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Condo Inspection

When buying a new or re-sale Chicago condo, there are a lot of issues to confront. From deciding on the right location to obtaining financing, the process can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you don't take the time to perform a condo inspection, your dream home could turn into a money pit. Condo inspections should be performed by a trained professional. Spending some money now on a professional Chicago Condo Inspector can mean significant savings for you and your family.

There's a lot to keep in mind when inspecting a condominium. In general, when you walk through many different condominiums, you can feel the difference in construction quality. Trust your judgement, a condominium that has a solid construction and an excellent layout is a world apart from those built with materials that just aren't up to par. However, beyond your initial feeling, it's important to take the time to focus on specific issues. Here's a few of the most important issues you and your condo inspector will want to look at.

Plumbing: Are there any faucets dripping? Do you see any water damage in the walls? How's the water pressure in the bathrooms and kitchen? How's the drainage in the showers and sinks? What about hot water? Don't wait to take your first cold shower in January before realizing the water heater isn't up to the task. Turn on the shower and let it run for awhile. Plumbing issues can be extremely expensive to fix. A trained professional will also be able to spot potential problems and let you know what is in need of repair.

Electric: That solid old building may be perfect for you, but what about the electrical system that has been there since the depression? The electrical needs of today are much greater than just 10 or 20 years ago. Turning on as many appliances as possible at the same time is a good way to check the capacity of your electrical system. Make sure that all electrical outlets are in working order, including lights, fans, cables, and even the intercom. Is the circuit breaker clearly marked?

Doors and Windows: High quality doors and windows can save you money on heating and cooling bills. Make sure that windows and doors are in good working order and have been built using the best materials. Check to see that all blinds are in good shape. Make sure that there is no rotting on the frame. Water damage around windows is a sure sign that they'll need to be replaced, leaving you with an expensive bill.

Walls and Ceilings: A fresh coat of paint can cover up many problems and leave you to foot the bill. Check for any signs of mold or water damage, such as uneven lines on the walls and ceilings. Bulges in the ceiling are a sign of current or previous water damage.

Floors: A well-done floor will be completely even. That hardwood floor may shine, but if there is any creaking sound as you walk or the level is not perfect, there may be water filtering through and damaging your floor. Is the wood in good shape, or are there signs of rotting? Check all carpets for signs of water damage.

Appliances: Make sure that appliances are in good working order. This is more an issue in re-sale condominiums that come with older appliances. Is the fireplace backed up, filling the condo with smoke? Are there signs of water damage around the dishwasher? Don't wait for the first hot day of summer to find out your air conditioning unit only blows out hot air. Take the time to try out each appliance to make sure that they are up to par.

Other: There are some other details that can help you understand ongoing issues in the buildings. Get a copy of the minutes for the condo association meeting. Serious issues will appear here, including costly repairs that appear again and again. Check online for resident lawsuits or other complaints against the condo association, a great way to avoid future headaches.