How Much Does Home Inspection Cost in Chicago?

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Chicago (or the suburbs), you never want to move forward without getting a home inspection. These inspections let you know exactly what you’re getting into before you finalize the purchase – allowing you to ask the seller to make repairs and/or back of the deal, if necessary.

Home inspections are essential for protecting against costly repairs, regardless of whether you are the buyer or the seller. In some cases, they may even help the homebuyer score a better deal at closing.

The average Chicago home inspection cost is $553, and it costs an average of $360 to inspect a home in the Chicago suburbs. It costs $2,000 to inspect an estate with multiple residences in Chicago, and an average of $400 to inspect a condo unit. Radon testing costs another $125 in Chicago, chimney inspection costs $249, and termite inspection costs $75.

The cost of a home inspection, whether it’s in Chicago or somewhere else in the country, is a small price to pay when compared to the potential costs of forgoing one entirely. With that said, let’s take a deeper look at Chicago home inspection costs, what’s included in a home inspection, the cost of additional inspection services, and some tips for choosing the right home inspector in Chicago.

Do I Need a Home Inspection?

While not technically required by law, buyers – particularly first-time homebuyers – will greatly benefit from having a professional inspector perform a thorough inspection of the property before the purchase is finalized. A home inspection will help you avoid potentially pricey surprises, such as hidden damage or structural flaws.

Since home purchases are such major investments and likely one of the biggest ones you’ll ever make, the amount of money you’ll spend on a home inspection is negligible compared to the money you’ll save in the future as the new homeowner. The main reason for opting for a home inspection is to identify defects with specific areas of the home that would otherwise go unnoticed before the sale.

When a home buyer puts an offer down on a home, they’ve probably only seen the house once or twice. The benefit of a home inspection is that it offers the buyer the opportunity to verify that all the key components of the home are functioning properly. After the inspection, the home sale is contingent on the major repairs required, which the seller may pay for.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

So long as you hire a home inspector that is committed to customer satisfaction and you are present on the day of the inspection, they will perform a thorough walk-through of the property. They will do a thorough visual examination of all the crucial structures and systems of the property. In most cases, this includes an overview of the four major systems – roofing, foundation, electrical, and plumbing, in addition to safety hazards and applicable appliances.

Within 24 hours of the home inspection, you will have a comprehensive inspection report emailed to you. The report and walk-through will detail the inspector’s findings and according to the American Society of Home Inspection, the report should cover these areas:

  • Air conditioning system
  • Heating system
  • Plumbing
  • Attic
  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceiling
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Visible insulation
  • Foundation
  • Basement and structural elements
  • Crawl spaces

Signs of Water Intrusion

The inspector will look out for signs of water intrusion in the structure, which would be one of the biggest concerns. Water found in the wrong place can cause the home to be unlivable, while water leaks can lead to wood rot and mold growth. Inspectors will also tell you if there are any signs of previous leaks that could become an issue down the road.

Roof Condition

Your home inspector will evaluate the condition of the roof, take note of any damage, and check for leaks.

Average Cost of Home Inspection in Chicago

Depending on your specific location and the experience level of the local inspectors, the average cost of a home inspection is anywhere from $375 to $550 for an average-sized home, Though, homeowners report the average cost for a home inspection in Chicago at $553. The bigger the home, the more expensive the cost of the home inspection will be. As you might expect, the larger the house, the longer it takes for the inspector to perform a proper inspection and prepare the report.

In some cases, home inspectors may charge additional service fees if your house is over a certain age. This has to do with the fact that older homes typically have more potential problems that require more time to appropriately evaluate and document the report. With that said, the following table outlines the average costs for a home inspection in the state of Illinois based on the size of the home:

Home Size Average Cost of Home Inspection
1,000 square feet$275
1,000 to 2,000 square feet$295
2,000 to 3,000 square feet$315
3,000 to 4,000 square feet$335
4,000 to 5,000 square feet$395
Over 5,000 square feet$645

Suburban Home Inspection

Again, the location of the home has a huge impact on the price of the inspection. For instance, The Home Inspection Man is a company located in suburban Plainfield, Illinois. They provide inspection for electrical, structural, HVAC, plumbing, interiors, exteriors, kitchen, foundation, and basement/crawl spaces.

The company charges around $360 for a home inspection on a single-family suburban home. Costs go up from there based on the size of the home and any additional requirements made by home buyers or sellers.

