Did I say that the house is the house? Well, sorry, I meant to say that the house is the house. Sound the same? It is. That is something that never changes.
At the end of my last inspection the other day, but before the thermal IR exam to follow, my client said to me, "So, tell me the truth. My agent obviously has a vested interest in whether or not I buy this house. He recommended you. So far you have told me that the house is in good shape. I smell a rat." The agent had to leave and did not hear this.
I have to confess, I really hate it when this happens!
My response to such a statement is typically low key and with a soft voice. It was, "Lulabell (not her real name), the house is the house. It is irrelevant to me whether or not you buy it. My job is to see what I can see and tell you about it. Straight up. I am not an alarmist, but I AM very frank. This is my fourth foreclosure inspection in the last two days. Two decided not to buy because of the problems found. One is still on the fence. YOU, and your agent, have found what appears to be a great house. Whether you buy it or not matters nothing to me. But, please understand, the house is the house."
What you don't know yet is that outside the sellers had previously tried to extend the downspouts from the house. They were poorly done. One in particular bothered me. It was in the corner beside a stairwell and under a tree which was too close to the house. I explained to her that it was not well done, the tree will hold moisture against the house, that foundations don't make effective boats, and so on. I also didn't like the way two window wells were drained. There was also some cracking in the stone facade around two windows. INSIDE there was no evident problem with any of that. She thought nothing of my musings outside.
Back to inside - "Do you still want to do the IR sweep of the house?" (That tacks another $300 onto the home inspection fee.) "Yes."
Well, Holy Water Batman! I found evidence of moisture at each of those locations! Not a lot, just the beginnings, but obvious moisture. Hopefully it is corrected before it becomes a major problem. She was fascinated! She virtually watched over my shoulder the rest of the time with the camera as I snapped digital IR images of each spot. Suddenly bubbly. Gushing really. The bank will do nothing about it you know. But knowledge is power, and NOW SHE KNOWS!
Later the agent called to say how pleased she was with the inspection. She said that he could not have picked a better home inspector. Aw, shucks...
I think she liked me.
I don't hate it when that happens.
The house is the house...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560