Five Home Inspection Nightmares

From on November 04, 2008 in General

At This Old House, I came across several articles, or rather, photos of home inspection nightmares. After spending too long looking at these pictures and the comments attached to them, I realized that this could almost become a Halloween Blockbuster! Some of these nightmares were straight out of something that could be used to scare local children and some of them were straight up hilarious. I picked five that were my favorites. I’ve listed them with their comments, but before I do reveal the show, I just want to thank the American Society of Home Inspectors for their hard work in finding and maybe even saving these homes from near disaster.

Here are my pics:

Food chain

This picture was taken by an inspector when checking an attic. He states that when he first approached the vent, there were about 15 more bats than in the picture and his flashlight chased them off. The scary thing is the 2’ black snake at the top of the vent. It looks like dinner time. The inspector wondered if he should let the buyer of the house decide if they should keep the snake to keep the bats out or get rid of it? What do you think?

black snake and thirty-plus bats sharing space outside and inside an atticle gable vent


The mouse in this picture was looking for a house with a view. I don’t think his realtor mentioned the exposed wiring.

mouse carcass electified and petrified inside an electric meter casing


Inspectors usually expect to encounter something when looking down chimneys, but he was very surprised to find honey bees instead of the usual wasps, hornets, or raccoons. That is one large hive.

home inspection photo of bees in chimney

Home of Hay

Some kind of creature has made this attic into a great home for the entire family of what-ever-they-are. This looks like their idea of a mansion rather than a nest.


Dauber Country

This picture really made my skin crawl. I can’t stand wasps and to see that many nests in one room … ewwww. These are dirt daubers in the main wiring connections panel of a country house. What if the electricity goes out and you have to check the breakers…in the dark??

wires covered with dirt dauber nests

Before closing this post, I would like to offer 4 tips to help prepare your home for an inspection.

  1. Make sure all components of your home are accessible, like the water heater, electrical panels, crawl access, attic access, and furnace. Maker sure they are not blocked or hard to inspect.
  2. A clean home is much easier to inspect. Clutter or a messy home only adds to the time an inspection will take; this may cost you.
  3. Vacant homes sometimes do not have all utilities operational and this makes for a difficult inspection to some components. If this is the case, another time has to be scheduled for utilities to be on and this costs time and money.
  4. Consult your realtor or listing agent of your worst fears. Have them along for the inspection and let them address questions and concerns with the inspector. Keeping the inspector delayed also tallies up in cost as it usually takes about 3 to 4 hours for a good inspection.

Keep the horrors at bay in your home and consult a professional for your next home inspection! Here are some links to help you find one: