What I'm Seeing Now

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More Power, Scottie! But She's Giving You All She's Got, Captain!

In a house recently I saw the so-called "Wonderfully Finished Basement!"

The sellers had bought the house from a Flipper.  They did not get a home inspection.

The listing agent was VERY INTERESTED in the home inspection my clients had asked for.  She wanted to know what was what.  She said, "And I demand photos!"

Well, famous last words.  I can provide enough photos to make her eyes bleed.  And they set her up for all the disclosure issues that follow.  In Virginia, sellers have no responsibility to disclose anything, but agents do!

Just walking into the wonderfully-finished basement  I knew things would be interesting!

The Flipper-indicative dropped ceiling was everywhere.  That necessitates that I move my ladder from place to place to look at what is above the ceiling panels. 

It makes me feel a bit like a prairie dog.  I move panel after panel, and my head pops up here, and pops up there.

What am I looking for?  Anomalies.  Particularly electrical anomalies.

That wonderfully-finished basement  had a "kitchen."  Cook top, microwave, fridge and sink.  The sink drained into the side of the washing machine drain, which is incorrect.  But where did they get the power for the "kitchen," and in particular that cook top?  The prairie dog found it.

These are only two of many overloaded and uncovered electrical junction boxes seen in this basement.

Things were added to what was there previously, like canister lights, the "kitchen," and a bathroom, but all sorts of new wiring was added to existing boxes.  And everywhere!  And I knew why.  The cook top.

Here's how Flipper did it!

He took one of the original circuits, labeled a long time ago in the panel box as "Basement," and simply used the old 20amp wiring to connect a new 60amp breaker!

Apparently someone told him that there new cook top  needed a 60amp circuit breaker.

So he added it!

This is utter silliness and dangerous!

So, when Scottie said, "She's giving you all she's got, Captain!" he meant it!  You can't simply combine stuff together and add a breaker here or there without creating a new circuit and expect the necessary power to magically appear.

 

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 16 commentsJay Markanich • June 19 2015 02:55AM

Comments

Good morning Jay.  Well one thing for sure she asked for it and you gave it to her.  I wonder in the future if she'll be as demanding as she was?  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 3 years ago

She got far more than she anticipated I think, James.

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

Which is why listing agents in Virginia should play Three Monkeys.

Once they know. . . . .

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 3 years ago

I did an inspection a month ago where the house had so many issues that my clients backed off Lenn.  It did not come off the market, and sold again in 2 days.

Disclosure?

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

Yes, not good at all.  But, at least if you can pop up and check out the ceiling at least a licensed electrician could fix it wo/ destroying ceilings or walls.  Sounds like they have some work ahead of them.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 3 years ago

I think these sellers have known that for a long time Debbie.  They will probably move on and hope for a buyer who doesn't get an inspection.

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

Good morning Jay,

Even an amateur as myself can see the headaches of these!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 3 years ago

There are few problems in a home that give me concern more than those electrical in nature!  My favorite was a DIY project where the homeowner had installed a bathroom light switch. . .IN THE SHOWER!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 3 years ago

Jay Markanich What a disaster. I suspect the listing agent had a gut feeling that there might be problems and anticipated some additional negotiations would be necessary to convince the seller to adjust or fix these problem areas. Great post!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) about 3 years ago

I understand people's frustration with "flippers". I've bought and sold many rehabbed houses personally and I never ever took any shortcuts especially with the electric!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) about 3 years ago

My God Jim... I'm a Doctor! Those J boxes look like a freeway interchange. I got it Scottie, beam me up!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 3 years ago

Raymond - headache to say the least!

That is unbelievable Myrl.  I wonder sometimes for the human race.

Thanks S&N.  I expect that once the sellers see the addendum list they will want to move on to the next victim, I mean purchaser.

Nicole - not all Flippers have that attitude.  There is one here who hires me before he puts his flips on the market.  He gets mad at me, but knows I have his best interests at heart.

I has to be beamed up often Fred, without success.  Maybe I need a bigger aluminum hat.

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

So you have a regular 120 branch circuit protected by a 240 volt breaker with #10 or 12  wire? The J boxes are stunning! I'm going to guess that the "new" wiring was done by Mr. Flipper, not an electrician. Wow!!!

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 3 years ago

There were more J boxes Jim!  And a regular garden extension cord used to wire up the new "kitchen" exhaust fan (which vented into the ceiling).  You guess right. 

These sellers bought the house a few years ago from the Flipper, without an inspection, and there were so many problems with the basement "apartment" they never used it.  But they want to sell it to someone else...

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

So let's see, 60 amp breaker with 20 amp wires.  What could go wrong?

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 3 years ago

Well, the breaker well covers it!

No problem here Stephen!  No problem!

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

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