This is Charles McShan from Century 21 Universal.
I want to thank you for reading this Blog post. This is part 2 of Steps to Home Ownership in the Chicagoland area. This part goes into greater detail involving the Home Inspection process. As the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. As the above photo shows a home can be very beautiful to look at and at first glance that home looks like your American dream ready to come true. Some people have bought a home on just the way it looks and now have regretted it. Before you make that purchase you must call in a House Doctor who will examine that home under as the photo shows under a magnifying glass to see the deeper parts of the home. After all, appearances can be deceiving.
So first step in this process is to do your homework. Home Inspectors normally have a very busy schedule. So once you decide to start looking for a Home you should also start the process of looking for a Home Inspector. You should narrow the search to at least 3 Inspectors. See which of the 3 will be available with a 2 t0 3 day notice. Keep in mind that once you found a property and you closed the deal your Attorney can confer with the Seller’s Attorney and give you additional time after the 5 Business days if you can not find a Home Inspector within that time frame. If you do not have personal references to go by check out these 2 Locations
Now that you have found the Inspector to represent you, you should ask him Questions about him/herself. What sort of tools will he/she use n their service?. Some Inspectors are using Drones to check the roof. Some are using remote control devices with a camera to inspect the crawl spaces and cramp quarters. Some are using Infrared and thermal cameras to look behind walls and spaces. These are the latest uses of Technology and might not be considered at this time part of a normal Inspection and there might be an additional fee for these services so be forwarned. So now you meet at the property at the assigned date and time and Before any Inspection occurs you will pay your Home Inspector up front their fee. That is very important to know. They get their check or cash not after the Inspection or the next day or week or when you get your paycheck but right then and there. Once that part is done then you the buyer, the Inspector and your Real Estate Broker all walk together onto the property to begin the Inspection process. You as the buyer should prepare to invest at least 2 to 3 hours of your time to being there with the Inspector. Why? A good Inspector will Inspection slowly and thoroughly.
We will use the example of a Single-Family home. Normally the Inspection starts with the Property grounds. You look at the overall view of the Home. Is there standing water, leaning foundations or bad rain gutters. Check the walkways, the landscape, the handrails the door frames. They also check the walls for cracks in the Mansory, Bricks, Stucco or Vinyl. Clearances levels are check between the sliding and the ground. The exterior Windows are checked for bad frames, rotting caulking, and bad glass. The Garage is checked also for electrical boxes, fuses or Circuit breakers door springs and other things. In regards to the Roof, The Inspector, for the most part, will not climb onto the roof. He might do a visual or use a drone to check for Bad Shingles, flashing or problems with either a skylight or a Chimney. Outer door water valves are also checked along with any external power outlets. They also look at the Air Conditioning unit if available.
Now, the inspection goes into the interior of the home. They are instructed to look for shifting walls water stains on the ceilings indicating water damage. They look at Door trims. They check any and all electrical outlets, they also check for visible Mold especially on the walls and floorboards. In the kitchen, they check the circuit breaker outlets, the kitchen hood fan the sink for leaks and the drawers of the cabinet. Water pressure is also check in the kitchen sink along with the sink in the bathroom along with the Tub and shower. The toilet/toilets are also checked, they also want to make sure that there are no leaks around the tubs or showers. Of course, all water drains throughout the home must work properly. They inspect all plumbing pipes which they can see. They will evaluate the Hot Water Heater. The Furnace is the main item. They will check to see that are connections and vents are in good working order. They check the Basement for mold, cracking along the walls and Water damage. Will they check the Sump pump? I do not know They will check visible wiring, check all light switches and see if the electrical panels are in good updated shape. Crawl spaces are important. That area can determine the sort of moisture you can have in your home.
For the record, a Home Inspector is not a superman. They can not see thru walls and spots defects. They are not Plumbers. They can only visually inspect pipes and outdated equipment, Spectic Tanks sewer lines and everything related. If you have detail questions in those areas please consult a licensed plumber. Can a Home Inspector tell you about termites? No, They are also not experts in Rats, Racoons, Squirrels, and other animals. You must consult an exterminator. The same rule applies for the Roof, they can spot a leak but they can not tell you how long your present roof would last. They do not check for Radon, Lead Gas, Asbestos or toxic mold. They do not Inspect the appliances namely Washers, Dryers, Ovens, Stoves, Refrigerators and Garbage Disposal units. They might make a note on the item but nothing more the same rule applies HVAC systems. They will make a note but with a legal disclaimer because they have no way of knowing if that appliance will be working tomorrow or 10 years from now. They also do not include Inspect the Landscape for dead or dying trees, malfunctioning sprinkler systems or bare spots in the lawn
For everything the Home Inspector does do, he/she will document the process by taking Photos and maybe Videos. All the while He/She is explaining the process to you the buyer and your Broker. Keep in mind what they are saying an that is, for the most part, no home is perfect. After the Inspector finishes their work they will summarize their findings. They will email you and your broker a detailed copy of the Home Inspection report within a few days. The report will go into details complete with Photos on their findings. The report will let you know that and some are the problems are minor do not have to be corrected right then an there. A Seller is not obligated to fix everything a Home Inspector says is wrong with the house. On the other Hand, Major issues such as Structural, Building Code Violations or other Safety defects are another topic. The Seller has to either find out the cost of repair fix it himself or offer you the buyer a repair credit so you can fix it. If this happens and the Seller will be released from that obligation. If the Seller does not want to buy for the repair cost or grant you credit then you the buyer can now legally break the contract and get your earnest money back. It will benefit the Seller to try an sell this home to you because if they walk away they will have to legally disclose the newly discovered defect to the next buyer.
In conclusion, no Inspection is 100% but a high majority of Inspections have benefitted a lot of Homebuyers. It will benefit you in the long term because you can also put money aside to address the problems you found out that will occur 2 to 5 years down the road. A seller of there home could also benefit by knowing in advance what needs to be repaired before they put their home on the Market. So for you, buyers out there do not worry about the minor problems in the future house of your dreams. Follow The steps to home ownership, use the services of a licensed Chicago Home Inspector at the proper time and you will be 1 step closer to the keys of your own home. Part 3 of this blog will deal with the Home Appraisal process and why is that necessary for a Homebuyer to know about. That subject will be talked about next. Please tuned until the next time. Take care for now.
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