What I'm Seeing Now

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Pay No Attention To The Termites Under The Mattress

This is a seller who is asking that a buyer pay no attention to the termites under the mattress.

I am surprised sometimes at the lengths people will go to hide problems with their house.  Some people are VERY good at it.  Others are not.

Outdoors I could see a potential problem inside.

The wood siding on this older house had been buried behind a sidewalk poured many years ago across the front of the house.

Not only was the wood getting soft, but burying the siding like this invites termites to enter the house from underneath.  It's an invitation really.

Termites do very well what they are created to do. 

And they do it better when conditions are present that encourage them to particular locations.  We noted it for later.

And on a home inspection later always comes.

On the indoor wall, just inside the photo above, a mattress had been placed blocking a view of the suspect wall.

House hunters, or buyers, might see this and think it's propped up there like that when not being used for TV viewing and think nothing of it.

A home inspector sees this and the antenna go up pretty high.

Sliding the mattress out of the way the hardwood flooring all along the wall was experiencing termite activity.

And looking closely it is obvious that this was known and the old flooring had been "repaired" before!

Interestingly, the floor boards were also very soft when weight was put on them so the support underneath would probably have similar infestation.

My recommendation:  sometimes creative placement of furniture, moving boxes, dog cages and the like can be attempts to hide known problems.  Can the home inspector be fooled by such creativity?  Yes.  Can the home inspector always move the obstruction out of the way to look?  No.  But at final walk through the area can be seen and if the home inspector puts something on the report that suggests further investigation later, a problem like this can blow up a closing.  Personally I find the creative placement of obstructions to be a shameful practice.   It helps nobody.

 

 

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 92 commentsJay Markanich • July 14 2014 02:48AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay.... some people are really stupid.... what else can one say about that seller....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 4 years ago

It's a very childish thing to do Barbara.  And you know what?  It cost them this buyer.  If they are trying to hide this, what else are they hiding?  Nobody likes that feeling, particularly buyers.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

They would have been smarter to fix this before.  It is pretty obvious w/ the mattress there.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 4 years ago

This has been going on for years Debbie.  The fix now is dramatically more than it would have been when they smooshed putty into that floor.  Who suggested they pour that sidewalk is the culprit here, homeowner or not.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

No pay any attention to the trees just look at the forest.  One is born every minute but apparently not your clients.  Suggested

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 4 years ago

Good morning jay, great post and thanks for your recommendations. I will definitely take these into consideration next I show or list a property.

Thanks, have a great day!

Posted by Stacy Ann Stephens, Realtor, New Haven & Hartford CT Homes For Sale (Keller Williams Realty CT - 860-704-9070) about 4 years ago

Thanks James.  This one was not hard to find!

Any time Stacy!  Stop by any time!  The more, the merrier.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Thankfully...we live in a climate tooo cold for these invasive critters !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I feel sorry for inspectors when you get to a home that requires moving half the home before you can finish the inspection.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

When the required termite inspection was done the damage would have been found, creative furniture placement or not.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 4 years ago

Is your climate too cold for creative placement of furniture to block something S&D?  That isn't intended to be a snarky retort.  Home inspectors are probably just as reticent there to move things as here.

Oftentimes I cannot move the furniture Raymond.  Or wouldn't dare to, like a china cabinet.  The other day there was a dog cage with a 240 pound Great Dane in it and guess what I didn't go near!

Perhaps Cindy.  But many times I have been to a house after the official termite inspection, or a house with a long-term plan that is proclaimed termite free, and have found termites.  Of course the answer to my finding is that I am "just the home inspector."  While that is true, still, I find what I find.  Once I took a photo of a termite on my thumb, and crawling on the wall behind my thumb, the termite insepector said those weren't termites because there weren't termites in the house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

One of the most useless things a seller can convey is a termite contract.  If the company hasn't inspected the home for a year or so, anything goes.

The most important thing is "TERMITES CAN'T READ".

