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So, sheerly for continuing entertainment, what is your most freaky and unexplainable occurrence on a home inspection?

Mine? About six years ago, I was performing a home inspection in a very nice 3500 square foot home. I was done inspecting and at the dining room table, with the selling agent, writing my report. It was just the two of us as the home buyer was out of state and unable to attend.

As the agent was reading a book or paperwork and I wrote away, a lovely wooden corner shelf loaded with all kinds of fine ceramics and crystal simply crashed to the floor shattering much of the contents.

The agent and I looked at each other with the same dumbfounded look and the same obvious thought - "Who's going to believe this?" We both laughed, more out of shock and nervousness than that it was actually funny.

Then, the agent called the listing agent, who was surprisingly understanding, I think mostly because I was working with one of those lovely agents that everyone loves and is as pretty and wholesome as a Miss America contestant.

A second purely funny occurrence - a few years back I was inspecting a home and EVERYONE in attendance was in the same room I was. I closed the bedroom door to test it and immediately realized the door knob was defective. Unfortunately, this meant I had to announce to everyone that we were now trapped in the room with no one to open it from the other side. After a moment of thought I just removed the door hinge pins and let everyone out.

So, what's happened to you that was totally off the wall and unbelievable?

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Since early in my career as a home inspector I've made it a point to check every door knob from the inside before I close the door. Don't bother asking why I know about this.

A few years ago I had a ladder blow over while I was on the roof. New construction and the only person inside was a laborer doing touch-up painting. I could not get his attention. The buyer would not be there for several hours. It was cold. And windy. Luckily I had called the sales office on my way over and still had my cell phone on my belt. The sales lady was surprisingly nice about the whole thing. I now tie off the ladder in the slightest breeze.

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Since early in my career as a home inspector I've made it a point to check every door knob from the inside before I close the door. Don't bother asking why I know about this.

It's the 2nd and 3rd floor balcony doors that I check from the outside. I've had to, sheepishly, knock and yell to get the clients' attention at least a couple of times. I refuse to have those types of locks (the ones that will open from the inside while still being locked) in my own house. I usually warn the client about them and suggest they keep a key stashed on the balconies.

Other than that, I must lead a sheltered life as nothing too weird comes to mind.

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Once in a basement bedroom, I closed the door from the inside and could not open it again. I told my customer, who was inside with me. And she just freaked the f@@K out! She started screaming, and calling for Jesus to save her, she was talking in tongues, and throwing her arms in the air. I kept saying as calmly as I could “it is ok, I have some tools here and I’ll get it opened in a minute or twoâ€

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Once in a basement bedroom, I closed the door from the inside and could not open it again. I told my customer, who was inside with me. And she just freaked the f@@K out! She started screaming, and calling for Jesus to save her, she was talking in tongues, and throwing her arms in the air. I kept saying as calmly as I could “it is ok, I have some tools here and I’ll get it opened in a minute or twoâ€

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Once in a basement bedroom, I closed the door from the inside and could not open it again. I told my customer, who was inside with me. And she just freaked the f@@K out! She started screaming, and calling for Jesus to save her, she was talking in tongues, and throwing her arms in the air. I kept saying as calmly as I could “it is ok, I have some tools here and I’ll get it opened in a minute or twoâ€

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I've actually told this one about two years ago, but it bears repeating because it highlights the danger of assuming anything.

I was in a crawlspace looking at a gas furnace. While inspecting the furnace, I was hearing what I thought was a water drip onto the plastic vapor barrier coming from behind me - note to self, identify the leak when I'm finished with the furnace.

Well, when I finally finished with the furnace I turned to discover that the noise was the threatening snapping jaws of a momma opossum huddled with her babies within the rungs of a ladder directly behind me. Only good fortune prevented a missing piece of my neck. Needless to say the crawl space inspection was concluded.

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Well, the wind blew my ladder down from a 2 story once. It happened in a new neighborhood with few houses. It took about 15 minutes to get the attention of 2 cleaning ladies prepping another house down the block. It was humorous trying to talk them through standing it up.

I've only locked myself out of a rural house once. I was alone. I had not completed much of the interior but had inspected the laundry room. The window was open but small.

The most embarrassing was locking my laptop in a commercial building that I had just finished inspecting. The agent had left me alone to make an appointment about 30 minutes away. I wound up calling a broker I am pretty good friends with. (Scott P, think red signs all over Madison county).

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Wasn't during an insp, but:

My son and I had just loaded the truck up with shingles and were on our way to the dump. Windows were rollled down, radio on, it was hot out and we were tired. I pulled up to the stop sign, looked to my right to check for cyclists when I heard a loud crack and the passenger side mirror fell off. Only hanging there by the heater cable. We looked at each other...and he started yelling at me that if I wasnt in the truck when that happened he would have got the blame for busting my mirror. Oh yeah, I would never have believed that it just broke unless I watched it happen. I still laugh,,, $125 dollars used replacement, friggin Avalanche....

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When people call my Baja a car, I tell 'em, "Smile when you call my truck a car." When they call my Baja a truck, I say, "Smile, when you call my car a truck." [:-bonc01]

Freaky things I've seen during inspection. Hmm, I lead kind of an ordinary life. There was the time I met Poe. There was the time the vapor barrier collapsed and I fell into a rat warren. There was the time I found "Lovey" in the crawlspace still wearing her rhinestone studded collar and hooked up to a chain - 12 years after she went missing. There was the time I encountered a huge raccoon during the inspection of a crawlspace, reared back, smacked my head and knocked myself unconscious - only to discover when I came to that the raccoon was freshly dead as a doornail and frozen solid.

All of those stories are here in the archives someplace. What's really weird is that they all involve animals of some sort. Hmm.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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