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  1. #1

    Default Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    This story is just unbelievable. This guy DID get an inspection, but the flipper evidently did a pretty careful job of covering up a piss-poor renovation.

    I bought my first home, only to become a victim of predatory remodeling. | Hoodwinked House

    It's a pretty amazing read. And it has also led to an interesting discussion elsewhere. When you read the story, you'll see the part about unconnected coax cables. One person I chatted with said his inspector tested the cable outlets as part of the inspection. Do any of you do this? How would you test them unless there's a signal running through them?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Based on the accompanying photos ... Some of the text is correct, some is incorrect, some is hyperbole and sensationalism.

    I wonder if she got permits for the work ...

    That's all I'm going to say about that story - that and read it at your own risk ... "As Is" so to speak.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    To your question... I do not check cable, telephone, or any other non-standard electrical box.
    About the story...I agree with Jerry.

    Last edited by Jack Feldmann; 07-10-2014 at 05:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    "The downstairs tub drain illegally runs underneath the tub itself, angled towards the toilet."

    I don't get that one. Can someone explain?

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    The electrical is a disaster, actually the whole house is a disaster.

    Reminds me of a similar instance when a client of mine was persuaded by their agent to use her husband who was supposedly a professional renovator.

    Pretty much everything in the house was botched. Insulation, electrical, plumbing, ruined well, grading, tiles. Cost my clients close to $65K and many headaches.

    Receipts for supplies submitted even turned out to be for items that never where put into the house.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    "The downstairs tub drain illegally runs underneath the tub itself, angled towards the toilet."

    I don't get that one. Can someone explain?
    Which part? The "illegally runs underneath the tub itself" part? Nope, can't explain that, but what the plumber missed was all the slip joint fittings used instead of solvent cement glued fittings, and that the trap is not the proper trap for a tub - that entire trap setup looks to be for a kitchen sink in an exposed location (so the slip joints can be accessible).

    Nothing is right about that photo, but what they stated is wrong is not, to my knowledge, wrong.

    The completely illegal vent under the kitchen sink is an AAV - they are not illegal. The pipe sizing - can't tell from the photo but that may be too small.

    The photos with the shower and the next one with the drain piping and arrows does not match another photo down which shows the drain piping better - the photo with the drawing and arrows shows from the shower and too the shower, and the piping shows it is from the shower then goes under the shower ... not "to shower".

    They have so many errors that they have shot their case so full of holes that their ship will sink before it ever leaves port should they try to sue someone - and someone probably does need to be sued for that work (unpermitted? only if permits are required, and they likely were) (unlicensed contractors? only if licensed contractors are required, and they likely were) (but if she is using unlicensed contractors and does not have a permit, she is creating the same errors in that respect)

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    I thought I read somewhere in the treatise that the local building inspector came in and agreed with the issues being exposed, but then required the deficiencies be corrected. If that is the case then I would suspect that such orders from the municipal inspector would require permits, since the issues are now on record. It would be incumbent on the inspector to ensure that permits are taken out for the repairs. The inspector surely would not come in tell them to rectify and then leave it at that.

    In my view the owner has a very good case against the previous owner for fraudulent misrepresentation for the concealments and improper works, regardless what is now being done so far as repairs/corrections, permits. Law suits do not necessarily look at corrections being carried out under permit but rather the suit is for past grievances committed resulting in a loss.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    What exactly constitutes "illegal" in regard to some of this work? There is plenty of bad work there but is the term "illegal" even applicable or correct when it comes to describing this stuff?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    The term illegal in relation to the work carried out in the house which was construction of a structure without permit or notification required by the building code (legislative act or statute) in place which was enacted by the state government. In this case it is clear that the regulations in place where ignored in order to circumvent the building code. The results speak for themselves via the pictures and descriptions - hence the term illegal.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    What exactly constitutes "illegal" in regard to some of this work? There is plenty of bad work there but is the term "illegal" even applicable or correct when it comes to describing this stuff?
    I will never use that term in the course of a home inspection, unless maybe if I stumble upon an active meth lab or something.
    "Illegal' has too many syllables.

    A handyman told a past client of mine that her stove installation was 'illegal'. She became very upset, having never done a thing illegal in her entire life. I was never informed as to what this fixer guy saw that made him blurt that out. A new range was installed in place of the old one. Now she lives in fear of a Swat team busting down the door. Nice job, buddy.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The completely illegal vent under the kitchen sink is an AAV - they are not illegal.

    The house in question is in Minnesota. Minnesota Plumbing Code does not allow Air Admittance Valves...period. Therefore "illegal".

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    There's a big difference between "illegal" and "not to code." Illegal means you can go to jail for it; it generally refers to criminal law. The Studor valve is against code in that area. I doubt anyone would be arrested for installing one of them, or for having one in their home.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Certainly not in all jurisdictions.

    Up here certain infractions are termed illegal and jail term can be the outcome.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    The Studor valve is against code in that area.
    It is?

