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Andy Wojtowski

PODCAST: Easter Eggs, Part II

The gang discusses hard-to-find home inspection discoveries, which they call Easter Eggs. Reuben talks about a recent inspection that he did, and shares some of the finds from that inspection. One of those was a blocked toe-kick register below the kitchen sink, pictured below.

Kitchen-toekick-ductwork-obstructed-under-cabinet-500x375-Minneapolis-home-inspection-radon-test-inspections.jpg

Reuben also discusses finding a hot dimmer switch that controlled a 900-watt chandelier. The conversation turns to furnace fan settings for summertime conditions, and then the gang has a good discussion about exactly how much water damage should be disclosed by a seller.

TRANSCRIPTION

The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

Tessa Murry: Can you explain Easter egg for people listening? What does that mean?

Bill Oelrich: Well, it’s the thing you don’t ever expect to find, but you find them occasionally, and you’re really happy when you find it.

BO: Welcome everybody to Structure Talk, a Structure Tech Presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman. And on today’s episode, we’re gonna talk a little about Easter eggs again. It’s been a while since we’ve visited on the Easter egg subject, and Reuben today, when we had pulled up to the studio, he was kinda giddy, he had found a few Easter eggs at a home inspection he did today, which by the way, what gives ’cause this is the first home inspection in, what, 14 years?

Reuben Saltzman: I was giddy just ’cause I was doing a home inspection. Yeah. I don’t do a whole lot of those anymore.

BO: Alright, alright.

RS: Yeah.

TM: Bill, can you explain Easter egg for people listening? What does that mean?

BO: Well, it’s the thing you don’t ever expect to find, but you find them occasionally, and you’re really happy when you find them. Okay.

RS: Yeah.

BO: And so, I don’t know, Reuben is gonna give a great example of it, so why not I just put it in your lap, and you demonstrate through story…

RS: Sure.

BO: What an Easter egg is.

[laughter]

RS: And this is something we talked about on our very first podcast episode, I think we talked about Easter eggs, and on our last episode, we talked a little bit about this, about finding buried fuel oil tanks, and it’s just one of those things where sometimes you almost trip over and you go, “Oh, my goodness, I sure I’m glad I found that.”

TM: Yeah.

RS: And then you’re very thankful, but we thought, let’s come back to this. So I was doing a home inspection with Milind, long story of why I ended up going along and doing an inspection, ’cause I’d just about given all my tools away, I’m not even equipped to do a home inspection anymore, but I could still hold my own. And there’s just a handful of things where it just makes my day when I run across this stuff, I mean, for me inside it makes me feel good to know that we found it.

TM: You’re glowing, Reuben, right now.

RS: Well, I feel that way. Thank you, thank you.

[laughter]

RS: One of them was…

BO: As a home inspector shine right?

[laughter]

RS: Yeah, yeah. One was the toe-kick register in the kitchen, it’s a 2007-built home, and on a lot of those homes, you’re gonna have a little register below the kitchen sink that you got heat or you got cold there coming out of, and we find people seem to mess those things up, left and right, it’s one of the most common issues we find on new construction homes. But we’ll still check them on a lot of other homes, and I look down, and we always look at where the ductwork connects to the front of the cabinet, because if it doesn’t come all the way to the front of the cabinet, you’re gonna have a bunch of cold air during the summertime AC, you’re gonna have a bunch of cool air filling that cabinet space, not making its way out of the register, and it makes for a really cold cabinet.

RS: And we’ve called this out many times, I’ve got one client who bought a new construction home who had this condition, I said, “Yeah, the ductwork doesn’t come to the edge, you can create mold problems, have it fixed.” And the builder is like, “Yeah, your home inspector is an idiot. We’re not fixing that. We do them all this way.” Five years later, he sent me the photo of the inside of his cabinet. He’s never had a leak, the whole bottom of it is just black and covered with mold, because there’s cold air leaking into that space. I checked my own cabinet, it was one of these 97-degree days in Minnesota just recently, and I had to do something where I pulled all the towels, I keep a bunch of kitchen towels there, pulled all the towels out and underneath it, I realized it was wet, and I was like, “Oh shoot, why is it so wet?” But then I kept feeling it, “No, it’s not wet, it’s just really cold. Makes it feel wet.” And…

BO: Did you not find this in the home inspection?

