So your buying a foreclosed home?  That’s great!  You are probably getting a great deal.  Plenty to be had.  This article will explain through a Chicago home inspection why having all the utilities on will save you time and money in the future.  This is very important.

If you are buying a foreclosure you already know that there is a good chance you will be doing work on your new home to get it the way you want it.  The question is how much work will you have to do to get it the way the bank/underwriter want it?  That is a trick question.  They want it to be functional depending on what type of loan vehicle you go with.  That’s a whole other article though.  The bank generally sends an appraiser/inspector  to represent their interest (your loan) in to inspect your home with the inspection report that your inspector has produced on your behalf.  Most of the time the owner (bank) knows what is wrong with the property.  They just want you to find it for yourself.  Sometimes they will give you allowances for repairs because they know they will be found during your inspection.  Before I was able to perform the home inspection in Chicago I had to schedule getting the utilities turned on with the bank, listing realtor, buyers realtor and my client.  I personally want all the utilities on for a home inspection to protect and educate my client of potential costs.  The utilities that need to be turned on are plumbing supply, electric and gas.

The electric is generally never turned off.   The banks have gotten smart and left that utility on so that the sump pumps don’t overflow and cause water, mold and other damages to the property.  The gas on the other hand is generally shut down and/or lock out by the gas company.  Generally the gas company wants some sort of security deposit to turn this on.  Sometimes this is a past due bill that they want paid prior to turning the gas service back on.  So be prepared for that.

The final utility is in my opinion the most important.  The plumbing!  The plumbing can cause the most damage if their are issues that are active or issues that have happened prior to the foreclosure process.  The biggest issues I find in our foreclosure home inspections is poor winterizing of the plumbing system.  Primarily the water supply system.  If the winterizing company does not blow the water supply lines out with a compressor the lines will freeze at the lowest area and break.  So when you do turn on the water supply service you will have water leaks.  These generally can be found near the water supply angle stop for the toilets.  This is the lowest area in the bathroom and kitchen water supply system.  These areas generally can be fixed by a licenced plumber or a handy homeowner.  The issues that your finance company will have is that they want prices for these repairs from a licensed plumber.  This is very important!!  There are home inspectors that have plumbing licenses that can do this for you for FREE if you hire them for the home inspection.  I know this for a fact because I do this and I’m a licensed plumber ( Chicago license # pl194988).  You can see all the other licenses at ~   This was the main reason my clients hired me for their Chicago home inspection. Believe me when I tell you that you need someone with this license in your corner advocating with the underwriters.  If we are doing it here then someone will have to do it for you.

If you have other questions about foreclosed home inspection or regular home inspection please contact us at ~

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

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