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Let me disagree. Hiding damage does help one group, the attorneys when this fiasco goes to court. What a shameful thing to do!

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) about 4 years ago

Good Catch! I have seen area rugs used to hide unfinished flooring or missing thresholds after flooring install! Never a Matress!

Posted by Greg Riley, e-PRO,RECS, Rio Rancho Real Estate (Prudential AllStar Realtors) about 4 years ago

Human nature, the dark side,  is sadly predciatable thus locks on doors, inspections required and rules for disclosure etc....If people would just come clean...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 4 years ago

Jay,

I've heard of very creative uses for mattresses before...but this is a new one on me.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 4 years ago

Creative placement of anything is often hiding something.  I found creative placement of an area rug (off center under a couch) was hiding missing flooring.  Duh.  Like no one would notice.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 4 years ago

Unbelievable but believable...I have seen sellers do lots of shady things, Jay ...and it always comes back to nibble or bite them!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Wow, That's a pretty good infestation. Termites are found all over the world but thankfully I don't ever see them eating through the floor here. 

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 4 years ago

I remember showing a vacant home that had carpet in the living room and an oddly placed rug in the middle of the room.  I had my client's kid go over and lift it up and sure enough, there was a hole in the carpet.  It's shameful to try to hide these issues.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 4 years ago

Hi Jay - I've always been amazed at the creativity of dishonest home owners attempting to hide defects, and over the years, I've developed pretty good antennae myself. And we've had some closings go south when problems were discovered at walk-thru.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 4 years ago

People just aren't honest anymore. Your 'word' means nothing to so many people.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) about 4 years ago

Wow. That is incredibly dishonest of the seller. You did a great job with your photo's of documenting the otherwise hidden damage.

Posted by Christopher Ohlsen (Credit Werx, LLC.) about 4 years ago

i've seen homes with termite damage so bad you could stick a screwdriver through the sill plate (which we did).

Still the seller disputed the report.

We just found another house.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

It's not surprising that people would do that in the attempt to put one over on the intended buyer. It seldom works, and the issue is pretty far along if the floor feels spongy

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 4 years ago

Never seen the mattress thing but that was an attempt to hide something and is never a good idea.  A suggestion could have been made to remove the mattress or unwanted items in the home before going on the market. (Does not alway work though)  I will be looking for such things in the future.

Posted by Rose Mary Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) about 4 years ago

Just fix it! Why do people defer  maintenance and then try to hide it? It is much cheaper to keep it from becoming such an expensive repair in the first plac.

Posted by Matt Brady, Lending With Competence And Character (Skyline Home Loans) about 4 years ago

This is a great object lesson to not hide your money under the mattress, the termites will eat it.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 4 years ago

In Arizona there are two kinds of homes - one that has termites and the other that's going to get them.  About 40 to 50% of our closings has required the termite treatment. Sellers can't hide it here....and if they tried they'd be found out.  Even I can spot them.....

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 4 years ago

Under every home in Maryland and Northern Virginia is a colony of termites.  Or, soon will be. 

Inspect, inspect, inspect.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

I've seen a few cases of creative camo as well. With termites, selelr has to fool home inspector, termite inspector, and potential buyer. Good luck.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) about 4 years ago

Wow, I'd think the sellers would be opening themselves up for a lawsuit by not disclosing. 

Posted by Shelly Hendry (Keller Williams Realty Cityside) about 4 years ago

Jay- this reminds me of my old pooch who used to take her bone and thinking no one was looking, try to bury it in my "not" shag carpeting. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 4 years ago

I can't say I'm surprised by this as long as I've been in this business.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) about 4 years ago

"Creative placement" is dishonest. I am sure there was no disclosure so it only supports my mantra "buyers can be liars an sellers too!"

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Jay - Things that make you say "Hmmmmm".  Not a terribly good job of hiding the damage, that that was pretty much predestined with the improperly laid concrete.  What will they think of next?