RS: Well, this is my own home.

BO: I know.

RS: I personally taped up that ductwork, it is totally sealed, it just felt that cold, because there’s a duct underneath there. I don’t even have air leaking out of there. Just imagine how bad it would be.

TM: Or do you?

RS: Well, I could but I can see it.

[laughter]

RS: If I do have air leaking out, it’s gonna be minimal.

TM: You gonna go home and open up your cabinet now. [laughter]

RS: You’re right, I might.

[laughter]

BO: So what’s the test you do to see if your ductwork is sealed?

RS: Well, I just look at it, I’m not doing any type of specialized testing.

TM: Duct blaster test, Reuben?

RS: Get out of here with your duct blaster test.

TM: Well, you don’t know for sure it doesn’t leak unless you do the test.

RS: My house was built in 2003. I’m assuming my ducts leak like a sieve…

TM: Probably.

RS: All over the place.

TM: Yeah.

RS: Alright, now you gotta explain what a duct blaster test is, Tess.

TM: It’s a big fan that you hook up to a furnace, and you basically can measure the amount of air that’s leaking out through the ductwork, so you pressurize the ductwork, and they do that on new construction houses, they do that on houses where they’re concerned about leakage in ductwork.

BO: So do you seal up one end and then blow it up like a balloon or do you…

TM: Yeah, they do, they have to tape off all of the registers, all the supplies, all the returns, so it’s a sealed system.

BO: Okay.

TM: You know.

RS: And how much leakage is allowable?

TM: That’s a good question. I wish I knew, I don’t remember anymore. It’s been so long.

RS: Okay.

BO: Well, it should be zero.

TM: It should be, I can’t remember.

RS: It’s not zero.

TM: It’s a percentage, isn’t it?

RS: I don’t remember, I do know that there’s a big difference when the ductwork passes through unconditioned spaces.

TM: Yeah.

RS: Like if you have ductwork running through an attic, the tolerance is way less.

TM: And actually maybe, do they only have to do the duct blaster test if there is ductwork outside of the thermal boundary.

RS: That might be the difference there.

TM: I think that’s it.

RS: Yeah.

TM: Bill’s getting sleepy over there in the corner so let’s move on. [laughter]

RS: Sorry, Bill. Alright, alright, we’ll wake Bill back up. So anyway, back to the story. I look down underneath there, they brought the ductwork all the way to the face of the cabinet, it looked fantastic, I was almost gonna take a picture of how picture perfect this was, but then I got down farther, I’m laying on my stomach here looking underneath the kitchen, just ’cause…

[laughter]

TM: Getting in there.

RS: This is what we do. And I get in there with my flashlight, and I go, “Oh, wait a minute, no, this is not good, you’ve got the duct coming up through the floor.” And then they’ve got a big piece of sheet metal coming right over the duct that completely obstructs the whole thing. So they’re gonna get basically no air coming out of it.

TM: Wait, they had it blocked…

RS: Yes.

TM: With a piece of metal?

RS: They had it blocked with a piece of sheet metal, and I will put that picture in this podcast to show you what I’m talking about.

TM: That’s weird.

RS: Yeah, it is weird. And so it’s just… It’s one of those things, I go, “Oh… “

BO: I think they were trying to test you.

RS: “I’m glad I was on my stomach with the flashlight.” Looking underneath here, and it’s just one of those things where you say, “I wonder how many people would have seen this?”

TM: Did you have the spidey-sense, like the tingle, like… I need to get down there and look?

RS: I totally did. I get that all the time.

TM: That’s why you’re such a good home inspector.

RS: I had already looked at all this and then I came back to it. I was like, “Wait a minute, I wonder what’s going on here.”

TM: Oh my God.

BO: I think you need to set him up. We were just testing him to see what… To see if he still had game.

RS: Might have been, might have been.

BO: Yeah.

TM: You passed the test.

BO: Alright.

RS: So that was a fun find.

