Mr. Home Inspector – Why have you been in my home for 5 hours!

Home Inspector with Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC



(▲Reader warning: This is a longer blog post, so don't waste you're time reading it!)

Well Mrs. Homeowner, normally I can get in and out of a 3,000 square foot house like this in 3 hours. Your house presented me with a few "less-than-favorable" conditions that took some extra time. I did the best I could following the circumstances that were present and/or that transpired.    

Let me share a few:  


The lockbox code wasn't right.  After punching in the wrong code 3 times, we had to call your Real Estate agent.  Fifteen minutes later, the agent finally calls back, and apologizes for giving us the wrong code.  No problem, mistakes happen, I get it.  But after getting the door open, imagine our surprise of being pleasantly greeted with an eardrum-piercing, nerve-damaging, drop-to-the-floor in a hand-to-ears fetal position, security alarm.  So after finally getting that code from your agent again and dealing with your entire neighborhood lining the streets wondering what's going on, we finally could proceed with inspection. I wonder what time it will be when my hearing comes back?

         Estimated waste of time:  15-20 minutes.

You did mention in your note that there were a few indoor-only cats and not to let them out.  No problemo! What you didn't mention is that your "few" was about 7, and 3 of them acted as if they were "lifers" in prison.  So when there was any chance of "escape," they'd bolt to any ajar door in a matter of .3 nano seconds, obviously thinking its their only chance of freedom. Not to mention, every cabinet door, every closet door, hatch door, etc. etc.  So carrying ladders, tools, etc. through the doors and going in and out, I had to play the unwanted role of Mr. Goodshepard and herd them back into the house.

p.s Getting the one that got into the crawlspace and then scurried to the very back corner was a treat.  It only took me a "few" minutes to corral it and carry it back inside.  I then had unwrap 25 individual Band-Aids, from an entire box in my vehicle, to cover the red tic-tac-toe boards all over my left arm.  ( BTW, have you ever heard of de-clawing?)


 –      Estimated waste of time:  20 - 30 minutes.

 You didn't mention to me, however, the dilapidated condition of the freshly-painted deck.  It sure "looked" awesome, though.  Of course, falling through the painted over rotten deck boards didn't feel awesome. Getting my leg(s) out, was no picnic either – some of those splinters and cuts were quite large!  I am, however, so very thankful it wasn't a balcony. Things could've been much worse. And wouldn't you know it, I'm fresh out of Band-Aids (thanks to your cat.)

p.s. Could you let your husband know that painting over rotten/deteriorated wood doesn't fix it or make it any more structurally stable?  I take that back, don't worry about it, it'll be in your 158 page report with a few other things in need of fixin'.

     –      Estimated waste of time:  10 - 20 minutes

Oh yeah, the bathroom door lock sticks when you lock it (as if you didn't know.)  That sure would've been a nice trinket of info to know beforehand! I mean, good Home Inspectors check and look at everything, don't you know? Even door locks. Another 10 minutes of cursing and persuasively jiggling the door handle/lock and to no avail, still didn't open. Good thing the window worked!

–      Estimated waste of time:  10 - 15 minutes


Thanks for also telling me that you removed a tree stump in the side yard two years ago, but never bothered to fill in the hole with  dirt.  So when I was traipsing around the house, taking pictures of all your husband's handy work over the years, imagine the shock when I back-stepped into a 3 ft. deep grass-covered, earthy abyss. As if the fall from the bathroom window wasn't enough. This stunt garnered your neighborhood's attention again after seeing me hobbling and hopping around on your lawn on one foot screaming colorful obscenities like a drunken sailor.  What your neighbors must be thinking!

–      Estimated waste of time:  10-15 minutes (my ankle still hurts, BTW)


Last but not least, I'm also so very glad your "handy homeowner" hubby replaced the lost/missing screws at the electrical panel cover with the ever-so-common .875 mm trapazoid-head screws that he must've purchased at the Dollar France. After sorting through 150+ bits in my vehicle, I finally located one that would work - and I found that in the back seat catch-all crack (along with some green Cheerios and Cheetos - which had to suffice, because I had to miss my lunch as well due to all my lost time.)

