Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

head_left_image

"Murder, She Wrote!"

     In last Sunday's paper there was an article about the "special" difficulties of selling a home with a "sordid past."  It is interesting because all homes have "history"----even the new ones will have some construction stories that would prove interesting---if we ever found out about them.  For example the worker that got rushed to the hospital when he fell on a piece of rebar sticking out of the footing, or (as happened to one of my workers) a worker who cut an artery in his hand with a utility knife and proceeded to spray blood all over the newly painted walls, ceiling and floor (at least it was in the bathroom).

     Would these things keep someone from buying the house?  Probably not, they would just add "flavor" to the soup.  But what if several of the workmen or a family in the home had been viciously murdered?  This might be more difficult and would require either some special "spin" or out-and-out omission of the facts. 

     Perhaps some of you agents can chime in and tell me if that is something that has to be disclosed or not.

     What I find interesting is that these types of things are all a matter of "spin" and "relativity."  For example let's take a home where some heinous crime/murder took place 50 or 100 years ago----then the event almost can become a selling point---as people would be buying a bit of history and intrigue.  I know a house here in Seattle that supposedly has a tree where someone was hanged 100 years ago----I doubt that this fact would keep anyone from buying this piece of property today.  Now if the hanging happened in our life time---in real time---it very likely might.  Although, it seems that there are people into all sorts of novelties these days.

    There was a movie called "Crash" starring James Spader and Holly Hunter (previous to the awesome one about illegal immigrants) where there were these "clubs" of people that preferred to work in morgues and that would create auto crashes so that they could witness first hand----death, dying and serious injury.  Now these people would be a great pool of people to seek out to buy houses with "sordid pasts."

     I have a question?  Would you rather live in a house where someone had been murdered or where there had been a Meth lab?  Most of you are probably saying "neither."  At some point, there will always be someone that will be able to "spin" the story of the house into something their mind can accept. What kinds of stories can we make up about what went on in this home?

bad house 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Buell 

     PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmile all  pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

sign me up

 

 

 

 

picture logo

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 10 commentsCharles Buell • April 29 2008 09:32AM
"Murder, She Wrote! "
share
In last Sunday's paper there was an article about the "special" difficulties of selling a home with a "sordid past. " It is interesting because all homes have "history"----even the new ones will have some… more
Slay the “Fire-Breathing Dryer! ”
share
The other day Preston Sandlin did a nice blog about the importance of cleaning dryer vents called "Clean-Me. " Visit his blog for additional info and see a pretty cool tool for cleaning metal dryer vents. Dryer vents are a common… more
Is your home the sequel to: “The Secret of NYMH? ”
share
Rodents, aka Rats, are very common in crawl spaces. Inspectors will refer to them as "rodents" because it is oh so much more "euphemistic. " (Plus it might be squirrels----aka, "bushy-tail rats") People HATE… more
“No-brainer” house design.
share
Looking at the picture below, it shouldn't be hard for anyone to see that this is a bad design. On first glance it might all make visual sense but it is sort of like an Escher optical illusion. In the next picture the red arrow shows the flow of… more
Why is the “toilet lid” always down?
share
I am enjoying remembering my recent sailing adventure. It only took a week for my sea legs to go away---and that was on calm seas and only a four day trip. (My first soccer game after the trip was interesting to say the least. ) From a… more
Well----can you "special-order" me some?
share
When I moved to the West coast, from the East coast, it was a little bit like starting over as a builder. I had never heard of one-by-threes, one-by-fives or one-by-sevens. What ARE you talking about? I think the first time it came up was… more
HOT! Water Heater!
share
I love it when I come up with yet another way to make Barbara and Leslie go scurrying off to check their water heaters. Well beaten paths are easy to follow. Water heaters should be cool to the touch. Now if you put insulation around them,… more
First of all---Visualize me getting on my soap box!
share
Some of the earliest building codes date to the Code of Hammurabi in 1760 BC as part of a general writing down of laws that would govern the public. The fact that the public could not read these laws did not exempt them from them (kind of the… more
Is burning wood considered "Green? "
share
In the 70's, wood-burning stoves were all the rage---and at that time, they probably would have been considered "Green. " In fact, I had a Jotul 602 that was green---I loved that thing. Today I rarely see wood burning stoves and when… more
"Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes made of ticky-tacky…
share
Any inspector will tell you that a large part of what we do is related to electrical concerns. The electrical portion of my reports almost always takes up the most space, and wins the most spots on the Summary of Significant Issues. I like… more