Collapsed house

Pretend this house was not collapsed. What was wrong with it and would you have recognized the defect during an inspection?

What about this one? Any issues?

Soft first floor (lacks sufficient shear strength at the sides of the garage doors and entry door).

while yes it appears that both structures have a lack of shear panels for structural stability… how would a non-invasive home inspection be able to discern the lack of shear panels in the building?

Generally speaking, shear walls have to be in 4’ from the corners. It appears that would have been impossible to do on that home. It should be glaring based on the structure that the front wall corners would not accommodate shear panels.

steel shear wall
wood shear wall

Speaking from a former california builder point of view, the soft first floor design was not really addressed until the 80’s. So age of the home is the first clue of an issue. The smaller shear wall designs did not show up until the 90’s.

As a carpenter, I worked on quite a few homes with less than 4’ from the corner available. Sometimes shear panel is installed on both sides of the wall and sometimes shear is provided by a steel shear frame which can look very narrow at the corners since its basically a welded frame bolted to the foundation.