Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Home inspection...don't buy a home or condo without it!

I'm really not trying to sound cliche, but the home inspection is truly an essential part of the home buying process. Now, if you're going to tear down whatever property you buy, then please be my guest, feel free to go without an inspection, but if you're like most people you actually want to live there. Consider for a moment the size of the investment that your making, the average home (including condos) in Chicago is over $500,000, a few hundred dollars for an inspection is worth the piece of mind. A good inspector will check everything from the electrical and plumbing systems to making sure the appliances work properly. And don't think that because you're purchasing in a high-rise building that an inspection is not necessary. I was recently at an inspection with my client who was purchasing a unit in a 1950s high-rise. It was a fixer upper, but during our inspection we discovered that the electric panel in the unit had never been updated and those funny little "plugs" were definitely not circuit breakers, they weere fuses. As if that wasn't bad enough one of the fuses was double-tapped, meaning it had two wires running into a single fuse. This is a potentail fire hazard. And yes, the easy solution is that you can just add another fuse, the key being if they even make this particular style anymore! If the needed fuse couldn't be obtained a whole new electric panel would need to be installed which would likely cost in the ballpark of $1000! We have asked the seller to resolve this potentially issue and he has agreed. What an costly surprise that would have been for my client when it was discovered down the road or when there was a fire.