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Home Inspections in Illinois

When it comes to the critical process of buying or selling a home in the state of Illinois, one cannot overstate the importance of a comprehensive home inspection. Illinois, with its diverse housing stock and varying climatic conditions, presents unique challenges for homeowners. Whether you’re a prospective buyer checking out homes for sale in Rockford, IL, or looking to sell a house in Chicago, understanding the ins and outs of Illinois home inspections is pivotal. 

In this Redfin article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this essential step in the real estate journey, shedding light on what to expect, why it matters, and how to navigate the process seamlessly. So, let’s embark on a journey to demystify home inspections and empower you to make informed decisions about your most significant investment – your home.

Why you should get a home inspection in Illinois

Getting a home inspection in Illinois is crucial because it provides valuable insights into the condition of a property you’re considering buying. It helps uncover potential hidden issues or safety hazards that may not be apparent during a casual walkthrough. A thorough home inspection can save you from costly surprises and provide peace of mind about your investment.

Michael Ofsanik, owner of 911 Home Inspection Services, stresses that homebuyers should always get potential homes inspected because many contractors may cut corners or be unfamiliar with basic building standards.

Your next home is just a tap awayAccess new homes anytime, anywhere with the Redfin app.Download appAre there any specialized inspections that Illinois buyers should consider?

Illinois buyers should consider specialized inspections based on their specific needs and concerns. Some specialized inspections include radon testing, mold assessments, termite inspections, and sewer line inspections. These additional assessments can help you identify particular issues that might not be covered in a standard home inspection.

Tim Kerfin of Kerfin Inspections stressed the importance of a sewer scope inspection. “Sewer line issues can be thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention a backhoe tractor in your yard,” he says. “Also, be sure to get sewer line insurance through your insurance company.”

“We strongly suggest that all clients get a sewer lateral inspection,” says David from Homes and Order. “This is especially true in the Chicago area where the plumbing infrastructure can be over 75 years old. We often see damaged clay or cast iron sewer lines which are very expensive to fix.”

“Buyers should consider a termite inspection (NPMA-33) prior to closing on a new home or property,” adds Dave McCracken, CEO of A.N.T. Pest Control. “Many buyers avoid this type of inspection when it is not required. Assuming everything is fine can sometimes be a costly mistake.”

Erik Wegscheid of Build Tech Inspections recommends getting the house checked for radon. “Radon testing is crucial in Illinois due to the state’s geological makeup, which makes it prone to high radon levels,” he says. “This odorless, colorless gas is a leading cause of lung cancer, and Illinois has a higher incidence of radon-related health issues than many other states. Regular radon testing is essential to identify and mitigate potential health risks, ensuring the safety and well-being of Illinois residents.”

“Home energy audits are a rising need in Illinois as houses age and technology advances,” says InspectorJo. “Homeowners who follow their energy auditor’s suggested improvements can ensure that their home performs at its greatest potential, by increasing occupant comfort and reducing energy consumption. This means fewer humid, sweaty nights in the summer, a warm cozy house in the winter, and big savings on your monthly utility bills.”

Are home inspections required in Illinois?

Home inspections are not legally required in the state of Illinois. However, they are strongly recommended and widely considered a standard practice in real estate transactions. While there is no legal mandate for buyers to conduct a home inspection, it is generally seen as a crucial step in the home buying process.

“Home inspections are not required in Illinois; however, you should not buy a home without one,” says David Miller of Miller Home Inspection. “Be sure to include the contingency for a home inspection in your contract. If the seller does not allow you to have a home inspection, even if buying “as is”, you should see that as a red flag. The things that a home inspector can bring to light may greatly impact the value or safety of the home.”

“A home inspection is always a good idea when buying a home, but not required in Illinois,” says Champaign, IL, realtor Stefanie Pratt. “You will need to check your purchase contract on how the inspection requests are allowed and what is acceptable to ask if any issues arise. Most contracts don’t allow a buyer to get out of the contract by asking for too many things. It allows for “what makes the house not function as intended” on those main items such as roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, water, and sewer.”

How much does a home inspection cost in Illinois?

The cost of a home inspection in Illinois can vary depending on factors such as the size and age of the property, location, and the inspector’s experience. According to Michael Savage of MJS Property Inspections, you can expect to pay about $400 to get a typical single-family home inspected in Illinois. Specialized inspections may come with additional costs.

Can you sell a house in Illinois without an inspection?

In Illinois, you can sell a house without a pre-listing inspection, as it’s not a legal requirement. However, it’s important to note that most buyers will request an inspection as a standard practice during the negotiation process. Sellers who choose not to have an inspection before listing their property may face challenges in attracting potential buyers or in negotiations if issues are discovered later in the process.

“You can sell a home without a home inspection as long as the buyer waives their right to conduct a home inspection,” says Zohaib Ali of Zara Law Group. “There is a section on the contract that is initialed by both parties if the buyer waives their right to conduct a home inspection.”

Expert advice for buyers getting a home inspection in Illinois

“Check for reviews from the home inspector,” says Charles Bellefontaine of the Illinois Association of Home Inspectors. “Getting a license to be a home inspector is too easy. The quality of inspections is all over the board. Reading reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and other sites can give a great insight to the quality of an inspector.”

Steve Johnson of Beneficial Home Inspection Services stresses the importance of vetting your inspector. “All home inspectors and home inspections are not the same. Do some research before choosing your inspector. Ask questions to see what is inspected and included. Will your inspector walk the roof or just view with a drone? Inspectors with a construction background, who are experienced, and with good reviews are recommended.”

“The home inspection is possibly the most overlooked aspect of the purchase process, yet easily one of the most vital,” says The HouseDoctors Property Inspections. “While they aren’t officially required, it’s in every buyer’s best interest to have an inspection performed. A few hundred dollars spent now can save you thousands later. The inspection is your best opportunity to gather vital information about your purchase, and the last chance you have to protect your investment.”“The home inspection is a critical step in the home buying or selling process,” says Rich Hernandez of Chicagoland And Midwest Home Inspections. “Choose a qualified and experienced inspector, communicate your expectations, and don’t rush the inspection. Remember that cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to safeguarding your investment. By following these guidelines, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the home inspection process and ensure the best outcome for all parties involved.”

Getting an Illinois home inspection: the bottom line

An Illinois home inspection is the only way to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy a new house. Don’t wait until you’re stuck spending thousands of dollars on an issue that could have been spotted beforehand. Protect your investment and your bank account with an inspection before you finalize your purchase.

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