To mark the end of the year, we have decided to count down the top 10 things that didn’t happen to HID in 2015.
10) Didn’t flood anything, see any sparks or make any smoke
Puddles, flashes of light and smoke alarms blaring without deliberate provocation are not unfamiliar to the home inspector. An old dishwasher, a rusty fuse box or forgetting to make sure nothing was stored in the oven before turning it on are all unanticipated, but not surprising, turns in the home inspection labyrinth. Ask most any home inspector about the time he forgot he was filling the spa tub in the master bath.
9) Didn’t get stuck under a house or step through a ceiling
This accomplishment by any home inspector should defy statistical analysis. What are the odds; several hundred home inspections in a year and not a single misstep or wrong turn? (I read once that Murphy’s Law put the chances of stepping through a ceiling directly proportional to the overall value and condition of the home).
8) Didn’t have to chase any escaped pets
Which is a very good thing considering HID is now a little older and a little slower. It’s a sure way to waste a morning or an afternoon, chasing a dog or a cat that is greatly enjoying its newfound freedom, the name of which you do not know, “here doggie doggie,” “here kitty kitty,” through the streets and neighboring yards.
7) Didn’t lock a neighbor’s pet in the house
Taking into consideration number 8 above, noting that it has happened to more than one home inspector (and more than a few real estate agents), chasing down the cat that the inspector believed belonged to the owners and stuffing the uncooperative and flailing fur-and-claws into the house, scratches and all, only to get a phone call that evening from the sellers agent angrily inquiring about the foreign feline intrusion.
6) Didn’t surprise anybody in a bathroom
It is surprising, those people who while in their bathroom don’t hear the knock on the door, the door open, people coming through the door, the Realtor shouting, “HELLO, REALTOR,” and all the while knowing they were coming. Consequently, there is nothing approached with more caution by a home inspector than a closed bedroom or bathroom door.
5) Didn’t embarrass himself having to use a bathroom
It happens, nature that is. The inspector looks to make sure the buyers and the agent are somewhere at the other side of the house, or better, outside, he makes sure the bathroom door locks, and hopefully a window to open. Finished with his business he steps out of the bathroom to find everybody heading straight toward him with a question about the very bathroom he just, shall we say, “de-aroma-ized”.
4) Didn’t leave an oven on
This occasional mishap needs no explanation.
3) Didn’t accidentally say out loud what he was thinking when inspecting a hoarder’s home
This can be a tough one. After unsticking the third or fourth foreign object from your shoe while walking through the inside of the house, sometimes things just get blurted out.
2) Didn’t inspect the wrong house
A typo can have disastrous effects, especially when the typo is in the text message or email the inspector received from the realtor. A simple transposition of a street number, an innocent mistake about St., Ave., Ct., etc., and sometimes even a short memory lapse about which city, because more often than not the agent was texting or emailing in a bit of a rush, and an unassuming tenant or elderly person might, and have been known to, allow the would-be surprise inspection to proceed.
1) Didn’t go to the emergency room
Home inspection is not as dangerous as, say like, crab fishing, and not as scary as running a preschool daycare, but it does have its perils. Steep slippery roofs, DIY wiring, and the little old lady who says, “He doesn’t bite, he just likes to bark”, are only a few of the many potential breaks, cuts, burns and bites faced by home inspectors every day.
Happy New Year