A question as inspectors we often are asked.
Today I conducted an inspection for an elderly lady. Not exact on her age.
When reviewing see asked me if I would buy this house.
What I thought to myself is why are you buying a colonial with a basement and 2nd floor bedrooms, with a 3rd floor partially finished attic. She is already having trouble walking steps. She is the only one to live in the house.
I wanted to say no, if I was you I would buy a slab, ranch style condo where they take care of the yard and maintenace. No steps.
Just did not seem to be the right house for the person buying, not the condition just the type.
So I answered how most would.
I hope see lives a long, healthy life so she can enjoy the home
I answer; My service is not to make a judgment but to gather facts then document and report on those facts.
My token answer is…" thats not a fair/just question. There are many reasons to buy a house: size, location, family, finances, etc that dont apply to me. I supply information and about the condition of the home, and I let you decide if it is a fit for you."
I always tell my clients " I am like FOX News. I report, you decide". They laugh and say “Got it”. Works every time!
Different strokes for some folks. She could be buying it for some of her family as an investment.
I would buy it if it would fit my needs, but at the moment is not condusive to my needs.
I may test it out .
I always say nope I already own one I don’t need two
I have a lot of admiration for inspectors that don’t tap dance around the flag pole and call it like it is.
Today I was on an inspection and the chimney sweep showed up and started doing his thing. The house was about 2500sf and 97 years old.
It had 2 masonry chimneys and since it was a 2 story we obviously could not get on top to look down inside.
Had just been totally rennovated and looked good EXCEPT I’d already noted gaps or holes in the chimney; creosote in flues; missing dampers and ash dump doors; and ash pits totally FILLED to overflow.
After about an hour of video scanning, cleaning, etc the chimney sweep and I got done about the same time. He started summarizing 1st. After he got done talking the buyer asked the magic question - Would you buy the house (its to be an AS IS sale).
The chimney sweep smiled and then politely said - Heck no, not unless the sellers either fix the chimneys or gave me the money to do it (about $7,400) because there’s way too many problems and they’re really messed up bad and although the rest of the place looks like a doll house, these 2 chimneys could kill somebody.
The RE Agent turned pale AND I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us REALLY tell it the way we think it …
I usually say “well, I wouldn’t NOT buy the house based on what my finding were, but I am pretty handy and can fix anything.” depending on the house and the issues- i might add “I’ll bet you will be pretty good at fixing things after you have been living here for awhile” or something similar
On the other hand a local developer was elected to the local school board. The school district decided to close some of the elementary schools and move the kids up into the middle school for financial reasons - lack of class size, buildings were too big, teachers salaries were too high, boilers in buildings were getting old etc.
So they were building the new middle school and the private contractor / developer did not get a contract to do the cement work. In return he measured the cement every day and after the floors were poured he came into the school board hearing and told the school board that the floors were only 3 1/2 inches thick and the specifications called for 4 inches of cement and he made them jack hammer all the floors out and redo them.
When the building was done - the HVAC was not done to code and the heating / air conditioning units did not work because they were wired wrong and were the wrong ones for the application.
In the end, the contractor was left off the hook because no one caught the most obvious things and over looked the engineering plans to build the building within the budget and yet they wasted a hundred thousand dollars on cement because someone was either being cheap on the building side or because someone was being anal on the inspecting side.
The $100,000 that they wasted on the cement would have wired the heating / cooling system several times over and everything would have worked the way it should have.
The funny part of it all is - the developer / private contractor that made the stink about the cement - builds houses and then sell them at a profit in plans - 20 to 40 houses at a time.
All of his work is subbed out to other contractors and most of his houses are not built to code and the code inspectors were non existent before last year and so he got away with it for 20 years.
A cousin of mine married into money and bought one of his new houses. They lived there about 5 years before the obvious problems surfaced. By the time we tore down the dry wall - found leaks in the roof and mold behind the drywall and water soaked insulation and two garage doors that almost fell down on their own - she was out about $10,000.00 - and this house was one of his better built homes.
Now you ask me - would I buy this place or would I hire any of his sub contractors to do work for me?
The answer is positively / absolutely NO - with no doubt in my mind.
I wouldn’t care how much business it cost me today - because tomorrow when you have problems - and you will - you will be calling someone to come and repair what damage has been done by their shoddy building practices and their sub standards of construction.