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The inspection involved an REO, and vacant for some time. The buyer called me to set it up and asked what kinds of things we might find. I said that there was nothing typical, but often on such properties there is a lot of homeowner installations and "improvements." I told him that when I said the word "improvements" I was also wagging my fingers.
He said he understood.
Outside wasn't bad, with typical stuff for a house built in 1985. That's not very old, but also not very new and things happen. One thing was the Belly Button Roof, which will be a future post! Another was the brand new heat pump, only one year old and a very good quality!
We went next into the garage. I wanted to see the panel box. It was there that I discovered the mystery of the new circuit breaker.
Since there was a new heat pump, I expected (hoped) to find new breakers corresponding to its installation. Often manufacturers require new breakers to maintain the warranties on their new equipment. But they were old. There they are on the left. The new breaker is on the top right.
No, but I did notice that the only new breaker in the box corresponded to the electric cook top (so said the label). Having already been in the kitchen I noticed that the cook top was original. So there would be no reason for a new breaker.
The new breaker was for 50 amps and I noticed a new cable attached to it, snaking its way along the garage floor (!!) to enter the wall toward the basement. That old, kitchen cook top probably only needs a 30amp breaker.
THIS MIGHT NOT BE GOOD...
I could hardly wait to get into the basement!
'Thar she blows coming into the basement! And 'thar she blows making an interesting, and dangerous, split and junction in the basement ceiling! WHAT'S THIS?!
The one cable continues on toward the kitchen area to service that cook top and the other continues to a corner in the basement.
Interestingly, the cable to the corner comes down from the ceiling, curls delightfully and is unprofessionally wired into a SECOND dryer receptacle!
Investigating the basement further, it appears that it used to be rented to a tenant, who was apparently promised a separate laundry and kitchen area. That promise was fulfilled with MORE just-as-interesting, and just-as-dangerous, installations!
My recommendation: don't ever think that just because a bank "owns" a property offered for sale that it has been investigated and would be safe. I was right about the "improvements" here before even seeing them! Fortunately those things installed by the previous owner will be easy to eliminate, but they sure made for a fun inspection!
But get a home inspection! You might just find that the mysteries become less mysterious!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.