Especially in today’s North Shore real estate market with various purchase options available and access to immediate information via the internet; before you buy or sell a home, one of the things that should be done is throughly confirming the homes status with an inspection using a licensed inspector. Buying a home is an investment, and selling real estate requires du diligence. The added expense can save thousands if not millions in the long run for both buyer and seller. Below is a list that covers the what, whys and hows when it comes to home inspections. (If  this is your first time buying a home, be sure to take note of these valuable tips):

For Sellers:

Resist the impulse to make quick, cheap repairs before an inspection. You may raise a question that produces undue concern with buyers

10 Tips to Prepare for a Home Inspection 1. Clean debris from gutters and roof 2. Caulk around windows and doors 3. Seal asphalt driveway 4. Clean HVAC filters 5. Seal basement walls 6. Clean the chimney 7. Replace burned out light bulbs 8. Have all documentation on hand for recent repairs and inspections 9. Remove firewood from contact with the house 10. Clear access to attic, crawl space, and garage.

10 Most Common Home Inspection Issues 1. Faulty wiring—open junction boxes, amperage mismatches, no wire nuts on wires. The cure: Fix junction boxes; upgrade to at least 100 amps. 2. Poor grading and drainage—spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement. The cure: Regrade so that grounds slopes away from house for 10 feet; remove porous material around foundation. 3. Faulty gutters—clogged or bent gutters, water not channeled away from house. The cure: Preventive maintenance; gutters of adequate size, splash pans to divert run-off. 4. Basement dampness—water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew. The cure: Repair gutters to channel water away from house; apply waterproof coatings to basement. 5. Roof problems—brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings. The cure: Apply new shingle, or tear off if needed (usually after three re-roofs ); replacing flashings, especially around chimneys and other protrusions. 6. Foundation flaws—cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows. The cure: Fill cracks with silicon caulking or epoxy; apply waterproof coating to exterior. 7. Poor upkeep—needs repainting, worn carpeting, cracked driveway. The cure: Give the house a minor facelift. 8. Faulty plumbing—inadequate water pressure, slow drains, signs of leaks on ceilings. The cure: Clean and rout drains; reseat toilet with new wax ring, repair leaks. 9. Poor ventilation—extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation. The cure: Ensure that roof soffits are not blocked; install additional roof vents; vent bathroom and kitchen fans outside. 10. Defective heating—cracks in the heat exchanger or water tank; carbon monoxide leaks. The cure: Reseal chimney flues; replace sacrificial anode in water heater.

For Buyers:

Buyers can get extra protection and piece of mind by purchasing a home warranty insurance policy. Such policies may also be a way for sellers to protect themselves from post-sale claims by buyers for defects undetected in home inspections.

Your North Shore realtor can be a source to find a reliable and trusted inspector as well as home warranty policies.

10 Questions to Ask the Home Inspector 1. What are your qualifications? Are you a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or National Associaton of Home Inspectors? 2. Do you have a current license? Inspectors are not required to be licensed in every state. 3. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year? 4. Do you have a list of past Chicago’s north shore clients I can contact? 5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance? May I have a copy of the policy? 6. Do you provide any guarantees of your work? 7. What specifically will the inspection cover? 8. What type of report will I receive after the inspection? 9. How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report? 10. How much will the inspection cost?  More HOME INSPECTIONS TIPS FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS..HERE

For a list of  North Shore real estate resources, feel free to visit our Coldwell Banker Office located at 640 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, Illinois