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Chicago home buyers: Don’t skip the inspection

You’ve made an offer on your Chicago dream home. The seller has accepted.

You’re ready to hit the closing table, right?

Not quite.

First, you need to schedule a home inspection. That way, you won’t face any unpleasant surprises once you move into your new home.

The Chicago Tribune recently ran a good feature about the benefit of home inspections. Simply put, a licensed home inspector will scour your home looking for defects and potential problems.

Once you’re armed with this information, you can make a decision: Should you ask the seller to fix any problems that your inspector found? Should you ask the seller to lop a bit more off the sales price so that you can have more money to repair any defects? Or are the problems with the house so minor that you don’t want to potentially scuttle a sale by bringing them back to the sellers?

But if you skip the home inspection? You run the risk of discovering after you’ve already moved in that your home needs a new roof or that its foundation is sinking.

Home inspections aren’t free. But they’re not that costly, either. Depending on your home and its size, you can expect to pay from $400 to $600 for a typical inspection.

Your home inspector will look at everything in your home. The inspector will make sure the home’s roof is in good shape. The inspector will run the home’s dishwasher, check for signs of past flood damage and make sure the furnace and hot water heater are working properly. Inspectors will look for structural damage, signs of termite inspection and hints of wiring problems.

And you should be sure to tour your new home with your inspector. This way, you’ll get a crash course in how your home works and where all its mechanical systems lie.

It’s tempting to want to rush past the inspection phase. You want to move into your new home. But doing so can leave you with an expensive problem.

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