BO: You had something else you were very excited about.

RS: There was a few of them. There was a light, it just… I went to flip the light on, and I’m surprised I even notice this. Now, I haven’t been out inspecting but, as we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, we’re wearing masks during our inspections, we are wearing gloves… We say, we’ll either wear gloves or wipe down surfaces. Nobody wants to wipe down surfaces. It’s a huge pain in the butt. So we’re wearing gloves. I’m wearing gloves throughout the inspection, and I just went to flip the dimmer switch and I just notice… Oh, that’s unusually warm. Take a look over at the light it’s controlling… It’s a big chandelier with nine light bulbs… What’s the rating on the light bulb? Get up there, look down at one of the bulbs… 100 watt… 900 watts. Now, quiz, you guys…

TM: 500.

RS: What’s the standard that a dimmer switch is gonna be rated for? How many watts can it handle standard?

TM: Is it 500? 600? Oh… Larry got it right.

RS: Larry, producer Larry is holding up his fingers. Man, Larry… Well done, sir. You know your dimmer switches, don’t you?

TM: Yes, he does.

RS: How do you know that?

RS: Alright, well, yeah, that’s the standard, is 600 watts.

BO: So how much draw is on that one circuit with 900 watts?

RS: What else is on that circuit?

BO: No, no, I’m just saying, “How many amps is that light fixture drawing?”

RS: How many amps? 900 divided by 120, whatever that is. I don’t know.

BO: That’s seven and a half.

RS: Okay.

BO: Seven and a half amps on that one light bulb?

RS: On the one light fixture. Yeah.

TM: One switch.

RS: Hopefully the circuit’s designed for it… We don’t get into that, but I do question it when I got a warm dimmer, and so right away I just took the screws off the cover plate and take a look at it… This one was actually rated for 1000 watts.

TM: Oh.

RS: No harm, no foul, we’re cool. But…

TM: No, you’re warm, not cool.

[chuckle]

RS: We’re warm, but it wasn’t a problem, but it was just another one of those little things where… I’ve even blogged about this, and I just wonder how many people are looking at this?

BO: Have you ever seen a melted switch?

RS: No.

BO: Okay.

RS: No, I haven’t.

BO: Okay.

RS: No, not yet.

BO: Well, you passed the pop quiz ’cause I wanted to know if you could figure… Do that amperage-equation thing quickly, so…

RS: Yeah, I know what the formula is. You give me a minute or two, I would have been able to come up with seven point whatever amps you said, but I’m not that quick.

BO: Tessa passed ’cause she got the 600.

TM: No, that was Larry.

BO: Well.

TM: He said 600.

BO: You said 500-600.

TM: I couldn’t remember…

BO: Whatever it takes.

TM: With one tab removed, is it 500, and two tabs removed it’s 400?

RS: That’s exactly right, yes, elaborate Tess.

TM: Well, if you change that switch and you remove the little tab on the side, then it can handle less wattage.

RS: Why would you remove the tab?

TM: To get it to fit in the desired location.

RS: Yeah, like if you have two of them side by side, you remove the tab so they will physically fit in the box, but there’s less heat being dissipated.

BO: So it’s a space issue. It’s a heat sink issue.

RS: It is.

BO: Gotcha.

RS: Yeah.

BO: Alright, okay, so… And there was one other thing that you kinda…

RS: Oh, there was a handful of things, those were just fun finds. Another one was the air exchanger, and we’ve talked about air exchangers or HRVs, and this is one that I would hope any home inspector would find, but I gotta believe not everybody’s checking this stuff. We had found the intake and we found the exhaust, and we had turned the HRV on at the beginning of the inspection, but there was no air coming out, and Milind told me, “Yeah, I don’t think I found the HRV exhaust. I found something, but there’s no air coming out, we still gotta find that.” And I said, “Oh yeah, you keep going on this, I’ll go track that down.”

RS: And I turn the HRV on, there’s no air coming out, I go back inside, I’m holding it, “I’m like I don’t feel anything running,” and I tried everything. And I opened the thing up and I just put my hand inside on the HRV wheel to move it, and normally you just give it a little push and it spins… Well, this would not move. And fine… I mean, I pushed really hard on it and I was able to get the wheel to turn, but it was just grinding the blower fan. So, the fan is toast. The HRV is toast.

