"Nonsense"

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

On a home inspection last week the house had a newly finished basement.  It was supposedly finished by a Class A contractor, who is also an investor.  The common term would be flipper.

The Realtor told me this particular investor has flipped many houses in the area.

Let's call him "Flipper."  Flipper is not using a Realtor - he's selling it himself!

Among other things in the basement, there were many "clues" that the electrical alone was not professional, not to code and done without a permit.  Alright, they weren't clues, they were obviously unprofessional installations!

For example: 

~~  The entire basement was wired off of the original 15 amp breaker left by the builder to service the light in the furnace room.  That includes ALL the new receptacles on the wall, and the one switch for ALL the lights in the basement.

~~  The GFI in the bathroom was made for a 20 amp circuit (How can you tell?  Beside the vertical opening for the plug is a horizontal opening, FYI) and when it tripped the light and fan in the bathroom and the light in the furnace room turned off.

~~  The voltage drop in the basement, with nothing plugged in, was over 20% with impedance registering well over 2 Ohms.  My meter only goes to 2 Ohms, and 20% voltage drop, so it all could have been 77 for all I know.  Not to get technical, but that means something -- like the connections, or quality of product, or wiring job, or cables inside the wall, or something is causing the electricity which flows through the basement to resist its flow or meet something which impedes its flow.  Remember, alternating current (AC) comes to the house, flows around the house, and exits again.  It wants to flow freely, without resistance.

~~  The voltage throughout the basement registered less than 100 volts.  My meter has a light which indicates LESS than 100, so I don't know how low it was.  But, on a 120 volt receptacle you really would like it close to 120!

~~  All the wiring in the bathroom (fan, light and GFI) all met in a huge spaghetti mess behind the bathroom wall.  It was not in a box and I could not find a ground line.  All that could be the subject of another blog by itself!

~~  An old junction box in the ceiling was half covered with drywall, including one of the screws.

~~  Another old junction box was just hanging by its cables.

~~  The two new cable TV jacks were completely filled when they spray painted the walls.

~~  The dryer receptacle was stuck out 1/2" from the wall without a cover plate.

And that's all just the electrical for the basement!  It does not include the new electrical in the rest of the house!

It also does not include the HVAC or plumbing for the basement...

And when presented with the contract addendum from the buyer's Realtor, what did Flipper do?  He struck all the items from the list!  He said, "Your inspector doesn't know what he is talking about and is only trying to scare your buyer.  His report is

NONSENSE."

He said other things too which indicate he might not have a "Class A" contractor's license from Virginia, or the United States, but we'll let that go.  He also could not find the permits he supposedly pulled to do the work.  Surprise, surprise, surprise!!

My recommendation:  When you have a flipped house with a newly finished basement, before you go any further, ask to see the county-issued occupancy permits for any new work, or look for the new sticker on the panel box door.  If there aren't any, instead of a pro you might be dealing with, well, do I really need to say it?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Groups:
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Professional Home Inspectors
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Tags:
permits
remodeling
flipping houses
electrical problems
unprofessional work

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Rainmaker
4,952,969
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Jay....what are people thinking when they try to slip this stuff by the innocent, unsuspecting consumer????

Nov 27, 2009 11:00 PM #1
Rainmaker
73,650
Glen Fisher
National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC - Oaklyn, NJ

Jay, unfortunately this home will likely go back to market and wait for a new buyer that will skip the home inspection. 

Sometimes, the buyer's representative will discourage the home inspection by stating everything in the home is new or it is fully renovated and therefore a home inspection is a waste of money. 

As far as permits, often this is forgotten unless raised by the home inspector.

Nov 27, 2009 11:13 PM #2
Rainmaker
4,797,014
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Jay, I hope lots of buyers read this post so they know the importance of having a good qualified inspector look at their home before a purchase.  Good job!

Nov 27, 2009 11:14 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Barbara - they are thinking that people are innocent and unsuspecting.  Now, home inspectors?  Nonsense.

Nov 27, 2009 11:14 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Glen - you might be right.  And I often hear from potential clients that they were told that they don't need a home inspection since everything is "new."  That usually gets me the job!

Gabe - it is amazing.  Unfortunately, in my area, this is the rule and not the exception!

Nov 27, 2009 11:16 PM #5
Rainer
67,068
Alexandria Virginia
Featuring Susan Craft, CRS, REALTOR® - McEnearney Associates - Alexandria, VA
Real Estate Editor

As always, great post.  I look forward to them and learn from each one.

Nov 27, 2009 11:35 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hi Susan.  This one wasn't in Alex though - Woodbridge!  But the venue is irrelevant!  And thanks!

Nov 27, 2009 11:37 PM #7
Rainmaker
684,059
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I just got an email yesterday from a client who was looking at buying a home redone by Flipper. I only pretty much did the exterior because the place was sooo incredibly bad I basically stopped the inspection to save this lady some money. Well it seems Flipper and the agent have not let this deal go now weeks later.

According to the email Flipper says there is nothing wrong. Sound familiar? They want me to go back to the home and "discuss" the issues.

I told them NO unless they want to pay me a consulting fee.

The whole thing stinks and sounds like they want to gang up on the buyer and myself. Actually now that I think about it may be fun to listen to them try and excuse the piece of steaming crap they call a home.

Nov 27, 2009 11:52 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Yo, Jimey* - tell them you'd be happy to show up, along with your good friend the local County inspector.  See what they have to say then...

* Or Santiago, the Biblical James...

Before you hang up with them, try to do the Flipper sound!

Nov 28, 2009 12:00 AM #9
Ambassador
2,556,438
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Jay, a few years back Flipper and his associates would be able to sneak that past because of the surge to buy. The buyer's agent should ask for another meeting after they have contacted the local building inspector to inquire as to the nature of permits that were pulled for the renovations.

Nov 28, 2009 12:31 AM #10
Ambassador
1,333,850
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay we used to see a lot of houses bought one month and flipped after a complete remodel a couple of months later.  You knew it was not enough time to deal with all the permits in that time frame----that practice seems to have slowed lately.

Nov 28, 2009 03:21 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

I had one the other day where the flipper was suppossed to be an electrician. In light of that, it was weird that all the subpanels were wired bass-ackwards.

Nov 28, 2009 06:27 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Ed - agreed.  These days though things are getting inspected, by home inspectors.

Charlie - probably because so many flippers got burned by the authorities.

Steve - and you were surprised?  Maybe he WAS an electrician on the S.S. Carnuba Wax in the big WW...

 

 

Nov 28, 2009 07:26 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Ed - agreed.  These days though things are getting inspected, by home inspectors.

Charlie - probably because so many flippers got burned by the authorities.

Steve - and you were surprised?  Maybe he WAS an electrician on the S.S. Carnuba Wax in the big WW...

 

 

Nov 28, 2009 07:27 AM #14
Rainmaker
86,952
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay- one good thing about this inspection is the value of what we do. We take a lot of heat from people in the real estate profession, but when we're on top of our game, we can hold our own.

Nov 28, 2009 03:41 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Eric - it's easy to hold our own when there is so much visibly incorrect.  A bowl full of spaghetti is not a proper electrical connection anywhere!  What bothered me most is what I could NOT see.

Nov 28, 2009 08:12 PM #16
Rainer
78,096
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR
www.BillSellsHotSprings.com

Speaking about taking the heat, doesn't that increased resistance in the wiring you were speaking of... ??

Nov 29, 2009 11:27 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,843,365
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Resistance comes in many forms Bill, and I am often the one who takes the heat!

Nov 30, 2009 12:01 AM #18
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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