Month: June 2022

Herding Cats

On this day we found ourselves in a large well-built house. When we arrived, the realtor stated that the “escape artist purebred $5,000 cat” absolutely needs to stay inside, definitely not allowed outside.

It was a large house with and even with two inspectors it took about three hours to get through. We finished the whole inspection without letting the cat out, which was a challenge because the cat really wanted to go out. It was to the point that when I went out the French doors to the back patio (carefully shutting the doors behind me)  when I  came back the cat was pressed up against the doors all ready to escape. The realtor had to come over and physically pick the cat up to allow me to open the door and come back in. We made it all the way to the end of the inspection, however, when I opened the front door with my arms full of inspection gear, the cat accelerated out of the living room and bolted OUTSIDE into the front yard! Suddenly the nice inspection turned into a nightmare. Luckily for us, the cat immediately got sidetracked in a bush near the front door. I ran out into the yard between the $5,000 cat and the world, and the realtor moved very slowly and carefully and was able to pick the cat up as it was smelling a leaf.

And there was much rejoicing!

Deck Railing Causes Cold Sweat


Ever see the movie Get Shorty? There was a scene in that movie where the bad guy is pushed up against
a railing that fails and falls to his death. It’s an old movie, so if I just blew the ending for you, I’m sorry.

I was inspecting this house in the NE section of town. It was an early 90’s Miami Vice type house, a big three story cube coated in stucco built on a steep slope. There was lots of stuff wrong with the house, but the fun part was the master bedroom roof top deck that had a metal framed glass railing installed along the north side of the deck. Beyond the railing was a four story fall, if you include the daylight basement below the three floors, onto the steep hillside covered in blackberries. I’m on the deck and put my hands on the railing and apply a little bit of pressure as I look over at the void below. The railing moves slightly and I quickly step back. Looking closely at the railing I realize that the metal frame is tension fit into the space but had never actually been bolted to the house!

If you put a timeline on this, the house was built in the early 90’s and at the time of the inspection I’m inspecting it in 2010. So we have a railing with a four story drop installed on the roof top deck that is not attached that has been there for 20 years! Very exhilarating!

Another Surprising Encounter

Here is what happened:

I’m inspecting a three bedroom condo that is occupied. At the time of the inspection the owners are gone,
but they have left two pugs fenced off in the kitchen. I have the realtor, the client and the pugs in the unit.

As I inspect the condo, I head down the hall to inspect all of the bedrooms. A bedroom inspection consists of  looking for any damage, testing the doors and windows for function, opening and shutting the windows and so forth. I finish up with the master bedroom and step back in the second bedroom to double check something. The second time I’m in the bedroom is when the sleeping teenager under the big comforter wakes up with a blurry look of surprise on their face. 

Freak out moment!

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