What I'm Seeing Now

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What A Difference A Year Makes!

Can I say it again - what a difference a year makes!

A year ago I did a final inspection on a new condo and just the other day the one-year warranty inspection.  This is my blog about the final inspection here.

There were a number of things in the report, but two main things that I found dangerous. 

First, a roof-top AC unit needed access.  The roof access door was silly.  It was made for indoors, had already swollen and rotted terribly, and one of my Boy Scouts could have gotten into the door knob with a pocket knife.  I demonstrated that for my client.

THE POINT I MADE REGARDING THAT WAS THAT THIS BUILDER WAS SETTING EVERYONE UP FOR A BIG POTENTIAL PROBLEM.

Every townhouse in that row had the same door.  That's 10 townhouses.  That door made every unit in that row vulnerable to burglar intrusion - theft or worse.  And the worse could be really worse.  I told my client that the builder would be responsible for any problem that happened because of that door.  The door on the model was all metal and very secure.  I know because I went over to look at it. Nobody else got that metal door, but the cheap one.  I know because I went to other units to check that.

Well, the builder heard me!

My client said that the builder replaced every single door in every unit in the development!

I don't know, but that is probably a couple hundred!

And the knob had a lock that I could not get open with my knife!  Or credit card!

IMPRESSIVE!

So, problem solved!

The other thing I didn't like was how the access ladder to that door was set up.

It was at a dangerous angle and the rungs were hard to place one's feet on.

Beyond that, the bottom left hardly no room to stand on.

Coming down I made the comment to my client how it was possible to slip at the bottom and go through the ceiling!

As I said that I climbed down and entered the bathroom to wash my hands.  I heard a loud crash, and looking into the laundry room beside the ladder I saw my client's leg!

He had done just what I feared, and fell through the ceiling!

This is what the bottom of the attic ladder looks like now!  Plenty of room to stand!

And notice that the ladder to get from the attic back into the house is beside.

Previously my client's foot had slipped through the ceiling right beside where you see that yellow sign now.

So, again, the builder listened and made a common sense change.

This was the builder who had warned my client not to have a pre-drywall inspection because they wouldn't fix anything.

But they fixed the things I found!  And because they should have been fixed!

This was the builder who had warned my client not to have a final walk-through inspection because they wouldn't fix anything.

But they fixed the things I found!  And because they should have been fixed!

Interestingly, they fixed some things not only in my client's unit, but other units as well!

My recommendation:  it makes huge sense to have a pre-drywall, final inspection and one-year warranty inspection on new construction.  Especially when the builder balks!  It might make a difference for a lot of people!  And a builder that responds in such ways as this is truly using best practices!

 

 

 

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 52 commentsJay Markanich • July 26 2013 03:25AM

Comments

Well you being around cost him a hunk of change.  Maybe just maybe he'll be more aware when building the next one. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

James - all in all, the fixes to this one unit amounted to thousands of dollars.  They had to replace all the hardwood flooring, for example.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

"This was the builder who had warned my client not to have a pre-drywall inspection because they wouldn't fix anything."

THAT wasn't the builder talking.  That was one of the builder's reps.  Once the builder saw the defects, they also saw liability.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

I knows it, Lenn, I knows it!  I've also had them say they will only fix what doesn't meet code.  What does the code say about a roof door that a Boy Scout can get into?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

 

Wow....it IS fun when you know that you make such a positive difference in what you do !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

Good news for those owners. Yeah, I don't think that builder even needed to consult with their attorney after seeing your report. It just made good sense all around to make those repairs you suggested!

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) over 5 years ago

Fixed is good, saves problems after the sale when feathers get ruffled and lawyer come into the picture.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 5 years ago

That's a great idea to add the one-year anniversary inspection!

Posted by Dan Weis, CincinnatiRealEstateGuy.com (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) over 5 years ago

Sounds like the word got around the units and more than just your client were squawking. You are the man!

