Buying a New Home – Beware of Lipstick on a Pig
Many people buy a home with the intention of “Flipping” it for a quick profit. I like to call these homes, “Lipstick on a Pig”. When you look behind the Lipstick this is what I have found while inspecting these “Great Deals”.
Even after spending over 10 years as a Professional Home Inspector I am still amazed at what people will do to a home.
I have put together some interesting pictures of deficiencies encountered over the years. You might find some of them funny, but an unsuspecting home buyer could be devastated to have to fix someone else’s mistake and also pay for the repair.
This is a floor joist which is located under a bathroom. There is no support for this section of floor and there is noticeable sagging in floor in front of toilet. Obliviously the home owner never got a building permit to install the bathroom.
Putting a header across from the two supported joists would have been an easy fix for this problem.
This rotted joist which is supporting the balcony is cantilevered from house. The only repair for this problem would be to install supporting deck posts and replace all the rotted floor joists.
A building permit would be required to repair this deck as it involves structural design and construction.
This older building has asbestos insulation on galvanized pipes. This is a double whammy as Asbestos can be difficult and expensive to have removed as it is a Class 2 Hazard, and many insurance companies will not insure a building with galvanized pipes installed. Some homes will have all visible traces removed with only the hard to access areas still contaminated.
This is an old cast iron boiler that is covered with asbestos. The home owner decided to cover it with plastic and leave it in the basement. Home buyer would have to have asbestos removed from boiler and then hire some one to cut it into removable sized pieces. At one time the subject property was listed for sale at over a million dollars.
At first glance this electrical panel looks normal enough. Further investigation would reveal that contractor connected panel directly to meter, there is no disconnect. This will be an expensive repair and if ESA found out your hydro would be disconnected. I believe this house was being sold “as is” by a local contractor.
This picture shows an electrical cable inserted in the same hole as copper plumbing line. This provides a possibility of energising your entire plumbing system if short occurs or if insulation has been compromised. This type of installation provides a warning to quality of workmanship for project. Also it indicates no permit was taken out or final inspection done.
The Realtor at this inspection pointed out that support beam for basement had been cut to install stairs. Not only was area of stairs compromised but entire floor was now at risk as contractor never even added support posts where beam was removed. Imagine the cost of adding supports around stairwell and repairing cut beam.
Many older homes had galvanized plumbing installed prior to the 60’s. With a life expectancy of 50 years you can understand why some insurance companies will not insure a home with galvanized plumbing installed. Some home owners change the easily accessible galvanized to copper but leave the hard to access galvanized pipe in place.
Realtor’s hate to hear the word “Vermiculite Insulation”, many times it contains asbestos and can be very expensive to remove. This house had the added bonus of having charred rafters and roof boards. As always when buying a home it is “Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware”.
When you are purchasing a new home, for your family or for an investment, contact the Barrie Property Inspection Service to ensure your not wasting your money.