A Very Sad And Dangerous Inspection

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723
https://activerain.com/droplet/kqw

I was called on to do a very sad and dangerous inspection.

The homeowner and a local County found me on line and teamed up to hire me to literally condemn a house.  I have never been called on to do that before.  Of course I have no ability or authorization to condemn anything.  But my report can be used by County officials to justify it.

THE STORY - a soft-hearted homeowner hears of a circumstance of an 86 year-old lady, who's husband had recently died, and a doctor has just "opened [her] up to close [her] back up giving [her] a short time to live."  This homeowner gave her a house to live in rent free, as a "Life Estate Gift," for the rest of her life, so long as she maintained the property.  She was to live in the house alone.  Family was nearby to care for her, and could visit, but she was to live alone in the house.  The house was built in the late 40s, and was in pristine condition, with recent updates.

THAT WAS TWENTY FOUR YEARS AGO.  Over that time the rest of the family had moved in, and why not as it's free living.  Nobody works, all are on various assistance programs, federal and local, and ALL are on disability, including the children.  The lady is still 86 years old...  you get the rest.  They have cost this soft-hearted homeowner tens of thousands of dollars since.  They cost the taxpayer way into five figures EVERY MONTH.

At the time of my inspection the house is inhabited by 10-12 adults (nobody really knows), four children, four dogs, two pigeons and a million roaches and black widow spiders.  Super healthy molds live everywhere.  There is one bathroom, with a tub and shower that do not work, a small fridge, small range and small, one-bowl kitchen sink.  There is hot water.

THIS PLACE IS A DISASTER.  SO I WENT ABOUT MY BUSINESS, BUILDING THE CASE.  SURPRISINGLY, UNHEALTHFUL LIVING CONDITIONS IS NOT SUFFICIENT REASON FOR CONDEMNATION!

Of course this is a sad circumstance, to say the least.  But the County has had many, many dealings with this group for years.  I was told there was a coffin (!!) in the house full of enough guns to field an army, so the County was sending two officials to protect me while there.  Fortunately, knowing I was coming, it had been removed or hidden off site.

This group knew I was coming to "inspect" the house, but did not know the entirety of the reason for my visit.  As such, thinking their complaints were finally being satisfied by my inspection, and the County was finally coming down on the homeowner, THEY WERE VERY NICE TO ME.   Nonetheless, the County officials stayed in and around the house the whole time I was there.  I politely said hello to everybody and struck up conversations.

Before I went in, the Code Enforcement Officer told me that they had cleaned up and it looked "one thousand percent better" than the last visit.  But, I was warned about what I would see.

I discovered something the County did not know, after all these years and dozens of visits to issue citations.

A BASEMENT APARTMENT!  Living room and bedroom, taking up about 1/3 of the basement. 

This scene was frightful and exasperating!  The family living here, and apparently the four children, sleep on the bed.  The curtain on the back wall is carpeting hanging from the ceiling and "hides" the oil-burning boiler and water heater.  That sofa at the moment of this photograph has about 100 roaches crawling on it.  Roaches are everywhere - on and in everything.  And that TV on the left is larger than any TV in my house, and one of five in this house!

How bad was the basement overall?  Neither County official would go down there!  And I had a cough the rest of the day.

THE INSPECTION CONTINUED DOWNHILL FROM HERE.

THE END RESULT?

Based on just my verbal report at the end of my inspection, the County condemned the house and began relocating this group.

For my safety, they asked me to leave before they went back inside to inform the family of the immediate decision.  I was told by my homeowner client that they put a red sticker on the door.  I was also told that many County officials were there for the rest of the day, and into the evening.

The homeowner said that demolition could begin as early as twenty four to forty eight hours after my inspection.  Yes, demolition was the goal of my inspection! 

There will be more posts about this house.  The first thing I did coming straight home was to disrobe in the laundry room and put my clothing directly into the washing machine, and take a shower.  A day later I am still coughing.

As I said, it was a very sad and dangerous inspection.



 

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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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Heather Littrell 09/29/2011 04:05 AM
  2. Gareth Ellzey 09/29/2011 04:48 AM
  3. Jimmy Phan 09/29/2011 05:10 AM
  4. Jayson Hoffer 09/29/2011 10:08 AM
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
839,446
Elyse Berman
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Wow, what a mess!  The kind-hearted owner will at least have his property back that he can then either sell or rebuild.  Such a sad story.  I hope your cough is better.

Sep 30, 2011 06:31 AM #191
Rainer
130,483
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

What a horrible place for children to be living!!! Whatever is making you cough has probably caused permanent damage to the children. And sleeping next to an oil burner!!! What is wrong with people???

