Insider Advice from one of Chicago’s Top Home Inspectors

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I am so appreciative of the long-standing relationships I have with many vendors around Chicago, including Julio Neira of Inspectrum Property Inspections. Julio and I have known each other for close to 20 years, and many of my clients have used his company’s services. 

Today on the blog, he’s graciously shared three great tips about the home inspection process, and his advice is truly invaluable. Thank you, Julio!

Home inspections are about more than just finding problems—they’re about education: 

Information learned through an inspection isn’t just helpful at the time of buying—it’s advice that will see you through both successful home ownership and the future sale of your property. 

Julio says, “Everyone takes a different approach in inspections. We take the education route. We’re always going to find everything that’s wrong, but things that are wrong can be fixed. What you want to find out is why it’s wrong, and then make sure you don’t see it again. Finding issues is obviously what we’re supposed to do—and we are going to find them—but if you educate people, then those issues will not reoccur for them, or they’ll be able to find them on their own. The inspection process will not only teach them about maintenance, but also how to recognize symptoms, and if you can do that then you’ll fix problems before they manifest and get worse. Inspections teach you how to maintain your home so that when you sell, those problems haven’t progressed to what’s called “deferred maintenance,” and you can get top dollar.

This is why Julio and I always encourage clients not only to be present for inspections, but to actually go through the process step-by-step with the inspector and ask questions along the way. 

Do your research:

People are often shocked to learn that the home inspection industry is actually quite young—less than two decades ago, it wasn’t even licensed! As Julio points out, “The hardest thing for a home inspection company to build is trust. Home inspections were never licensed before 2000, so the whole industry is nascent. When I first started doing home inspections in 2001, anybody could have thrown a name out there and become a home inspector without any guidance as to what they’re looking for, how they’re doing it, or what their process is.” Julio and his team are pioneers in this industry, and have the credentials to back up their work. Don’t be afraid to ask for information regarding licensing and an inspector’s experience before hiring one!

Home inspections ARE worth it, even if it’s new construction:

Julio says, “Even if it’s a brand new house and you’re new to the business, spending the less than 0.5% of the property’s value on an inspection is worth it. To me, the home inspection is the best investment you’re going to make; you’re going to learn how to maintain your house, where your shutoffs are in case there’s a disaster, and how your things work. You can then take that knowledge with you forever—when you learn about something, you’re more free.”