If you are in the home buying market at this time then I’m sure you have looked at homes that are in foreclosure.  That was the case for my home inspection in Zion, Illinois.  My client was buying the property at a reduced price and was planning using the property as an investment property.  Most of my readers already know that I specialize in foreclosure home inspections in the Chicago land area.  The reason why I work the foreclosure market so much is because I have a plumbing license.  Licensed plumbers are a commodity in Illinois.  To be a home inspector and a licensed plumber has provided me with a huge market to pick from.  If you are buying a foreclosure home like my client from the Zion home inspection then make sure you have the water turned on  so that the plumbing water supply system and the waste water supply system can be tested.  There are to many issues that can come up and cost you thousands in repairs that may stem from water damage from issues from broken piping or leaking plumbing fixtures.

  • Water mains can have broken pipes or issues with leaking valves that will need repairs.  If you cant shut off the water in the home then you will be making an emergency call to a plumber that may costs hundreds just for a service call.
  • Broken water piping is an issue that I find routinely in homes that have been winterized.  Even when water piping has been winterized there are areas that water can settle and possibly crack the water piping.  Water piping repairs can be expensive if walls have to be opened and then repaired after the piping repairs have been done.


  • Broken waste lines are common issues that also can cost hundreds if walls or ceiling have to be modified so repairs can be made.
  • Sump pumps and ejector pumps need water to test.  Sometimes there is no water in a sump pit and water is added to test the pumps abilities.  When the water is off during a foreclosure home inspection then the ability to test these pumps is reduced greatly.
  • Plumbing fixtures can leak after the water is turned on and all areas of the home should be monitored after the water is turned on.  Ice makers, toilets, tubs, sinks and so on must be tested to make sure the traps are working properly and more important are not broken.

I recently performed a home inspection in Zion, Illinois that was a foreclosed home that did not have the water on.  I had to make a special trip to the property for a second time to meet with the Zion village plumber to turn on the water.  Why?  I wanted to make sure my client did not have any unknown issues that might cost him hundreds or even worse … thousands!

If you are in the market for a home and you are contemplating buying a foreclosed home make sure you have a plumber on call to make sure that you are not getting into something more than you can handle.  If you have questions that I can help you with please contact me at ~ The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke