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RE: condition assessment

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My opinion is I like to forward these jobs to my competitors.  I very rarely do a residence evaluation.  A client would have to catch me in a good mood with a sob story, like a single mom who doesn’t know where else to turn, in order for me to do one now.  That happened a little over a year ago and she was the buyer.  That was the first house evaluation I had done in several years.


My experience is homeowners, banks and realtors want a quick letter from me stating it is okay, maybe pay me $200, and then leave me with all the liability.  The new owner of the house moves in, sees problems and expects me to fix it all because I wrote a report for someone at some time.  There’s not enough money in it for the risk of exposure.  Most house structural problems are geotechnical related anyway so I really don’t want to handle them.  Again, I gladly send all this work to my competitors.





From: Christopher Banbury [mailto:cbanbury(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 9:39 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: condition assessment


I’ve been asked to do a condition assessment on a residence that is being sold by a bank due to a foreclosure. The house is in my neighborhood and I seem to remember that it may have had an issue with a sinkhole.

The bank is selling the house as-is and hasn’t provided any reports or studies. To what lengths should I go to discover the history of the structure? If the sinkhole damage was repaired by following an engineered study does the seller have any obligation to disclose its history?

I can base a preliminary condition assessment only on what is generally evident and exclude a consideration of sink-hole related activity but I’d like a few opinions.

Thanks in advance.


Christopher Banbury, PE



Ark Engineering, Inc.

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