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  1. #1
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    Default Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Here's what $650,000 will get you in the suburban Philadelphia area.

    Take special note of the new structurally approved C-clamp in the picture titled "crap6".

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Yeaah!, and Merry F'n Christmas to you too Mr Big Shot Home Inspector.
    Nice lights!
    On a serious note, Was there a main beam in that home? Was that the one with the clamp?
    Or is that the prop it or drop it style system?


  3. #3
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Unbelievable! How old was this house?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    This thread hopefully won't turn into another one of those like Jack F. post did.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    This thread hopefully won't turn into another one of those like Jack F. post did.
    Rick,

    Why, I don't see anything wrong, just some "unconventional framing" which should be okie dokie, right?

    I mean, they DID use a big honkin' C-clamp.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    This place had it all goin' on. The basement area was actually made up of a finished basement area in the middle flanked by two crawlspaces. As for the "support" posts, I think they put them in to add "support" due to weight from one bathroom area above. But I have no idea why they had their science fair project in the other crawlspace.

    I really got under the skin of the buyer's agent on this one. I called out three basement level windows with steel lintels/shelfs that showed sagging, deflection, and delamination. The stone masonry wall above had multiple cracks in the pointing. When I stated the wall appears to have moved due the deteriorating lintels, he blew a gasket and started saying the problem wasn't that bad because his father was a stone mason (huh?????). After blastiong away, he excused himself to make a phone call and the buyers told me that he was an @$$hole and that I should find as much as I can. I couldn't disagree with them.

    A little while later, the realtor's stone mason shows up to look at the lintel shelfs and explain to the buyers what he would charge to replace them if they chose to do so ($750 for two - 5 total needed). After I found all kinds structural crap in the attic and separated cracks on the interior and exterior walls in the garage, he had his general contractor buddy come to look at those things. At the end of the inspection, Mr. GC proceeded to challenge me on my assertions that a structural engineer is needed. After we had a civil conversation and each presented our viewpoints, the buyer's agent tells me that I pi$$ed him the f--- off with my comments about the lintels and cracks on the walls and that the buyers looked scared to death. He proceeded to pepper his comments with explatives and told me I need to know what the f--- I'm talking about. I'd had enough and told him I was done talking to him about the inspection and needed to wrap things up with the client. Right before I left, the realtor said he would need me to get the buyer to authorize release of the reports to him. I told him I showed the buyer where he needed to initial the agreement to let his realtor have a copy of the reports and he declined to do so, you'll need to get the report from him yourself.

    I spoke with the buyer a few hours after the inspection and he said the sellers are willing to let him out of the agreement.............without even seeing an inspection report. Hmmmmmmmm????


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I spoke with the buyer a few hours after the inspection and he said the sellers are willing to let him out of the agreement.............without even seeing an inspection report. Hmmmmmmmm????
    At least someone had some sense, if lacking in the ethics department ... seller says 'I do not want to know anything about anything on that inspection report, if I do, they now become "known defects" and I will have to disclose them to my next buyer'.

    Nick, That's just the kind of stuff needed in the home inspection report area of EastWestData.com - Home Inspectors helping Home Inspectors, it might help save the next home inspector's butt. Only authorized home inspectors can view it, they need to get a user name and password from me. That's how it is intended to work, HIs helping HIs who in turn helps the first HI (over time as records built). But you would need your client's permission first.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 09-18-2008 at 09:44 PM.
    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    At least someone had some sense, if lacking in the ethics department ... seller says 'I do not want to know anything about anything on that inspection report, if I do, they now become "known defects" and I will have to disclose them to my next buyer'.

    .
    You know it Jerry. The seller is a realtor. I told my client that this was likely the reason they were willing to release him from the agreement without even seeing the report.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Even though the "buyer's agent" is supposedly working on the side of the buyer, their interests are nonetheless aligned with the seller. They don't get paid unless the sale goes through, and their paycheck is a percentage of the sale, therefore the higher the better. I suppose in this market I'd be a little upset about the HI stepping in the way of a $19,500 paycheck.

    When I bought my first house my HI wanted to know how bad to make the report - if there was a chance I wouldn't buy the house he would make it just bad enough to get me out of the agreement whereas if I was certain I was going to buy the house he'd make it as brutally honest as I wanted. Like it or not, he still got most of his referrals from real estate agents and didn't want to piss them off too much by having the appearance of just being out to kill the sale.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    When I bought my first house my HI wanted to know how bad to make the report - if there was a chance I wouldn't buy the house he would make it just bad enough to get me out of the agreement whereas if I was certain I was going to buy the house he'd make it as brutally honest as I wanted.
    You did tell him "No thanks, I'll hire another home inspector, one who is honest with the inspection report.", right?

    To me, there is only way, the "brutally honest" way. There is no 'Well, I can go easy on it if you want me to', that tells me that the inspector has the propensity to 'go easy on it' to protect the sale, whether or not the client (the buyer - you!) actually wanted him to 'go easy on it'.

    That's like going into the garage to have your car fixed you ask what is wrong with it, the guy says 'Depends, you want to be able to drive 5 miles or 5,000 miles?' No, afraid not, 'what is wrong with it' does not depend on that, maybe 'what he is going to fix' does, but not 'what is wrong with it'. There is a difference, and it could be a big difference.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    I wish all the crawls I did in sub-areas during my career where like that one.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    You did tell him "No thanks, I'll hire another home inspector, one who is honest with the inspection report.", right?
    I wish I knew to do so at the time. Nonetheless I asked for the brutally honest report since I wasn't really interested in his referral problems.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    This happened last week...
    Had a client call that was referred to me by my financial planner. His agent is the broker in a upscale office, and the listing agent is in the same office.

