Everyone is looking for a good deal.  That would definitely be the case for the home inspection in Chicago, Illinois.  I received a call to inspect a property in Garfield Park.  This a community south of Humboldt Park and west of Ukrainian Village.  There are definitely properties to be had for  that are way below the market value.  The problem is a majority of these properties have been abandoned by real estate investors thinking that the market didn’t have a ceiling.  They are mostly bank owned properties that can be purchased for under 50% of what they were selling for 2 years ago.  That was the case at the home inspection in Chicago.

The property was a row home that is 2 stories tall with a flat roof.  It has 3 bedrooms up with 1.5 baths total.  I could tell the property was being rehabbed and it seems that they just up and left.  Their seemed to be an amateur tuck-point job that was started as well.  Issues with the front steps was evident by the pulling of the concrete slab.  The next part was troublesome to say the least.  The roof was 32′ up so a 40′ ladder was needed to inspect this home.  As soon as I started to walk on this flat roof , I told my client to get ready to start spending money.  The flat roof was held together by spit and duct tape.  Basically, I didn’t have a clue how water wasn’t damaging the building envelope of the home inspection in Chicago.  It seems that all the roofs connected to this row house in Garfield Park were all dilapidated.  I called a roofing contractor because my client wanted “the bottom line” figures of the roofing and all the other inspection issues.  By the time we finished the exterior of the Chicago home inspection, we were already at $17,000.00 in repair costs.

We went in and I used a  Fluke thermal imager along with a Tramex moisture meter to find that there was water damage from the roof.  All the water entry would be terminated by installing a new roof.  As we inspected the basement of the Garfield Park home, I found that the furnace has been stolen by vandals and the plumbing would have to updated from galvanize to copper piping.  The repair totals for the home in Chicago’s Garfield Park was $31,000.00  to just  move in.

As you can see there might be a reason why a foreclosure is almost free.  If you are buying a home or building that is in foreclosure and have questions about it’s integrity contact us for help at~ www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com

Please leave a comment or a question about your property we could help you with.  Thanks~ Jim Kolke


Sometimes we do find structural issues in home inspections that will need quite a bit of repairs so that the home passes inspection.  We generally will give you the cause and repair to the structural issues because your inspection period is on a deadline.  We will also suggest that a structural engineer’s services be acquired.  We are not structural engineers, but we do see structural issues quite a bit and we do have the knowledge on how to repair these issues.  Structural issue did come to light at the home inspection in Wheeling, Illinois.

Generally, structural issues can be seen from the exterior of the home.  That was definitely the case at the home inspection in Wheeling.  From the exterior of the home, I could see that the ridgeline was bowing.  We call this “swayback or saddleback” and this could be a couple things that are causing this issue.

The brickwork on the home was “plumb” so that eliminated issues with wall ties.  I went into the basement of the home inspection in Wheeling and inspected the foundation walls for cracks or displacement.  There wasn’t a crack in the foundation of the 1954 built tri-level home.  I inspected the hardwood  floors to see if there was any shifting or bulging of in-between the floor boards.  Again, no evidence of structural issues developing on the hardwood floors.  The attic was my next stop.

Finding the attic access in an older home is generally pretty easy.  Usually these access doors are in the closet of one of the bedrooms.  The bad news is that they are usually 18″ x 18″.  This means you have to be a magician to get into these attics.  The access to the attic of the home inspection in Wheeling was definitely a  job for a magician.  I crawled into the attic were I noticed that the rafter spread was too wide for the pitch of the roof.  The pitch of the roof was a 4/12 and the 2″ x 4″  rafters were centered on 22″!   One of the load columns (a 2″ x 4″)  had a crack in it and was bowed.  If you are not in the building business this probably doesn’t mean much to you.  Don’t worry that is why you hire inspectors.  My advice was to bring in a structural engineer.  I still gave my clients a ball park figure through a general contractor for $12,000.00  to pull the roof and sheeting and add reinforcement rafters and replace the bowed ridge board.

If you own a home or you are trying to buy a vintage home that possibly has structural issues and you need help identifying the issues contact us at~ www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com

Please leave a comment or a question that you need help with on your home. Thank you ~ Jim Kolke