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So Many Choices

Buying a condo is insane. Buying a condo in Chicago is even crazier because (a) there are thousands of them. And (b), there's a lot of merde.

There're the hoops one must jump through. ...the time-suck, the money, the move. The Move.

Anyway, before most of that one must first choose a dwelling. With this, I'll try to provide you some useful information.

What three things do you think of when looking at a condo? What rattles around your melon? ...the price? ...the neighborhood? ...the walk-in closets? ...the steam shower? ...the view?

First-time condo buyers, whether that condo is in a high-rise, a low-rise, 6-flat or less, often pay scant attention to the outside, the roof, or the general structure.

I know, reader. Try and push through.

The exterior (the shell or envelope in industry parlance) keeps the outside out. It protects you, yours, and your stuff from the elements. But doing so takes its toll. As a potential buyer of a dwelling in a multi-unit building, it is essential you understand the absolute necessity for periodic exterior evaluation, maintenance, and planning. This is where we can help.

Many first-time homebuyers become enamored with interior finishes and details. The quartz countertops, the deluge shower, programmable lighting, etc., often distract buyers from conditions that can hit a homeowner, financially or otherwise.

Water Is the Devil

Water, the thing we can't do without, has the potential to destroy almost anything. It is called the "universal solvent" for a reason. To a building, it causes insidious and catastrophic damage if not managed.

Fortunately, this battle has been fought for thousands of years, resulting in a huge knowledge base of success and failure. Modern construction materials have been developed as a result of this knowledge base. The implementation of how they're used is equally and fundamentally important.

Boom! So Much Junk

There was a building boom in Chicago, roughly from 1995 through 2015. An awful lot of small, multi-unit (2, 3, 4 flat) buildings were built. A bunch were built within a hair's breadth of municipal building codes. ...pretty crappy stuff, tail-light warranties, ...the like. Many developers and contractors during this time utilized bankruptcy to, in fact, make their profit. Many of these structures have fundamental flaws in basic construction methods that can negatively affect occupant comfort, safety or health.

Now, someone (developer, builder, others) may say, "It's built to code." But, and I cannot stress this enough, 'built to code' is code for 'built to the absolute minimum set of standards required for a structure to receive a certificate of occupancy'.


Noobs are called noobs because they lack experience. Well, I and my colleagues eat and breathe this stuff.

So, noob, first-time homebuyer, even those not so green, y'all can benefit from our knowledge and experience. I urge anyone reading this to give us a call.

Happy Hunting!

Ken Whitelaw\Chicago Building Inspections, Inc.

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