A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. The average cost may cost you between $300 – $500 according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. If the inspection unearths a major problem, such as mold or a crevice in the foundation, the sale could come to a halt.
A professional home inspection may seem like an unnecessary extra cost. Hiring a competent inspector could help you stave off expensive repairs and dubious deals later on. So, it’s important for you to understand how much does a home inspection cost before embarking on a transaction process.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a detailed examination of the overall status of a home. It usually happens before the sale of a property. It conducts by trained and certified home inspectors.
How long will it Take?
Generally, it takes no longer than an hour for a 1000 sq. ft. home. When it comes to bigger homes which are 2,000 sq. ft. or above usually take longer to inspect. Some inspectors also spend more time on inspection than others, regardless of the size of the home. The inspection of a single-family house to take two to three hours.
Who Should Pay this?
Usually, a home buyer covers the cost of a home inspection, once the seller has accepted their offer. The cost of a one-time inspection can be anywhere from $300 to $500, depending on the size and location of the house.
Keep in mind you’re negotiating to purchase a home, meaning that nothing is off the table as far as bargaining is involved. Try asking the seller to cover the cost of the home inspection, especially if it turns out positive and you opt to buy the home.
Sellers may add the home inspection expense to the total closing costs. If the seller is confident their property meets the requirements of the buyer, they may want to streamline the final sale for prospective buyers.
When making an offer on a property, you should already have an idea of how much money you’re willing to spend on repairs and updates. This means you’ll have some options in the case that the home inspector discovers that significant repairs are required and they surpass what you had indicated in your offer.
You can opt to bargain a new price for the house with the seller, cover the entire or part of the repair costs, or withdraw from the negotiation altogether and go on with your hunt for a new property.
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Home Inspection Includes
- Attic, which includes the condition of insulation.
- The general condition of interior walls and ceilings.
- The general condition of the doors and door frame.
- The overall condition of the floors.
- Heating and cooling systems.
- Interior electrical systems.
- Structure – both interior and exterior.
- Interior plumbing systems.
- The general condition of the windows.
Other additional areas that may be part of a home inspection include the search for the presence of:
These extra areas usually require expert certification, so you should have them checked out by an experienced and certified home inspector, and they may attract an extra fee.
Inspections should be non-invasive, which means it shouldn’t entail drilling holes in the walls, destroying fixtures, or otherwise compromising the structural integrity of the home.
Sometimes, more invasive inspections are needed, but they should be performed with the homeowner’s written consent. For this reason, it’s advisable to be present throughout the inspection.
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
The average cost of a home inspection is about $300, with condominiums and small houses below 1,000 sq. ft. going for as little as $200. Bigger houses (more than 2,000 sq. ft.) will cost $400 and above.
Radon and mold inspection will cost a little bit more, but you can make some savings by buying them together with a home inspection.
What Extra Costs Should You Consider?
Although your quote should be reasonably accurate, it’s imperative to be aware of the extra costs that could arise. For example, some inspectors classify isolated garages as a component of the main property and don’t bill for them, while others treat them as outbuildings and charge something extra to examine them.
Also, things like septic systems and swimming pools attract additional costs. Below are some other important things that might increase the overall home inspection cost.
- Radon Testing – The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, so it’s worth the additional $100-200 that you might pay to have the property tested for Radon.
- Asbestos – If you’re dealing with a newer home, you don’t have to stress about asbestos, but if the house you’re planning to buy was constructed before 1989, you should have it checked for asbestos. Inspectors usually charge $400-800 for a 1,500 sq. ft. property.
- Mold testing – You should expect to part with around $820 to have your house tested for mold, and an additional $2,200 to have it professionally removed.
- Lead – Lead inspection is usually performed on houses built before 1978. Inspectors usually look for lead in the paint and pipes. Lead testing costs around $300, while its removal ranges from $950 to $2,300.
Special Home Inspections Cost
Special inspections surpass the scope of a typical home inspection. They cover issues like well-water, radon, and termites. They can increase the overall inspection cost by $25-$200, based on whether lab testing or special equipment will be needed during the inspection.
Hidden and Unexpected Costs to Consider
Although a home inspection is an extremely important component of the property transaction process, some buyers choose to skip it to save a few hundred dollars. This usually results in being an extremely expensive mistake – you may save a few hundred dollars now, but you’ll end up spending thousands of dollars later.
- Foundation repairs – Water, unstable soil, earthquakes, and other natural conditions can cause foundation damage, and humidity and moisture can accumulate and result in mold growth. Repairing foundation damages can cost you anything from $525 to $10,000.
- Basement – What comes to your mind when you see a basement in your prospective home? You may think of a bedroom, den, or even a playroom, but for you to actually use the basement, it must be spruced up into a legally habitable room. This can cost you about $10,000-$35,000, especially if handled by a professional.
- Windows – Windows account for the largest percentage of energy loss in any house. If they aren’t well fitted in the frame, if they don’t close well, or if they have old and dilapidated weather-stripping, then installing new windows is the best decision. Having new windows installed when the frame is still in perfect shape will cost you around $300-$700 per window. If the frame is old, rotted, or damaged because of termite or other pest infestation, then you should expect to part with $450-1,000 for each window.
- Electrical – Electrical standards have undergone a rapid transformation over the years. Today, we have houses built with some kind of electrical lifestyle in mind, but older houses may feature additional outlets incorporated for convenience without taking the increased demand into consideration. Overloaded circuits and improperly done DIY plug additions are fire hazards. Having the entire electrical system of the house brought up to code can cost you around $10,000-$15,000.
When it is a New Construction
A professional home inspection on a new building will give you the advantage of an objective third-party examination. You’ll get important insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the house. Having a new construction inspected by a professional will cost you about $250.
On average, home inspection costs about $315, so the annual inspection cost will depend on the number of times you’re willing to have the house inspected per year. For instance, if you have it inspected twice a year, you’ll have to part with around $630.
Mobile Home Inspection Cost
The fee for inspecting a mobile home is almost equal to that of inspecting a site-built house. The price ranges from $250-$400, with mobile homes in resorts and urban areas being on the higher end of the range.
General Home Inspection Cost
A general home inspection can cost between $300 and $500. To minimize your expenses on inspection, you can have both general and special home inspection performed by the same inspector.
Mold Inspection Cost
Some of the most common molds likely to infest a home include:
Of the six, Acremonium, Stachybotrys, and Aspergillus are the most hazardous, calling for immediate professional removal. The remaining three should also be removed as soon as possible because they are harmful to individuals with allergic reactions to mold. The mold inspection cost is around $820.
Although it’s not the job of the inspector to check for mold, most professional home inspectors will inform you of noticeable signs of mold infestation and water damage.
Pillar to Post
The cost of a pillar to post home inspection is unique to every region, but the inspector will give you an accurate estimate. This will allow you to select a pillar to post a package that suits your needs and budget.
VA Home Inspection Cost
VA home inspection fees vary by the type of home and its location, but the VA appraisal fee can be anywhere from $300 to $500.
Here is all you need to know about VA home inspection.
Specialized Inspections Cost
Specialized inspection cost changes depending on the type. For instance, the radon test ranges from $100 to $200, while asbestos inspection ranges from $400 to $800.
What’s a Pre- Inspection – And What Does It Cost?
A homeowner can hire a certified home inspector to ensure the house is in perfect working order before putting it on the market. The aim of a pre-inspection is to remove any issues in advance. As a homeowner or seller, you can expect to part with about $315 to have your house pre-inspected by a professional.
How Do You Save Costs with a Home Inspection?
- Hire a professional – Very few home buyers have sufficient knowledge and a keen eye for detecting problems, so it’s imperative you hire a professional to examine the house you’re planning to buy. A professional inspector will give you a reliable and detailed report. They will look at the right places, identifying areas that need improvement and those that need replacement.
