Why You Should Choose WIT For Your Inspection
There are thousands of inspectors in the Chicago area. We believe we surpass the competition in three distinct areas: (1) Intelligence, (2) Dedication and (3) Perspective.
We're the best educated inspectors in the industry.
We strive to be the smartest and best inspectors, period. Hence our company motto: Brilliant inspections. Being a smart inspector requires a combination of great education, innate intelligence, and an insatiable desire to keep learning. Owner Joshua Westlund is a Yale graduate and second-generation home inspector. His father impressed upon him the GLC ASHI motto: Education is never as expensive as ignorance.
The dirty secret in the world of home inspection is that Illinois only requires 60 hours of education to become a home inspector. That's right--after just two weeks' of classes and anyone can become a licensed home inspector. Furthermore, the state only requires 6 hours of continuing education annually. We think that's nowhere near enough. We attend monthly classes at local ASHI, InterNACHI and NAHI chapter meetings. We also attend several local, regional, and national conferences. This adds up to over 100 hours of continuing education annually.
We also spend countless additional hours doing research (included as part of our standard inspection fee) for clients regarding unusual inspection issues. We read technical manuals, discuss issues with specialists, and post queries on online forums. All in all, we take at least 200 hours of classes annually--over 33 times the state requirement. Yeah, we're "home inspection nerds," and proud of it.
Our work is continually reviewed by
Many inspectors work in a vacuum. They work alone, and only learn from their mistakes when an angry customer calls or they're served notice of a lawsuit. In contrast, we participate in several peer reviews over the course of the year, both as participants and instructors. One of these is through GLC ASHI's IBR program. A panel of GLC members pick out a house and inspect it, creating a list of "must find" major issues. Then inspectors go through the house and report their findings to the panel. Only those who find all of the "must find" issues pass and are awarded the IBR certification. WIT owner Joshua Westlund is the youngest inspector to earn the IBR certification--and he did it on his first try. We take peer reviews as often as we can to be sure that we are performing at our best. Very few inspectors rigorously subject themselves to scrutiny by others, and consumers often suffer as a result.
We provide the best guarantee in the industry.
You probably don't scour the web reading the fine print in home inspection contracts. But if you did, you'd find that the vast majority of them contain a clause limiting the inspector's liability to the fee paid. In other words, if your inspector screws up, you get a refund.
At WIT, we back up our inspections with a $1,000 guarantee. If a defect existed at the time of the inspection, and a reasonable inspector performing an inspection according to the ASHI Standards of Practice would have detected and reported that defect as significantly deficient, we will pay to remedy the defect or refund up to $1,000 of the inspection fee (whichever is less). (Keep in mind this is not a home warranty protecting you from defects that arise after the inspection due to the failure of mechanical items or other issues not foreseeable at the time of the inspection.)
We carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy.
Another dirty secret of the home inspection industry is that a large number of inspectors do not carry Errors & Omissions insurance. If an inspector misses a major defect during an inspection, suing the inspector may prove worthless, since most inspection firms don't have substantial assets beyond perhaps a truck, a toolbag and a laptop. Why are so many firms uninsured? Probably because (a) the state doesn't require it , (b) it's expensive and (c) buyer's aren't aware of it and don't insist on it.
We carry a $1 million insurance policy. Even though we've performed thousands of inspections without a single lawsuit, we still believe our clients deserve the assurance that they are protected.
We provide free post-inspection consultations and research.
Our service doesn't stop with the inspection. We help our clients through their purchase but also after they've moved into the home. We're happy to assist you with any questions you might have. Let's say we found a bad roof at your home. We're happy to review bids from roofing contractors to help you pick the best one.
We always put in 110% effort.
We love what we do, but it isn't always easy. Some inspectors don't walk roofs because of the hazards involved. Or they view the crawlspace from the access hatch because they're afraid of what might be crawling around down there. We treat each client as if they were our best friend or a close family member. And that means working as hard as we can to provide an accurate inspection report.
Our experience allows us to give our clients an accurate sense of perspective regarding the issues detected on the home inspection. Here’s why perspective is so essential, and why some inspectors fail to provide it:
We typically find lots of issues.
We surveyed a sample of 100 inspection reports from the past 5 years and found that the average home we inspected had 33.6 issues. The median number was 42, meaning half of the homes had more than 42 issues and half had less. The house with the most had a whopping 342 issues (it was a vacant foreclosure built in the 1900’s), and the house with the least had just 2.
Many inspectors see things in black and white—or at least they write their reports that way. Given that most home buyers have limited financial resources, we feel that it’s imperative that you spend your money on the most important issues first. It's equally important that you understand which issues are of marginal importance. A house with 50 minor issues may be a much better buy than a house with just 2 major issues.
I regularly read my competitors' reports, and the one thing I consistently find lacking is a sense of perspective. These reports often make a perfectly typical home seem like a disastrous money pit. We classify defects in our reports in 6 different categories to ensure a nuanced report.
We know how to write.
When the home inspection industry began, most inspectors used pre-printed checklists to generate their reports. Needless to say, checklists generated by a company in California weren't all that appropriate for houses in Chicago. To this day, many inspectors follow a "checklist" approach to report writing, using canned "boilerplate" comments exclusively.
We strive to customize each report to each property. Sure, this takes much longer than simply selecting a canned comment from a list, but it makes for better reports and more informed clients.
These are just some of the reasons we believe we provide the best inspections in the industry. We encourage you to call us at 773.988.0189 with further questions or to schedule your inspection.