While home inspections might not seem like much of a big deal at first glance, they can help to protect you from making a purchase that’s going to come back to haunt you in the not-so-distant future. The last thing you want is to move into your new property with our friends over at Bellhops Moving Chicago and find a number of problems you weren’t aware of when you signed on the dotted line. Here are just four reasons why everyone should consider a home inspection.
First, some facts and a bit of history.
If you live in the United States, there’s a 70% chance your home is being heated by a forced-air, ducted furnace. Today’s heating systems are based on ideas and designs that date back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Forced-air ducted heating has been around since about 1935, It has long been the ‘go-to’ system for most residential HVAC contractors. Continue Reading →
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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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 →
After performing fee based inspections full time for the past 6+ years I find myself asking a repeated question–am I giving clients what they need to make the best decision? My immediate answer is that I’m pretty damn close. Why not 100% you might say? I’ll tell you why….no inspector can deliver the perfect product to every client because every client’s needs are slightly different than the last. A first time homebuyer will want to know as much as they can because they’re a bit nervous, excited and typically don’t have the building knowledge to know what is minor and what is major in terms of defects. Veteran homeowners, on the other hand, may tell us to not worry about the little things and really focus on X, Y or Z. That’s understandable and often times expected. So what can we do as inspectors to fulfill these needs? Anything and everything we can to deliver as much information about the property we’re inspecting so that we can allow our clients to make the best decision possible with the best information.
We are very strongly urging our home inspection clients to have a radon test performed before making a final decision about whether to purchase a home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous when it builds up inside of confined spaces. It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year due to exposure to radon, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers (number two overall). 25% of homes within Chicago and 40% of those in the suburbs that have been tested have come back with results showing radon levels above EPA safety guidelines. Due to the relatively small number of homes that currently get tested, the percentage of homes with dangerous levels of radon could actually be much higher.
For an expert’s views about the mold testing/remediation industry, see Marko Vovk of House Investigation’s YouTube video. It’s a scam, and he’ll show you why.