If you do enough inspections you are going to see your share of snakes (among other things), even in Ohio. Alhough in the last ten years the number of snake sightings has steadily declined, which to me is a good thing. Ha ha.
This inspection was rather odd. Why? Well here's the scenario: Time of year - February. Temperature: 35 degrees. Weather: Unbelievalble... the area just got hit with an ice storm that had the trees hanging to the ground. But as the day progressed the temperature started melting the ice. So we have cold winter conditions with ice and water everywhere. Great for a home inspection, but not for being in the weather. And to remind you, it is winter.
The home was a century home. It had a sand stone foundation with a crawl space full of rocks. Not typical. And the rocks were a foot high at the base (odd). The ceiling was standard for a century home. You had to stoop here and there. Low. As usual we start at the exterior before heading indoors to the basement. Upon entering the home, I went down the steps to start the basement inspection. Immediately I saw a shadow like object near the sump crock. Then it was gone. ? I start by looking at the floor, walls, and ceilings. As I'm shinging my flashlight around the basement I focus it at the mid side wall of the basement and see a 2 foot snake laying on the sand stone wall. My first thought was that it was not real. It's winter. Unless the current homeowners breed snakes throughout the winter, there should not be a snake staring at me. Then as I began to look further I count four more sankes hanging out on the walls. Well, my client and I are not thrilled. The mother snake was about four foot long and was hanging out near the sump pump crock. But they were not moving and did not seem to care that we were even there. So like the dedicated inspector that I am (ha ha again) we kept the inspection going. Let me tell you though, if the snakes were rats I would have stopped and went directly upstairs. As we finished the basement inspection, I asked, no I guess I told my client that there was no way I was going to go into that crawl space with all the rocks. No way.... You get my point. He was not interested either. So we went upstairs. And as we inspected the remainder of the home we were on the constant lookout for more snakes because their access from the basement to the 1st flooring living area was so easy (that even a cavemen could do it - sorry).
The ending...I left the current homeowner a note detailing the snakes. They claimed there were No Snakes in the home and called me to verbally state that fact to me. I asked what the recently departed snake skin was doing on the washing maching lid.
I heard nothing more for about three weeks except from my customer who had me inspect another home which he decided to buy after the "snake" home inspection. The seller of the home with the snakes then contacted me to state that the snakes had been removed from her home, the inspection could proceed, and my client could now purchase her home. Too late.........