Professionals will also accurately determine the overall cost of purchasing the home including the renovation cost, which should be incorporated into the flat buying price before attaining the final buying price.
- Hire the same inspector for all your potential home inspections – If you’re planning to have different types of inspections performed on your potential home, hiring the same inspector for all your projects is a cost-effective solution. The inspector will give you a comprehensive and pocket-friendly package, especially if all the inspections are being done at the same time.
- Attend the home inspection – Although an inspector might be an expert, only you will evaluate the house to see if it matches your unique needs. Being present during the inspection allows you to ensure everything is inspected and a detailed report is written.
- Ensure the utilities are in good working order –Homes feature certain utilities that raise the buying price. They include the water heater, room heaters, dishwasher, garbage disposal, air conditioning, and so forth.
Why are Inspectors So Expensive?
The cost of a home inspection depends largely on the property’s size and location. Generally, the greater the home’s square footage size, the greater its inspection cost.
Many inspectors usually charge a uniform fee to assess a house, depending on size. For instance, a 2,000 sq. ft. may attract an inspection fee of around $300. If the house exceeds 2,000 sq. ft., the inspector may increase the fee by about $25 for every extra 500 sq. ft.
The home inspection cost in a rural local location is a bit lower than that of urban location because a drop in housing demand translates into a decline in home inspector demand.
Another factor that may affect the cost of an inspection is the property’s age. The older the property, the longer and more difficult the inspection. The older house may consist of outdated structural components and severe “wear and tear,” calling for a longer, more costly home inspection.
The health of the area’s real estate market is another important factor in determining the price of a home inspection. A strong real estate market translates to more inspections and increased price per inspection because the demand for home inspectors is higher.
The experience of the home inspector is also important in determining the inspection cost. Experienced home inspectors tend to charge higher fees compared to their less experienced counterparts.
A home inspection is instrumental in helping you avoid potentially costly surprises, such as hidden damage or structural defects. Although not a legal requirement, it pays to have a home examined by a professional before completing a purchase.
Remember, buying a home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make. So dedicating a small amount of your hard-earned money towards inspection today may save you a lot of money in the future.
A home inspection also provides you with the details of any possible home repairs required. You can use the inspection report to bargain the required repairs as a component of the sale or devise ways to fix the issues yourself once the deal is closed.
Hiring a Home Inspector
The home inspection project is strictly for certified and experienced inspectors, not for do-it-yourselfers or amateurs. Here are a few practical tips to help you hire a competent home inspector.
- Seek referrals – Your friends, family members, and colleagues who have had their home inspected before may be able to refer you to reliable inspectors. Your real estate agent may also be an important source for referral. All you need to do is to ask.
- Ensure your potential home inspector is certified and experience – Whether or not you opt to hire an inspector recommended by your personal social network or real estate agent, you should ask for evidence of state certification or professional membership in groups like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the National Association of Home Inspectors, or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). What’s more, your potential inspector must have done around 1,000 inspections and been active in the industry for at least three years.
- Request a sample report from at least three potential inspectors – The report will give you a hint of how detailed each inspector is. Then, you can settle for an inspector who develops a thorough report at a budget-friendly cost.
A home inspection is usually scheduled by the home buyer once the seller has accepted their offer. Insurance companies and lenders may also call for the inspection of specific items before approving a loan or writing an insurance policy.
If the report reveals sufficient severe faults, the buyer may opt to withdraw from the purchase contract, the insurance company may provide expensive cover, and the lender may decline to approve the loan application.
The buyer may use the report to try to negotiate a reduction in the buying price to take care of the cost of repairs. They may also ask the homeowner to make the necessary repairs before proceeding with the purchase contract.
The seller could also schedule a pre-inspection before advertising the property for sale. In this case, the seller is responsible for hiring an inspector and paying for their services. Mostly, a pre-inspection aims at making sure the house is in the right condition before releasing it to the market.