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Can't believe the seller didn't know this. Lots of evidence that the house had company. Probably a pretty good repair coming up.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) about 4 years ago

In our New England area, we have a good number of "antique" homes that often show signs of termites. Even newer ones are not "exempt". Interesting how sellers react with shock to the news. Often it's really not easy to see unless an inspector crawls under the home and the tracks. Inside, the damage might be still behind a normal-looking wall.

Posted by Olga Simoncelli, CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management (Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Check these little hungry buggers out.   more good eatsBeam eaten in half.

The mattress folks weren't sneeky enough for you. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 4 years ago

Hi Jay. It's really sad people will try to screw others - and worse do it so blatantly. I hope the buyers either force it to be fixed or, better yet, move on.
Thanks for sharing,
Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 4 years ago

Oh no! 

That's like saying "Pay no attention to the fact that bugs are destroying this house".. just be stupid and buy it without any concern for that.  

Posted by 1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 4 years ago

Jay  -- This is so unfortunate.  I hope you don't run against this very often.. I have seen carpets covering some problems... and pictures hung over holes in the wall.  One must be vigilant.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 4 years ago

Hi Jay,

Great post! This is a real ethical dilemma, and glad to see you write about it with evidence to boot.

I hope the seller gets a moral compass for christmas.

Posted by D M about 4 years ago

in reference to the title, it will need a great and powerful wizard! :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 4 years ago

I have come to that conclusion myself Lenn, over the years, seeing what I see.  My inspections are more detailed but I surely don't count.

Doug - hopefully it will not come to that.  But sometimes ...

Greg - when I can move a rug I do!  Especially if it is oddly placed.

Richie - that will happen if/when the Golden Rule is brought out of storage.

Richard - there are creative uses for everything and even more creative when people are trying to hide or repair something!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Which if I can look under a rug, Kat, I do!

Unfortunately it comes with the real estate territory, Ginny.

This is a set up from the start of that sidewalk Rob.  They will come back and come back.

And then, after closing, they don't remember a hole ever being there, right A&J?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

I've heard that too Dick.  Once I heard a closing fell through because of a shower head that had been replaced.  The buyer remembered it was there and something else was in it's place.

Word Than?  Give me what's due me.  Including my money for my house.

Christopher - when things get uncovered like this I cannot think that sellers are surprised.

Lenn - it is funny how people put up their walls of unbelief, or refuse to admit what is so obvious.  I'm dealing now with a home inspection where I found substantial evidence of flooding, but the original owners say no such thing ever happened.  I looked in spots they did not think to try to hide...

Ed - floors feel spongy a lot!  Sometimes it's rot, but wet wood is the termite catnip.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

More often than not there are things that I cannot move Rose Mary.  And sellers don't think to make areas available.

Matt - that will require a lot!  Inside and out.  They'd rather just sell the problem to someone else.

Joe - money is made from wood, so they would be interested!

Anna B - there are areas where termite infestation is 100%!  It's a matter of how well they have been controlled and damage maintained.

Lenn - a healthy termite colony can contain 50 billion little buddies!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Jeff - there are a few layers.  Some layers are more diligent than others too.

Shelly - there is no disclosure responsibility or law in Virginia.  Buyer beware.  All houses are sold "as is."

Kathy - we had a dog who would bury bones in the carpet and gently push dirt back on top and pat it down with her nose!

Sybil - anyone in this business for a while wises up quickly.

Gary - see the comment above - in Virginia there is no disclosure.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

AJ - they will think all problems are the next guy's problem.  Oh wait, we may be there now!

Bill - this is going to take some effort too!  But my clients walked.

Olga - for some it may be a shock, but I think that most already know.

Scott - that's just the character of old wood and expected.  No termites here...

Bruce - once a dishonest practice like this is found buyers walk here because there is no disclosure in Virginia and buyers assume that much more is being hidden.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Judi - there is usually the buyer assumption that one thing hidden, many things hidden.  No disclosure is required in Virginia!

Joan - a couple of times a week.  Very often the old 7-11 ice cubes in the ice maker bin so I will think the ice maker works.

