Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

JMR, Home Buyer in 60610

Home Inspection - Worth the Money?

Asked by JMR, 60610 Sun Jun 15, 2008

I have been shopping home inspectors and quite frankly, I'm not impressed. It seems like many just point out the obvious- screens missing, general info about appliances, your roof looks old, etc...you know, general info. I want someone who will let me know the the structural integrity of the building is good(1920's 3 flat), the roof deck won't cause the roof to cave in, the back porches are structurally intact, the plumbing doesn't have lead pipes, stuff like that. Who does those types of inspections?? How do you find them and how much do they cost?

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Home inspectors are like kindof like general practitioners...they will point out where there could be potentially structural problems, heating, electrical, etc. From that point, you call in an expert of that particular area. The inspector goes thru the entire home and usually spends 2-3 hours, charges $450-$550 and in my opinion worth every penny. They are thorough and teach you alot about the home, things to watch out for, etc. Sounds like you would want to take the inspection further with a structural engineer. Not a bad idea since the home is older.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
If you'll e-mail me at mike@mjsinspections.com I'll send you a sample report of a home that I've inspected that is of a similar age. You can then determine whether you think it's worth the money.

I charge $295 for single family and I include a free termite inspection. I am also licensed to perform radon and certified to perform mold screenings, if you're concerned about either of those aspects.

-Inspector Mike Savage
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2008
jmr - first of all, in my experience anyway, you are correct that there are some very unimpressive inspectors working in the community. that being true even considering that Illinois home inspectors are supposed to be state licensed. dont just hire the inspector your realtor reccomends to you (sorry folks) without at least some additional inquiry or investigation.

at a minimum i would look for someone who is American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certified. past work experience, longevity, and training also matter for something. me, i'd also run them past your attorney as well before hiring anyone (granted that last part is subject to my certain self-interested and self-aggrandizing interests...).

my clients are paying anywhere from $300 to $600 for an inspection of a residential property, depending on the inspector and the property.

price however, is not always a true indicator of quality
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
The home inspector is one of four integral elements in the purchase process. The other three are qualified realtor, real estate attorney and qualified mortgage broker. With respect to your query - I have never had a client dissatisfied with Steve Hier at Miller-Hier. This guy simply knows what he is doing. As far as structural integrity - you'll need a qualified engineer for that piece.
Best of luck,
Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
If you're buying an older property, (1920'S 3 flat), ask the inspector if he is familiar and experienced with this kind of home. You will be surprised how knowledgable they can be if you just ask. Ask them what you just said here and they will tell you.

Then I would suggest you DO get a home inspection. They don't just point out the obvious, they also point out the not so obvious.

Good luck with your new home!
Web Reference: http://www.idamccarthy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Home inspectors are worth every penny.

I wouldn't purchase a house from my own mother, without hiring an inspector to review the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 15, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
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