At first glance the staining at the corner of this foundation looks like it could be dark from moisture.
But instead, this is a one of those nasty dark marks that the inspector would not want to miss.
The pipe visible in the shadow to the left of the corner is an oil tank vent pipe.
Now I have no way of knowing how extensive the saturation of the soil is, but this kind of information puts off most buyers.
The kinds of “unknowns” that ride along with these visual indications usually conjure up visions of toxic waste clean-ups and super-fund sites. They are not likely to be on a par with the Gulf oil platform disaster or the EXXON Valdez—-in fact I am pretty confident that would never be the case. But for the average home buyer it could be a significant number that might not pencil out in the decision to purchase the property. I know of one case that reached over $100,000 to deal with.
In the case of the picture above, this was water front property, and further evaluation was for sure warranted—and potentially further complicate the issue.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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