Drew - but I bet it wouldn't point north accurately.

You got my reference Laura!  I use it all the time, particularly in economic reporting posts.  There is so much deception around us, it's hard to stay square.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

As a home stager, I'd be like "what the...?" It just screams "I'm hiding something....!"

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 4 years ago

It's the new rubber room look Suzanne!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

When I bought my first home (before I was in the business) we had three items we asked the seller to repair. One was to replace an interior door on one bedroom that had a large hole in the outer panel. During our pre-closing walk through I was disappointed to find the house still full of the seller's things and very messy. We were stepping over dirty clothes and toys the whole way. There was a very large teddy bear propped against the door of a different bedroom and I tripped over it knocking it down. When it fell I saw the hole, the seller had switched the door to a different bedroom and put the bear up to hide the hole. I checked the other repairs items and of course they weren't fixed either.

I recommend a walk through to all buyer's and if there is anything like that mattress or our teddy bear leaning some place weird I immediately get suspicious and start looking behind things.

Posted by Patrick Willard about 4 years ago

Patrick - pay no attention to the hole behind the teddy bear.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. Just incredible.....No one would accept that mattress there in my view, but you knew before you entered the house. Good eye and well done.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 4 years ago

This was a paltry attempt at hiding something Sheila, but, as you say, I had advanced warning outside.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

That is like (no worse than) putting a throw rug over the stain in the carpet.  Even if the inspector did not spot it, the fact that the seller hid the problem will cause them all kinds of problems.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Some people are very clever at hiding things Gene.  All inspectors can get fooled.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Incredible. Was the property listed with a broker? 

Posted by Jim Harper (Atlanta Communities Real Estate ) about 4 years ago

At some point nearly every fault will be found no matter how well hidden. Think of the possible problems if something found was not put on the disclosure that should have been there.

Posted by John Rakoci, North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas (Eagle Realty) about 4 years ago

Jay,

Love reading your blogs!  It helps me be alert, as a Buyers Agent, when I'm showing properties.  I often move throw rugs that look like they are in an "odd" place.  Many years ago, when I bought my first home, I didn't think to move a throw rug, UNTIL AFTER SETTLEMENT!  I missed the burn marks left by the iron on the wall-to-wall carpeting!

Kathy Opatka

 

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) about 4 years ago

Oh my gosh!  I would call them out on that if it wasn't on the seller's disclosure!

Posted by Amy Steele Realtor SRS CNE NHS, Live,Work,Play...North Texas Real Estate Group (JP and Associates) about 4 years ago

As usual Jay you nailed it. I'd sure like you to post this to our Manufactured Home Group.

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) about 4 years ago

That's such a cheesy tactic!  Did they really think nobody would move the mattress? Funny story. 

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 4 years ago

You always find such interesting things. I guess some people think that others are just stupid & won't move the mattress to check.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 4 years ago

Sure Jim.  The broker would have no knowledge of this.  But Virginia has no disclosure requirement anyway, so the house is the house.

John - see the comment to Jim!  Caveat emptor here.

Kathy - life experience is a cruel, but effective, teacher.

Amy - see above!  I put it on the report, but it was enough to make my clients assume that other things were hidden and they walked.

You can John!  Just push the Reblog button at the bottom of the blog.  You will get credit and so will I.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Hope springs eternal Georgie.

Lyn - see comment above!  That one was too obvious not to move.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

I'm glad that your radar is in tune for that. I didn't really think about it, but I will now. 

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) about 4 years ago

Antenna are good to have Karen!  Hope you're well.  Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

I learned when I did rentals, that one left box on the floor on a check out means there's a whole in the flooring. Once you learn the hard way you don't forget. It looks like Kathy #62 learned the hard way too.

Posted by Julie A. Black, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker (KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist) about 4 years ago

Good evening Jay. I find it very interesting how many folks go out of their way to conceal known defects. When in doubt investigate even more.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Excellent Julia.  Seems you need to learn that one only once...

