Home inspections vary in price depending on the size of your home and if your inspector is professionally certified, but you can generally expect to pay $300 to $500.
The average home inspection will cost anywhere from $300 to $500
Home inspections aren’t required by lenders, but most homebuyers get one anyway
To ensure you’re getting the best value for your inspection, make sure the inspector is properly certified
Before a lender agrees to loan you money for a home, you’ll have to go through a lengthy approval process. That process involves everything from preapproval to underwriting to a home appraisal, taking weeks and sometimes months from beginning to end. In addition to the aforementioned steps, it’s also highly recommended that you get a detailed inspection of the home.
Although home inspections typically aren’t required by lenders, it’s worthwhile to get one before settling on a home. That means hiring a licensed professional to evaluate every aspect of the home — from the plumbing to the foundation to the roof to any potential pest infestations. If there are any problems discovered during the inspection, that will give you leverage to negotiate down the asking price.
But how much do inspections cost?
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the average home inspection costs anywhere from $300 to $500. However, inspection costs tend to vary depending on your home’s location and size. Inspection costs are also impacted by how experienced or inexperienced the inspector is.
A standard home inspection runs the average homebuyer $300 to $500. However, a condo or small home under 1,000 feet can cost as little as $200 to inspect. Homes over 2,000 square feet generally cost $400 or more to inspect.
So what all goes into determining the cost of a home inspection? While it generally varies from company to company, you can expect the following factors to impact the cost of your inspection.
The square footage of the home
The amount of time it takes to do the inspection
The age of your home — an older home is going to require a more thorough inspection
The experience of your home inspector — an inspector who has inspected over 2,000 homes might charge more than an inexperienced inspector
The scope of the inspection services
To that last bullet point, a standard inspection generally won’t include services such as radon testing, asbestos testing, mold inspections, or termite inspections; you’ll have to pay an additional amount for those services. Some inspectors may offer inspection “packages” at a discounted price that include these services in addition to a general inspection.
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As the buyer, you typically bear the cost of the home inspection. But in certain cases, the home seller may offer to cover the inspection costs in addition to other closing costs associated with the mortgage.
Since your inspection is serviced by a third-party contractor and you initiate the transaction independent of your lender, you’ll typically pay for the inspection at the conclusion of the evaluation. If your lender provides the inspector, you may be charged on the day you close, along with the rest of your closing costs.
A standard home inspection will take two to three hours. The inspector will generally check the following areas of your prospective home to make sure everything checks out.
Windows and doors
The exterior and interior structure
At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a report listing any problem areas in the home. This home inspection checklist will help you determine what needs to be repaired or replaced and whether you’d like to proceed with the purchase altogether.
One of the first things you should check for — before even looking at inspection rates — is if the inspector is professionally certified. Some states even require inspectors to have certification in order for the inspection to be legitimate.
Before settling on an inspector, it’s also important to look for any potential conflicts of interest. An inspector who doubles as a contractor may not be the most unbiased assessor of your property; more problems with your home potentially mean more money for their construction business. Be sure that you’re not doing business with a disingenuous inspection company.
To ensure you’re getting the best and most impartial inspection possible, check for companies that are certified with the following certification organizations:
Certified Master Inspectors (CMIs)
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)
National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)
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Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
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