If you’re buying a home. Inspections are a very, very important part of this process. In fact, our website has an extensive Buyers Guide where you can find in-depth information on every part of the buying process. This includes everything you need to know about inspections. But more on this later! You’re here for the creepy inspection horror stories from our Team Diva team members.
Inspection Horror Stories From Team Diva
Our team has seen all of the scariest houses over the years. Our idea of HGTV idea of home shopping is a total myth. Outside of the industry people think all we do is look at beautiful luxury homes. The reality is that we are often stumbling around a creepy basement only to find “horror stories.”
We are going to take you behind the behind-the-scenes and look at our many years of facilitating inspections for our Diva Dwellers. Strap in cause we have some horror stories for you all.
We have really seen it all over the years…
Kim Colaprete’s Inspection Horror Story
Several years ago we listed a friend’s house that had been in the Gay community for half a century. There were so many memories in the home. As well as many souls coming and going (literally and soulfully). At one point in the home had been a hospice during the early days of the AIDS crisis. And the energy in the home was super heavy. It took months to clean out the house, do the repairs, and get it ready for the market. But we did it. Through all of it, we could tell there was a spirit in the house overseeing our progress.
During the open house, a woman had flown in from LA and was bad-mouthing every part of the house. She slid down the stairs and proclaimed loudly that she hated the house. I turned to Chavi and said, “The house pushed her.” Thankfully we sold the home in multiple offers to two lovely gay friends who were buying the home together.
Right before the house closed the buyers wanted to do a walkthrough. The sewer from the city flooded and backed up into the house. The entire basement was flooded with sewage. We had to bring in a hazmat team to clean and dry out the basement. This also included replacing drywall and flooring. It was crazy. But we got it done.
– Kim V. Colaprete
Michael Jouver’s Inspection Horror Story
“I was doing my listing manager marketing pull and home check last year. Checking the doors, I opened one that led from a den into a space under the house with the furnace and so on. Lying on the floor feet up was a crow. Inside a locked room, inside the house, and it wasn’t there before – nor did I know how it got in. After a few moments of making sure it was dead I got that sucker out, locked up, and left.”
Rocky Flowers’s Inspection Nightmare
“Several years ago I went to an inspection and everything was going great. No major issues and the house was super cute. My client wanted the house really badly. The inspector went into the crawlspace as the last item of the inspection.
When he got down there, he found that the entire backside of the house was being supported by a pile of crumbling rocks. And he found tools as if someone had been working on the house. The sellers never disclosed anything in Form 17 aka the seller disclosure!!! We tried to negotiate with the seller but they did not want to deal with the foundation. My clients passed on the house and wound up in a great house.”
Roy Powell’s Inspection Horror Story
“A couple of years back I was helping a client couple purchase their first home. They were buying well within their means. But they didn’t have the skills to buy a big fixer-upper. Who does? We found an adorable little house built around 1900 that, looking back on it, could have played the part of a haunted house. Imagine lots of wood trim, creaky floors, slightly cracked lath, and plaster walls. Really beautiful stuff if that’s your style. Everything seemed to be in working order so we wrote an offer and WON! This was back in the olden times when you could write an offer and have a full inspection contingency (memories…).
“Thank goodness we had an inspection! To set the tone, we were working with an inspector that my clients and I had never met before. Which is not a good start. The house was looking alright except for some delayed maintenance and easy electrical upgrades. Keep in mind, part of this home’s charm was that it was old. We toured the basement and found a weird issue where the top of the foundation had come away from the sill plate of the wall.
Basically, where the wood house meets the concrete foundation there was a gap. Looking around one corner of the basement the gap grew from 1/2 into 9.5 inches in the back corner. What the heck is this all about?? So we do some more looking around and find a floor-to-ceiling bookcase completely full of stuff and seemingly placed in an opportune spot. We asked for permission to move the bookcase. And oh my lord. As soon as we moved the bookcase far enough away from the wall we found a GIANT crack as wide as my fist. It went from the top of the foundation that went down to the floor and across the floor to the other side of the house in a diagonal.
“AND we found a sump pump under the bookcase. It turns out that the home was built very close to the river on land that was only slightly above sea level. We were seeing the home in the fall and the ground was very soggy. The sump pump was installed without a filter so when it ran it not only sucked up the water but it was also sucking up the dirt from under the house and pumping it into the yard. The whole area is silt so the dirt is very fine (and apparently easy to run through a sump pump). Nearly 1/5 of the house’s foundation was sinking into the ground.”
– Roy Powell
Lindsy Russell’s Inspection Horror Story
“I had a scary inspection come up earlier this summer. A client and I were in contract for a gorgeous 100-year-old home in Everett in the historic area of the town. The home had been completely remodeled from top to bottom. Basically, everything inside this house was new! On inspection day everything was looking great until we got to the basement and started looking at the foundation as well as doing our sewer scope.
Turns out the sewer line was well past life expectancy and had many large holes throughout. Another major find was that on one whole side of the house, the foundation was completely bowed. And the foundation was detaching from the home. The inspector feared that the front porch was also not being supported properly. Sewer line replacement as well as the foundation issues were too extensive and my buyer had to walk away. I cannot stress enough the importance of doing your due diligence with an inspection!”
– Lindsy Russell
Chavi Hohm’s Inspection Horror Story
You think you have seen everything until you see a table leg holding up the foundation. Years ago when the market was going from simmer to a boil it was first-time home buyers versus investors. My clients found an old Ballard home that was a fishing hut at some point. Over the years bandaids, ducktape, and everything else you could think of were holding this home together. Regardless my buyers still wanted the home. Until finally the inspector came back up and showed us a photo of a table leg. And that was all there was to the foundation! Someone had sawed off a table leg and used it as a pillar post!!!!
Here’s the Creepiest, Most Definitely Haunted House We’ve Ever Seen!
Not only is this the creepiest house Team Diva has ever seen, but this is the nightmarish home we’ve ever sold, too. The home ended up selling off-market and never made it to the Team Diva website. Although you can *finally* see all of the photos here! And no – do not come to us asking “where can I buy that house?” We know you have been watching fix it YouTube videos and think you can take this on.
Meanwhile, check out our guide for normal homeowners about how to update your home without making expensive mistakes.
Getting a Home Inspection is Super Important—Don’t Let These Inspection Horror Stories Happen to You!
First off, when you work with Team Diva you don’t need to worry about when or how to get an inspection. We will help you step by step through it all! But we also think it’s important to educate yourself so you’re prepared and know what to expect. Our website has tons of information so you can be a smart and savvy buyer and seller.
Here are a few of our resources you might find helpful:
- The Joy of Home Inspection: Learning to Look at Houses Like a Pro
- Waiving Inspection Means Big Risk For Home Buyers and Sellers
- Prepare Yourself for Pre-Inspections
- How to Buy a Home In Seattle
- Team Diva Buyers Guide
Thanks for hanging out with us as we take you on a tour of horror stories from the field.