City Home Inspection

When it comes to houses located in the city, the home inspection costs vary considerably. Ultimately, it depends on the specific home that’s being inspected. Defining average costs of home inspection in Chicago is challenging, since there’s no way to define the average house in Chicago. However, here’s a brief breakdown of home inspection prices in Chicago by the common home types you’ll find across the city:

Chicago Home TypeAverage Cost of Home Inspection
Single-Family Home$425 to $700
Estate with Multiple Buildings$1,000 to $3,000
Condo Unit$350 to $450
Duplex (or up and down unit)$425 to $700

Additional Inspection Services

Oftentimes, home inspectors will recommend specialists to homebuyers to provide further insight on specific items that the inspector doesn’t focus on. Additional service inspections that you may choose to add on, along with their average prices, include:

Specialized Inspection ServiceAverage Cost
Radon Testing$125
Chimney Inspection$249
Termite Inspection$75
Sewer Line Camera Inspection$300
Septic Inspection$225
Mold Inspection$350
Well Inspection$450
Well Water Testing$105
Asbestos Testing$600
Lead Testing$300

While these costs are only estimates of specialized inspection costs, they give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay when you ask for them. In addition to these services, a foundation specialist or structural engineer may be recommended to further assess a foundation problem. This specialist will provide quotes and recommendations on how to correct the problem.

The cost of specialists’ inspections will vary widely based on the specific company and the field. For instance, a roofing specialist may provide a free quote in hopes of getting the work, while a plumber may charge you $100 for a site visit or a structural engineer may cost $800.

How to Choose a Home Inspector in Chicago

While the benefits of having a home inspection done are very clear, trying to choose the right Chicago home inspector can be a challenge. As you search the market, you’ll notice that you have many options to choose from. How do you know which one to choose and, more importantly, which inspector you can trust?

To help you out, we’ve put together some tips for finding reliable, efficient, and affordable home inspection services in the Chicagoland area:

  • Ask around. If you have friends or family members that have recently purchased homes in your area, they are likely going to be the best way to find a good inspector. After all, the best recommendations are those that come from firsthand experiences.
  • Read reviews. Another good way to find reliable inspectors in Chicago is to read reviews and testimonials from past clients. How many happy customers do the inspectors have and are there any complaints posted about them online?
  • Find an inspector with broad knowledge. While specialized contractors are excellent resources, when it comes to a home inspection, you want to choose someone who has a broad understanding of household structures. The right home inspector will be able to assess everything from HVAC to plumbing to roof issues to foundation problems.
  • Verify their license. Fortunately, home inspectors in the state of Illinois are licensed and regulated by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Contact them in order to verify that the inspector has a current license and ask them about their record.
  • Check how long the inspector has been in business. Working with an experienced inspector means that you’ll enjoy the benefits that come with someone who’s been performing professional inspections for a long time. During this time, they’ve likely encountered many complications and unique scenarios that allow them to inspect your home at a greater capacity.
  • Ask about insurance. Make sure you choose an inspector that carries errors and omissions insurance. This will protect you in the case that the inspector is negligent during the inspection.
  • Find out what the inspection includes. Before you agree on a specific inspection, make sure you know what your money is paying for. A good inspector will include an investigation of all the aforementioned systems of a home. In most cases, the inspection will take between two and four hours to complete – don’t hesitate to ask the inspector about their timeframe as well.
  • Request a sample inspection. Request a previous inspection to have an idea of what you can expect the inspector to provide you with. A reputable inspector will gladly send over a sample report to showcase their work. 
  • Know what home inspections cost in Chicago. In most cases, you want to select an inspector that charges anywhere from $200 to $800 for their services. For standard homes, this is the typical range, for mold and air sample testing the prices are usually on the higher end of the spectrum.

Like anything, finding the right home inspector in Chicago involves time to do the necessary research and ask the right questions. Ultimately, the money that you spend on a home inspection in Chicago could save you a lot, whether you use the information collected to negotiate repairs or concessions out of the seller or choose to avoid a bad deal entirely.

Check out the average mound septic system cost if you plan to redo your plumbing.

Related Questions

Who pays for a home inspection?

In most cases, the person requesting the home inspection is the one that pays for it. As such, the home buyer is usually the one that pays for the inspection in order to assess that the property they want to buy is structurally sound. However, there are some instances where the home seller may want to perform an inspection so they can find out if there are any potential issues that need to be considered when determining the proper asking price.

Is the price of a home inspection worth it?

It is very rare that a home inspection isn’t worth the cost. For both sellers and buyers, inspections help sales be finalized and ensure that everyone involved receives a fair deal. Home inspections give sellers the peace of mind that the price of their home is accurate, while they inform buyers of potential issues that may need to be repaired. Inspections are valuable because they often prevent expensive home maintenance surprises.

Should the seller be present during a home inspection?

Generally speaking, it’s recommended that the seller not be present during a home inspection as it could make the buyer feel uncomfortable and might create tension in the process moving forward.

Is a home inspection part of the closing costs?

No, home inspection costs are not part of the closing cost. A home inspection is entirely optional, meaning that neither the sales contract nor the lender requires one. Regardless, the inspection is still a great investment to make as it will give you a general overview of the condition of the home.

Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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