One Seriously Jacked-Up Roof

Imagine you’d bought a home, and one day you went into the attic while chasing after a raccoon and–

What? No. I don’t know why you’re chasing a raccoon. Maybe it stole your sandwich.*

Anyway, you climb into the attic, wrestle the raccoon into submission, reclaim your sandwich, and then look over and see a tire jack holding your roof up. Wouldn’t you be a little upset? Even more so than you were about the sandwich?

This is why we have home inspectors. To inspect homes. For things like tire jacks and raccoon colonies.

You might think that you don’t need an inspector. You might say to yourself: “Self, I know how to tell if there’s something wrong with a house.”

But you’re probably wrong, because:

A: A good home inspector has the training and experience needed to identify hundreds of problems with a home’s structure, foundation, wiring, plumbing, ventilation, roofing, and other key components. Many of these problems are not obvious to the casual (or even business-casual) eye.


B: Home inspectors go into places like crawlspaces and attics, and spiders live in those places. Spiders.

We talked to over a dozen home inspectors, collected more than 200 images of common home inspection issues, and put that info into a neat little interactive home. It won’t make you a home inspection expert, but it will give you an idea of what to look for when touring a home. And hopefully it’ll help you realize how important a good inspection can be before you buy that home.

Don’t wait for a sandwich-stealing raccoon to show you the value of a home inspector. Check out our Interactive Home Inspection right now.

*It’s a roast beef sandwich. Unless you’re a vegan. Then it’s kelp or hay or something.

(Photo courtesy Gary Cornia & Cornia Consulting, LLC.)

  • Aaron Fyke

    My understanding was that the reasons for long lines for goods in the ex-Soviet Union was that prices were held fixed, and thus scarcity resulted. This was based on the naive notion that by fixing the price, then people wouldn’t have to pay more than that price for the item (groceries, toilet paper, etc). The result was a broken market.

    Surely, if there are desperate buyers, they would gladly pay an increased price (in fact, bidding wars show this), so if there is a shortage of housing then we’re seeing the same Soviet-style broken market. So, who’s the culprit? Banks and appraisals likely, seeing as how they were previously burned, it is understandable, but they are acting as a damping function, preventing the market from coming to equilibrium.

  • kiliminjaro

    Question for future surveys: “If you sold your home today, do you have enough equity to come out ahead, breakeven, or are you underwater?”
    I suspect homeowners don’t sell until they believe they will do a little better than breakeven. If they don’t have sufficient equity, the time and expense of selling and moving don’t justify selling. That calculation may be more relevant (and predictable) than estimated home values one or two years in to the future.

  • Leslie Appleton Young

    Did you break-out the potential sellers by those who have equity in their homes v. those that are underwater? My guess is the answers to some of the quesitons would show a significnat difference depending on their equity situation.