What I'm Seeing Now

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This Gutter Has Been A Problem For A Long Time

Just looking at it you can see this gutter has been a problem for a long time.

The mossy stain along the base of the brick wall and on the ground is indicator enough.

But even with brick such a gutter clog and leak can be a problem that comes inside.

Obviously a shady spot, the cedar shakes are mossy.

It's also obvious that the flashing at the chimney is suspect.

And a gutter that is clogged and small and water is getting behind it.  Water is  draining onto the brick.

That usually means it's coming inside.

And, true to form, it is making its way in, and perhaps has been for some time. 

The thermal image indicates moisture in the purple, blue and lavender areas.  And the moisture meter indicated 100% in that darkest area, with no recent rain.

The house is vacant - it's an REO!  We have nobody to ask as to history.  But we really can see what's happening.

So, what do we have?

An old, damaged roof.

An improperly-flashed chimney.

A way-too-small, clogged gutter.

All of that needs attention, replacement or repair.  The bricks could be cleaned also.

Then there's the repairs inside!

AND THIS IS JUST ONE LITTLE SPOT ON A LARGE HOUSE WITH MULTIPLE SERIOUS ISSUES!

My recommendation:  my clients saw this house on line and excitedly flew in from half-way across the country to attend the inspection.  I'm betting the photos did not indicate any issues!  To say they were disappointed would be an understatement.  In this case it might have been beneficial (or would have been) to call me and have me swing by the house just for a quick walk around with photos!  Just outdoors!  Those alone, along with my phone analysis of each, would have saved them a lot of time and trouble, and unnecessary expenditure.  That would have been a buyer Best Practice!

 

 

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 48 commentsJay Markanich • December 30 2013 05:02AM

Comments

Good morning Jay,

I should have taken a picture of a +$300,000 home that is an estate's gutters and the problem it was causing in and out.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Again, DOESN'T ANYONE HAVE AN AGENT???

Any agent with any common sense would have previewed the home and probably saved these consumers the cost of the travel. 

Knowing their needs, an agent could also have provided them with better listings to consider.  They're going to have a home inspection on much better properties.

 

  

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

An agent like you would do that for his clients Raymond!  This agent did not...

Well Lenn, what can I say?  The agent did not tell these folks about the, um, warts on the house, hoping instead to make a big sale.  That says it all.  This is Great Falls, and on line people can see that the average price is such and such, and this REO is dramatically cheaper.  So it must be a terrific deal, right?  Perhaps out of line, I did tell them to call me first next time to review a house before they make the trip.  

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

Good morning, Jay.... what that agent allowed to happen was sinful....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Let's just say I lost some respect there Barbara...

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

Hi Jay,

Moisture issues abound with this home. But there would be no repairs as with a REO home. Buy at your own risk om this one.

Have a great day and a better 2014 in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

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

The repairs needed on this house would have paid for my house a couple of times Clint!

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

If you're flying in from halfway across the country, I'd say calling you first is an exceptional recommendation.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 5 years ago

The thought never entered their heads, Jill, until I put it there after the inspection.  They were really down.

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

I work with an agent that does a lot of corporate transfers from out of town. I have a deal set up with her to do just as you mention in your recommendation. I usually have to drive by and do a quick once over on about three homes before they fly in. I get a small fee to do that but get the inspection and tons of brownie points afterwards.

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

Jay, I'm not sure if my local guys offer such service or not a "drive by" would be a great idea for out of state buyers.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 5 years ago

Just a drive by here would have set up my antenna Fred.  The roof alone, cedar shake, was trashed.  But there was so much more.  A walk around with photos would have turned them off.  Emailing a few photos, and getting on the phone with them to discuss each would have been really smart.  My small fee for that would have been gold.

Tammy - I would think that a drive by would be good.  But wouldn't the agent want to preview and see stuff like this?  I am thinking this agent was hoping the buyers would overlook the problems and go ahead with the purchase.  It would have been a big pay day.  But on an inspection I am frank.  The house is the house.  They HAVE to know what they are buying.

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

This is something an experienced agent should see also.  I advise the client, and then if they make the offer, have the home inspector go in to more detail.

Posted by Geoff ONeill (John L. Scott Medford) almost 5 years ago

And that is why the (Professional) Real Estate Agent will never be replaced.  It is a shame that they flew in from that far away.

A Professional agent would have walked the property and visually inspected it before he had his/her clients fly out to see it.

Is there anybody in our industry left that does not have a camera?

Thanks for another great blog Jay!!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) almost 5 years ago

Looking at the whole wall, you can see that something is wrong there Jay. It's probably not a view that apeared in the listing photos.

Let's put the Thermal Imagine in the MLS listing! :)

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 5 years ago

Geoff - see the comments above, but somehow this "professional" agent did not notice anything outside...

Mike - again, what has been said before applies here.  This agent, I think, was hoping the buyers would overlook all the repairs and give him a big pay day.

Tom - ha!  That and a bunch of other images!

