I have been inspecting homes for nearly 25 years. I had a customer recently say, “you must have seen everything”. I responded rather quickly, “no”. That’s because this business has its ongoing surprises, will-you-look-at-that, YIKES!, and I-can’t-believe-someone-did-that. I take a photo and post it on Instagram. What a hoot!
We tell these war stories at our periodical meetings. “Oh yeah? Guess what I saw!” is a frequent response. We, humans, like to embellish our stories, I’m sure the older stories have grown in size over the years, just like their authors. I like to sit back and listen, “somebody really did that?”
Part of our job is to explain these issues to the buyers, which can be tricky if you spend too much time on stories. First-time homebuyers won’t be listening, experienced homeowners don’t care, and agents will wonder when I will stop wasting their time. I recognize that I have a very short window to address these issues.
I have a photo library called MORONS. Guess what is in there? Downspouts draining into attics, frozen electric meters, gutter guards iced over, shutters cut up to install outlets, and conduit run over the septic tank opening. I can’t make this stuff up, but it really happens.
I can go into nearly every house and find some conditions where the superintendent, municipal inspectors, and contractors were fast asleep. My house, built in 1941, had a toilet drain pipe directly above the 60 amp fused electric panel. I give the plumber a pass because they were first in. What were the superintendent, electrician, and electrical inspector thinking? Not looking there.
Once in a while, we want to enter the crawl space. I shine my flashlight everywhere before I enter. I’m looking for 2 eyes (or 4, or 6+)reflecting back at me. I think I won’t disturb them, take photos and report the condition.
Never say YIKES during a home inspection, especially first-time homebuyers.