    You sure?

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Welmoed Sisson View Post
    There's a big difference between "illegal" and "not to code." Illegal means you can go to jail for it; it generally refers to criminal law. The Studor valve is against code in that area. I doubt anyone would be arrested for installing one of them, or for having one in their home.
    il∑le∑gal
    i(l)ˈlēgəl/
    adjective
    adjective: illegal
    1.
    contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.
    "illegal drugs"
    synonyms: unlawful, illicit, illegitimate, criminal, felonious; unlicensed, unauthorized, unsanctioned, warrantless;
    fraudulent, corrupt;
    outlawed, banned, forbidden, prohibited, proscribed, taboo;
    contraband, black-market, bootleg;
    malfeasant;
    informalcrooked, shady, sketchy
    "illegal campaign contributions"


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It is?

    You sure?
    Yes, 100% There is actually a Statutory Ban on them in Minnesota.

    2013 Minnesota Statutes


    326B.43 PLUMBING STANDARDS; RULES; AGREEMENT WITH MUNICIPALITY; EXEMPTION.


    Subd. 6.Air admittance valves prohibited.

    Mechanical devices and fittings with internal moving parts are prohibited from installation in plumbing venting systems.


    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/...es/?id=326B.43


    So here in MN, where the house in question is located, they are prohibited by State law, making them illegal, and not allowed by our plumbing code.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 07-12-2014 at 11:47 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    There is actually a Statutory Ban on them in Minnesota.

    [B][SIZE=2]2013 Minnesota Statutes
    Subd. 6.Air admittance valves prohibited..

    One of very few states to not permit AAVs and erringly call them mechanical devices.

    Most likely the plumber's union got that through.

    Oh, well, AAVs are not permitted in MN.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    I believe MN is the only state which prohibits them.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Did it ever say if the raccoons were legal raccoons or illegal ones?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house missing water meter

    What is illegal depends on who catches you in the act. Ask any politician.
    This missing water meter was in a flip house.
    The property owner was the selling agent.
    Some flips are a service to the community and some need a pre-inspection before they go on the market. My client walked away due to numerous high dollar issues that were not disclosed.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Ruth View Post
    Did it ever say if the raccoons were legal raccoons or illegal ones?
    Not illegal ... just undocumented


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Ruth View Post
    Did it ever say if the raccoons were legal raccoons or illegal ones?
    They all said they were CMI's, so they musta been legal.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    The only good Racoon is a dead Racoon. Ditto Squirrels. Have seen to much damage caused by them.
    And for you bleeding humane hearts out there I suggest you open a half way house for them and let them eat, poop, pea, and knaw your house... they are like Canada Geese they need to be culled.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    I kinda lost concern for the owner when I reached this in the article:

    "My realtor also visits the house to see the problems for himself. At the time of purchase, he and the sellers had coached me into waiving the disclosures notice (which means I bought the house ďas isĒ). I would later learn that this is one of many tactics used by predatory remodeler"

    Only to be topped by:


    "My realtor suggests that I go into real estate arbitration through his agency. Iím informed that there are no lemon laws for houses and the sale cannot be reversed."
    Then and only then the owner brain cells kick into gear and a light shines down from above :


    "I contact a lawyer and begin researching my legal options. We decide to prepare for an approach that is not under the thumb of the real estate agency. "-

    ====
    I also have to agree that somethings are blown way out of portion.

    "I also discover that one of my cupboard doors is not attached and it comes off its hinges when opened."


    Based on the type of hinges shown, which are very common today, it happens. I do begin to wounder if other parts of the story is being expanded a bit.


    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 07-17-2014 at 06:22 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Garry, I think the comment about the cupboards was written to emphasize the vast array of problems with the home.

    The owner of this property is correct, and I feel bad for her. There are many predatory flippers in this area and even more predatory re agents. I've read her entire blog and have personally witnessed every problem she has written about in other houses.

    The majority of her complaints should have been caught by her home inspector. Maybe they were and she chose to ignore the report. Maybe the re agent told her the inspector didn't know what they were talking about (I've had that happen before).

    When I inspect a house that has had any remodeling done I advise my clients to check the permit history. This is something every buyer should be doing themselves and not relying on their re agent. If they're not comfortable with what they find, or don't find, they shouldn't buy the house.

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    I don't know who started the transition, but the story is about a MAN that buys the house, not woman.

    I like that nowhere in the story does he talk about going after his inspector. The inspector must have made it clear that seeing through walls and floors is beyond the scope.

    I don't check cable, internet or phone lines, boxes or connections. Short of being improperly energized there aren't really any safety issues involved.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Guy buys a flipper house and uncovers a nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Geof Greer View Post
    I don't know who started the transition, but the story is about a MAN that buys the house, not woman.
    .....

    Blame it on Jerry..... But I did a quick reread and didn't see gender mentioned. Not that it really matters.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 07-25-2014 at 03:47 AM.

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