BO: What year was the house? You said 2007?

RS: 2007.

TM: Wait, could you hear it? When you flipped the switch, you said you turned it on. You thought it was on ’cause you could hear it running?

RS: I thought it was on because I heard a click.

TM: Oh Okay.

BO: A call for it to run.

TM: Alright.

RS: Yeah.

TM: ‘Cause usually you can kinda hear a little humming noise when it’s running.

RS: Yeah, and I wasn’t hearing that.

TM: Gotcha.

RS: Yeah.

BO: Okay, so that leads me to the next question, and I have a follow-up question to the next question. Wasn’t there a time when these HRV motors were known to go bad on a very specific model? There was a brand… And I’m not gonna say anything ’cause I don’t wanna misstate who it was, but Dwayne, one of the first home inspectors here at the company… I think he even predated you, Reuben.

RS: Yeah, he was… He started with Structure Tech in ’96.

BO: Gotcha.

RS: My dad bought this business in ’97.

BO: Gotcha, okay, so anyway, there is one that had a motor… Where these motors would go out, but…

RS: Interesting.

BO: Summertime, you’re running your HRV?

RS: I don’t run my HRV in the summer. The whole idea of the HRV is better indoor air quality, and it gets rid of condensation issues and you don’t have condensation issues in the summer. And as far as air quality goes, I keep my windows open all summer long, so I constantly have major air exchanges all summer, so… Yeah, I definitely don’t run mine.

BO: But air quality, if there’s a ton of pollen in the air, is sub-par.

TM: I was gonna say, if you’ve got someone with allergy issues and they keep their windows closed and then keep their AC on, then it would make sense to have your HRV running too… Just for air quality purposes.

RS: Sure.

BO: Are you gonna throw a lot of cold air to the outside in that process or no?

TM: Maybe.

BO: Okay.

TM: Yeah. But…

RS: There will be an energy penalty. I mean, you go to that exhaust and you’re gonna feel cold air coming out.

TM: Yeah probably. But I would say minuscule compared to the amount of warm air you’re pulling in through all your attic bypasses.

RS: Sure. It’s all relative.

BO: 14 windows open, there’s a lot of warm air coming in. Okay, alright, that was the thing, ’cause it’s always confusing to me about those appliances. Obviously, we run them all winter long. We run them in the shoulder seasons, but different people will tell you different things. And for example, I run my furnace fan all the time until I met Reuben and Tessa, and now I only run it fall through spring, so…

RS: It’s good.

BO: Why is that the best approach to a comfortable house in the summertime?

RS: Well, you’re gonna increase humidity if you run your furnace fan at the same time that you’re running your air conditioner because your air conditioner is gonna turn on and off. And every time the AC turns off, if your blower fan continues to run, it’s gonna take all of that household air and pass it over the evaporator coil for the air conditioner. That’s the part that removes humidity from your air, and now it’s taking that air and it’s passing it over this big wet thing. And now it turns your air conditioner into a humidifier. And so your humidity levels are gonna start spiking as soon as the air conditioner shuts off, if you have your blower fans set to on all the time.

BO: Gotcha, alright.

RS: So you’re gonna be unintentionally distributing a lot of moisture throughout the air. So don’t do that in the summer.

BO: Now, there is a wonderful article that explains this. I know it exists, and I know Tessa you might know where it comes from?

TM: I can’t remember the person’s name, who did the research, but…

RS: It’s a woman’s name.

TM: Oh, it’s a woman?

RS: I didn’t say it’s a woman. It’s woman’s name. [laughter]

TM: Oh! Is it Allison Bailes?

RS: Allison Bailes.

TM: Okay.

RS: Yes.

BO: Gotcha. Okay, so you can look that information up on what is Allison’s?

RS: We’ll put a link to it in this podcast.

TM: Sure, yeah.

BO: Okay. It’s one of those conversations that I’d started having with people when I was doing home inspections about running the furnace fan all year long. I told people: “I was told not to do this.” I’m a good listener.

