When looking for a house all of last year, I had only three items that were definite no-nos on my list:
- Termites (I had to leave some wicker furniture behind in Congo as it had termites - I am still now terrified of them)
- Bad pipes (I remember my parents spending thousands of dollars on a bathroom leak into the living room that never got fixed quite right)
- Bad roof (forget it, I can't afford it)
When I bought this house, I made sure the inspector looked carefully at the roof. The problem was that the old owner would patch up a leak by putting more layers up on the ceiling. An inspector, by law, is not allow to damage a house when doing his/her inspection. So the inspector went on the roof, jump around on the (very sloped) roof to see if it felt weak, but was unable to see the original ceiling in the rooms, or find the roof access from the den (which had been completely covered up).
When I asked the contractors to remove the drop ceiling from the second, small bedroom, here's what they found underneath (there was a drop ceiling covering chicken wire and plaster, covering insulation on old wooden slates):
Dropped Ceiling (March 7, 2010)
Chicken wire, plaster, insulation, wooden slats... (March 17, 2010)
And rotted joists/beams (March 17, 2010). Crap, crap, crap.
All patched up (April 15, 2010) (there is an intermediary picture with the new joists, that I will post as soon as I get it)