Every home is unique, and the cost for a home inspection can vary.
Because each home is different, and every home inspector determines his or her own rates, it can feel like a guessing game for a home buyer to know which home inspector to hire.
A home inspection on an average home will typically cost between $400 and $600. Here are the most common variables that determine the cost of a home inspection:
Size of the home
The size of the home and square footage is one of the first questions asked by a home inspector, and it's one of the biggest determining factors in determining the cost of a home inspection. Inspectors use the information to establish not only the length of time the inspection will take, but also to help calculate the liability involved. After all, the more items there are to inspect, the greater the number of details required in the report.
Most home inspectors will include all areas to be inspected with the square footage estimates. This is not restricted to the number of square feet in the main living area, but also typically includes the garage, the basement and any outbuildings the buyer would like to have inspected. When you call a home inspector for an estimate, be sure to get a price quote based on all areas you would like included in your report.
The home’s foundation
The type of foundation the home has is a very important detail for the home inspection cost and the inspector.
While there are typically very few areas of concrete slab foundation that are visible due to floor coverings, a home with pier-and-beam foundation (that is, a home with a crawl space) will usually be accessible through a hole in the floor. This provides the home inspector the opportunity to directly observe the condition of the foundation and other systems, like plumbing drains. This, in turn, raises the prices of the home inspection.
Prices for foundation types will vary and should be noted by the buyer with each home inspector you contact.
Inspections for termites and other wood-destroying organisms
We provide home inspections in Texas, and in this state you must be a licensed pest professional to perform a termite and wood-destroying organism inspection, so our company calls a third party to fulfill this need.
Some home inspectors do carry the necessary license, so be sure to ask if this service is included in the price of the inspection or if an additional charge can be expected.
Extra features that can add to home inspection cost
There are some systems and conditions that are not standard or typical for every home that can add to the cost of a home inspection. These include:
• Private well systems
• Septic systems
• Barns, outbuildings, shops or apartments
• Mileage (an inspector may charge on a per-mile basis to travel out of their normal service area)
This is not an exhaustive list, but covers the items that are more commonly seen. To get the most accurate quote from a home inspector, be sure to describe the property in detail and include or exclude items as you prefer.
Region and local competition
No home inspector wants to price themselves out of the market, so most will take the time to find out what their competitors in their area are charging.
While you should never hire an inspector based solely on the lowest or highest bid, the general prices among inspectors in the area will affect the price you pay. Also, the more inspectors a city has working there, the greater the chance that the competition will result in competitive prices.
Home inspector training
A home inspector who has invested his or her time and money into furthering their education and expanding their services will, understandably, charge more for their inspections. This is one reason it is vital that home buyers not make this decision on price alone.
When dealing with what could be the biggest investment you'll ever make, it is not the right time to bargain hunt. While the lowest price does not necessarily guarantee lower quality, keep this in mind: one home inspector may be the "best deal in town," but if that inspector is less informed or less educated, is that really a good value?
Editor's Note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on December 3, 2013.
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About this Angi Expert: Edie Sherwood is the owner and office manager of Area Wide Inspections, providing home inspection services in Lubbock, Texas. Area Wide Inspections also provides new construction inspections, FHA inspections and construction consulting.
As of December 9, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.