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  • Stacey Tjarks

Home Inspectors vs. the House Hog

Updated: Feb 4, 2019

The pig had his own room inside the house, weighed easily 300 lbs...and had tusks! A fellow home inspector, who shall remain and be hereafter referred to as "Nameless" called and told me he had a nightmare of a tenant occupied home to inspect. "According to the buyer, the place is falling down around the tenant who doesn't want to move and is really angry. It would be great to have another inspector along on this one. Can you help me out?"

As we pulled up in front of the house we could see the front window next to the sagging porch was open and missing the screen. The porch steps were rickety, as was the railing around it. It looked like a scene from a horror movie. We exited our SUV and the tenant poked his head out the door to yell at us about our not having any right to be there to conduct a home inspection on "his" house. After winning that argument we inspected the exterior and roof. Not good, not good at all.

Next came the interior. When the angry, dirty, tenant finally answered the door he said, "don't p*%s off my pig" and lumbered off to continue his video gaming in the filthy family room. We looked at each other...pig? Okay, not surprising he would have one of those little pot bellied pigs as a pet. It fit. Nameless, who is over 6' tall, looked at me and said "I hate pigs!" and looked all around, looking at little scared. I laughed and told him if the pig came at him to just turn and go the other way, or call me and I will get the little piggy to leave him alone. I thought it was pretty funny, but he clearly didn't based on the dirty look I got for that comment. The house smelled horrific and we joked about needing our gas masks in the house, not just in the crawlspace. We quickly formed a game plan and split off to inspect our first designated rooms. He got the room near the front door with the open window and the split door (you know, split in the middle so the top could be left a stall door in a barn, hmm). I headed down the hall to the next room. As soon as I entered the room I heard a scream from Nameless and an angry squeal. I came out the door and Nameless was running toward me. Not with a cute little pot bellied pig following him but a full grown hog, the kind they raise to butcher, in hot pursuit. He was huge and he was definitely p*%sed off. As a kid I spent every summer with my grandparents in Oklahoma. We had a lot of family with farms and ranches, and yes, pigs. I stepped around nameless into the path of the pig and thumped him lightly on the snout with my flashlight. With another loud squeal the pig reversed and charged off in the other direction. The tenant was yelling at us the whole time. It was a real zoo! I got the tenant and Nameless calmed down. The pig was nowhere to be seen so I told Nameless we needed to get this done and to yell for me if the pig came back.

We got a few rooms done and I was inspecting the hallway bathroom. I had opened the cabinet doors under the sink and there was no cabinet base at all! Just a large hole where the wood had all rotted and fallen through under the house. I was on my knees looking into the crawlspace when to my horror I heard a sound like a freight train, the floor was shaking, and boom! That pig rammed into my backside and into the crawlspace I went, face first. Now I was angry! I climbed out of that hole, not very gracefully, yelling not very nice language at the pig and shaking my flashlight at him. At that point he decided that retreat was the better part of valor and took off in the opposite direction squealing like he was being murdered. Of course, the tenant, Mr. Pleasant was yelling that he wanted to know what I had done to his pig! Sigh. Now it was Nameless' turn to laugh.

The last thing we had to do was the attic inspection. There was no way that Nameless was going to wait at the bottom of the ladder with the pig waiting somewhere in the depths of the house for another ambush attempt. Up the ladder he went, and I decided to follow him up a couple of rungs for a little pig safety of my own. The attic opening was small, too small for the shoulders of 6' something Nameless who had his head through the opening and was trying to see everything with his flashlight. That's when a really awful smell of sewage hit us. Nameless said he thought there must be a plumbing vent terminating in the attic and that I, being much smaller than Nameless, was going to have to go up into the attic to find the problem. Nameless pulled his head from the attic access and looked down. Guess where the sewage smell was actually coming from? Yes sir, the pig had snuck up behind the ladder and was exhausting some sewer fumes of his own, toot, toot. I waved my flashlight at him again and off he went squealing wildly. Nameless refused to come all the way down the ladder because of the pig so I could go up to inspect the attic. He made me scale the back of the ladder and swing my leg up and around him to get up into the space. Of course, I had to do the same circus act to get back down the ladder. I am so glad we were not accompanied by a videographer, although the footage would be terrifyingly priceless.

Finally, exhausted and crabby, we were finished with the house of swine horrors home inspection. On our way out Nameless had me go down the hall in front of him with the ladder to run pig interference. We made it out the door and I went to put the ladder and our tools in the SUV while Nameless took one last look at the porch and steps. Just as I was going to close the hatch I heard a yell, I turned and here came Nameless at a full run with the pig in hot pursuit! Apparently, Mr. Pig had his own broken down sofa in his room that backed up to the open front window. That pig was so angry at us he had climbed up on that sofa and came out the open window to attack! We both ended up piled together in a heap in the back of the SUV with the pig in full squeal behind us. You've got it, we climbed over the back seats into the front of that SUV and peeled out of there like the hogs of H*%L were on our heals! Anyone else out there have a farm animal in the house story to share?

**No animals were harmed during the course of this home inspection**

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