    My client was given a list of inspectors with three or four circled. He was given my card by my financial guy, so he asked them why I wasn't on the list. Well I was, it was under my company name (of course). He asked why my name wasn't circled.......


    pause

    pause

    pause

    "well, we feel he is kind of picky"

    pause
    "and he takes a long time".


    My client, who is an architecture professor at UT said that "picky" is just what he wanted.

    When he expressed concern about some stuff that both he and I noticed in the crawlspace, he was told by his agent that this "was normal construction practice for the Knoxville area, and I didn't know what I was talking about".

    To this he replied, "well I'm a professor in Architecture, and I know this isn't right, and I'M concerned about it".

    At least they didn't use the term deal killer...........yet.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    How prescient.

    I'm just now reframing the gable wall on the addition of my current house. Because I changed the room to a cathedral ceiling the ridge beam required that the gable wall become a supporting wall. So I stripped the siding and sheathing to find a hidden window and "unconventional framing practices." Below the rim joist I found... wait for it... nothing. It appears the previous builder was using faith-based building practices and decided there was no need for a foundation wall on the gable side, let alone a post or two to hold up the 2x8x16' rim joist (hey, at least it was a 2x8 - the floor was framed with 2x6x16' joists).

    In the crawl-space I found one of those cement bag footers Tony is fond of and thought about using that but I whimped out and opted for one of those BigFoot footing forms and a 10" column instead (I know, how lame!). On this will rest a 3-2x10PT SYP beam with jack studs up to the now doubled 2x8 rim joist.

    I wish my inspection could have gone further and found the complete lack of structure behind the sheathing. Maybe one of those IR thingies might have found it?


  16. #16
    Kevin Barre's Avatar
    Kevin Barre Guest

    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Well, Jack...
    It sounds like you have run into the same situation that I have. Some agents "blackball" you until they need their own prospective purchase inspected. Or one for one of their family members, their minister...etc. In other words, someone they care about. Someone who's not "just" a regular client.

    The article that Darren linked to in his post prior to yours says it all. Some agents are committed to watching out for their clients and truly want the best for ALL of them. Some are more committed to their commission check. It's that simple.

    Unfortunately, the ethically challenged ones don't realize one important fact: Ultimately, their own best interests are likewise protected when protecting those of their clients.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    This happened last week...
    Had a client call that was referred to me by my financial planner. His agent is the broker in a upscale office, and the listing agent is in the same office.

    My client was given a list of inspectors with three or four circled. He was given my card by my financial guy, so he asked them why I wasn't on the list. Well I was, it was under my company name (of course). He asked why my name wasn't circled.......


    pause

    pause

    pause

    "well, we feel he is kind of picky"

    pause
    "and he takes a long time".


    My client, who is an architecture professor at UT said that "picky" is just what he wanted.
    I wonder what realtors like this would say if they were then asked why the other companies on the list were circled.

    Is it because they are not picky?
    They don't take a long time?
    They can overlook crap work because crap work is everywhere?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    Even though the "buyer's agent" is supposedly working on the side of the buyer, their interests are nonetheless aligned with the seller. They don't get paid unless the sale goes through, and their paycheck is a percentage of the sale, therefore the higher the better. I suppose in this market I'd be a little upset about the HI stepping in the way of a $19,500 paycheck.
    That's the way some realtors look at it Corn and that's the problem. We're not the ones going into the houses and installing burnt lumber as a support column and we're not the ones framing a roof structure incorrectly and we're not the ones causing window lintels to deteriorate and sag. Our job is defect recognition and documentation. The only thing standing in the way of the realtors and their commission checks is the real condition of the house. Listing agents can help prevent these situations by recommending their sellers have pre-listing inspections performed so they can correct possible dealbreaker issues before they impede a sale.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    What if realtors got out of the HI referral business altogether and instead that mantel was taken up by the lenders? I'm surprised more lenders and lawyers aren't providing these referrals since their interests seem more aligned with those of the buyer. After all, it's the bank's money on the line if there are serious defects that impact the value of the property.


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    What if realtors got out of the HI referral business altogether and instead that mantel was taken up by the lenders? I'm surprised more lenders and lawyers aren't providing these referrals since their interests seem more aligned with those of the buyer. After all, it's the bank's money on the line if there are serious defects that impact the value of the property.
    I find it comical the some lenders and of course FHA loans require a termite inspection but not a home inspection. I think if I were a lender I would like to know how much the buyer is going to have to put out in a short time for repairs and if it is going to break him and go into debt and then lose the home.

    I get calls all the time from Realtors for a termite inspection and no home inspection. I just got a call today for a 5000 sq ft home on a lake that is 20 years old and the folks just wanted a termite. I talked them into a home inspection but it took a while. Go figure


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Pretty on the Surface, but............

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    What if realtors got out of the HI referral business altogether and instead that mantel was taken up by the lenders? I'm surprised more lenders and lawyers aren't providing these referrals since their interests seem more aligned with those of the buyer. After all, it's the bank's money on the line if there are serious defects that impact the value of the property.
    Naw, the bank just wants to make the loan, that's where it makes its money, then the loan paper is sold and someone else takes the risk.

    They just want the loan to go through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I find it comical the some lenders and of course FHA loans require a termite inspection but not a home inspection.
    See above.

    Of course, everyone knows ... the foreclosure rates are never going to get very high ... so who cares ...

    NOW is the time to press that issue on a national scale, THAT is what the national associations should be spending their time on.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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