Vancouver Home Inspection Nightmares: Foreclosure House with Collapsing Structure

This weekend I was called out to Maple Ridge to inspect a foreclosure property that my client, a young man in his 20’s, was considering purchasing. He explained that his main concern was any major-cost items. He could do small repairs himself but any major work would cost him out-of-pocket and he would not be able to afford surprises.

Backyard Foreclosure Addition

Looking at the exterior of the home, we can already see major structural concerns. There’s been an addition added to the side of the house, right where the carport used to be. Due to the terrible workmanship, the side of the addition needed to be propped up by stacks of wood.

Foreclosure Addition Structure Support

Here we can see the extent of the failure; the walkways have all cracked and are sinking under the weight of the structure. Those walkways are not designed to bear the weight of a house! We need a proper footing to bear load.

Cracked Walkway Structure

In this photo you can see the full extent of the leaning:

Leaning Pony Wall

We went inside the home and found huge structural cracks through the drywall. The owner tried to patch the cracks, but they opened up shortly after. Cracks of this magnitude almost always signify a serious structural defect. (Note: The windows could not be opened in this room. The movement was so severe that the windows had been pinned in their frame).

Structure Drywall Crack

I entered the crawlspace and inspected the floor structure from below. Immediately it became apparent that lateral movement was occurring in this home. The addition was pulling the house sideways, and several pony walls/supports were leaning significantly:

Collapsing floor structure

The owner had added supports to the floor, but the had also failed. At one end of the home, the sill plate had been replaced, probably due to the old one rotting away.

Not only did we find structural concerns, but the roof needed replacement, and most of the electrical in the home needed to be rewired. The owner wisely decided to look for another home in better condition.

Call us Before Purchasing a Foreclosure! 604 395-2795

About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email david@fairbairninspections.com today!

follow me on: