A home inspection is one of the most important parts of owning a home, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. Often new homeowners skip the whole process of a home inspection to save money. And later regret after finding the underlying faults and repairing costs in their dream home. By undermining the value of professional home inspection, the risk of buying a cash-drag is inevitable. A home inspection that is performed by a professional home inspector, however, can easily outweigh its financial cost.
A reliable home inspection not only lets you identify the faults and issues in your new home before shifting. But based on a certified professional home inspection report, if your contract allows, you can negotiate the final deal price, take time to repair the flaws and back off from the deal, and can get saved from a huge loss or future liability. A home inspection benefits not only the buyer but also the seller by ensuring the deal is safe and secure. To know the cost of inspection of your new home, we first need to understand the requirements and factors that decide the cost of the inspection.
As per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,“Costs of a home inspection vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, the scope of services and other factors.
For a general price quote for a home inspection, it costs roughly around $336. The price range, however, lies from $278 to $399. One cannot be too sure about the actual cost of a home inspection as it largely depends on the location and the size of the home. Some of the home inspectors offer a fixed price for a home of up to 2,000 square feet. But for an additional 500 square feet, an extra charge of $25 may be added.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A house inspection, by definition, is a thorough examination of a home carried out by a competent and licenced professional home inspector who will look for present and potential problems. It is critical that you grasp the house inspection process, particularly in terms of what services are covered and how much they cost. Many homeowners have no idea how much a home inspection costs, what it covers, or how long it takes. Let’s take a closer look at this situation.
A home inspector will visually inspect the home, followed by a thorough manual test using their tools, knowledge, and experience for things such as electrical and plumbing systems, HVAC components, safety features, windows and doors, insulation, foundation, basement, and more. Home inspectors then provide a full written report on the property’s actual state and functionality.
As a buyer, you can include an inspection contingency in your offer, which allows you to seek repairs cost and time based on the inspection report’s findings. You can also cancel the deal if the property is not the right fit for you that too without any financial or legal penalty based on the written inspection report.
What Factors Determine Home Inspection Cost?
There are a lot of factors that decide the final cost of home inspection. For example, if you count just the size in for an estimate, then for a house that is between 1000 and 2000 square feet, the house inspection will cost approximately $315. For bigger houses, over 2000 square feet, the house inspection costs maybe $400 or more. However, there are many more factors that determine the home inspection cost and some of them are:
- Region of the house
The home inspection cost calculator depends on two important factors. i.e. the location of the home and the size of the home. For one to calculate the inspection cost, the ZIP code is quite an essential factor in defining the pricing of the home inspection. The region where your home is located, the more crowded the city is, the higher would be the cost of the inspection. For example, As per a recent research, the average home inspection cost in Austin, Texas is $450, compared to New York City’s average cost of $1,000, Michigan’s average cost of $300.
The average cost of home inspection derived from the national average of $336 can be taken into consideration. One must be aware that the cost of a home inspection lies between $278 and $399. These figures are based on actual project costs as reported by 24,542 HomeAdvisor members. It should be duly noted that $200 and $500 are the two extremes of the price continuum.
- Size of the house
The average cost of home inspection varies because it depends on whether you own a house, condo or mobile home. As the work perimeter and time increases with area. Higher the footage area of the house higher would be the cost of the inspection. In the same region, the cost of a home inspection can vary from $200 to $500.
There are also Veterans Affairs inspections costs that are on average the same as regular home inspection costs. Therefore, the size of the home plays a key role in home inspection costs.
- Age of the house
As the age of the house increases, the issues with it increase manifolds. There are a lot of additional tests that need to be conducted on wiring and HVAC settings that need not be problematic in new houses. And if the house is newly constructed drywall inspection costs get included in the bill. And sometimes the inspectors need to make several visits.
- Scope of the service and no. of visits
A home inspection is not limited to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) check list, but the inspector’s bird’s eye view also matters a lot. Therefore the detail with which the inspector has inspected the house is the prime deciding factor of inspection. This also includes the requirement of a written report. Some buyers just need remarks not a detailed report therefore the cost of inspection can also vary depending upon their requirement.