 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 5 years ago

Glad to see this. Not all builders would have completed this on all the units. Lucky new homeowners to have a builder with a good reputation... I guess he wanted to keep his reputation clean.

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 5 years ago

Jay, it sure would have been cheaper for the builder to fix it right the first time around.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 5 years ago

Jay, Good advice.  Lucky for your clients, and as it turned out the other residents, they had such a thorough inspector.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) over 5 years ago

You are a trouble maker big boy! They are going to have Guido come visit you to "talk" some sense into you. You got a lot of nerve standing up to "THE BUILDER" :-)  Good job!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 5 years ago

Buyers assume that a new home or building is always in great shape becasue it is new. That is why you must have a home inspector to go through the dwelling with a fine tooth comb. It is serious business and in the age we are in a home inspector is a necessity at all times.  Thanks for the dry wall update.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 5 years ago

Wow...it's very rare for a builder to take such swift action on fixing the issues a home inspector finds. Usually you have to fight tooth and nail!

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 5 years ago
Great post. I always encourage the buyer to get the inspections. I need to make sure they are getting pre drywall as well. Thanks for posting!
Posted by Brenda J. Andrew, Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX (ULTIMA REAL ESTATE) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

Could it be the repairs wee not made because of how lazy the builder is. Just a thought.

I find crap like this and the builder always say's it's not an issue. Excuse me.

I have not been in the Rain....Way too busy getting reports done asap.

Have a good day in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

Jay, this is something I have hoped for as well.  That calling something out on new construction would result in the builder changing their ways---does not always happen.  I had a four unit townhouse the other day---all the stairwells are 34-3/4" wide--3 in each unit likely.  It is going to be interesting to see how that one plays out.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Great spotting for you. You helped a lot of people I'm sure.

Posted by Kelly Taylor (Keller Williams) over 5 years ago
Good for the builder that he stepped up to the plate and fixed the problem... Says a lot about his character...
Posted by Linda Balades, Broker Associate (Comfort Real Estate Services) over 5 years ago

Jay, it is a shame we have to go behind "professionals" to find the mistakes they have made!

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) over 5 years ago

That why it is important to have a professional home inspection on even a new build.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) over 5 years ago

Wow, I am very happy to have come across this. thank you!

Posted by Richard Daskam, Your Real Estate Consultant (Keller Williams Coastal Properties) over 5 years ago

I think inspections are great. The sad part is sounds like to me the building dept. should have caught some of these thinks before approval.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 5 years ago

What a great idea. Inspections are a must. Great job!

Posted by Corinne Hale, CorrineHale over 5 years ago

Jay, it looks like you not only helped your client, you made things better for the whole subdivision!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 5 years ago

Jay, thank you for a great example.  Having a one year inspection on new construction is an excellent idea.  I'll remember that. 

Posted by Christopher Campa, Northern VA Realtor (LONG & FOSTER REAL ESTATE) over 5 years ago

It is a great feeling when people fix the things you recommend to do the right thing.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 5 years ago

I'm glad that had a happy ending with the builder making the necessary repairs.  But it sure does illustrate why inspections are really, really important on new construction!  Sometimes it is just little stuff that comes up - sometimes not so little at all.

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 5 years ago

It is amazing at the cheap work that some builders do. We are fortunate to have good inspectors like you to help with getting the problems fixed that builders leave behind.

Betty

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) over 5 years ago

What a great example of the builder using the recommendations of a home inspector for good for all his clients!

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Jay -- your post is also a great reminder for the new owners to have their inspector come back through for the one year inspection (even if it has to be done before the 12th month starts.) 

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Once again, Jay, why don't you move to Tennessee. We sure could use more like you.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 5 years ago

Well done.  You nailed it.  Don't you love to see the actual physical results of your inspections work.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 5 years ago

jay - very impressive. Good job. And I have to admit, the builder pleasantly surprised me in this case. Of course, not how he did it initially, but how he responded to your findings.

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 5 years ago

S&D - this client got the builder to do a lot of things from my first inspection.  It really amounted to thousands of dollars.

