Your Kauai Hawaii Agent (Kauai Property Shop) about 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay.... this must be a tear down!!!! who lives in these things....and who would buy it except to tear it down!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay and thanks for the great laughs.  I hope that dog gets some nice royalties.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago

Morning Jay with this post and your new hire you should propel yourself to the top of the leader board for inspectors in Northern Virginia.  :-)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

As with all jobs there must be a little humor or it becomes tedious.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 7 years ago

Again, you have cornered the market with your chihuahua cam! May I suggest a pan/tilt/zoom camera so Chiquilina can move to pre-selected locations and merely stand still while you scan the areas in question. You are a marketing genius!

And, what's with all the oil tanks lately? Is JR Ewing buying all these things up?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 7 years ago

I don't think you make anything up Jay. :)

We could all use a little help now and again.

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) about 7 years ago

Jay -- sorry you have had the same bad dream twice now.  Your new assistant should make some of this work a bit easier.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 7 years ago

So resourcefuly thanks for sharing.

Posted by Dan Edwards 425-276-7008 (Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue) about 7 years ago

Jay - that certainly looks like a house of horrors; and people think home inspections are easy.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

 Stock up on those treats....I think you have a new partner !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 7 years ago

During my last two inspections, it was a problem keeping the pets out of these places. The owners didn't appreciate their curiosity...or the mess that would bring ;)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 7 years ago

Sheila - Chiqui was very fun to meet!

Not exactly Barbara.  These folks have been renting here for 13 years and want to stay in it as owners!  There's a lot to do!

Debbie - I thought it was pretty funny considering what I had said just a couple of days earlier!

Thanks James.  I should be there too, a legend in my own mind.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Raymond - humor makes it all worthwhile for me!

Weird about the oil tanks Fred.  And I was considering training a mudpuppy for doing sewer drain line inspections.  What do you think?

Tom - I run into so many odd circumstances, that if I didn't have a camera nobody would believe it!

Steven - my new assistant is going to be a lot of fun!  Well, if she was really getting hired that is...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

Thanks Eastside!  It was so right on how could I not share!?

Eric - here's the panel box.  This house was a lot of fun!  Good thing I had an assistant!

Got my leather treat bag strapped to my belt S&D!

Jim - I think this little dog has a lot of fun in that crawl space from time to time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

That pooch is worth his/her weight in gold!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 7 years ago

Isn't she a riot Andrea!?  Be careful what you wish for!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 7 years ago

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