Random things I’ve seen while inspecting houses

One of my favorite things about appraising is the the random things I come across while inspecting houses. Here are a few gems  I’ve seen recently. Enjoy.

Foam Repair Job

Foam Repair Job: This window was leaking, so a large amount of foam spray was used to stop the leak. Not very attractive, but it did get the job done.  🙂

golf ball mailbox - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Golf Ball Mailbox: At this point in life I’m honestly more of a miniature golfer, but a reader sent this to me, and it made me smile. What do you think? Is it a selling point? What does this do for curb or neighborhood appeal?

new well in Rancho Cordova

A Well That Looks Like a House: Golden State Water Company recently demolished a house in Rancho Cordova and constructed a well in its place (since a new well was needed). Being that the previous house was surrounded by nothing but single family detached homes, it’s nice to see the new well was designed in a way to blend in with surrounding homes as much as possible. This is on the corner of Paseo Drive and Malaga Way.

warning sign quotation marks

“Warning” Sign on Porch: I promise you I am not a grammar snob by any stretch, but since I’ve run into The Blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks a few times, this doorstep sign did tickle my intellect. When putting “warning” in quotations, it actually calls in to question whether it is a warning or not.

holes in backyard from dogs - by sacramento appraisal blog

Dog Digging: At first when I saw this backyard I thought either there was some sort of funky geological issue going on, a gigantic snake infestation problem or maybe the kids dug out a hobbit habitat. This is actually the result of a digging dog.

Any thoughts?

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What’s the story with the phone in the bathroom?

On a lighter note, tell me this bathroom phone doesn’t conjure up some thoughts. I saw this recently on an inspection. What is the first thing that comes to mind?

photo of phone in bathroom - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

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10 signs your pool is too big for the neighborhood

This is what I’d call a super-sized pool. This house was purchased by Folsom Asset Management as one of their flip projects. For some perspective on the enormity of this swimming hole, look at my Realtor friend Whitney Johnson in the top image. Also, compare the 4400 sq ft house (single story with a 700 sq ft garage) with the pool. Have you ever seen a residential pool this big? What would you do with it if you were going to flip this house?

Overbuilt Pool. Photos by Folsom Asset Management & Compilation by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Even if the pool was finished, it would very likely be a market liability since most buyers are not looking for a pool this big. On top of that, imagine the cost to heat the pool. It’s no wonder the investment company filled it in before selling the house.

Top-10-Image-purchased-by-Sacramento-Appraisal-Blog-from-www.123rf.comphoto_9840969_golden-top-ten-in-rank-list-trophy-isolated-on-white-background.htmlsgame-123RF-St-sm10 signs your pool is too big for the neighborhood

  1. If your backyard is a potential site for the next Olympics.
  2. If Google Maps mistakes your pool as a lake.
  3. If your pool looks like it should be at a resort.
  4. If prospective buyers think “Yikes, what were they thinking?”
  5. If aerial fire fighters use your pool to scoop up water.
  6. If the Coast Guard uses your pool for rescue training.
  7. If your pool yields little value in the resale market.
  8. If “block party” means the entire neighborhood can literally go swimming.
  9. If your buddies constantly ask you to use their jet skis in your pool.
  10. If buyers don’t have the expectation for such a large pool in the neighborhood.

Questions: What do you think of this pool? What is the 11th sign a pool is too big? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Stuff you shouldn’t do to your house: Part II

Are you thinking of remodeling? I wanted to give you some ideas of what NOT to do. Like I’ve said before, it’s usually good to stand out in real estate – but not for odd reasons. This is the sequel to my previous post, “Stuff you shouldn’t do to your house“, but this time around I asked some real estate friends to share some of their photos too. Enjoy.

Super size my house please: If you’re thinking about adding on to your house, just don’t add too much because you don’t want to overbuild for the neighborhood. Super-sizing might work at McDonald’s, but not in real estate. This 2-story house in Sacramento is 3,293 square feet in the middle of a neighborhood of mostly single-story 1100-1400 square foot homes.

overbuilding for the neighborhood - photo by Ryan Lundquist

A Bathroom with a View: The sliding glass door to the rear yard is usually found in a master bedroom, so it’s a bit odd to see one in the master bathroom. Hopefully “Tom” doesn’t live next door, right? Otherwise you might be getting YouTube famous. Thanks Realtor Doug Reynolds for the photo.

sliding glass door from the bathroom to the rear of house - photo by Doug Reynolds

Who kept the dogs in? I’m sorry to point this out, but don’t let your dogs pee and poop on the carpet throughout your house. It’s not good for health, and it’s hard for a realtor to put a positive spin on your situation. “Carpet has been loved by dogs” isn’t a selling point. A family with kids was living in this house with their four little yappers. It was disturbing to inspect this one. And yes, I took a shower when I got home after the inspection.

dog pee on carpet - photo by Ryan Lundquist (unfortunately - not his house though)

A rock mountain in the front yard: A friend on Twitter emailed me this picture of a rock pile in the front yard. This house is located in Sacramento and I’m not sure what the “mountain” signifies. The owner is obviously artsy since the house is painted purple and yellow. Thanks @Swellyn for the photo.

rock pile - photo by Sue

Building around the light fixture: If you’re going to remodel your house, it’s not a bad idea to do it the right way. This is a clear example of cutting corners because the owner should have moved the light fixture or simply not added faux exterior finish to the top of the door. If corners were cut here, where else were they cut? Thanks Realtor Anne Graviet for the photo.

building around a light - photo by Anne Graviet

Reverse tub technology: Do you see anything wrong with this picture? The drain should be on the same side as the spigot, but it’s not. This might actually be easy to miss in a house you’re buying if you really didn’t look closely. After all, you wouldn’t expect to see a tub installed backwards. Thanks Realtor Gena Riede for the photo.

tub is not installed correctly - photo by Gena Riede

Shoddy work without a permit: It’s usually obvious when work was done without a permit because the level of workmanship is often lacking in the quality department. These photos come from Realtor Sheena Reithmeier are a perfect example. The county had noticed a non-permitted porch and patio cover on this property and then asked the owner to correct the issue. The owner then ignored the situation and racked up several thousand dollars in fines due to not correcting. When it came to representing a buyer to purchase this house, Sheena asked for the overhang to be removed and for the seller to pay all county fines prior to COE.

Unpermitted overhang - photo by Sheena Reithmeier

Unpermitted overhang - photo by Sheena Reithmeier

Chemical storage contest: It’s not a bright idea to store containers or bins full of chemicals on your lot. This can potentially lead to very bad environmental situations, but it also doesn’t win you points for securing a loan. No lender is going to want to see containers like this on your property because it raises red flags. I snapped this photo a few years ago in North Sacramento.

containers in North Sacramento

Private “reading area” in the crawl space: I saw this photo in MLS a while back and the agent noted there was a “non-permitted toilet installation” in the crawl space. I laughed when seeing the picture because it almost looks like one of those cheesy chain emails that might mention something about a “luxurious” guest bathroom or “mother-in-law quarters.” What’s the story here? Any guesses?

Toilet in basement

The “Dragon house” in Sacramento: While I honestly think the “dragon house” in the Curtis Park neighborhood is amazingly artistic, if someone came to me asking if they should do this to their home, I’d probably say not to go for it. I mean no disrespect to the owner or artist. This “layer” off 22nd Street is definitely something you should check out in person if you’re local. The tile work and level of detail is nothing short of remarkable. Seriously. Watch a video below (or here).

Dragon house in curtis park sacramento - photo by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

I hope you enjoyed the images. Which one did you like best?

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