Old Stone House

Bad house inspection – Bad house inspector

July 4, 2008

Filed under: Day to Day @ 10:11 am

So we have encountered a major setback – ‘apparently’ our house is fraught with problems…

I received a phone call yesterday from our agent informing me that the home inspection had not gone well – citing MAJOR water problems. Distressed, I left work immediately and met our listing agent, as well as the buyer’s agent to review the report.

1. Evidence of extensive water damage in the basement

We surveyed the finished room in the basement and asked the buyer’s agent to explain where the water damage was. She pointed out ‘banded’ stains around the perimeter of the baseboard, as well as a large circular scuff on the wall. She explained that the basement had obviously been wet and the baseboards had wicked up the water, and the wall had become saturated.

2. Entire rear wall of sun room is soaking wet

We moved to the sun room where the buyers agent pointed out where the wall was ‘soft’, and the water stains at the base of the windows.

3. Water damage in ceiling of kitchen

The agent indicated that there was evidence of water damage in the kitchen ceiling by the rear door.

With this was a list of other small points such as a cracked window and a tippy-toilet. The buyers have indicated that they feel we have been hiding things, and are now questioning their offer.


I took the agent through the house and explained each of the issues.

First, the basement. The ‘banded’ stains along the baseboards are a week old. Our listing agent offered to have the carpets professionally cleaned, but rather then steam cleaning, we opted to have the carpets ‘foamed’, which involves using a large rotating scrub brush (like a floor buffer) to lift any dirt/stains. The cleaners dragged the rotating brush down the sides of the baseboards leaving a banded stain around the perimeter of the room. As the baseboards are only primed, the paint is now discolored. The large circular scuff on the wall is from the carpet installer. We ran out of paint/time to ‘hide’ this mark on the wall…

The soaking wet sun room wall. This really had me chuffed. I told her there was no way the wall was wet (knowing full well that I had just ripped out the wall last fall) but agreed that the wall was curiously ‘spongy’. I plunged a knife into the wall and ripped open a hole to reveal a BONE DRY wall cavity complete with dusty ‘drywall’. I showed her the reno pictures and explained how the wall had just been rebuilt this past fall. The sponginess? The drywall was not anchored against the studs – it was sitting out from the studs 1/8′” and so it had some play when you pushed on it – a result of not re-screwing the drywall after the exterior work had been completed.

Water damage in the kitchen. Again, I reviewed the renovation pictures with her and explained how we had torn off all the siding on the rear of the house as water was flowing back over the top of the uninsulated door/wall when the gutters weren’t cleaned, and that this has caused a major ice dam when the weather became cold. We had fixed the issue. We had repainted the ceiling – but there was still some residual evidence that we missed.

At this point I indicated that we didn’t know what more to do – we had been completely blind-sided by this inspection. I asked what sort of moisture readings the inspector had taken…

He hadn’t!

There was a pregnant pause between the three of us before the buyer’s agent announced that she was completely unsatisfied with the home inspection. Our agent and the buyer agent immediately agreed that they would pay for a second opinion, hiring a trusted inspector to review the issues – so long as the buyers agreed.

We’re at wits end. We figured this was a done deal, and now an incompetent inspector has screwed up the entire arrangement. The buyers wanted the evening to ‘think about it’ – so now we wait. What’s difficult about this is that the buyers think we’ve been trying to conceal problems and are now worried that there is a mountain of defects that they don’t even know about. A cloud of doubt is now casting a shadow…

Waiting for the sun to shine….

1 Comment »

  1. I am SO sorry to hear this! The good news seems to be that even the buyers’ agent agrees that you got a bum deal. Here’s hoping that the buyers understand what’s up.

    In any case, EVERYONE owes you an apology.

    Thanks for the support Nicole!  At this point, I’ll happily trade a sale for an apology! 

    Comment by Nicole — July 5, 2008 @ 12:06 am

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