This cartoon reminds me of a time or two when I was waking up from a nightmare only to find I was still in the nightmare and it continued. I've seen movies like that as well, like Carrie.
Getting the ball rolling can be equally scary in Real Estate, especially when it comes to home repairs. Whether you are a do-it-yourself'er or if you hire a professional one great idea can lead to a whole string of nightmares. Something very similar to the picture below has happened to both myself and my neighbor.
You never know what you are going to get when you remove sheet rock, especially in a basement. In my case it was my first home and it was not nearly as bad as the picture but it was bad enough that it caused the basement to leak and it was that leaking that lead me to look deeper. For my neighbor it was an obvious cover up.
After Minot ND experienced a devastating flood in 2011 a lot of "cover-ups" were reveled. The City experienced a similar flood in 1969 and when sheet rock was removed in 2011 a lot of shoddy, if not out right scam, work was reveled. The worst case was at an elementary school where it was obvious that the contractor just sheet rocked right over dirty, moldy walls through out the school.
Please note that most home inspectors exempt themselves from this kind of a surprise saying they can not see through walls. Many home Sellers have no idea because the damage was there when they bought the home and somewhere along the line someone deliberately omitted this information on a home disclosure report.
The moral of the story: Take a VERY good look at the home disclosure report. If there are reports of the basement leaking at times expect the worst as to what is behind that sheet rocked wall.