RS: Yup. Makes sense. [laughter]

BO: Okay. So Tessa any an Easter eggs you’ve run across in…

TM: Well, I was thinking back, there was one house I was inspecting a few years back, and it was in St. Paul, and it was for a couple that have been looking for a house for a long time, and they loved the area, and they liked the character of this 1920s, 1930s house. It had the kind of the standard like old house things, we covered a lot of these things in the previous podcast like 9×9 floors tiles and knob and tube wiring and stuff. Ungrounded three-prong outlets, and two prong outlets, that kind of thing, whatever. They seemed to be okay with that sort of thing. But I get down to the basement, and the whole basement is finished, but there’s a small section that’s missing some ceiling tiles in the utility room. And I had noticed earlier that there had been some kind of dips and sags in the floor on the first floor which, you know isn’t really cause for concern in a 1920s house, you’re gonna have some…

RS: Character.

TM: Yeah, it’s… Right, it’s character, but I noticed some cracking on a wall in one area and this big dip, and so I started looking around, to try and get a look at the framing, and there was a missing ceiling tile, and so I looked up there first, and I couldn’t believe it. All of the floor joist were just charred like just black. So then I got really curious and I started poking up above some of the other ceiling tiles, and sure enough there’s splice knob and tube, there’s more charring… All this stuff going on and I was like, “Oh man! [chuckle] This is what I can see? What can’t I see? What’s happening in this house?” So a lot of questionable wiring throughout, and then just the evidence of fire. And the thing that scared these buyers the most is that the sellers had been there a very long time and they did not disclose a fire.

RS: Ohh! Sure.

TM: So I don’t know what happened with that. I wanna say that they walked away, but I don’t know for sure.

BO: Maybe they don’t remember they had a fire, if they lived there that long. [laughter]

RS: I don’t know.

TM: Who that little thing?

RS: I don’t know.

TM: That event in the basement where everything was smokey, hell yeah.

BO: How many times have you gone into a house and some of the… The seller’s still home and you’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna… This is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna run the furnace,” and they’re like, “Oh yeah, that thing’s good. I just put it in a couple of years ago.” [laughter] And then you go in the basement, it’s like 19 years old and I’m like, “Your time is different than mine.”

RS: Yeah.

TM: Yeah, time flies, I guess. Yeah.

RS: Always.

[laughter]

TM: Yeah, so that was… Yeah, that was one that surprised me, but I was really glad that there was some missing ceiling tile there so I could find that, but…

RS: Yeah, yeah. That’s a good find.

BO: We’re all glad you found that…

TM: You know what, I think we actually… One of the topics we should talk about are things we found above drop ceilings.

RS: Electrical Hazards. Drop ceilings were invented for the express purpose of hiding electrical hazards.

TM: Yes. [laughter]

RS: I’m pretty sure that’s why people came up with those.

BO: Well, and they’re also very good at marring themselves, so you can’t find that electrical hazard without upsetting the people who own the house…

TM: Yeah.

RS: Damaging a corner or not getting to put back together…

BO: They never go down.

TM: Oh my god. You know what? I just remembered when I was in training, I was on an inspection with Dwayne. [laughter] And we where at this house that was kind of on a woodsy property, I remember, and we were… It was a walkout basement situation, I remember Dwayne lifting up the ceiling tile with one of his tools, just kind of poked at it. He lift up the corner of it and just this like waterfall of mouse poop, just came down and just showered him. And you know, Dwayne wears… Love you Dwayne. He wears these jean overalls.

RS: Coveralls, overalls, that was his trademark.

TM: It’s his trademark, just went down the bibs, in the bibs, just covered in it, and [laughter] he took a moment to just kind of wipe off his glasses, [chuckle] put em back. Just dusted himself off and then he just kept going. And I was like, “Oh my God, I’m never lifting ceiling tiles.”

RS: Oh my gosh.

BO: That’s one reason that clothing is so useful. ‘Cause it’ll find its way down to the floor eventually.

RS: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right.

BO: There’s nothing to hold it in there.