Michael - that's the name of the game!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Agreed, thanks again for another invaluable lesson on being aware about hidden issues.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 4 years ago

Anytime Kimo!  Thanks for stopping by ... again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

This is a great lesson in how being vigilant and paying close attention to detail can be very important when viewing properties.  This post has made me more aware of searching places that I would not have searched in the past.  Excellent post!

Posted by Diana White-Pettis, GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale (Bennett Realty Solutions) about 4 years ago

It is important that a home inspector check all that can be checked Jay, some inspectors are more thorough than others. I love your sense of humor!

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 4 years ago

The bottom line is move furniture and check everything.  I was recently in a home with foundation issues. I moved the table in the living area, pulled ack the crpet and found an enormous crack in in the foundation.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 4 years ago

I don't think that it is always a matter of 'intent' on the part of the seller.  They may just feel that they are covering something that appears unsightly, and don't realize what the problem is.  It's why a home inspection is so important.

Posted by Dan Derito (Success! Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Jay, when we were at a listing appointment recently we noticed significant damage on the kitchen countertop. It had been covered by a plant. The homeowners asked if they could leave the plant there during showings. We said no, we didn't want to hide any defects the house might have. We didn't get the listing. We were happy we didn't!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) about 4 years ago

So silly - those homeowners who try to hide defects are just delaying the inevitable. Either it will be found before closing and sour the deal, or it will be found later and they'll be in a lawsuit. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 4 years ago

That's the idea Diana!  Learn and apply.

Thanks Tom.  My silliness keeps me going some days.

Sharon - did you poke your finger in to see if the snakes would bite?

This has been repaired before Dan.  This was the only spot in the house like this.  And you are right - that's why the buyers wanted an inspection.

That's a red flag for sure Tom!  And you will represent all the other hidden stuff.

It is silliness Marte.  And immature and dishonest.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Anything leaning against a wall is always an automatic invitation to peek behind.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) about 4 years ago

It is Marshall!  And hopefully it doesn't weigh 500 pounds!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 4 years ago

Wow!  You always come across the most interesting things.  I wonder what people are thinking sometimes...

Posted by Dawn Brenengen, Sales and Management (Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty) about 4 years ago

Boy, this puts you in a position.  As lenders we want to know if there is anything like that going on.  It would probably get picked up from the termite inspector, but boy to go to these lenghts to hide stuff is not good.  Thats why is it always good to have a home inspection.  Thanks for this informative posts. 

Posted by Lisa Perry - NMLS # 276329, Northern VA - 80/15/5, 100% Loans - Jumbo Loans (FHA, VA, Jumbo, Downpayment Assistance, Conv.) about 4 years ago

Nice catch. I remember buying a condo for my own personal use that had a strip of carpet in the kitchen. After a week or so I move the carpet and discovered a split in the linoleum. That still burns me up!

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 3 years ago

I bet Wayne.  If I can lift it up I like to look under rugs.  But sometimes that isn't possible.

A mattress in the middle of the wall is different - why would it be there?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Deception is an artform and when it comes to the damage that termites can do to a structure there's on limits and no mercy. We had some door and window issues on our home which is a circa 50's California Ranch genre. 

When my son, a general contractor, started removing and replacing them he uncovered a horrifying scene. Almost the entire wall along one side of my home had been consumed by termites. 

Thus what would have been a 30 to 50 thousand dollar repair very quickly turned into almost $100,000. Had we been trying to sell our home we would no doubt have taken a huge hit.

 

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) over 3 years ago

This was a very old house, John, with substantial damage.  I expect the termite guys would have found it too, but it was clear on my report.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

We had a similar experience in a nightmare house- the sellers had boxes piled so high in the storage/utility room we couldn't see the mold all over the wall behind. UGH

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 3 years ago

I had that happen once too Lise.  People piled boxes to hide a long, horizontal foundation crack.  Fortunately I had a photo that showed such "creative placement" of the boxes.

Wow, you found an oldie but a goodie!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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