What I'm Seeing Now

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Hidden Foundation Cracks

As soon as I drove up to the house I suspected hidden foundation cracks.

Home inspectors are detectives of sorts.  We combine information, experience and deduction, and attempt to arrive at a series of conclusions, good or bad.   Buyers and sellers view the home inspection process differently.  Some sellers and even listing agents see it as adversarial.

The home inspector's job is to observe and report.  Speculation might go on during the inspection, but while such things are part of the deduction process, speculation is usually not reported.  The inspector may suggest further evaluation by a specialist though!

Home inspectors are often hired without any previous interaction with the client.  So a lot of trust is built into the process.  Home inspectors respect that trust greatly!

One thing I do when I am hired to inspect a property is to investigate that property on line.  Google photos are usually interesting because they show the house at a previous point in time. 

I LIKE TO COMPARE AND CONTRAST WHAT I HAVE SEEN ON LINE
WITH WHAT I SEE WHEN I GET TO A HOUSE.

My client was a single, first time buyer, and female.  She is not interested in buying a home that would require a lot of work.  And she was attracted to this particular 1979 vintage house because it had substantial remodeling.  To her that meant she would not have to do much after moving in.

What I saw on line was a house with a very large Cherry Blossom tree in the front yard.  That tree was gone when I pulled up to the property, and there was fresh sod on the front yard.  Where the tree used to be was a substantial dimple in the sod.  That tree was only 10' from the house.  Cherry Blossom trees have very aggressive roots.  The sidewalk in front was very chewed up, lifted and cracked.

Dropping off a radon devices two days prior I saw a newly-finished basement furnace room, with a freshly painted floor and plastic sheeting covering the front foundation wall.

Teensy holes had been cut into the plastic to allow "access" to the water main, seen on the right, and the hose bib shut off valve.  Neither could really be accessed.  But insulation was stuffed into each hole so nothing could be seen of the wall itself.

To me that spoke volumes and said cover up!   I have antenna which raise by themselves.  Knowing it would rain in the next two days, I was anxious to see this wall afterward.

And I was not disappointed.  The masonry-block foundation wall had leaked.  And there had NOT been that much rain!  My suspicions were verified - there was evident cracking, and it was hidden.

This was not the only thing we found!  The house was a pig, and a disaster laden with LIPSTICK on as many "remodeled" piglets as lipstick can be put. 

My recommendation:  beware the remodel!  Beware the Flipper!  Beware the house with new work not done with a permit that has been closed by the local jurisdiction.  Closed means finally inspected and approved by that jurisdiction!   And be sure to hire a home inspector with deductive antenna.  They are on your side.

 

 

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 • April 14 2016 02:10AM

Comments

Jay Markanich And I will guarantee you that if this home was indeed a flip, there was no Selkers Property Disclosure admitting to these major deficiencies. Your client must be thankful you represented her. Great job!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc.) over 3 years ago

Interestingly, S&N, in VA there is no seller disclosure.  However, there IS disclosure by an agent if the agent knows something about a property.   In this case, the seller is the agent, but he put the MLS information, and sales information, in his wife's name because her name is different from his.  Very illegal here, and done to pretend the "agent" does not know anything about the house, and therefore has nothing to disclose.  After seeing my inspection report this agent has LOTS to disclose!

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

Good morning Jay. What the normal person does not see it apparent to trained eyes! Enjoy your day! 

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

S&N - this is me when I get to an inspection.

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

And this was how this client saw me after this one.

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

My eyes were popping after we were done here, Wayne!

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

Flippers wear pigstick a lot...we are going to a flipo this morning...hoping he forgot his cosmetics !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 3 years ago

I see these shows on TV about the pro Flippers, and sometimes I cringe, S&D.  And the shows extol them!

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

Jay Markanich so true beware of flips, they tend to do a fast and cheap job to maximize profit, not a home to buy in my opinion and usually easy to spot during an inspection.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 3 years ago

Here is the special dryer vent in the "new laundry room," David.

That's venting onto the ceiling of the special new shower!

The special new shower was framed wonderfully with 2x3" studs.

Oustanding.

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

Ugh, those guys get under my skin!

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

And right now, Fred, I am waaay under his skin!

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

It is sad that such unscrupulous people are here in Virginia Jay Markanich.   Thank goodness we have you to keep an eye on them and use your antenna to protect the unknowing. 

Posted by DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 ), Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia (American National Bank & Trust) over 3 years ago

The unscrupulous are sad, Deanna, and are not just here in Virginia!

I love it when they get busted.

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

Well done Jay.  You saved this young lady a lot of money and a big heartache.  People who try to cover up known issues such as this shoud be ashamed.

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

This place was a disaster with hidden this and hidden that.  Pathetic.  This business about how certain people should "give back," despite their employing thousands and improving the economy, is a joke.  The scammers, and scum, and thieves, et al, should be the ones giving back, Stephen.  Shipped to AZ to do road work in the summer.

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

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