Inspections can occasionally get embarrassing, right? It happens to all of us. That’s just part of the appraisal business. But that does not make things any easier or less embarrassing, does it. Let me tell you three stories.
First is the house with the unique basement. It’s your typical single-family residence on the ground floor; nothing out of the ordinary, nothing embarrassing. Then I tell the owner I need to go into the basement to inspect it. He hesitantly says OK, so into the basement we go. It was not your typical basement. It looked like some kind of department store down there. But instead of appliances, and lawn mowers, and household furnishings, he had row after row of adult toys and other such items. There was so much merchandise there I wondered if the house was really zoned for retail use. It was not, but the adult toy business was obviously quite good!
The next story involves a VA inspection, which means I needed to inspect the attic. The owner, a very kind and pleasant man, tells me the attic access is thru his wife’s small walk-in closet. So, I’ve got my ladder to inspect the attic, but the room is so small that I can’t get the ladder in the right place unless I close the closet door. So, I turn on the light and close the closet door. And what do I see? On the back of the door, in one of those plastic hanging things like you store shoes on, are whips, chains, handcuffs, and other such adult items. I was wondering if he bought them from the guy who owned the first house. When I came down from the attic, the guy said nothing, as if all that adult stuff I saw in the closet was common and everyday. I was too embarrassed to say anything and got out of there as quickly as I could, yet still maintain my dignity.
The third story involves another typical and common single family residence. As I was inspecting it (with the owner right at my shoulder asking dumb questions and commenting on the obvious), there was nothing in it to prepare me for what I found in the owner’s bedroom! As I entered the bedroom, I noticed he had a lot of framed photos on the wall, some of them rather large. As I got closer to them, I saw they were of his very attractive wife. It was obvious she was very attractive since many of those photos were nudes of her. I can’t take photos of the bedroom without including the nude photos. I mean, I have to look at the walls to make sure there is not any water damage, right? I can’t not look at them! I don’t know what to say to the guy about the photos, so I say nothing (out loud anyway). It’s clear I’m looking at nude photos of his wife, but that does not appear to affect him at all. Finally, I finish up and get back into my car to leave. That was really weird!
If you’ve had an embarrassing moment on an assignment, please share it with me. I won’t give out any details and, if you ask, I’ll keep your name confidential, too.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 216 What Do You Do When An Inspection Gets Embarrassing?