Nothing surprises a home inspector. Well, that’s not entirely true. While professional inspectors poke through million-dollar mansions as well as ramshackle rentals, seeing all manner of things, there are still some things that surprise (and scare) them.
No matter the situation, though, in homes across Lewis County the talented inspectors at Boggs Inspection Services thoroughly examine all the nooks and crannies of each property. They share their top 10 strange stories from the home inspection front lines here.
Creative Kitchen Cabinet – Owner Dwayne Boggs has been inspecting homes for over 12 years. And, while he’s seen his fair share of strange homes, this one was a first. “While inspecting a home with central heating, I found a return air duct installed through the front of a kitchen cabinet,” he shares. “The grate was literally cut into the cabinet door with the duct inside.” At least the kitchen air stayed extra fresh.
- “Shadow Dog” – This inspection memory has to be my favorite. “I was inspecting a rental and the tenant, who called himself Shadow Dog and only wore underwear, followed me around the entire time,” remembers Bowman. “That was a weird one.” Keith earned all of his fee that day.
- A Growing Problem – It’s not unusual to find a “grow room” during an inspection. Boggs inspectors can only speculate about the produce being produced, but they have a sneaky suspicion it isn’t carrots. Bowman’s strangest set up was found in a crawlspace. “I was inspecting the crawlspace, a normal, tight space I had to slide into. But, in the back there was a plastic over the insulation and a light switch. Under the plastic was a little door and behind it they had dug out a small room. There was even a heater and lights in there. No one really expects to find an entire room that you can stand up in buried under your house.” New bonus room, anyone?
- All in the Family – Buying a home is exciting. You want to share, and get advice,
from family and friends. However, the inspection isn’t the right time for a group pow-wow. Boggs recalls his largest group – 25 family and friends. “At the inspection they were pointing me all over the place saying, ‘Don’t miss this! Did you see that?’ It got so bad I had to call a family meeting and take control of the group. I handed out paper and pens to everyone, asking them to write down questions and notes, and said if I can’t stay on track I will surely miss something and then we will all be sorry.” The moral? More isn’t always merrier.
- A Personal Predicament – “A lot of times, the sellers don’t prepare their homes for an inspection,” says inspector Bill Ryan. And by prepare he means tidy up the house and for goodness sake, put away your more “personal” items. “I’ve found loose handguns, rolls of cash, and some, well, really very personal items that I probably shouldn’t see,” says Ryan. People – put your stuff away!
- Room for Guests – Veteran inspector Dwayne Boggs shares his all-time favorite
moment. “I was inspecting a crawlspace, which was over four-feet high. When I turned a corner, I ran right into a living space,” he says. “Someone had been living in a tent in the home’s crawlspace. The person had even disconnected a heat duct so they could be warm in the cold winter months. The home backed up to a greenbelt, so I suppose the person accessed the home by way of the greenbelt without being seen.” Not exactly what homeowners expect from “three bedrooms + guest space”.
- Sellers Stick Around – Typically, the seller is absent during the buyer’s inspection. However, they legally can stay despite the awkwardness that will inevitably occur. “Poking through someone’s home with the buyer, a total stranger, when the homeowner is present is really awkward,” shares Ryan. Solution? Sellers: go get a latte, walk the dog, or run a few errands and everyone wins.
- Playing Possum – No one likes to shimmy into their crawl space and home inspectors are no exception. Keith Bowman saves the crawl space for last in most homes and recently, he was a bit surprised when he headed under the house. Putting his hand on the plastic vapor barrier for balance, Bowman felt something move. A lot. Out of the plastic came a BIG possum who bolted for the far corner, hissing menacingly. Bowman scampered back to the entrance calling an end to that inspection.
- Serious Sewage – Rentals can be some of the most challenging inspections and Bill Ryan was in the midst of a fairly run-down four-plex when he noticed a serious smell. He assumed it was simply from the mess left by tenants, but it grew stronger in the lower units. When he reached that dreaded crawlspace he found the source. Raw sewage had been filling the space under the house – none of the drain lines were connected to the city sewer system “The crawl was literally filled with raw sewage,” recalls Ryan. He booked it home for a quick shower before his next appointment. Yuck.
- Unhappy Hound – Dogs. They create some great stories for inspectors. Keith
Bowman share his favorite canine tale: “I got out of the car at an inspection and the seller’s huge German Shepherd came racing out from behind the house barking. He was pretty scary and at the time, I just told myself, ‘Be calm. Get back in the car. Don’t run, he can catch you.’” The agent soon arrived with a pocket full on Milk Bones and everyone quickly became best friends. “I think the dog followed me around, wagging his tail, for the rest of the inspection,” he laughs.
In the process of buying a new home or getting ready to list your own? Call the professional inspectors at Boggs Inspection Services at 360-480-9602. They will get the job done right and, hopefully, won’t find anything to add to their list of home inspection horror stories.