Stories from a Home Inspector – Vol.1

cat tales

*The following story is a true tale from a recent home inspection. The names and identities of those involved have been concealed for their privacy and sometimes dignity.

Any guess on what is going to follow?

“I opened the door to the three-story townhome and saw my opponent on the steps in front of me. From the moment I opened the door, it started. First hissing, then it came closer one step at a time. Even though I was prepared and knew this might happen, I was still caught off guard by the bold nature of its assault. There was no avoiding the confrontation. I had been forewarned.

Let me back up. At 10 pm a phone call as a home inspector is usually not a good thing. Especially when it comes from a realtor regarding an inspection for the following day. On the phone was the buying agent for my 8:30 am inspection the next day. They were inquiring if it would be possible to reschedule the inspection due to a very unruly (they used the word ‘evil’) tenant that would be at the inspection. When the realtor and home buyer had been there previously to view the house, they too had been frightened by the aggressor.

I told the realtor that it was too late to reschedule the appointment. We require far more than 10 hours of lead time before a cancellation. Our schedules are often booked a week out, and there would be a cancellation fee involved. I told her I was willing to face the opponent the next morning and was confident I would prevail. After all, how bad could it be?

cat tales

After sizing up the creature that was before me, I proceeded to match its movement step for step. It continued its hissing and I prepared for evasive maneuvers. Thankfully I came prepared. I brought a secret weapon that would force my nemesis to retreat so that I could fulfill my duty as a home inspector: a thorough evaluation of this home so the client had a clear, complete picture of the current condition of the property. This was important – they should not be expected to proceed with a real estate transaction without a complete home inspection report.

It retreated back up the steps. However, there was a problem. The stairs take a 90-degree turn to the right and I could not see around the corner. How could I be sure I would not be pounced upon? I had no choice but to proceed bravely and take my chances. Thankfully it was towards the top of the steps and I could deploy my defense tactics and make it retreat further.

On the second floor, there was a half bath, kitchen, and living room. All needed a thorough evaluation. I kept one eye on the beast and continued with my inspection. The hissing continued and so did the advances. Under these conditions, there is no way I could do a thorough job. So I went on the offensive and forced it up to the third floor – the master bedroom – under the bed. Once there, I took a quick look around and then closed the door. 

The rest of the inspection went very well. I was able to be deliberate and thorough as I checked windows and doors, bathroom fixtures, walls, and ceilings, looking for anything that was out of place or not as it should be. I noted nail pops, plumbing leaks, and even a failed window seal. This is how an inspection is supposed to go. 

I completed the inspection, noted that my evaluation of the master bedroom was limited due to an unruly tenant in that room, and double-checked to make sure I marked all the boxes in my inspection report template. When I was sure I was all finished, I went back upstairs, opened the door to the master bedroom, and ran as fast as I could down two flights of stairs. I locked the door and headed to the sanctuary of my vehicle.  

Thankfully I didn’t see the cat again. My speed and agility on the steps were enough to ensure my own safety.”

What do we learn from this story?

We are pet people – and most pets are kind and cordial. However, we have had instances with a variety of pets that make it difficult to do our jobs. From the perspective of a pet, strangers can cause anxiety. For the safety of the pet and their well-being, please be sure to kennel your pets during a home inspection. It really is important so we can do a thorough evaluation.  It usually won’t take more than a couple of hours and is in the best interest of everyone involved. Thanks for reading.