Our (potential) home inspection was yesterday. And Norman from Stellar Inspections turned the 35-plus page inspection for us in nearly 24 hours. Right on, Norman!
As to be expected with any inspection, we received feedback of a few major issues, several medium-to-moderate ones... and a slew of this-isn't-an-emergency-but-you-should-probably-take-care-of-it-soon items. Dan experienced the entire inspection firsthand, as he crawled along around on all fours in the attic, traipsed around the unkempt exterior and inspected for water damage — all by Norman's side.
I took the opportunity to take more photos of the house and evaluate the space. When you visit a house on a house-hunting trip, it's easy for everything to mix together. E.g., I remembered a formal living room area in addition to the informal one at the back of the house... yeah, I made that up!
While I was thinking about silly, not-so-functional tasks like playing with my camera, Dan decided to really maximize our time at the house. He scheduled a contractor to swing by to evaluate a few potential projects and give us his feedback. Dan also measured the hardwoods that could be refinished (about 900 square feet when you tally up the three bedrooms, hallway and large living/dining space).
On to the photos I snapped (some capture "issues" while others are just for perspective):
So, here she is. Built to last in 1949.
The kitchen (bead board wall), complete with hunter green laminates. It's a galley kitchen but with lots of counter space.
We were a little concerned concerned about this cracking in the kitchen ceiling. It appears the previous owners closed in a sunroom adjacent to the kitchen. Phil, our contractor friend, is fairly certain all this needs is a little mudding/skimming.
The long wall running between the kitchen and the living area. The wood paneling appears to be in mostly good shape, though we'd likely want to update crown molding (you can see about eight layers of paint crudded up on the molding).
Bookcase/built-ins at the "living" end of the large living/dining area. Phil the contractor suggests recessing that drywall area in the middle so we can comfortably hang out TV there. The lady who lived here obviously had a thing for yellow. I love the idea of having that storage under the bookcase.
Good-looking fireplace. Our inspector encouraged us to use gas logs instead of wood to keep this in clean shape. I'll have more to discuss re: the fireplace and chimney below.
View from the living/dining room to the "three seasons" porch, which is about the size of the main room (12-feet by 26-feet)
(Now, onto the basement apartment. The basement runs the length of the house but only about a third is finished. The unfinished area has giantly tall ceilings and is mostly used for storage. The finished area is in the form of a studio apartment, which we hope to rent for the first year or two of owning the house. Thankfully the apartment seems to turnkey, with an exterior entrance and fresh paint and carpet. That income isn't vital — but it would make a big difference with cash-flowing improvements.)
(Okay, back upstairs. You still with me?)
Phil the contractor measures the hallway.
What felt like the smallest of the three upstairs bedrooms. This room is the most likely to be the office/small guest bedroom... or maybe one day, a nursery (and anxiety takes over...).
Master bathroom with stand-up shower. We found out later this bathroom renovation may be one of our first projects (the shower drain pan has been patched once and has little life left in it).
(Back downstairs to evaluate some issues... are you still with me?)
Stairs seem to be supporting weight just fine; however, our inspector recommends we add some base support (versus just letting them hang) to make them more structurally sound.
The good news in this photo: The drain appears to be in the right place, and the furnace seems to be operating fine. The bad news: It appears we have some little friends (namely mice/rats).
Are you ready for one of the most massive finds of the inspection....?
(wait for it)
(wait for it)
Oooooooh. Bad news. This giant poo shot was taken in the attic. It appears a raccoon is living amongst the wharf rats. eeeek! Thank goodness we can deal with this before we move in. I wish you could see how big this is. It's the size of medium dog poop.
As you would expect, I didn't capture every issue above. So in the interest of keeping "pros" and "cons" in these posts, here we go:
Some PROS of the inspection:
- No structural or major water damage issues (or as Dan put it, no
- Roof is 7 to 9 years old
- AC is 10 years or younger
- Electrical seems to be mostly in good shape (note: we do need to make some of the outlets GCFI compliant, and a breaker needs to be replaced)
- No termites
- There's tile underneath the main bathroom carpet (hallelujah)
- Hardwood floors under the carpets
- The yard is mega deep (the whole yard is two-thirds of an acre — and no one would ever build in the backyard)
- Late 40s/early 50s were known for good/solid construction
- Addition seems to be well-constructed
- Nothing freaked out our inspector, contractor friend or the pest control guy — in fact, they all encouraged us to proceed
Some CONS* of the inspection:
- Gaps exist between the chimney and the attic. This has led to some water damage (none active) around the chimney. We'll need new flashing (the protective material around the chimney) as well as some preventive measures (added pitch to keep water rolling down the roof, new boots, new chimney cap, etc.) to keep this in good shape.
- During this visit, we realized there's quite a bit of cosmetic work needed (painting, moldings, kitchen work, floor refinishing, bathroom renovations, etc.)
- The age of house means there may be some asbestos (e.g., in the bedroom ceiling tiles)
- Some subfloor issues need to be addressed, namely where a floor joist was cut in half to make room for a new pipe.
- "Tenants" (a.k.a. some pests)
- While it's not structural, the drywall paneling in the bedrooms is showing its seams, which means we'll want to have new drywall laid on top or have the current drywall mudded and skimmed.
Due diligence ends on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
*Note: few houses, even new ones, come without issues.