RS: It just goes right through.

BO: It just… Yeah.

[chuckle]

TM: Right down from the top to the bottom.

RS: Yeah. So maybe you get a couple…

RS: I’m thinking we should make that a company uniform. Everybody wears bibs.

TM: You know what? I would not be opposed.

RS: I betcha they’re really comfortable.

TM: I used to have a pair… Two pairs of bibs I wore all of the time.

RS: Did you?

TM: In fifth grade, they were my go-to.

RS: You call them bib overalls?

TM: Yeah, bibs.

RS: See, I say that too and my wife makes fun of me. She’s like, “Why do you call them bibs?”

TM: Really?

RS: Yeah.

TM: That’s what I ever known, that’s what I called them growing up. Maybe I’m wrong.

RS: I’ve always called them too, bib overalls.

TM: Yeah, I loved them.

RS: But she mocks me for it.

TM: Loved them.

RS: I don’t get it. Tess, you said something that made me think of something else. You talked about whether the homeowners should have disclosed that. And maybe they forgot. And I had a recent conversation with someone, and Bill, maybe this would be a good one for you, you’ve got your real estate broker’s license.

BO: Okay, I’m listening.

RS: Therefore, you’re an expert on this.

BO: No, but I’m listening.

[chuckle]

RS: I am declaring you an expert on this. How much should people disclose? If you spill a cup of water on the floor, do you disclose that as water damage?

BO: I wouldn’t.

RS: Okay. What about if your kids do a lot of extra splashing and they spill a bunch of water outside the tub during bath time, do you disclose that?

BO: Do you know if there’s a problem that’s resulted from said splashing?

RS: No. No, you don’t know that there’s a problem from said splashing.

BO: Have you taken reasonable measures to prevent said splashing from leaking through the gaps and potentially causing damage?

RS: Like, don’t let the kids splash anymore? Yep, sure have. Check that box.

[chuckle]

BO: Or maybe bought some caulking and put a bead of caulking there so that… Or maybe you throw a tile on the floor…

RS: Let’s just say you haven’t.

BO: It’s hard to know. It’s hard to know. Everybody’s barometer is different. So, continue. Go on.

RS: And these are all hypothetical that I’m making up. This isn’t my personal experience.

BO: Okay.

RS: I’m just thinking of some ways that you could have water in places where it doesn’t belong in your home.

BO: Sure.

RS: What if the toilet overflows? What if the toilet’s clog, you flush it and it overflows? Then do you disclose that?

BO: What measures did you take to clean it up?

RS: Well, you did a bunch of sucking in the walls. You rented a commercial dryer, and you sucked the water out of the ceiling and called it done.

BO: I’m always of the opinion that when something like that happens, you say what happened and you tell them what you did. And then let somebody make their own decision about if that’s a problem. For me, I think most people would be appreciative of the honesty versus not being open.

RS: Okay. Alright. I don’t know. Someone was asking me this and I just said, “Well, I kinda asked these potential scenarios and I said, “I think it’s kind of a gray area. I don’t think there’s a clear dividing line, and I’m not sure where the right answer is.”

BO: Well, we talk about one-time events and probably not being a big deal. Was it dirty water that leaked all over the floor? Was it clean water? Did you… What did you do? Give me some more information. Are you trying to hide something? Or are you trying not to explain something? Those are the questions that come into my mind. I don’t care about the water on the floor. I’m like, “Whatever. That’s no big deal.” What are you not telling me now that I know you didn’t tell me about that.

RS: Sure.

BO: Now I’ve lost confidence.

RS: And to see it from the other side, every time I’m doing a home inspection and there’s any mention of a previous leak on a disclosure, like from 12 years ago…

TM: You know it’s bad.

RS: Well, no. It’s… The buyers are freaked out about that. I mean, that’s their number one concern. “Well, we wanna make sure there’s no hidden mold in the wall from this leak that happened 12 years ago,” or whatever… And the idea of that is just absurd. You’re not gonna have mold actively growing in walls from something that happened a long time ago, especially if they had a restoration company come in and they gutted it and you’ve got documentation, it’s over. It’s done with. But people are still really worried about it.