–      Estimated waste of time:  15-20 minutes


So as you can see Mrs. Homeowner, we encounter different situations day in and day out that affect our time.  I do and try to respect everyone's time and conduct my business in a timely fashion, but things happen, most of which are out of our hands. I am certainly not going to "short-change" my clients by them not getting a complete Home Inspection, and I'll take the extra time to make sure of that. Please understand, we don't purposely take extra time in an effort just to make you see red.  There's always a reason (that usually involves DIY husbands) – I hope you can respect that.  

p.s.  You might want to do a head count on your cats. I could've sworn I heard some meowing coming from the hood/engine area, when I was traveling down the freeway heading to my next inspection.  I didn't have time to stop and look for sure, though, cause I'm already late and I need to be on time☺



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 10/23/2014 10:22 PM
  2. Deb Espinoza 10/24/2014 08:28 AM
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Show All Comments
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

Good post. What were they thinking with that deck. Rotten boards are rotten boards. Regarding the cats, they should have been crated.

Oct 24, 2014 02:54 AM #28
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Funny post...sorry for the issues you found that caused your delay, though. Great visual of you going out the bathroom window. 

Oct 24, 2014 03:22 AM #29
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Joshua you cracked me up!  Love this post - keep them coming!  Breath of fresh air!!

Oct 24, 2014 03:31 AM #30
Lori Fishkind
Reliant Realty - Franklin, TN

I stopped reading at "declawing" :)

That in and of itself is an extremely inhumane act, consisting of removal of the entire first joint. Picture your fingertips. :)

Oct 24, 2014 04:23 AM #31
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Oh my word. Sounds like you need a Hazmat suit for your job.  Yikes. 

Oct 24, 2014 04:26 AM #32
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Well done Joshua, this was a hoot! Unfortunately agents run into many of the same problems with pets and door locks!

Oct 24, 2014 04:53 AM #33
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Joshua, I never thought about the fact that being a home inspector came with so man potential pitfalls. LOL!

Oct 24, 2014 04:59 AM #34
Donny Carter
Carter & Roque Real Estate - Frostburg, MD
Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert

Great Post and Very Funny! So glad I took a look... Love the cats being described as "a lifer".

Oct 24, 2014 05:18 AM #35
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great points--and I surely got a laugh out of these examples, because they can be so true so often.

Oct 24, 2014 05:20 AM #36
Joshua Frederick
Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC - Defiance, OH
Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio

Thanks everyone for all of the comments!  BTW, no cats were harmed in the creation of this blog post .  I apologize if I offended anyone.  I am a cat owner myself.

Oct 24, 2014 06:23 AM #37
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

 Joshua Frederick - well, it happens once in a while and the sellers should understand it - or perhaps they knew it beforehand!

Oct 24, 2014 08:04 AM #38
Deb Espinoza
Stage Presence Homes, San Diego Real Estate - Ramona, CA
GRI, Broker, SRS,ABR ePro, SFR, CNE

Oh my gosh!  I LOVE this!! Laughed a lot!  I totally get this as we see stuff like this ALL the time!  Thanks for sharing and glad you were not seriously injured- haha.. Don't forget to replace your bandaids in the first aid kit :o)

Oct 24, 2014 08:26 AM #39
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Joshua, it's hard to imagine all of this happening during a single home inspection.  Wait a minute!  No it's not!

Oct 24, 2014 12:09 PM #40
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

I was expecting a different kind of post. Haha... loved it and have encountered some of these situations myself when showing. Why some people don't think about people coming into their home is beyond me.

Oct 24, 2014 10:19 PM #41
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Joshua, sounds like a routine inspection to me, ha, ha. I am sure we could swap some stories about what we have seen in homes.

Oct 25, 2014 03:15 AM #42
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Joshua,

This is why I just love reading posts from home inspectors. You folks have a great take on things

Oct 25, 2014 11:54 AM #43
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Funny.  I'll hope those didn't all happen in the same inspection, though it's without a doubt they've all (or nearly all) have happenned (or nearly happenned).

There's also the dogs who won't let us into "their" basement.

The "roomates" who are home asleep because they work 3rd shift and hadn't been alerted to the inspection.

Some of us have figured out we aren't the "handy husband", but millions of men haven't figured that out yet.

Oct 25, 2014 02:09 PM #44
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Ah oh!! I hate touring homes with pets. SO many a truths are said in jest!! Sad but true on the waste of time this sort of thing brings.

Oct 25, 2014 11:08 PM #45
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

On a house, my inspector tales about 1.5 hours per 1,000 sq.ft. And an hour for condo's. So my guy would have been in this house 4.5-5 hours too.

Oct 26, 2014 12:40 AM #46
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Sounds like a torturous time for a home inspector.

Oct 26, 2014 10:38 AM #47
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Joshua Frederick

Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio
Need a Home Inspection in Northwest Ohio?