- Weather, market, and availability of inspectors
If we go by the same region, same scope of service, and even similar type of area and house age the factors that decide the final cost will be the condition of the real estate market, weather conditions, and availability of inspectors.
With all these factors taken into consideration, it is important to understand that a reliable and expert home inspector’s work cost can help you make an informed decision on one of the biggest investments of your life, which is your home.
For a better insight, here is a list of examples of houses and their respective home inspection prices:
- Condo Inspection Cost- The Condo inspection cost can be covered under approximately $200 for an area of less than 1,000 square feet. However, additional charges may apply if the area is more than 1,000 square feet.
- Mobile Home Inspection Cost- A Mobile home inspection costs approximately $250. In case the home is double- or triple-wide, the prices may go up proportionately.
- New Construction Home Inspection Cost- New construction house inspection cost is approximately $400. Often homeowners tend to neglect the new home inspection. But it is worth evaluating the structural health of the property before taking its full ownership.
- VA Home Inspection Cost- Veteran Affairs inspections are not different from any other forms of inspection. One can go for an average cost of home inspection of approximately $340.
Who pays for the home inspection?
As part of the process of finalizing the cost of a house, the buyer usually pays for a home inspection for their safety, security, and peace of mind. In addition, a seller can pay for a home inspection before listing to represent to the potential buyer the actual condition of the house.
Buyers and sellers can both benefit from a home inspection before or after the deal to make repairs where needed. It is always better to pay $450 in-home inspection before the final deal than to regret and spend $4500 on repairing afterward.
How long does a Home Inspection take?
If you don’t have to wait for the inspector to arrive on time at the site on the day of inspection, a home inspection does not take more than two to three hours in a single visit. That may depend upon the scope of service and no. of visits. After taking some samples from the inspection the lab result requires at least 24 hours and then the final written home inspection report can take around 24-72 hrs. That means if you understand every point of the written report. In ideal cases, the home inspection process will be completed in 3 days at least.
What if your home inspector misses something?
If your inspector misses out on any point or If you uncover a severe problem after you’ve moved in that wasn’t included in the written inspection report, call your inspector to learn about your alternatives. Liability insurance from a professional home inspector may cover the cost of damages.
It will be necessary to show that the damage was pre-existing and had not happened since you moved home, or that there were warning signs of a problem before you moved in.
Please keep in mind that you may only do this if you hire the house inspector yourself. The house inspector’s obligation is to the seller, not to you if they were hired and paid for by the seller. Another reason to hire your home inspection is to avoid surprises.
It is strongly advised that you attend the home inspection and that your seller accompany you. When you get what might be overwhelming quantities of information, your seller will have expertise with home inspections and will be able to assist you to distinguish between severe concerns and recommended fixes. It will also be easier for you to negotiate the final deal price.
How much do special home inspections cost?
Apart from the ANSI checklist of home inspection in the US, there are certain factors where the buyer wants to double-check to have complete confidence in their decision. This specialized check may require sophisticated tools and lab results that adds to the final cost of home inspection.
These tests include Asbestos, molds, and termites infestation, and other region-related queries that can also increase the cost. For each test, at least the value can increase by $25. Also, with these tests the no. of visits also may increase thus further adding to the cost of the inspection. A pre-drywall inspection will cost between $100 and $300 and will include a tour before the contractors install drywall. Thus a basic inspection that started from $200 can go beyond $400 if the special tests are added to the list.
What Is More In Store For You?
There is a range of home inspection cost that is offered to homeowners. A home inspection can help you to figure out a lot of issues about structure, systems and other components of the building. Following is a list of types of home inspection which can help you make a smarter and wiser choice when it comes to home inspection prices.
- Thermal Imaging Home Inspection Cost
More than a regular home inspection, Thermal imaging home inspection can help in identifying issues such as termite nests, electrical problems, rodent infestations, heat and energy loss, ventilation problems, foundation cracks, structural concerns and missing insulation. However, when it comes to the cost of your regular home inspection, Thermal imaging home inspection may increase the pricing up to $250. It can be a worthy investment as it helps in figuring out minute problem areas that might not be covered in a regular house inspection.
- Cost of Home Inspection and Appraisal
There is also an option of bundling up an inspection along with home appraisal costs. This might lead to home inspection cost of $750 on average. It is a good combination as most of the people pay between $300 and $600 for the appraisal alone.
