TALES FROM THE ATTIC: WHERE'S "RALPHIE?"

By
Home Inspector with H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties)

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I have been here, and I may be a little rusty at this, so bear with me.

I was thinking the other day, and thought... who gets into more crawl spaces and attics than a home inspector? Not many people get to have these lovely experiences daily, so I'm thinking, why not share some of these wonderful exploits with those of you who do not get the opportunity to be gnarled up in tight, hot, dirty, and sometimes damp spaces.

Thus, a new series is born...

So, let's begin with one of my all-time memorable attic exploits:

It was a hot day in mid July when I pulled up to this monstrous 3 1/2 story converted 3-unit apartment house. From the outside, I could see that it was going to be one of those rather lengthy inspections, since the outside revealed peeling paint, unkempt yard, and cracked windows (just for starters, before I had even exited my truck).

Well, my gut feelings were not far from wrong. Two of the units were vacant, with abandoned belongings left behind, and the third was occupied by a single gentelman, who lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Although the basement was dark and damp, there was not much else remarkable there, other than wiring which was in great need of updating. Since the property was largely vacant, most of the rest of the inspection was fairly easy, except for having to move some of the belongings left behind to get a better look.

By the time I got to the 2nd floor, I was very hot, and dreading what I knew was yet to come...yep- the dreaded attic, where temperatures were certain to be around 140 degrees or so on a day like this.

As I finally got my ladder brought up to the third floor, I stopped for a short rest, and then prepared myself for attic entry (coveralls & filtered mask). As I was standing there on the 3rd floor, I noticed this very large aquarium in the living room, with nothing in it but some gravel, and a large branch. I remember thinking to myself "Wonder what used to be in there?" Hmm.

Well, no matter, duty called, and at this point I really didn't care much what used to be in that aquarium; I just wanted to get this attic inspection over with. So, I set up my ladder in the closet where the attic access was located. I climbed up, poked my head through the access, fumbled for a second finding my flashlight on my belt... ahh there it is!

I turned on the flashlight to get a better look at the nearly pitch black attic space. As I panned around the attic with the light.... uhh... yikes! Something big, long and spotted is staring back at me... from about 4 feet away! I think I let out some kind of girlish scream... and then just froze. After a paused moment, I managed to yell... "There's a big snake up here!"

I heard someone running up the steps... and then he said... "Ralphie! You found Ralphie!"

Panick-stricken and afraid to move, I manage to say "Ok, now what do I do?"

The voice replies "Oh, he won't hurt you, it's just Ralphie, my pet 8 ft boa". "You can just come down, and I will go up and get him".

Still trembling, I manage to slide back down the ladder, and collapse in the chair. The tennant calmly goes up and slowly brings all 8 ft of "Ralphie" down, and deposits him back in his 300 gallon home.

He tells me "Ralph has been missing for almost 3 days. I had no idea he could get way up there!"

Hmmm.. NEITHER DID I, BUDDY! NEITHER DID I!

Not Ralphie, but probably a relative!

Well, needless to say, after this unique experience, I am now a little more "wary" of empty aquariums.

close

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Murphy 09/06/2009 12:00 AM
Location:
Ohio
Groups:
AR Comedy Club
Almost Anything Goes
Home Inspector's Corner
AR My Name is Cheryl
Blogs Happen...
Tags:
snakes
home inspection
attic inspection

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
2,553,240
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Wow Kevin, you sure do know how to have a good time!

Sep 05, 2009 11:46 PM #3
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Aww, shucks!

It only took a year or two off my life, no biggie. LOL

Sep 05, 2009 11:51 PM #4
Rainmaker
4,796,627
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Great story Kevin.  So, do you write up Ralphie in the inspection?  I guess there weren't any mice or rats in the attic!

Sep 05, 2009 11:51 PM #5
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Ralphie just got a one-liner in the report. I guess I didn't get a picture because umm... oh heck...darn shaky camera!

Sep 05, 2009 11:56 PM #6
Rainer
86,308
Bob Murphy
Keller Williams Realty Consultants - New Albany, IN

Kevin, This is just one of many reasons I am a Realtor and not a Home Inspector.  I will leave that to guys like you.

Sep 05, 2009 11:59 PM #7
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

I imagine that many realtors have some hairy "pet stories" of their own.

Sep 06, 2009 12:03 AM #8
Rainer
132,319
Jon Wnoroski
America's 1st Choice RH Realty Co., Inc. - Green, OH
Summit County Realtor

Hi Kevin - I've gone through some creeply places with clients but never ran into a "Ralphie!"  lol  I'm not sure I'd go into those attics or crawl spaces that I've seen inspectors go through.  I prefer to sit back and watch the experts do their work.  lol

Sep 06, 2009 01:38 AM #9
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

I envy the fact that realtors do not have to enter crawl spaces and attics, but sometimes I'd still prefer to be a home inspector when I see a client giving a realtor the "run around" routine, or when they back out of a deal, or the fiancing falls through.

I guess we all have our trials and tribulations.

Sep 06, 2009 01:44 AM #10
Rainmaker
69,165
Vince Santos
StepByStep Home Services LC - Canton, MI
Southeast Michigan Home Inspector

A good reason to shine your light around the attic before going up. I make a habit of doing that in crawls too.

Sep 06, 2009 01:54 AM #11
Rainer
157,124
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

I would've cra**ed my pants for sure.  Snakes and I don't get along.

Sep 06, 2009 01:56 AM #12
Ambassador
1,333,380
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kevin, I had a dead one once---that was freaky enough---let alone find a live one.

Sep 06, 2009 02:41 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,244,485
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Kevin,

The lesson is that all of us should bring a change of clothing in the car....just in case we need to freshen up a bit.

Sep 06, 2009 04:32 AM #14
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Who knew large snakes could slither up walls???

 

Sep 06, 2009 04:34 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,312,785
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Kevin,

In the crawl space of a house I was purchasing, I remember watching a home inspector pulling himself along on his back and getting stuck from time to time because there was such little clearance.  Glad there was no "Ralphie" to greet him...I get this image of his retreat in my head...

Anyway, for the inspectors out there my hat is off to you and the job you do. 

Sep 06, 2009 08:34 AM #16
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

On behalf of inspectors everywhere... Thanks, Nick!

Sep 06, 2009 10:12 AM #17
Rainmaker
179,891
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I don't like finding unexpected animals of any kind during a home inspection 4, 8, or no legged.

Hi Kevin.

Sep 06, 2009 02:12 PM #18
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

I guess one of my biggest fears is someday being trapped in a crawl space, with the only way out blocked by a creature I'd rather not encounter.

Sep 06, 2009 11:41 PM #19
Rainmaker
179,891
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Believe me I feel the same way.

Sep 07, 2009 05:40 AM #20
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Kevin now this sure a good way to come back and get our attention. Sure glad you are OK. Never know what's luriing. Come back more often.

Sep 07, 2009 11:43 AM #21
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Hi Carl,

Glad To be back. I intend to be here a lot more often now. Nice to hear from you again too.~ :))

Sep 07, 2009 09:27 PM #22
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
67,128

Kevin Corsa

H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information