Jeff - the builder saw the potential liability.  No lawyer needed!

Andrew - the lawyers don't usually improve things!

Dan - beyond that there is no warranty!  It's a great time.  I do a lot of warranty inspections!

I don't know about that Scott, but I know my client squawked and gave my report to his builder.  The repairs amounted to many thousands of dollars in just this guy's unit!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Janis - the builder completed what kept his liability the least!  What he did in my client's unit did NOT get done in others.  Just the door!

Mike - when I first saw that door I laughed!  Then investigated further.  That was a huge problem all by itself.

Elyse - if I can get to it and see it I will evaluate it.

Fred - what I did was observe and report.  They took it from there!  I have heard there is a flipper in this area who is really out to get me.  But I don't know a trash heap is his when I see it!

Jimmy - true words.  New does not necessarily mean right!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Suzanne - the greater the liability the swifter the fix!

You're welcome Brenda.  Stop by any time!

That door to the roof was very sloppy work Clint!  No point in doing it!

There was a lot of ridiculousness in this unit Charlie, but none worse than that roof door!  I had a friend finish his basement and one hallway was 35.75" wide.  He was afraid the county inspector would notice and condemn the basement!  He didn't notice...

Kelly - who knows how much disaster was avoided by just putting in those good doors.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Linda - the greater the liability, the sooner character is found!

Mike - without those mistakes I would not have a job!

E&C - those are a few of many, many reasons!

Glad you did Richard!  I'm here most days, so stop by anytime!

Bill - no way would the county inspector go up into the attic!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Corinne - I think they are!  Of course, I might have a slight bias.

This time, I think I did Brian!  And for lots of people!

Chris - I do a lot of one-year warranty inspections!  After that, there is no warranty!  Builders hate me...

Harry - some of the things in this house were awful and needed real fixes!

Nancy - very little of my observations in this house were of "little" things!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Betty - they really cheaped out on a bunch of things in this unit.  But they were amenable in the end.

Kim - I observe and report!  The client takes those observations under advisement, and in this case went wild!

Steven - one-year warranty does not necessarily mean one year!

Thank you Tammie.  No intention for the moment, but maybe one day!

J&M - in this case it was very gratifying!

Jon - he saw the potential liability in the roof door and addressed it immediately!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Here's to another 3 years!

 

Love and starlight,

Laura

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 5 years ago

Jay, good news is, you helped your client and better news is builder listened to you - and did the right thing for ALL units! (Does not happen so often).

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 5 years ago

That is bizarre that the builder would say not to do the pre-sheetrock  inspection because he wasn't going to fix anything. Usual verbiage I hear is that they don't think it's necessary as they're so good that inspectors never find anything.

Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) over 5 years ago

Jay, I remember that post very well. It was a typical Jay post, very good. I will say to you again, that when I buy I want you to come to the OBX to inspect it for me.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 5 years ago

Thanks Laura, but this will be the last warranty inspection.

Praful - you're right, this does NOT happen often!

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard that Aaron, well...

Thanks Tom.  I was at VA Beach earlier this week, for my usual 3-day vacation!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Great finds for your client. An inspection is one of the most valuable items a client can purchase. Well done

Posted by Jeremy De La Garza, Corpus Christi, TX (Corpus Christi Realty Group) over 5 years ago

Good Morning:  How true this is!! lets keep it going for 3 more years I hope,  keep up the good work and good luck with your sales, E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) over 5 years ago

I agree with all that Jeremy!  Thanks!

E&T - I will probably be around that much longer!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Your blog assists in the thinking process of builders and how we can actually work with them. TY & KS

Posted by Brian Schulte, SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ (Allison James Estates & Homes) over 5 years ago

When people say "as is" or they wont fix anything it's always good to inspect.  Great job!

Posted by Kirk Killinger, The Yorba Linda Life (TNG Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Brian - I have said to builders for years that they should employ me (or other inspectors) to give them heads' ups before the house goes on the market.

Kirk - if it is important, they will fix it!  No doubt!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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