Why would a Realtor go in a crawl space?

Why am I under a crawl space taking this picture?

Let me give you a little background of how I got here.  I just started working with a couple that will be first time home buyers.  Like many of the people who find me, they had been working with another agent that just wasn’t offering them much other than opening doors.

While they were checking out the place, I started looking around for things that could turn up on the home inspection.  I try to use my background in drafting, building materials, construction estimating and managing my own properties so my people will know if the place is a dump BEFORE writing the offer.  There is nothing worse than seeing somebody post pics on Facebook and tell their friends/family about a house they are buying and then to not buy it.  I don’t want that for any of my people, especially first time buyers.

So, one of the things I do when checking out the condition of a house is to push my foot down around the toilet.  There is a $2 thing called a wax ring that serves as a seal between the toilet and the flange in the floor.  When they deteriorate over time, you end up getting the subfloor wet every time you flush.  Replacing a section of subfloor and maybe sistering a joist to one that is rotting isn’t that big of a job, but jacking up the finished floor in the bathroom is a pain.  It is almost like a mini-remodel job.  This house had tile flooring.  When I showed the people it was soft, they could see the floor move under my foot (Okay, I’m big, but the problem was the floor, not me!)

So, to prevent my people from writing an offer and paying for an inspection before finding out how bad this was, we made another appointment to see the house wearing what my parents called “After school clothes”.  When we got to the spot under the bathroom, the picture is what we saw.  The subfloor is gone and both joists on either side of the toilet are rotting at the top.  BTW, the seller disclosed that the toilet had leaked and the floor had dried.  Sounds simple, huh?  That is why I always take anything the seller says about their house with a grain of salt.  I mean, they do want to sell it to you, right?

After this and a few other issues I discovered, my clients decided this wasn’t the house for them.  I think they may have felt bad about the time I put into it, but I really didn’t think this was the best choice for them either.  The search goes on.  (Gotta give a shout out to my client for realizing the crawl space had no vents before I did-that is awesome for a guy who has never been under a house before!!)

On the way out, we did find these two old beer cans from the days when there were pull tabs.

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