Reading time: 6 minutes
Chicago Home Inspection

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

Home inspection costs are generally based on square footage of the property in question. The national average for a 2,000 square foot home is $324, though it ranges anywhere from $277 to $388 depending on the market.

In Chicago, specifically, the average a bit higher. Angie’s List reports an average between $375 and $550, while Home Advisor puts it between $260 and $351.

These averages do not include specific inspection services like:

  • Termites inspections (additional $65 to $100)
  • Asbestos inspections (additional $400 to $800)
  • Radon inspection (additional $100 to $200)
  • Mold inspections (additional $300 to $500)
  • Swimming pool inspections (additional $90 to $130)

The prices on these more specialized services vary based on the size of the property and the company providing the inspection.

How Much Can a Home Inspection Save You?

The total amount a home inspection save you depends on the deficiencies and repairs found on the property. Identifying major issues, like problems with the roof, foundation or mold, can save you significant costs and hassle down the line. More minor issues may save you slightly on your sales price or make no difference at all.

Let’s look at a few of the most common issues found during home inspections for some reference:

  • Foundation issues – These can cost anywhere between $1,852 to upwards of $6,000, depending on the extent of the damage.
  • Mold – Mold problems can run between $2,000 and $6,000 to address and can cause a slew of health problems and allergies.
  • Wiring issues – Problems with electrical systems or wiring often require major repairs costing between $8,000 and $15,000.
  • Roof problems – This is one of the most common issues found during home inspections. If the full roof needs replacement, it can cost $7,000 or more.

HVAC, plumbing and appliance issues are also found often in Chicago home inspections. The costs on these vary depending on the extent of the damage found.

Getting a Home Inspection in Chicago? Follow These- Dos and Don’ts

The home inspection is a vital part of the homebuying process, as it helps buyers ensure they’re making a safe and sound investment – both for their loved ones and their finances.

Not to be confused with an appraisal, a home inspection is intended to evaluate the overall condition of the home, not determine the value of the property.

During a home inspection, the inspector will examine the property’s roof, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, foundation and more in light of local safety and building codes, as well as construction best practices. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will deliver a report detailing their findings.

Must-have Chicago Inspections

In Chicago, buyers will want to at least have the basic home inspection, which covers things like: appliances, plumbing, foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems and the overall interior and exterior of the home.

If the inspector notes mold anywhere on their findings report, buyers should also consider a professional mold inspection to ensure the home is safe to inhabit. In some cases, buyers may also want to consider the following inspections:

  • Termite inspections – The Eastern Subterranean Termite is a common sight in Chicago – particularly in the Glenview area. As termite issues can cost around $3,000 or more to address, spotting these before buying a property is vital.
  • Radon testing – The city of Chicago’s health department has recommended residents test for radon in their homes and new properties. Considering the service is on the more affordable side (just $100 to $200, on average), it may be worth it for peace of mind.
  • Asbestos inspections – For buyers considering older properties or homes where asbestos is known to be used, an asbestos inspection is a must.

More specific inspections like those for pools and other systems depend on the exact features and home of the location being purchased.

How to Save Money on a Home Inspection

Though you certainly don’t want to cut corners on something as important as a home inspection, there are a few ways to potentially reduce costs when seeking inspection services.

  1. Go hourly. If the contract doesn’t require a formal report or a full inspection, buyers may be able to ask for an hourly rate or reduced price on their service.
  2. Find an inspector that also does repairs. In some cases, inspectors may be qualified to perform certain repairs. When this is the case, buyers may be able to ask that the cost of the inspection is credited toward any repairs, should they be necessary.
  3. Be prepared to negotiate. By heading back to the negotiating table, buyers can request repairs or credits when deficiencies are found.

In many cases, a comprehensive home inspection can save buyers thousands of dollars. When repairs or deficiencies are found, the report can serve as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower sales price.

Still, despite these potential savings, it’s important not to overpay for your inspection. Make sure to get quotes from at least three different inspectors before moving forward, and weigh experience, knowledge and price when choosing which inspector to employ.

After the Home Inspection – Three Possible Outcomes

There are generally three scenarios that can emerge from a home inspection.

  1. The inspection can reveal the home is safe, sound and in need of no repairs or fixes. If this is the case, the transaction can move along to the next step in the homebuying process.
  2. The inspection can reveal moderate issues with the home. When minor repairs and fixes are needed, the buyer can negotiate a credit to help pay for the repairs or ask the seller to make the fixes themselves before closing.
  3. The inspection may reveal serious or costly issues. When major deficiencies or problems are found, the seller may opt to back out of the deal entirely. They may also choose to renegotiate the sales price of the home or ask the seller to cover a portion of the closing costs to make up for the financial loss of the repairs.

A real estate transaction isn’t done until the money changes hands and the deed is transferred. Thanks to contingencies and home inspections periods, there are plenty of chances for buyers to safeguard their investment and ensure they’re making the right decision for their household.