What I'm Seeing Now

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How To Eat An Elephant

Sometimes when I am outside the house with a client we see indicators of what may be a problem once we get inside.  Such was the case on this particular house.

Outside along the rear of the house, a driveway had been added years after the house was constructed.  The bricks at that location were disturbed, sagging, the mortar had been patched, apparently more than once, and water was pooling next to the foundation. 

Once we got inside, and after moving some artfully arranged (hiding a problem?) boxes, this is what I found!

Yes, that is poly-foam!  And only a portion of it really.  At least they used maximum expansion, apparently for needed strength!  And I have to also say, it appeared waterproof!

 

 

 

I might share one other teensy item on that house.  A gas dryer had been installed in the closet under the basement stairs.  Nothing unusual about that.

Well, except that the plug servicing the electrial needs for the dryer was plugged into the sump pump outlet.

And the sump pump was not.

And the outlet wasn't grounded.

And the elaborate venting which was made to look like it vented outside sort of stopped at the wall.  It never did really make it outside.  Oh, there was a covered dryer vent outside, but no hole in the wall.

And the elaborate venting was only to make someone think it actually vented outside.  It really vented under the stairs.

And the drum would turn when the knob was put in the proper position, but of course there was no hot air generated.  See reason later...

And when you did turn it on the light in the closet flickered dramatically.

And it would only run for two minutes and then stop until turned on again.

And then it would only run for two minutes.

And then stop until turned on again.

And you had to crawl over the dryer to get to the sump pump.

And the water heater.

And there was a very nice three-hole electric outlet provided for the dryer (unused since it was gas), which cable didn't actually make it to the panel box.

And the reason the dryer did not get hot was, oh yeah, because THERE WAS NO GAS SERVICE TO THE HOUSE...!

Now, that was just the dryer. You wouldn't believe there was more, would you?  There was more... like, I mean, you know, um, like, dude, yeah, a lot more...

Writing this report would be like writing a report describing a mansion in hell.

I don't charge enough...

I have heard that in order to eat an elephant you must break it into smaller pieces and go at it a piece at a time.  Well, this report would need to be broken up into smaller pieces.

Looking at my flow chart, I am scheduled to be done eating this elephant about March 10.  See you then...!

TTFN

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 17 commentsJay Markanich • February 05 2009 04:32AM

Comments

You have got to be kidding.  And if the buyers hadn't had an inspector, would they have known what to look for?  This has got to be one of the best, or worst, inspection stories ever....

Posted by Stanton Homes, Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina (Stanton Homes - New Home Builder) over 10 years ago

Great observation. . good post

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 10 years ago

Gee Jay....are you saying the seller wasn't handy ?  Goes back to the old "know what you don't know"...a standard we write in offers is proof that anything requiring a permit has one...then again...plugging a dryer in the handiest plug probably doesn't require one...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

Sally and David, thanks for the laugh.  Jay you did your job.  If my buyer decides not to buy a home after the home inspection, then it was money well spent.  And, if they decide to buy after a home inspection, it was money well spent.

Posted by Brien Berard, Maryland Real Estate Agents - Laurel Real Estate (Remax Professionals Laurel MD) over 10 years ago

Jay, Sometimes we get an elephant and sometimes we get a mouse. Bon appetite!

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 10 years ago

Jay, you gotta love that "Sprayconcreteinacan"----it is the latest and the greatest:)  I hate pulling up to the curb and know that I am dealing with an elephant.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Jay I think it would be funny to write your report the way you just wrote the blog (and this, and that, and another).  Of course, there is only one problem with that, the client might not share my warped sense of humor.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 10 years ago

Penny - what's that Biblical phrase, "And the best shall be worst and the worst shall be best?"  Or something like that.

Fernando - there were foundation problems all over the house, but for different reasons and with different fixes.

S&D - don't get seller chauvanist on me!  It may have been Uncle Bob who did that work.  I think here we found out a lot we didn't know...

Brien - THAT is a great philosophy!

James - wasn't it a mouse that made Dumbo fly?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Charlie - most of what I pull up to these days is gnu or bigger...  I start the list before I get out of the car.

Jack - my reports are pretty dry and matter of fact.  One time the sellers had a little, round, blow-up kiddie pool in the back yard and I jokingly put a comment about it on the report.  The buyers called me later to ask about it, "What pool did you see?"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

It seems that there is a lot to learn on Active Rain. Thank you for your post.

Posted by Peg Gilliland, Broker, GRI, CDPE (Charlottesville Solutions) over 10 years ago

Peg - I think you are right!  Some good, some useful and some kind of like Trivial Pursuit info!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Mr jJay,

Because of my diminuitive size I would not be able to eat an elephant....not even over several years. Now, if you can land one, I would be happy to boil it for you. I find boiling is the best way to do meat gourment style.

Your friend and admirer,

Nutsy

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Nutsy - Boiling is a great idea!  It surely would help to soften that skin!  But, would you please flavor the water?  I am tiring of the elephant as it comes - perhaps another layer of flavor would improve it.  How about some beaver, muskrat or guinea pig?  Oh, I'm sorry, those are rodents aren't they?  My mistake.  Maybe something less like your cousins, say,  coyote, panda and sloth? 

Thanks, gourment is the best!  YOU are the best!

I thought it would take several years to crank out that report...!  Even with the best flow chart.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

And your observations demonstrate exactly why a Home Inspection is so vitally important!

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 10 years ago

Myrl - sometimes one has to remove boxes in order to observe...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

Too bad you don't charge by the "# of things wrong"--you could have taken that trip to Tahiti!

Posted by Susan Gonzalez Faux painting murals atlanta (Marietta Mural & Decorative Design) over 10 years ago

Susan - woulda, coulda, shoulda!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 10 years ago

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