Instagram is an endless trove of eye candy in the form of celeb selfies, cute pets, and cool home design ideas—but who would have thought that shocking home inspection photos of rusty toilets or electrical hazards would become Insta-famous, too?
That’s the kind of fare you’ll find on the unlikely but addictive account @bostonhomeinspectors, which boasts 13,600 followers and counting. Home inspector James Brock started this account five years ago at the urging of his teenage daughter.
Every day, Brock posts a new photo from his home inspections as a warning to home buyers on what they might encounter—but also just for laughs.
“I look for the humor,” he says. “I really love when people share their own funny captions for my pictures in the comments.”
Brace yourself for the 10 most memorable scenarios Brock has ever encountered during a day’s work.
1. A too tiny closet
“You can’t call a room a bedroom in a listing if it doesn’t have a closet,” Brock explains, “which might explain how this crazy sliver of a closet came to be.”
2. A bathtub that could fall to the basement
“I was standing in the basement, looking up at the bottom of the bathtub a floor above,” Brock recalls.
What he saw there “is really dangerous,” he says. “Someone cut out the framing and joists underneath the tub. The weight of the tub, water, and a person in it could send this plummeting. The buyer negotiated money off the sale price to fix this.”
3. An ‘in-law door’
Brock nicknamed this second-story door—with no stairs—”an in-law door,” he jokes. “It’s obviously very dangerous. It looks as if there was once a deck, or someone intended to add one. This needs a very good lock, at least, to protect, say, a child who might live inside that house.”
4. World’s wonkiest staircase
“These stairs were built to go up to a roof deck,” Brock says. “They are structurally sound, but completely not to code—there’s only a rail on one side. Imagine someone coming down from the roof, a little drunk. Very dangerous. This needed an architect or engineer to rebuild it.”
5. A toilet in the kitchen
“This is wrong in so many ways—completely illegal in terms of the sanitary code,” Brock says.
So why would anyone put their commode in the kitchen?
Brock says the toilet was there first, and in an effort to turn this basement into its own apartment, “someone had just built a kitchen around it. This was listed as a two-family house.”
6. Shocking hookups
“I don’t know if it was the electrician or plumber who did this, but these are way too close together,” Brock says. “What went through the mind of the tradesmen who did this, I don’t know, but it’s an electrocution risk, and the buyers got a credit to repair it.”
7. Loose ladder
“I don’t know what was going on with this—was it a fire escape from the deck?—but it’s a death trap,” Brock says. “Too tall, not secure, not anchored. It’s got to go!”
8. Fuzzy filter
“This is the air filter that was installed when this house was built five years ago,” Brock explains.
The reason it looks so gunked up? “Air filters are supposed to be replaced twice a year. Look what the sellers have been breathing in,” he adds. “This needs a professional cleaning, and the buyers shouldn’t pay for it.”
9. A ridiculously tiny ‘deck’
“This house was listed as having a deck,” Brock says. “And the ledger board shows you where the deck used to be. It must have been rotten, so they built that little thing.”
10. A toilet too close to the door
“Obviously, someone replaced a smaller toilet with a new one that’s way too big,” Brock says. “You can either swap in a smaller model, or notch the door.”