I knew the deal was in trouble when…

filed under: Buyers posted on December 3rd, 2007

… we noticed that the claw foot tub in the guest bathroom was supported by foam blocks and the home inspector had not noticed.  My contractor husband came by to inspect the property informally with me as I performed my agent’s visual examination.   This was a new home in the country outside NW Santa Rosa, with fantastic style and my clients fell in love with it on-line and we wrote an offer after they flew in from San Diego to see it in person.  It stood up at first glance and matched their on line infatuation.   Kind of like a successful first encounter after meeting on Match.com!

Anyway, the home had been built on spec by an architect and built by himself and his buddies, we later found out.   Something didn’t seem right somehow–it had never been occupied and had been finalled by the county inspectors earlier in the year.    When Bruce (my husband) came by to look at the property (unofficially–i.e. not retained by my clients) he was able to point out a large number of items that had either been done improperly or were never finished.  For the most part, they were minor but added up to a huge punch list.  Given that the property had been “finished” nearly a year earlier, that was cause for concern.

The most egregious item was the aforementioned claw-footed tub.  Bruce was able to easily tap the foam supports away and said, “Can you imagine what would happen the first time the tub was filled with water?”  Apparently the only thing supporting it was the exposed drain pipe running down to the subway tiles!    While we called for an official plumbing inspection to further investigate, my clients tossed and turned and lost a lot of sleep until we decided that the best course was to cancel the escrow due to the results of their investigations.   That was in August of 2007.  The house is still on the market, but on November 30, my clients closed escrow on a FANTASTIC new home in Healdsburg built by a very successful and conscientious builder.  There was a happy ending after all.   My husband, the contractor, said that oftentimes in new construction, it takes a large cast of inspectors to really evaluate a property.   I am not so sure, and have changed home inspection companies.

posted by Pam Buda // 2 Comments »