Poll: What’s the worst house problem you’ve had to deal with?

What's the worst house problem you've had to deal with?

  • bad wiring or electrical problems (6%, 7 Votes)
  • leaky pipes (13%, 15 Votes)
  • leaky roof (8%, 9 Votes)
  • flooded basement or crawlspace (17%, 20 Votes)
  • persistent mold (3%, 4 Votes)
  • rodent infestation (5%, 6 Votes)
  • insect infestation (7%, 8 Votes)
  • foundation issues (5%, 6 Votes)
  • something else... (16%, 19 Votes)
  • nothing, I rent so it's not my problem (22%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 120

This poll was active 11.25.2012 through 12.01.2012

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Nic says:

    Fence post broke and 2 sections fell down. New house, so far so good after over a year.

  2. 2
    Howard says:

    Snow slide off the roof. Broke the chimney off the house and and cracked 3’x4′ window. I was living at 10,000 feet and it was late February. Probably 3-4′ of snow on the roof at the time.

  3. 3
    Katie says:

    Other. Had a house fire on Thanksgiving four years ago due to a chimney not being built to code. (Everybody came through OK but the house took about 6 months to repair). Made for some interesting black Friday shopping the next morning, stumbling through clearance aisles at Target in our pajamas looking for clothes to wear.

  4. 4

    Sewer line broke and a thick funny brown liquid was seeping through the brick foundation at my former home in Leschi. I had it’s positives: It was right at the time the assessment appeals were due, so I submitted photos to the appeals people, and they reduced our assessment. It had it’s negatves: To save money on the plumber, I dug the sewer trench, and ended up herniating a disc in my lower back.

  5. 5
    Peter Witting says:

    I voted leaky pipes, but I haven’t really had a “problem”, more like maintenance issues expected of a 65 year old house, with some associated copper upgrades. However, since Marc Hatch of Break-thru Plumbing is my go-to guy, all my issues have been resolved quickly and painlessly.

    What I would fear are: leaky basements, leaky roof, and mold.

  6. 6
    Lo Ball Jones says:

    You forgot the number one (scam)…the good old collapsed drain.

    The collapsed drain, costing upwards of $10,000 or more…and requiring the miniature construction site from your house to the curbside…with Ditch Witches and mini backhoes…seems like a rite of passage for the region. Yes, even though you paid for a $600 “inspection” by some local yokel (who’s probably a 4th cousin to the real estate agent) somehow things like a potentially non-functional sewage system escapes notice. Oh, but it’s all in a days work at Green Acres for Mr. Haney and his truck of tricks. Mr. Douglas…I have for you…a gen-nu-wine Sears Craftsman, built for Chief Seattle as he lead Lewis and Clark across the great Praries!

  7. 7
    softwarengineer says:

    It had to Be Updating an Old Wore-out 1953 Galley Kitchen on My Old Bellevue House

    The contractor estimate 22 years ago was $100K, double that estimate today…..makes you wish an errant match was tossed at the whole thing….I did a lot of the sweat labor myself and became my own contractor to get the remodeling costs dow, but like Ira, destroyed my back too.

  8. 8

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 4 – Too bad that wasn’t your Skyway house. When we remodeled ours I had all the supply plumbing changed out, including to the street. I too dug the ditch to save money, and I thought it would be particularly difficult because when the ditch was needed it was the dead of winter with snow on the ground. What I discovered was nothing but sand, down all the way the 3-4 feet I dug. It made the job very easy, and the pick completely unnecessary.

    As to the poll question, I assume there’s no “nothing” choice for homeowners because at some point everyone will have a rodent issue.

  9. 9

    By Lo Ball Jones @ 6:

    Yes, even though you paid for a $600 “inspection” by some local yokel (who’s probably a 4th cousin to the real estate agent) somehow things like a potentially non-functional sewage system escapes notice.

    I assume that didn’t involve a sewer scope. Given the amount of water you’d have to run to discover that type of problem, I wouldn’t expect an ordinary home inspection to find that type of problem.

    As a comparison, if you have a sink blockage, if the block is a few feet down the pipe, you’ll often be able to run water for a couple of minutes before the sink blocks up. That’s with a two inch pipe. The run between the house and the sewer line will be much further away, and much larger pipe. You could probably take a shower and run a load of dishes without noticing an issue.

  10. 10
    The Tim says:

    RE: Lo Ball Jones @ 6 – I should have expanded the “leaky pipes” option to include sewer line issues. As for the inspection, I wouldn’t assume a standard inspection would cover the sewer line. That’s why I specifically recommend getting a sewer scope done.

  11. 11
    Tim McB says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    Not if you have an indoor/outdoor cat and you keep them just a little hungry :). Our cat does a fantastic job keeping rodents (and unfortunately a few birds) ..ahem… away.

  12. 12

    RE: Tim McB @ 11 – At our old place we had some cats that were good mousers, and some that were probably chased around by mice.

  13. 13
    Ross says:

    I should have gotten the sewer scope done. Five months in. Just spent $500 to get the roots cut out of the spot where my sewer line connects to the city main and I’ll have to spend $3200 to have the joint dug out and correctly sealed up.

    Even better, the sewer line backed up exactly two hours before my sister’s family of five was arriving in town for the week of Thanksgiving. Luckily, I was downstairs cleaning something up and noticed the downstairs shower filling up with water before the downstairs was completely flooded.

    Everything else has been peachy.

  14. 14

    RE: Ross @ 13 – If the problem is in that specific of a location, would it be possible to kill whatever presumably tree is creating the roots? Not all types of trees have deep roots.

    I like my trees, but if it was a choice between one of them and spending $3,200, someone in my neighborhood would have a little more firewood.

  15. 15
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – Just make sure to check with your local authorities before getting that chainsaw out, Kary. If it’s a ‘heritage’ tree, you’ll have to get congressional legislation passed in order to remove it!

  16. 16

    RE: redmondjp @ 15 – I have a law degree, so I’ll just cut now, blaming the people I pay, and then pay again later. ;-)


Leave a Reply

Use your email address to sign up with Gravatar for a custom avatar.
Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please read the rules before posting a comment.