- Hire a Home Inspector
Since a home inspection is best performed by a seasoned expert with years of experience, DIY inspections might not be as effective. One needs to hire an expert with the knowledge of home construction to assist in understanding the condition of the property. An average home inspector cost depends on the location of the house. It becomes a worthy investment when it comes to hiring an apt home inspector who can provide you with an overview of the condition of the building. It helps in addressing the issues before complete ownership of the house.
A home inspection is a wholesome affair which involves identifying the problem areas of the house. When it comes to how much does home inspection cost, the aforementioned points will help to make a better choice and in picking the smarter price for their houses. Moreover, it is a good and worthy investment because it provides you with a good overview of the condition of the home.
What Top Issues Does an Inspector Look For?
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a licensed home inspector will look at a long list of items that the buyer or amateur cannot assess. . The following are some of the list’s highlights:
- HVAC (temperature permitting)
To guarantee that the furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, ductwork, thermostat, and leakage controls are all functioning properly, a thorough visual inspection of the HVAC system is essential. They check the performance of a gas or oil furnace to see if it lights up and heats or cools the house efficiently. Home inspectors normally only assess heating and air conditioning in the winter and summer, respectively, because testing them in the summer or winter might ruin the system and produce an incorrect reading.
- Electrical and plumbing systems
Any toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, faucets, water lines, and pipes, as well as any other spots where water flows, will be inspected by a home inspector. Examining the wires that enter the electrical panel from outside the home is part of electrical work. They’ll also make certain that no bushes or plants are blocking the wiring. In older homes, they examine visible wires and ensure that they are properly insulated. All of the home’s wall outlets will be tested with a multimeter. They’ll then inspect all of the light switches and fixtures in the house, noting which ones aren’t working.
- The outdoor surface of the home
Home inspectors will only step onto a roof to ensure that it is safe, that it is less than three stories high. They may also examine the steepness to check if it can tolerate rain, snow, or wind. The energy efficiency of the attic insulation may be checked by home inspectors. They’ll also check the attic ventilation since a poorly ventilated attic can collect moisture and lead to mold growth.
- Indoors of the home
On the walls, ceilings, and floors, a reliable home inspector will search for discoloration, mildew, or water damage. They’ll be on the lookout for draping ceilings, fissures, and functionality of windows, doors and locks.
- Foundation, Basement, and structure
A shifted chimney, a sunken porch, or ruined steps leading up to the home are all symptoms of a sagging foundation. The real estate inspector will spend time looking for signs of water damage in the basement.
How Do You Choose a Good Inspector?
In the United States, finding a home inspector that can give you completely unbiased information on the home may be difficult. With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to choose a superb home inspector on whom you can base your final selection.
- Don’t take the recommendation of a real estate agent or broker.
A house inspector in the United States who has been recommended by your realtor may feel compelled to do a cursory inspection. Because the agent’s or broker’s purpose is to complete the transaction as soon as possible. This is why home inspections are carried out. Homebuyers will benefit from having a competent professional on their side who will look out for their best interests.
- Verify the applicants’ expertise and dependability.
Contacting professional organizations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), or the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers, which are certified professional engineers and architects who perform home inspections in the United States, can help you find a home inspector.
Learn more about the group’s member inspectors’ knowledge and certifications, as well as the services they provide, by visiting their website. Perform an online search for the business with which the inspectors are associated, as well as feedback from previous customers. Also, acknowledge his qualifications, but maintain a professional demeanour.
- Consider their education and work experience
In addition to professional credentials and accreditations, look for someone who has spent years evaluating homes in the same region.
- Examine other Home Inspection Reports in the United States
Request a copy of one of the instructor’s previous home inspection reports as a sample. Based on the tests, screening, time spent, and quality of detail in their observations, compare the reports to those of other home inspectors.
- Figure out what you’ll get in exchange for your money
The cost of an inspection is determined by the scope of the inspection and the type of inspection equipment used. Inquire about any hidden costs or extra services.
Do not fall victim to false promises by the seller. A reliable home inspection can easily outweigh its cost. Book your future home’s inspection today!