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

The way that roof wraps around the brick is not a common detail that I have seen. Are there flashings installed? I would think a diverter/kick out flashing would also be something you would want to see in place also. Brick is very hygroscopic and doesn't surprise me that there is so much moisture visible with the thermal.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 5 years ago

I think I saw a small step flash Rob, but no counter flash obviously.  Kick outs don't work well on shakes, but I have seen them.  They loosen over time.

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

That's NOT a freckle or a mole on the side of the house and it is not a stager doing their thing....good post on why eyes wide open need to earn their keep when summoned...good one here

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Boy it must be easy to come up with a topic for you because there are always so many home issues to be aware of. Love your blogs!

 

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) almost 5 years ago

Jay~ Can't blame the buyers for being excited, but WOW flying 1/2 way across the country isn't cheap!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Agent (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 5 years ago

The REOs often need lots of help and people should expect issues.

Those are pretty obvious.......

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 5 years ago

A good buyers agent, and they may not have wasted as much money if the house has more issues than they want to handle.

Posted by Dwight Puntigan, Dwight Puntigan (DRP Realty, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Thank you for posting this

Posted by Drick Ward, "RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation (NEPTUNE REALTY) almost 5 years ago

HI Jay,

Love those Thermal images, not much you can hide with that fancy device

Have a Great Week and a Pfanntastic 2014

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 5 years ago

Richie - that was one, of many, many, obvious problems with this house.

Thank you Elise.  Stop by anytime!

Donna - and totally unnecessary.  The agent could have been a bit more forthcoming prior to their trip...

Than - there is a big reason this house was priced so cheaply as compared to the neighborhood.

Dwight - as I said in a comment above, I lose a lot of respect for this agent.

 

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

Anytime Drick.

Peter - the camera is definitive.  And hard to argue with.

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

At least they had an inspection done prior to making an offer on the property.  Even with the added airfare, the outlay of money to fix all the problems is undoubtably more.

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

It absolutely was Evelyn.  But still, a lot of expense and disappointment could have been avoided by a different approach.

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

Yes, sounds like another agent that is only interested in getting paid, and not caring that their clients will actually be getting a bad house with multiple expensive problems to fix. The hidden water damage behind brick, under shingles, etc would worry me more than the brick and stains on brick. Maybe they will change agents now that they see their agent isn't looking out for their best interests?

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 5 years ago
The longer we wait, the bigger the problem gets most of the time and this is not that unusual, right? Be well! Have a wonderful new year! Laura
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 5 years ago

Great article,

Gutters do tell a story of their own, being in the building industry my experience now helps to spot issues before my client gets to emotional with a home purchase.

Many home owners neglect the maintainance of just cleaning out the gutters which shows out of sight out of mind.    A filled gutter usually grows into other roofing and drainage issues.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year in 2014 

Posted by Rod Pierson, Northern California (Results Real Estate Inc) almost 5 years ago

I have done many a showing via Facetime for out of state buyers that has saved them plenty of airfare. That may have been another good course of action for these buyers prior to hopping on a plane.

Posted by Bruce Swedal, Denver Real Estate almost 5 years ago

I felt really bad for them Jeff.  Which is why I may have been out of line to suggest they call me to do at least a drive by before they get serious again.

Laura - repairs should not wait.  But I don't know how long this house has been vacant.  Same to you as to the new year!

Bruce - I think my walk around with photos at least would be well worth their consideration!

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

Jay -- While these folks were disappointed, the would have been even more disappointed if they did not have a good inspector like yourself and they closed on the house and thereafter discovered these deficiencies.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 5 years ago

My pwersonal thought is that their agent should have done a walk around the house with their camera. I am all in favor of home inspection. An agent walk around may have saved somebody a huge expense.

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

Jay - Great points here. It's a shame that they wasted a trip.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 5 years ago

It was pretty obvious they would not want this house Joan.  But who knows?  Sometimes people buy real trash heaps and fix them up nicely.

Agreed Bill.  I told them later to call me first to do that for them.

Wasted in one way Jason.  Necessary info in another.  But overall, in my opinion, a waste as they could have known all this without coming.

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

Morning Jay part of it is obvious even to me but the rest I leave to people in your profession. 

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

Not unusual as you know in an REO...and buyers need a heads up as to the condition of the house.

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

Water getting inside is always a problem James!

S&D - those REO properties around here are typically full of problems.

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

Amazing what can't be seen but can be revealed with the right person using the right tool!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 5 years ago

It can kind of be seen Gary, from outside and with some assumptions.  But the camera makes the indoor problem pretty visible!

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

It's always amazing how one small problem will create multiple issues in no time at all. Routine maintnenance should not be ignored.

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

Well said Aaron.  That is true.  Don't wait.

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

REO properties always have issues. No surprises from that aspect. It would have been a great idea to get more photos to the buyers before coming out from California though. Lots of wasted time and money.

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

I do not think you were out of line to suggest to the prospective buyers to call you first - after all, their agent appeared to be clueless or greedy. How on earth could anyone miss this - or worse, see it and feel compelled to tell the buyers?  There is also the old adage, if it seems t be too good to be true...

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 5 years ago

Janis - I think their agent could have given them a head's up as to the problems, with a minimum of some exterior photos!

I don't either Susan, but it was outside my normal manner of doing things.  See my post today about the roof!  Same house...

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

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