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What to Expect in Your Inspection Report: An Interview with Markus Keller of Accurate Inspections & Consulting

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Accurate Inspections & Consulting provides a variety of inspection types to meet client real estate assessment needs. AIC performs home & condo inspections for homebuyers. We also conduct property assessments for large multi-unit and commercial buildings, Condo reserve studies for Associations; Code compliance and contract consulting for rehab projects; and pre-sale evaluations. We pride ourselves in providing clear, relevant and useful information to our clients. We can be reached via phone at 773/844-4242.
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What areas does a standard home inspection report cover?

All State of Illinois licensed home inspectors are required to inspect all areas of a home; inside and out within safe conditions. A Home Inspection is an examination of the exterior and interior components of residential real property. This typically includes examination of the following:
All mechanical systems including HVAC, Electrical & Plumbing
Structural composition including the Foundation
Roof, Masonry structure; porches and related components
Interior conditions; and/or any other residential real property component as established by rule.

Hiring a licensed inspector tends to help ensure that a home buyer receives sufficient information, as required by the State of Illinois, in order to make an informed home buying decision. While many contractors are very knowledgeable about home construction they tend to view houses differently and not as encompassing, as a home inspection includes. It would also be illegal for them to perform a home inspection without a State license.

A good home inspection should provide a buyer with 3 primary services. These would include:
1. Educating the Buyer about the home
2. Informing the Buyer about maintenance concerns
3. Clarifying post purchase cost considerations

Educating a buyer about the house you are looking to make your home can be as simple as showing you where the water main shut-off is; where the electrical panel and gas shut-offs are; and how components work.

Looks can be deceiving. Lots of house look great but aren't necessarily in good condition. The house may have a beautiful new kitchen and bathroom but infrastructure may be old and outdated. This is an important part of a good home inspection. Understanding maintenance and upgrade costs can provide better insight into your purchase decision.

Post purchase costs aren't always clear to a buyer with little to no construction experience. Items that can be budgeted for over time may not be a problem for a buyer. However, immediate repair needs can significantly alter the numbers on a deal. Long term costs can usually be spread out over time as budgets allow.

How long is the report and how long should it take to receive it?

Report length varies by building and inspection report. AIC reports are typically 30-70 pages. Larger or specialty building reports can be 100+ pages. We do not fill our reports with endless disclaimers and boilerplate not applicable to your specific property. AIC inspection reports include an overview of a properties true condition, a separate defect list and numerous pictures of defect & safety related issues. The State of Illinois requires that home inspection reports be delivered to the client within 2 business days upon the end of the onsite inspection.

What are two or three of the most common defect you see in homes?

There is no perfect house. Every house has some amount of problems or maintenance concerns. Often times these issues are exactly the types of things that homeowners often talk about in terms of 'oh I'll fix that next weekend when I have time".

What kind of information about defects will an inspection report include?

Common defect concerns can be outlined into primary categories:

New Construction
Inherent construction defects
Poor workmanship during initial construction leading to short lifespan concerns

Vintage Construction
Deteriorated conditions and lack of modernization
Non-compliant or poor past rehab work

The most common home inspection issues tend to revolve around lack of maintenance or deferred replacement for major components.

What advice would you give to people who no longer want to buy a home based on the inspection report?

Every home is different and many reports contain defect concerns that a buyer may have not previously been aware of. Depending on building conditions and potential costs, a purchase can become more or less attractive based on inspection results. Asking common purchase questions of a Seller during the buying process can help you gauge how well past work was or wasn't done. This can help you make a more informed decision when buying a property.

Unfortunately not all deals work out. Sometimes this is due to inspection results; sometimes this is due to a buyer becoming aware of additional information. While it can be disappointing to have a deal fall through it is usually better that it did. Having a purchase not work out on a house with multiple problems gives you the opportunity to find the right house for you and your family for years of happy living.

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