That something was off rang like a bell.

Home Inspector with Aspect Inspection

I once did an inspection that went very well. That something was off rang like a bell.

The urban environment external to a home can affect its desirability. The clients' tolerance of that is what counts. It's the other side of the coin. So what are the 'masked' issues or factors and what is your clients' tolerance level, real or perceived. You can't see them by just looking at the property.

I once did an inspection that went very well. The duplex was in good shape. The potential buyer, my client, kept asking me what could be wrong. There was nothing really wrong with the building so I asked him why he was wondering this. He said he could not figure out why the price was so low.

And it was low for its comparables. But the building was OK. So I asked him was there anything odd or unexpected in dealing with the seller or their agent. He said no, other than the time changes.

I said what time changes. He'd call for a viewing appointment and hours after they would call back and change the time, but by only an hour or two. He said they even did that for the inspection appointment. He was told not to come early as there would be no one there, but the neighbours' dog would get up set.

I thought about that for a minute. Hmm... I did not hear a dog...hmm.... but I did hear...A ha!  I'd arrived about 15 minutes early, like I often do and not only did I hear it but I saw it too. I just didn't think of the significance at the time.

The house was right under the approach flight path leading in from over the lake to the airport runway. So when I got there 15 minutes early I was able to look up and read the call numbers off the bottom of the plane that was passing then.

I told my client this and he was relieved. He said that was worth the price of the inspection just for that.

Apparently at certain regular time periods there would be streams of planes coming in one after another. This was on a set schedule, but could vary depending on the wind direction, when another approach would be used.

This explained the appointment and inspection schedule changes. So nothing was wrong with the house and my client didn't care about the planes. He just wanted to know why it was under valued.

So you not only do you have to look at the property, you have to look at the environment around the property and what is routinely going on there. But the clients' tolerance is the deciding factor.

Trying to hide why the property was under valued caused an artificial problem in this case. Full disclosure is the way to go. Would this issue be a hidden defect? Hmm....

N.B.: This blog was inspired as a response to the following post by Valerie Zinger;

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Margo Currie
Exit 1 Stop Realty - Saint Augustine Beach, FL

How sneaky... I'd be really upset if someone tried to hide such an important fact from me.

Jan 31, 2011 02:33 PM #1
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

An interest and good post Robert , the things we learn daily about our clients and the properties we visit...looking beyond the property to understand value.


Nor Yeretsian

Jan 31, 2011 02:35 PM #2
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Robert~  I think it is interesting how one thing may bother one person but not another.  Relevant things like that should be disclosed so that the buyer can decide for himself it it is a deterrent or not!  Due diligence is so important.  Looks like you discovered an important piece to the puzzle of why the property was priced low! 

Jan 31, 2011 02:40 PM #3
Jason Channell
Diadem Property Inspections - Serving Southeast Michigan - Troy, MI
The House Sleuth

Sneeky sellers. Good catch.

Didn't the buyer know there was an airport in the vicinity? Would this have really been a big deal, had the seller not made it one?

Have a great day, Robert!

Feb 01, 2011 12:05 PM #4
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Finally catching up on AR;

Margo (lovely name, just like my cousin), sneaky it is, and who wouldn't be upset.

Hi Nor. Thanks for commenting. The daily experience keeps adding up. Agents more than inspectors are probably aware of many external factors that impact the homes' value.

Hi Vickie, yes what is tolerable to them, the buyer, is key. I did discover it, but you really have to pay attention and soak it all up and then puzzle it out.

HI Jason  The buyer knew about the airport*. He just didn't know why the building was under-valued, and the seller was trying to hide it. If the seller had not done that it would not have been an issue for this buyer. I guess it had been an issue for others before him.   *In Montreal the airport is in the city and, but for traffic, is 10 minutes from downtown, 25 minutes from the furthest east end of the island. So everything is close to the airport.

Feb 05, 2011 01:35 PM #5
Dale Ganfield
Leland, NC

Hi Robert, another mystery solved.  Part of the challenge and fun of being a home inspector.  It is always interesting how things are observed yet go un-noticed until the information becomes relevant.

Feb 06, 2011 11:20 PM #6
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

You got hat right Dale?

Feb 13, 2011 12:42 PM #7
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Robert Butler

Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection
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