I've seen some deplorable home conditions myself, but none that bad.

Sep 30, 2011 07:04 AM #192
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Karen - 24 years ago the old woman said she was 86 and about to die...  She said that to me the other day!  Same words!  This is a very adept group at manipulating the system for their benefit!

The intent is to demolish Elyse.  But the homeowner called me yesterday to say that the plot had thickened!  As I said, these are VERY adept people.

Jamie - nor have I, and Northern Virginia is the richest area in the country, generally.  They really crammed people in there!

Sep 30, 2011 07:55 AM #193
Rainer
37,141
Jayson Holland
Listings.com - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

I really like the part where they are receiving way into 5 figures worth of tax dollars every month. That is just plain awesome!

 

Sep 30, 2011 08:56 AM #194
Rainmaker
1,430,900
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Jay,

That is sad.  Sad for the kind homeowner and sad for the kids forced to live like that.  I am sure there is much more to the story I have not heard.

When I was an insurance adjuster I once went to inspect the damage from a broken water heater.  I stuck my head in the water heater closet to get a better view and some pictures.  I was sick for 3 days.

Sep 30, 2011 08:59 AM #195
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It is Jayson, and they are entitled, don'tcha know!  The system sucks, but it will break.  And when it does, watch out!  People like this will feel entitled to go into the homes of the "rich" to claim their stuff!

Gene - I truly was sad at the end of this.  Both for everyone here and our society which enables this crap.

Sep 30, 2011 10:19 AM #196
Rainmaker
272,683
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

Jay: Oh, my. In my previous life I worked in a municipal court and we had many tragic cases come through the door involving what we called "zoning people". On TV today they call them hoarders, but whatever you call it it usually involves an individual or individuals with mental illness. Sad. Carrie

Sep 30, 2011 11:50 AM #197
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This was my first experience with active hoarding Carrie.  I am wondering how much of a problem this is becoming!

Sep 30, 2011 01:01 PM #198
Rainer
18,852
Natalie Myslinski
La Grange Park, IL
BPOR, SFR
I can't believe people are willing to live like that, especially with children. I couldn't imagine letting my children anywhere near that house.
Sep 30, 2011 08:10 PM #199
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Natalie - I might say that the rest of the neighborhood agrees with you!

Oct 01, 2011 12:24 AM #200
Rainmaker
502,787
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Jay, I'm a little late to the party.  I came by way of Debbie Walsh's post and both your stories appalled me and shocked me.  Sorry that you are both suffering some aftereffects from your ordeals.  As to the tenants, or rather leeches in your condemned property,m it might be more helpful if the tenants themselves could be condemned, not just the property.  I've no sympathy for folks like that, that can value 5 flat screen TV's over their own good health and the health of their children.  I'd like to think that they're mentally deranged but I think that that would just be a cover up for their meanness.  Yet, our society supports their behavior and enables it with all the handouts we give these lowlifes. 

 I'm so glad you were able to get them out of there and I'm so glad that the county provided you with protection going in there. Hope you'll be feeling as good as new soon.

Oct 02, 2011 05:36 AM #201
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Leah - would that condemning tenants was possible!  Agreed, I think we have become enablers as a society.  And thanks, I feel fine now.

Oct 02, 2011 05:39 AM #202
Rainmaker
642,181
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jay ~ about the only thing I can say is, "ewww".  I hope the cough is much better.  I've walked out of houses itching all day because of the filth.

Oct 03, 2011 04:05 PM #203
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Dawn.  It was a big ew!  And yes, the cough is better!

Oct 03, 2011 11:17 PM #204
Rainmaker
217,286
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Yes, I have shown properties like this.  So sad!

Oct 28, 2011 02:57 PM #205
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It really was frightful Dale.  There were many posts to follow, with this as the most recent:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2564178/demolition-day

Oct 28, 2011 10:28 PM #206
Ambassador
3,009,956
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

That's horrifying.  And it seems the group living there had no respect for themselves at all. 

Nov 05, 2011 06:53 AM #207
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Themselves or anyone else Chris Ann.  They take advantage of everyone they see it seems.  And are very good at it!

Nov 06, 2011 09:52 PM #208
Rainmaker
273,464
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I'm always amazed how people live. I am a Landlord and have seen some bad situations, but nothing like this!

Oct 10, 2012 12:38 AM #209
Rainmaker
1,787,236
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This was a disaster Wayne.  There is a follow-up post about how the County razed the house!

Oct 10, 2012 09:32 AM #210
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