There is no WAY this can be safe!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.
http://actvra.in/CY7

 

There is no WAY this can be safe!

It was a long inspection of a very unusual house.  I suspect this will not be my last blog post about this home. 

Return air grille

As I headed from the master bedroom into the living room I noticed a return air grate on the wall.  Now I don’t usually pull the covers off these air returns---unless the furnace filter is behind it.  This particular one was clearly not the type that would typically have a filter in it. 

Like I said, I don’t usually take the cover off of them, but I do get down at an angle such that I can look through the grille with my flashlight to see what I can see.  Sometimes they are plugged with pet hair, usually they are uneventful.

By checking them I can get a little bit of an idea of the condition of the ductwork---the same as sticking my camera down a heat register to see what those ducts look like.

When I aimed my flashlight into this one I was surprised by what I saw.

I smiled at my buyer and said, "check this out,“ when I really wanted to say, "I don’t see how this can be safe!”

I started to unscrew the grille, to show them what was inside, when the whole thing just fell off in my hands.

Safe in a wall

The screws were fake and the grille was attached with a magnet to the steel cover of a hidden safe!

Who would have guessed?

Well I guess at least the family jewels were safe---and they even left the key!

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

Posted by

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

Click on the Rose A Group by any other name. to check out: AHA!---A Forum of Landmark Proportions---your Group

PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

My WORDLESS WEDNESDAY pictures and some selected POEMS & STORIES.

Just quack on me to subscribe

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

close

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 06/25/2012 06:27 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
"Whacked"!!!
Dedicated Bloggers
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
The Lounge at Active Rain
BananaTude
Tags:
wall safe

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the flag to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the chair to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,811,718
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

That may be one of the best ways...make that was one of the best ways to hide a safe I'd seen.  Now you've let the secret out of the bag.

June 25, 2012 02:27 PM #49
Rainmaker
396,389
Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company with Keller Williams Realty Loudoun Gateway - Sterling, VA
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate

Wow! I agree with Cindy - best ways to hide a safe. Seriously, what was the point here of even having the safe?? 

June 25, 2012 02:47 PM #50
Rainmaker
313,610
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

This sounds like a good idea to me. Usually it is the master bedroom closet, but so typical.

June 25, 2012 03:25 PM #51
Rainmaker
631,950
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Hard to forget where's the safe, it always returns to the same place. 

June 25, 2012 04:49 PM #52
Rainmaker
254,689
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Relocation & Luxury Home Specialist

I guess you blew the cover off that one! I wouldn't have thought. Interestingly enough, someone told me that some people involved in illegal activity often hide things in air returns (money, etc.).

June 25, 2012 05:54 PM #53
Rainmaker
603,183
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Homes for Sale and Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR - Fairfield County CT Real Estate

Charles -- That's pretty cool. Never heard of that. But what's with leaving the key?

June 25, 2012 06:40 PM #54
Rainmaker
364,860
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Charlie, You just never know what you will find in those darn returns. That is better than some of the other crud I find.

June 25, 2012 07:18 PM #55
Rainmaker
170,436
Dale Samples
304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com - Charleston, WV
REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini
Very clever. Much better than the fake soup cans in the kitchen cabinet
June 25, 2012 08:18 PM #56
Ambassador
1,231,540
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Interesting! So was there any money in that safe? 

June 25, 2012 09:01 PM #57
Rainmaker
280,308
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

Nice find Charles. I was remodeling a West Seattle house a few years back and we found a kids goodie box in a wall - not the crown jewels, but it was kinda cool to see the magazines and stuff - from the 50's...

June 25, 2012 09:35 PM #58
Ambassador
1,079,798
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Anonymous, that is pretty cool!

Jennifer, for sure---hiding in plain sight

John, and that expectation is what makes this spot so good I guess

Rob, yes---they are usually just doing the job they were intended to do

Carla, lots of repairs will be necessary if it does not convey---so I would vote that it is a permanent fixture.

Ira, most would not I think

Kate, and I will know where to look :)

Eric, and now that spot is out too---if we give away enough locations, they won't be able to check them all :)

Cindy, I know---time to get creative and come up with a different "cover" :)

Gina, lots of people have them---I have installed quite a few for people---just trying to make it difficult for people.  Burglars don't like to mess with something that is going to make a lot of noise to get into.

Sandy, that does seem like a common place

Jim, yup :)

Carla, I mostly find certain magazines and toys in ductwork---maybe a few coins but never the real thing

Barbara, my only thought was that the sellers were leaving it for the buyers.

Don, it was kind of fun---lightened up the inspection for a few minutes

Dale, those cans of soup are too easy to cart away

Erica, it was quite empty---thankfully.

Terkel, it is always fun to find those blasts from the past

June 25, 2012 10:21 PM #59
Ambassador
1,330,233
Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Charles, as a home inspector, I am sure you come across many 'surprises'. Some are unsafe and some are....'safe'!

June 25, 2012 10:36 PM #60
Rainmaker
309,039
David O'Doherty
Hometowne Realty Clayton East - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Very Interesting Charles, good job spotting that.

June 26, 2012 02:58 AM #61
Ambassador
2,387,210
Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Charles, now that was not the post I thought I was going to read here! 

June 26, 2012 03:26 AM #62
Rainer
136,154
Brent & Deb Wells
RE/MAX Four Corners - Prosper, TX
Your Collin County Realtors

Charles,

At least that would not harm anyone, I bet you have seen some really dangerous stuff in your time...

-Brent

June 26, 2012 07:51 AM #63
Ambassador
1,079,798
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Praful, I had another great one yesterday I can't wait to post about :)

David, thanks

Pat, I thought maybe it would work like that :)

Brent, for sure

June 26, 2012 07:59 AM #64
Rainer
143,657
Robert Sole
REM Inspections LLC - Winter Springs, FL

It is amazing what you find on some inspections.  Every time I think I have seen it all, I find out that I have not.

June 27, 2012 09:22 AM #65
Ambassador
1,079,798
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Robert that is sure true and what makes our job so interesting at times

June 27, 2012 10:50 AM #66
Rainer
53,418
Eric Peltier
Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado - Boulder, CO
Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO

"UneVENTful"   hahaha.  I wonder if the current owner knew it was there?

June 28, 2012 07:29 AM #67
Ambassador
1,079,798
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Eric, I can only assume so since they built the house :)

June 28, 2012 07:34 AM #68
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the eye to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,079,798

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the clock to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information