How much does a home inspection cost?

23 Nov

If you are in the market for new home, you are already aware that buying a new house comes with plenty of expenses. You must have a down payment, closing costs as well as cover the cost of a home inspection.

While you may be tempted to skip the home inspection as an unnecessary expense, don’t. Home inspections can reveal major issues with a home as well as minor ones that may impact your decision to purchase the home. Even minor issues can lead to an adjustment in the purchase price, in almost all cases, an inspection is a necessity when buying a home.

Let’s have a quick look at everything you need to know about home inspections.

Do You Need A Home Inspection?

The quick answer is absolutely. A home inspection is a great way to make sure you are aware of any potential issues with the home before you sign on the dotted line. In most cases, a home buyer will make the purchase of the home contingent on an inspection. 

Once the inspection is complete, homebuyers can use the information to decide whether they want to continue with the purchase, adjust the offer to reflect the repairs that may be needed or simply continue with the purchase at the original offer price. 

In many cases, your mortgage lender will strongly encourage or even require an inspection before they will fund the loan. They may require an inspection by an American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) certified professional. 

An inspection looks at the various part of the home you are considering, looking for issues in the various systems and components of the home. They will inspect the plumbing, foundation, roof, electrical systems, HVAC and chimney to name just a few. Once the inspection is finished, they will submit a home inspection report to you as well as your real estate agent.

How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?

The cost of a home inspection can vary depending on your location as well as the home size. While prices vary, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $600 for a professional home inspection. While this can seem expensive, an inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs if the inspector finds any major issues. The most helpful tip we can provide is to shop around, as some home inspectors like to charge more for the same job. Most importantly, make sure the home inspector you hire is a great reputation and long-term experience when it comes to inspecting homes. Speak with your real estate agent, friends and shop online for reviews before you decide on a home inspector. This process could save you several hundred dollars by taking a few minutes to shop around first.

Even if the inspection reveals only minor issues, it gives you peace of mind that the home you are purchasing is in good shape and you won’t be facing major repair bills in the near future.

Factors that help determine the cost of a home inspection

The cost of a home inspection will vary depending on a few different factors. In most cases, the location of the home, its square footage and the home inspector you choose will all impact the cost of the inspection. 

Location: Just like the cost of the home, the price for an inspection will vary depending on the location of the home. An inspection in a large city is more likely to be more expensive than one in a more rural area.

Here is a quick look at the cost of a home inspection in various areas according to data from HomeAdvisor:

  • Boston, Massachusetts: Average inspection cost: $410
  • Hartford, Connecticut: Average inspection cost: $488
  • Houston, Texas: Average inspection cost: $346
  • Baltimore, Maryland: Average inspection cost: $333
  • Los Angeles, California: Average inspection cost: $322
  • Chicago, Illinois: Average inspection cost: $318
  • Detroit, Michigan: Average inspection cost: $293

Square Footage: The size of the home will also impact the cost of the inspection. The more square footage the inspector has to examine, the higher the cost. While exact pricing will vary depending on your specific circumstances, the following average will give you an idea of how much an inspection will cost according to Thumbtack:

  • 1,000 – 1,500 square feet:  Average cost of $280
  • 1,501 – 2,000 square feet:  Average cost of $290
  • 2,001 – 2,500 square feet:  Average cost of $307
  • 2,501 – 3,000 square feet:  Average cost of $323

Home inspector: The cost of the inspection will also vary depending on which inspector you choose. Home inspectors that have decades of experience or more training may charge more than inspectors that have just been licensed. 

While you may be tempted to go with the cheapest home inspection, this may not be the best idea. The goal of an inspection is to discover any potential issues that could result in major repair costs in the near future, a cut rate inspector may miss some issues. Always check the credentials and certifications of any inspector you are considering. 

You made need additional inspections

While most inspectors are generalists that can inspect most systems in a home, there may be a need for specialist inspectors. A few additional inspections you may want to consider:

  • Pest inspections: If the inspector finds evidence of pest infestation, they may recommend that you have a pest control company to come in and access the situation. While this may involve additional costs, it is worth the cost, a cockroach or mice infestation can be costly to remove. 
  • Radon testing: While an inspector may do a basic radon test, if radon is discovered you may want to have a more in-depth radon test done and if necessary, radon mitigation. 
  • Foundation or structural inspection: If any foundation or structural issues are uncovered by the inspector, you should certainly consider having a foundation specialist or structural engineer to do a full inspection as foundation and structural issues can be very expensive to fix. 
  • Roof inspection: While most inspectors take a look at the roof, if they find any issues you may want to have a dedicated roof inspector have a look. Much like foundation issues roofing issues can quickly become very expensive.

Average cost of additional home inspections?

If you are in need of any additional home inspections you will have to cover the cost out of pocket, in most cases, the buyer is on the hook for inspection costs. Here are a few averages when it comes to the cost of additional inspections according to Rocket Mortgage:

Termite or other pest inspection: $50 – $280

  • Asbestos testing: $228 – $794
  • Mold testing: $250 – $300
  • Lead testing: $350 – $500
  • Foundation inspection: $300 – $1,000
  • Septic tank inspection: $100 – $250
  • Radon Testing: $144 – $715

Are home inspections included in closing costs?

In most cases, a home inspection is not included in the closing costs and the cost must be covered by the home buyer. Some home sellers have an inspection done before they put the house on the market and provide those results to potential buyers which can be helpful, but you may want to have your own inspection done if you are serious about a particular home. 

While having a home inspection done can be expensive, it is an absolutely necessity if you want to be sure the home you are buying is mechanically sound and avoid major repair bills after moving into your new home. 

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