What I Learned from a Structural Engineer

Well, now that I’m a recent single mom, I’m trying to find a house to sink my money into, lest I be tempted to spend it. I almost bought a cute little house in Highland Park. However, $600 and two inspections later, I decided not to.

Here are the things that my general inspector found. These are relatively easy-to-spot things and might help someone:

1. termite tubes

2 no drain pipes or rain gutters

3. grading sloping toward house which means that water collected and poured into basement during rain

4 wide horizontal cracks on inner foundation

5 missing major large beam that should run length of house

6 asbestos insulation all over the basement

7 an old fuse box (should have breaker panels, 100-150 amp)

8 if there is water damage on ceiling, is it wet?

9 look under kitchen sink to see if the pipe is rusting/dripping

Believe it or not, all of these things were the matter with my house, and STILL I wanted it. Silly me! Then the structural engineer looked at it and told me that it had “major structural issues” and was in a fact, a “money pit”. So I immediately called off the deal.

What I love in a house:

several stories, large trees, porches, old charming details, metal siding because you don’t have to maintain it.

What I do not love:

anonymous ranch style houses, lots with no trees, wood panelling.