Libertyinspectiongroup.com 610.717.3082 SEPTEMBER 2018
HOME INSPECTION THE BIGGEST SURPRISES I’VE DISCOVERED ON THE JOB ADVENTURES IN
O ver more than 11 years and hundreds of home inspections, my team at Liberty Inspection Group has seen a fair share of, let’s say, interesting stuff. While I haven’t come across any mummified cats or creepy doll collections like I’ve read about on the internet, I’ve encountered a fair few critters and other surprises. The most common thing we see worth writing home about are the animals. Once, after making my way through almost an entire property without much to note, I climbed the ladder to the attic, switched on my flashlight, and was met with 4 pairs of beady little black eyes staring back at me. Four squirrels had made a cozy home out of the insulated space, and with the way they scattered when they realized an interloper was in their midst, they might as well have screamed “Boo!” in my face. I’m not normally squeamish about rodents, but when you get into the focused rhythm of a home inspection, it’s pretty easy to get startled. And every once in a while I’ll come across a nasty black snake in the attic, which is my signal to recommend the client get an exterminator involved. Once, I parked in front of a pretty ordinary bank-owned property, performed the outdoor visual inspection with my team, and headed inside. Everything seemed pretty kosher, until we made our way to the basement and discovered an unkempt, likely drugged-out squatter, zonked out on a beaten-up mattress. At that point, there wasn’t much to do besides high-tail it out of there, let the bank know the situation, and reschedule the inspection. Thankfully, our team didn’t have to be the ones to throw the poor guy out, though I do sometimes wonder what became of him after.
By far, though, most of the things we encounter that are genuine hazards to buyers are shoddy do-it-yourself projects. I’ve encountered entire electrical systems done up by an intrepid — often underskilled — husband, rickety wires sticking out all over the place. For a lot of people, up until the point that it’s time to sell, they don’t much care about safety. If it works, it works, after all. Our job isn’t to alarm the client with a massive list of miniscule problems. Whether there’s a fist-sized hole leaking water into the upstairs, black mold creeping up the basement stairs, or bricks falling off the front facade, there’s always a solution to the problem, and we’re eager to offer advice. We do our best to stay well within the realm of reason, while being an advocate for our clients. Of course, if the house is a bomb, we’re going to say it’s a bomb in the report, but we’re not about to hunt down fake problems and make you pay for the solutions. Years and years ago, it was pretty common for an inspector to find something wrong with your heater and, lo and behold, tell you they had one up to code they could sell you right in their truck. We don’t mess around with those kinds of conflicts of interest. We just do everything we can to provide a thorough, honest account of everything we see, and to detect any potential issues before they become a dangerous headache for a potential buyer. And if that search puts me up against the occasional horde of squirrels, so be it.
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