Buying or selling a home is, by nature, a process that involves some degree of risk and uncertainty. According to real estate website Trulia, around 4% of home sales fall through between offer and close, imposing costs on both buyer and seller. The right home inspection can help to reduce that risk, ensuring that both parties to the sale are aware of potential problems or issues with the property and able to discuss potential repairs to be made before the sale is finalized. 

The home inspection, then, is a high-stakes moment in the sale or purchase of a home, and finding a home inspector who can get it right can help to avoid any number of catastrophic outcomes, including the failure of the sale or a missed issue that is costly for the buyer down the line. When choosing a home inspector, it is paramount that the parties choose one that can bring local expertise, understanding the issues that may make a home inspection unique in the Chicagoland area.

What Is A Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home. During an inspection, the inspector looks for structural and mechanical concerns, as well as potential safety hazards. Your inspector will also try to determine the age of major systems around the property, including the roofing, HVAC components, and water heaters. During a standard home inspection, an inspector will generally observe more than 200 items throughout the home with a keen and objective eye. A properly trained inspector is unbiased and thorough, and will review a house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect another. 

What Makes Illinois Home Inspectors Unique?

Unlike many states, Illinois law requires home inspectors to be licensed. This licensing is regulated and administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. This rigorous licensing process requires inspectors to complete 60 hours of approved education, pass a state licensing exam, and meet continuing education requirements to maintain that license. Many are also certified by the American Home Inspectors Training Institute, an organization that promotes high standards of practice and professionalism. 

These high standards mean that a home inspection in the state of Illinois is likely to be conducted with more rigor and consistency than inspections in other states. Choosing an inspector who is fully accredited and licensed is a critical step in ensuring your interests are protected and your home inspection is thorough.

How Are Chicagoland Home Inspections Different From Other Inspections?

The most obvious difference between the Chicagoland area and much of the rest of the country is the area’s unique climate and weather. Chicago winters can bring temperatures well below freezing, as well as snow and harsh winter storms, while Chicago summers are often marked by temperatures in excess of 90 degrees fahrenheit. These extraordinary swings mean that we ask a lot of our homes in different conditions, making a thorough home inspection critical. A home inspector will look for signs of weather damage to the exterior components of the home, including signs of water intrusion into the foundation, basement, and attic areas of the home, as well as the home’s insulation and susceptibility to extreme temperatures. The inspector will also evaluate the landscaping and drainage of the home’s exterior areas, ensuring that water is properly draining away from the home, instead of flowing toward the home or pooling in areas where it might cause damage down the road.

The inspector also inspects the critical systems of the home, confirming that the home’s plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems are in good working condition. While the inspector cannot look inside walls or under floors, these checks can provide critical protections for buyers. Signs that a home’s plumbing system has been damaged by freezing temperatures, for example, can alert a buyer that a more thorough inspection is necessary. Similarly, in an environment where both heating and air conditioning are critical, ensuring that the home is well insulated against drafts and that the home’s HVAC system has been properly maintained and is likely to last can avoid expensive and even potentially dangerous consequences for homeowners if a system fails at a critical time.

Another factor that can make Chicagoland home inspections different from those elsewhere in the nation is Chicago’s unique blend of older homes, remodeled homes, and new construction. While inspections are important for both new and older homes, the potential issues facing newer homes are different from those that may characterize older construction. Building materials and construction techniques have changed over time, and an inspector familiar with the potential problems facing homes of different vintages is an essential partner in ensuring a smooth home sale transaction. 

Get Answers to Your Biggest Home Inspection Questions With Windy City Home Inspection

Curious about what goes into the home inspection process across Chicagoland? Looking for guidance or insight from an experienced home inspection team? That’s where we come in. 

With Windy City Home Inspection, buyers and sellers can expect a thorough, diligent inspection that never cuts corners. When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them — even if it means returning to your home. Click here to learn more about how we have adapted our process to help you stay safe during COVID-19. 

At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards — yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.