La Casa de la Muerte
La Casa de la Muerte

La Casa de la Muerte

So – our inspection did not go so well on Saturday. In fact, we are now, once again, houseless. The inspectors, in fact, said it was one of the worst houses they’d ever inspected. Which is a bit depressing.

There were a few minor problems, you see.

1. The furnace exhaust was routed through the fireplace chimney, and the exhaust and supply air were mixing, and coming back down through the chimney into the house. So much fun if you enjoy carbon monoxide poisoning!

2. The water heater was recently tagged as “unusable” and “dangerous” by a city inspection.

3. Only half the outlets worked.

4. The inside of the chimney was missing several important things – like a damper and bricks

5. Whoever did the last roof job had used, instead of plywood, some kind of water soluable material under the shingles. So – that material? Now rotten.

6. The new deck on the yard was improperly footed, and the wooden supports will collapse within a year.

7. The basement dirt stuff that holds up the fireplace and chimney is bad and wrong and some technical terms and if there happened to be a 4.0+ earthquake (which is a possibility), the whole fireplace/chimney/center of the house could collapse.

8. And then, there were the minor problems (such as plumbing leaks, supply line leaks over the electrical panel, the fact that they couldn’t figure out how to wire the new oven/stove/microwave thingie, so they didn’t, the part where the remodel didn’t seem to warrant any permits, even though there was significant electrical and plumbing work, etc. etc. etc. I can’t actually remember everything).

9. However, the sewer system is in remarkable shape, considering that it was installed in 1938 and has never had any maintenance.

10. Needless to say? We aren’t purchasing the house of death.

The worst part? When our realtor talked to the flipper/seller, the woman said she’d never had an inspection, either when she bought it or after she flipped it. And her disclosures were crap – things like “oh yes, the garbage disposal works great” when in fact, there is no garbage disposal. Our realtor said we might consider buying it if she made the estimated $20,000 worth of repairs, and she offered to replace the water heater. Not the furnace of death – just the water heater of danger.

And, considering that she doesn’t seem to either a) know or perhaps b) care (and I’m not sure which is worse) about the safety issues in the house, I don’t think I would trust any “repairs” she might make anyway. The fact that she didn’t get any permits for the electrical and plumbing remodels, which means she may have used unlicensed contractors for that work, does not instill a great deal of trust in her methods.

She also said she doesn’t care that we’re rescinding the offer, because she has other interested parties who might make an offer.

So- anyone considering a flipped house across from a park in St. John’s – make sure you get an inspection. The House Detectives are a great company – and not too expensive. I cannot emphasize enough how important the inspection is – that house could kill a person.

So – it’s sad that we’re back to square one, but also happy that we didn’t buy the death trap. So – regardless of age of house, location, size, anything – get a freaking inspection. Just sayin’


  1. steph

    Amy, so sorry to hear about the neg house inspection. But you’re right….get an inspection done…esp on an older and flipped house. I watch enough tv…flippers are in it to make money not to spend it!

  2. OMG, that’s hilarious. I’m sorry you didn’t get a house, but did that woman honestly want money for that?? She should be paying you to take it off her hands!

    Good luck.

  3. OMG!! You know, you see so many of those house flipping shows on T.V. that everyone thinks they can do it. (Which is apparently false). So glad that you got an inspection. By the way, you should get an inspection when you sell a house as well, you may find some easily fixable things that could potentially bring down the value of your house.

  4. amy

    Stephanie – that’s good advice, having an inspection before selling. As a 1st-time buyer, that’s not coming up this time, but it’s something I’d not thought about before. Thanks!

    Marcy – it is eerily similar to the house of death in Bkgs, but that house LOOKED like it might have problems, this one hid them away, all evil-like.

    Claire – She should have paid us for that, or at least not expected QUITE so much money.

    Steph – I know that it’s true that they’re in it to make money, but for some reason, I keep expecting them to have ethics….silly me. *sigh*

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