Test Burn for the Fire Department??

Home Inspector with SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties 450.004175
Test burn for the fire department?
     One of the first inspections I ever did was about 10 years ago. A woman in a very small town south of my home called to tell me the village wanted to condemn her home she was trying to sell. It was vacant but she had a potential buyer, and he would be there to walk around during the inspection with me. She wanted to prove to the village the home should not be condemned.
     The first thing I noticed when I pulled up to the house was there were no steps to the front door, but there was obvious signs of a what used to be a full size front porch. When I asked her about it, she stated that the porch was so badly eaten by termites that it fell off the house and crashed into the front yard. 
    She paid me, left, and the buyer and I went about the inspection as planned. In no particular order, here are some of the "issues" that were noted in my report. 
Stairway eaten by termites and crashed through the first floor into the crawl space.
2nd story windows all covered with chicken wire to keep racoons out of the house. 
Raccons leaving 2 giant dung heaps in 2 different bedrooms upstairs, as revenge I assumed. 
500+ wasp nests inside the attic space.
Sloping kitchen floor approximately 10 degree angle, likely due to one side of the house sinking, because the house was recently in a flood.
Electric wiring and copper plumbing all ripped out of the walls.
Cabinets, vanities, sinks, toilets all removed. 
The list could go on, but the report ended up over 85 pages long, and that was being kind. To this day, still my largest report ever.
     So after I finished, the potential buyer asked me if he should buy the house. I told him I am not allowed to answer that question, but I did ask him if he paid attention to all the things we saw during the inspection? He said he did, but asked me again, stating that he was "pretty handy and had a nice set of tools." After I asked him again if he "SAW WHAT I SAW", he got the message and said, "that is quite a bit of stuff to do, isn't it?" Yes, I agreed with him, that is quite a bit of stuff to do. Not sure if he bought it or not.
This guy had his way with this house and basically made it worthless.
My first call would be to the fire department and see if they would pay to practice putting out a house fire. Pretty sure the village did not see my report. 
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Scott Seaton-The Home Inspector With A Heart 

SLS Home Inspections @815-644-6271

Inspecting homes like yours in the Kankakee, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Illinois area since 2007.

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Scott L Seaton
The Home Inspector with a Heart
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I am happy he had the inspection and with you. Saving Grace

Dec 02, 2019 06:51 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh my. I bet he wasn't listening to everything during the inspection. What a house!

Dec 03, 2019 06:16 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Scott - hmm - it makes you wonder sometimes, doesn't it?  Was he really listening? Did he really see the issues you observed and noted several times?  Did he know something else?  Was there a buried stash of cash hidden in/under the structure?  Jimmy Hoffa?   More possibilities...  Maybe.

Dec 03, 2019 06:48 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

All good questions, and one day I'll get back to that town and see if it's still there, or did the termites finish the job.

Dec 04, 2019 06:30 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Scott,
First of all, I can't believe the owner would think the house is habitable.   Second of all, how could the prospective buyer think he could fix all of that?  I know there are stupid people in the world but two people in the same town THAT stupid???

Dec 03, 2019 07:51 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

It's kind of funny, but sad. There's a railroad that splits the town in half. One side of the tracks has the river, the other side of the railroad embankment never floods. This house was on the flood side. Why would anyone have ever built on the flood side? Half the town is stupid if you ask me.

Dec 03, 2019 08:00 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Ever since then, when anyone asks me if they should buy the house, I tell this story. 

Dec 03, 2019 08:03 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Good grief @inspecto Scott that's nuts! Who on earth thought it was ok to sell that piece of dirt - with a crazy 'house' on it.  What a mess and I'm sure glad that guy hired you!

Dec 03, 2019 01:42 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

I've always wanted to go back to see if it still stands, but there are never any sales in that dinky town.

Dec 04, 2019 06:29 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Hard to believe the buyer would have to ask if he should make the purchase. Maybe yes, if the price was less than the kindling he could salvage.

Dec 03, 2019 10:11 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Since the whole house was kindling, the bulldozer fee to knock it down would wipe that out in a minute.

Dec 04, 2019 06:28 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Scott, for sharing this story.

Have an outstanding December.

Dec 08, 2019 09:45 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

One of your first inspections?!

I am surprised that you did not throw in the towel on your new career after that experience.

It seems like both the seller and the buyer were looking at that house with blinders on.

Dec 17, 2019 12:35 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Right John, but it was a good learning tool and I've told the story so many times, and it always amazes.

Dec 17, 2019 02:44 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
The best agent in Southern Utah!

Yikes! The house may have collasped on you as you inspected the interior. Good choice on the buyer's behalf...and seller tear that house down!

Dec 19, 2019 03:13 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

It was kind of sketchy at one point, but I wasn't inside very long. 

Dec 29, 2019 05:22 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector 

Just curious...How many items did the potential buyer ask to be replaced or repaired?  Can you imagine a buyer's agent writing this one up? 

Dec 21, 2019 10:32 PM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Margaret, definitely an as is sale. Not enough paper in the printer.

Dec 29, 2019 05:23 AM
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hello Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector ,

I would have run as fast as I can, just like Forrest Gump.  

Dec 29, 2019 12:48 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp

Maria Gilda Racelis, I felt kind of bad for the lady, but she needed to be the one running away.

Dec 29, 2019 05:24 AM