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Halloween Home Inspection Checklist: Bats, Rats and Rotting Flesh

Ask any prospective homebuyer and they’ll tell you how easy it is to fall in love with what looks like a perfect home. In the bright light of day, they’ll declare that home to be made of sunshine and rainbows. Butterflies and unicorns frolic in the back yard. It is utterly, undeniably perfect.

But many homes hide ugly secrets. Deep, dark, dank secrets. From the creepy crawly to the putridly disgusting, there’s plenty you may not know about that perfect home. You have just two ways to discover the truth: One is to simply move in and allow time to reveal the skeletons hiding in your home’s closets. Or you can work with your real estate agent to get a home inspection.

It's worth a few hundred bucks to know whether you’re buying the home of your dreams or the home of your nightmares. Take it from these folks. We asked Dave’s Facebook followers to tell us about their truly frightening home inspection results, and they didn’t disappoint us.

Keep reading—if you dare!

Prepare for a Case of the Shivers

If we were giving awards for the story that gave us the most chills, Chad M. would win hands down. His home inspector found that the entire basement ceiling of the home he planned to buy was infested with black widow spiders! There were so many that Chad, who proceeded with the purchase in spite of the deadly spiders, could not move in until an exterminator used a special vacuum to suck all the spiders out of the rafters. “I’d never, ever buy a home without a good, solid home inspector,” Chad said.

Find expert agents to help you buy your home.

David G., an HVAC repairman, shared a story in which the home seller blocked the inspector’s access to the attic and prevented a complete review of the heating and cooling system. The buyers purchased the home anyway and ended up calling David to replace the ductwork. “After pulling out the air handler, we counted over 40 dead rats—with and without fur,” he said.

And if spiders and hairless rats weren’t enough, what about bats? David K. said his own visual inspection of a 1910 Victorian turned up only a few minor cosmetic issues. But his home inspector discovered a massive bat infestation in the attic. The winged varmints had destroyed the attic furnace and their—er—leavings had caused mold growth as well. David decided to leave the home to the bats and kept looking.

Who Does That?

Dealing with creepy critters—dead or alive—is bad enough, but sometimes it’s people who leave you feeling like you should keep the lights on while you sleep.

The home Jessica H. wanted to buy was built in 1925 and had been vacant for several months. Thanks to her home inspection, she discovered that thieves had broken into the home’s crawlspace and stolen all the copper pipe. The seller agreed to replace the plumbing, and the home is now hers.

In another much more disgusting case, Travis P. said the seller “generously” included a deep freezer located in the basement when he bought their home. The freezer worked, but it had been unplugged for several years. After Travis moved in, he made a horrifying discovery: “It was still full of her rancid, unrefrigerated chicken,” Travis said. “It had turned into rotting meat slush.” Granted, most home inspection reports don’t include a category for nastiness in an old freezer, but Travis’ story is a good reminder that as a prospective buyer, you have a responsibility to check things over carefully yourself as well.

Even Common Issues Lead to Nightmare Scenarios

These stories are truly the stuff of nightmares, and thankfully, not every home has problems on this scale. But even the more common problems are enough to send chills down your spine:

  • Jim T.’s home inspection showed his foundation footings were floating in mid-air.
  • When the inspector turned on the water at Erica B.’s potential new home, water immediately started gushing from a bathroom light fixture.
  • Linnea L.’s inspector said he wasn’t sure how the home she planned to buy was still standing. The roof was slowly caving in and the footings were nearly washed out.

Find a Good Inspector Through Your Real Estate Agent

After hearing all these stories, it’s no wonder that 99% of real estate agents recommend their clients get a home inspection before they buy. Problems revealed through home inspections were the top reason buyers cancelled their home purchase contracts last year. Most of the time, however, buyers and sellers are able to renegotiate the contract so the problems are either resolved before closing or the home price is reduced.

The majority of homebuyers rely on their real estate agent to recommend a quality home inspector. If you are or plan to be in the market to buy a home, an experienced real estate agent will be an invaluable resource. Let us put you in touch with a trustworthy agent in your area who’s earned Dave’s recommendation for excellent service and great advice.

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

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