Zen and the Art of Home Inspecting: Pursuing Non-Attachment

Now, I’m not a card-carrying Buddhist but I’ve read a bit about that wisdom tradition and I admire its practitioners. I am though a card-carrying home inspector and have been one for about 20 years. Over those two decades, I’ve noticed that some of the principles of the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) can be applied to the process of inspecting homes. One of those principles, non-attachment, means that one should not attach oneself to outcomes, to fame, to fortune, to pleasure, etc. lest this lead to Dukkha (usually translated as suffering or dissatisfaction).
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Risk Reversal in Real Estate Inspections: Putting the Responsibility Back on the Seller

moisture intrusion

So you found the perfect home and your offer has been accepted. Congratulations… it’s crunch time. In the typical Chicago real estate transaction you, as the buyer, have 5 days during which your attorney will review your contract and your inspector will evaluate the condition of the property. In a competitive and active market, you don’t have much time to waste. You’ve gotten referrals from your realtor, closing attorney, lender, Yelp, Angie’s List, neighbors, friends and co-workers, and you’ve found just the inspector for the job….you hope.  You set the appointment and the inspector sends you the Inspection Agreement. Reading through the agreement, or contract for services, you may be struck by the apparently one-sided nature of the risk placement…it’s all on you!

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Introducing Our “Kick-the-tires” Home Inspection

Saving Home-buyers Time and Money

Business and marketing experts tell us to find the “pain points” in our client’s experiences and to find ways of solving those problems. One such issue we’ve noted over our two decades of inspecting homes has been the unfortunate need for clients to have multiple home inspections performed. Occasionally, we’ll end up doing three or even four inspections for our clients before they find a house that is in acceptable condition and which meets their needs.   Continue Reading

What “Professionalism” Sometimes Means in the Real Estate Game


To My Realtor Friends Who May Read This,

Please accept my preemptive apologies for some off the cuff, unvarnished notes rants from the field. I know quite a few agents who bring tremendous value to their clients and who have the best interests of those clients in the forefront. We love working with those kind of agents on a collaborative basis and we cherish those relationships. Having said that, I’d like to talk about yesterday’s 2 unit ‘vintage’ apartment building inspection. Continue Reading

A Chicago Alley Tale


If you live in or around Chicago then you know that a huge ‘buzz’ in the real estate industry lately is the new ‘606 Trail’ aka ‘Bloomingdale Trail’. It’s a section of an abandoned railroad line that has been converted to a very pleasant hiking/biking trail. If you live in or around Chicago you also know that our politicians have a long history of taking advantage of real estate opportunities. Continue Reading

The Time is Right for LED Bulbs

For reducing energy costs and reducing environmental impact from energy usage, there’s no easier way than replacing standard energy-wasting light bulbs with more energy-efficient products. After seeing a display at a home improvement store, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison, and believe LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are the way to go. Continue Reading

Flatlining…Chicago style

“….Life in the Flat lane, surely you can lose your mind…”

Sounds familiar, right?  Well, that’s our little lyrical spin on the well known Eagles tune as it pertains to flat roof ventilation.   It a challenging topic and one we are seeing more and more roofers and builders getting wrong.  So what can we do to get them back into the fast lane?

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