We had an incredible opportunity the other day to inspect the most interesting house I have ever seen. The previous owner of this 6 bedroom, 3 bathroom house was nuns. The owner before that, who had put on two additions, was a bricklayer. He could apparently get brick and steel cheap, because the additions were made of solid brick walls on steel joists! This was essentially a commercial building.
The house had a courtyard in the center of it with sliding glass doors on three sides. Very cool layout. The main problem with a courtyard in the middle of the home is getting rid of the water. There was a gutter-like system in place that ran to the storm drain, but those are only effective if they are kept clean. These looked like they were not cleaned out very often. As a result, the steel joists and one of the three furnaces underneath were showing significant rust.
When the buyers arrived (a father and son were buying this house together for their families) we immediately told them they did not hire us to point out the good parts of the house, you are going to hear us say some bad things about the house, just remember to keep it all in perspective. They told us the contract was "as-is", they just needed to know essentially what to fix first.
By the time we were done, both father and son said we had put their mind at ease.
That is always our goal, to thuroughly inform the client of all the conditions of the house, while managing to keep things in perspective.