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Junto

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All,
My wife and I are in the process of downsizing and searching for a new home. Some of the homes we're looking at don't make it past a quick photo-review on Zillow. The following checks a lot of our boxes, but we are concerned about the external damage. Not sure what to make of it or whether it is worth a visit. Please note the following photos. The house faces west (ponds in back), and to my knowledge, there hasn't been any flooding in this area. There appears to be a clear demarkation between where the damage is/isn't, although the damage is somewhat dispersed on the gables. Insulation-related? Any insight you can offer would be appreciated. House is in eastern NC.
Thanks.
Rick
Screenshot_20210306-101754_Zillow.jpgScreenshot_20210306-101814_Zillow.jpg
 

Junto

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Agreed, but usually, a home inspector is called in during the due-diligence phase of the negotiation and before settlement. I'm not convinced that I'm interested enough to make a bid. Just hoping that the photos might reveal a tale-tell sign of a specific cause.
 

Flyover

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I'm not an expert but to me it looks like rain falls on the roof, slides off the eaves (I can't see gutters?), and gets blown back against the house. Note there are no dark patches on either side of the doorway which appears to be protected by a relatively deep covered porch.

I don't know much about wood siding but I do know it has a finite lifespan so maybe this is supposed to happen and this is just what it looks like when it's at the end of its lifespan.

Have you at least scheduled a viewing? Can you give us any more details about the house? Do you have other concerns about it aside from what you've shown?
 

Junto

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Flyover... You've provided a reasonable explanation. The house was built in 2010, and I am assuming the wood exterior is original. If they didn't treat it in some way, one might expect to see some degredation. In general, the property interior is ok; we are expecting to do some remodeling. The attraction is 81 acres and two ponds to the rear of the property. My wife and I have been city-bound for the past 30yrs and are looking forward to raising some chickens and having a large garden. Unfortunately, there is a large chemical plant a mile away across the road (busy highway) and the plant has been controversial with its emissions into the aquifer over the past 30 yrs. This property would be at ground zero. The climb for this property won't, I'm afraid, be worth the view. Having to deal with GAC and/or RO filtration in my remaining years is not my idea of country living.

Thanks for the input.
Rick
 

Flyover

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The business with the chemical plant could be a dealbreaker, though maybe an environmental engineer would see things differently. (Or might see things even worse, who knows.)

If your gut is telling you to move on, I'd say move on.

There oughtta be a law that you have to include photos of the mechanical room in home listings!
 

rbm328

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I agree with flyover. as my wife says, if there are RED Flags that pop up in your thinking, pass it on.
As for Inspectors, some are thorough, some are not. When we bought this house in August, the inspector and I went thru this house
with a fine tooth comb and the owner had to make several thousand dollars in repairs before we'd purchase
 

Junto

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Flyover... Bingo on the photos of the mechanical room... and the garage as well.
 

mabloodhound

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The dark areas on the siding are not damage. It is staining from water and won't affect the integrity of the house. The 81 acres would really make me consider this house.
 

Spicoli43

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Looks like sprinkler damage to me, but that doesn't explain the top. The door looks brand new along with the trim.

As far as the chemical plant, that is an instant no-go for me. They will pollute as much as possible until they are caught, then they will pay off somebody.

If the plant was closed due to lawsuits or whatever, the mitigation would take decades anyway.

There is an active chemical plant about 20 miles from me, same site as a defunct lead smelter from way back in the day. They dropped the smelter towers, did mitigation they claim, and say all the land around the area is fine, but they lie. I was looking at a perfect house on Zillow in the area, and planned on doing water / soil tests at a lab in a different state, but 5 seconds in the house was the Red flag. It smelled like an indoor shooting range.
 

DesertRider

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You didn’t give a location, but could the staining be from snow that has piled up against the house? That doesn’t explain the stains on the upper portion though... I would cut into the wood at some hidden locations to check for wood rot, see if the stain is surface only ...
 

Flyover

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@DesertRider He said it was NC, and actually he's given enough info now that if you go on Zillow you can find the house.
 

Junto

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You didn’t give a location, but could the staining be from snow that has piled up against the house? That doesn’t explain the stains on the upper portion though... I would cut into the wood at some hidden locations to check for wood rot, see if the stain is surface only ...
I didn't intend a mystery. Here is the property. 6825 Council Rd, Fayetteville, NC, 28306 | realtor.com®

I assume that the entire surface gets saturated from time to time, but gravity acting on the surface causes the bottom of the exterior panels to stay saturated longer. Perhaps this contributes to the discoloration. Definitely not snow accumulation around here.
 

Spicoli43

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The apparent water damage in the front doesn't exist in the back. There is some mold or mildew on the back of the shop, but I'm sticking with sprinkler damage in the front. My question is what's growing behind that.
 

mabloodhound

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Metal roof will last a lifetime. Remote location from main road is also a plus. Two ponds also is a plus.
 

Junto

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Metal roof will last a lifetime. Remote location from main road is also a plus. Two ponds also is a plus.
A technique I like to use is to plug the address into Google Earth and cruise through the area adjacent to the still aerial photos captured by the realtor drones. Tapping into Google's Streetview is also revealing at times. This property is not as remote from the main road as one might first think. Also, the chemical plant is also relatively close to the east.

All... I appreciate the feedback on this property. There has been some good feedback, but we're moving on to the next property to review. This exchange gave me some insight into what may have contributed to this exterior discoloration. I thank all of you. I'm afraid that the GenX and HFPO emissions controversy associated with this chemical plant is more than I wish to deal with.

Finally, although I may have focused this topic specifically at the exterior discoloration, it's been very tempting for me to stray off-topic a bit into a more general assessment of the property. If anyone could suggest a more appropriate category/forum for discussing how to assess properties, I'd appreciate it. For example, realtors usually prepare a collection of information and make it available via the MLS listing, but many times I've had to ask for it and know what I should expect to get, specifically septic and well permits, and how to review them. Obviously, knowing where the septic field is located will have an impact on what you can do with the property. It would be nice to go to a forum and discuss this sort of stuff. Some of the properties we're looking at are more than an hour away, and there is a certain amount of due-diligence needed before I feel comfortable driving that far.
 

Spicoli43

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Good Luck on the next house. As far as realtor listings, I pretty much ignore what they say. It could be a house that would fall over in a little wind, and the description would be "A Perfect Opportunity! A little repair and you're all set in this Gorgeous Rancher!!!"

I look for the listings saying I have to do my own DD, which is obvious.

I learned my lesson with the house I have now with the septic field being right behind the house and the utilities stretching across my parking lot, as opposed to all the neighbors that have the septic in the front yard where they aren't going to build a shop, and utilities running along the property line where they also aren't going to build.
 
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