TM: You could have mold growing in your walls for some other reason.

BO: Yeah. [chuckle]

TM: I mean, ask those questions. Some people don’t.

RS: Yes.

BO: You might have a piece of ductwork that’s got a hole where it doesn’t belong, and now it’s blowing cold air around the place that it doesn’t belong.

TM: Exactly. Yeah, you’re right. People really focus on those things in disclosures and they really get worked up about them.

RS: They do. My thought is, it’s always kind of like a restaurant that maybe just got shut down because they had salmonella poisoning or something. It’s probably gonna be really safe to eat this week.

[laughter]

RS: You’re being looked at very carefully. You’re probably even safer now than you would be otherwise. I don’t know that for certain, but…

BO: Yeah. And when it comes to real estate disclosures, you have to disclose material facts of the house. It’s that simple.

RS: Okay.

BO: And if I don’t think it’s a material fact and you think it’s a material fact, and it’s a really big deal, well, somebody’s gonna probably make the decision on what… If it was a material factor, not… Some other person. It’s not gonna be up to me anymore, and it’s not gonna be up to you anymore. I’m guessing that’s the way this stuff all shakes out. But if you know something and you don’t tell somebody, well that’s problematic.

RS: Sure. Okay.

BO: But it’s a material fact. I mean, that’s what the standard is. So you fill in the blank. And as I said in an earlier podcast, everybody has different tastes for these kinds of things.

RS: Yeah.

BO: And you probably see that going through these disclosure agreement.

RS: How about this one, would you just disclose this? And now this one, this is me, the other ones I was making up, we were gone for a week and we come back home. One of my kids, I’ll assume it was one of my kids, had not closed the shower door and the shower had not been turned off all the way. It was on just a hair. So there would be a drop of water about every three seconds, one drop, and eventually the water got to be enough where it started to become a small pool on the tile right outside the shower, from the splash of a single drop. And over a week’s worth, it was enough to leak down between the shower and the tiled floor, and stain the kitchen ceiling, which we just had redone and new texture and new paint and all of that. Now there’s a stain right in the middle of the kitchen ceiling about the size of a hockey puck. Super annoying! So would that be something to disclose? I mean, my plan is, I’m gonna touch it up with kills and repaint it, but is this a material facts? I don’t know.

BO: I’m gonna defer to you to make that choice. As a real estate agent, I have to disclose what I find out to be material facts. Now that probably isn’t, based on the story that you just told me. But the other side of that coin is when people don’t tell about the things that happened in their houses, then they sell them and they move away, and then the neighbors come over and they’re like, “Oh, yeah. Did Frank and Mary tell you about the time when they had the fire in the house?” And you’re like, “What? No, they didn’t tell me about that.” They’re like, “Oh yeah, there was three fire trucks out in front of the house.”

RS: Sure.

BO: That always happens. Neighbors always talk.

TM: No, it was the home inspector. They left the oven on.

[chuckle]

BO: Yeah. Or whatever it might be. But yeah, yeah. So I don’t know. I’m just a… I’m an open book. If you’re gonna come after me and be like, “Hey, I need $500 bucks off this price of this house, because you told me about that,” I would be very put off that my honesty would be used against me. “I just want you to know, I don’t think it’s a big deal. It was seven years ago. I don’t think you’ll think it’s a big deal, but I’m just telling you what I know.”

RS: Sure. Okay.

BO: Alright, Easter Eggs Part Two are in the books.

RS: Yeah.

BO: And we even got into some real estate disclosure stuff. I don’t claim to be a real estate professional at this moment.

TM: You know more than us.

RS: You know way more than us, therefore, you are a professional, Bill.

BO: Well, I am a real estate professional, don’t get me wrong. My real estate license is with a company that does business brokerage. So this house stuff is different. This is kind of out of my league, but the standards are the standards when it comes to disclosure.

RS: Okay.

BO: Alright, you’ve been listening to Structure Talk: A Structure Tech Presentation. My name is Bill Oelrich alongside Tessa Murry and Reuben Saltzman… And we will catch you next time. Thanks for listening.