Buying a house is expensive. Due to the high cost, many home buyers tend to look for ways to save some money in the process. For instance, some may pass up hiring a home inspector to reduce additional expenses.
However, buying a house without hiring an expert to inspect it first would cost you more if the estate turns out to be in need of repairs. Sometimes, the repair cost could end up higher than the price of the inspection, a situation you could have avoided had you only spent a few hundred dollars for an inspector early on.
Thus, to avoid regretting your purchase, you could spare some budget for a house inspection. With that said, just how much does home inspection cost?
Average Rate of Home Inspection
The average cost of home inspection is US$321, with most homeowners spending around US$267 to US$374 according to Home Advisor. Most inspectors charge by the square foot so the bigger the house you’re buying, the higher the inspection fee. For instance, condominiums and small houses could cost you as little as US$200 while larger homes may average up to US$400.
For an example pricing, the Texas-based company Under the Roof Home Inspections which was cited on Thumbtack charges US$250 for houses with sizes up to 3,000 square feet, US$275 for sizes 3,001 to 4,000 square feet, US$300 for sizes 4,001 to 5,000 square feet, and US$325 for sizes 5,001 square feet and up.
Furthermore, some inspectors may charge by the hour. Home inspections typically take two to three hours. However, the larger and more complex the estate is, the more probable that the inspector would take longer to inspect it which would result in a higher cost.
To know that you’re getting the service you paid for, here are the areas that are generally included in a home inspector’s fee:
- Electrical System
- HVAC System
- Interior and Exterior of the House in General
Make sure that the inspector you wish to hire would cover all these key areas during the inspection. For further assurance, you could ask the inspector what is included in his/her service ahead of time.
Apart from the average rate of home inspection, you should expect to pay for additional services if the inspector deems it necessary. Additional costs vary depending on the company and the condition of the house you’re buying.
For instance, home inspectors may charge an additional fee of US$25 if the house has a basement or crawlspace as these areas would require them to crawl under the structure.
Also, if the estate has a detached garage, pool house, or other outbuildings, some inspectors would charge a separate fee to inspect them.
Home inspectors also charge additional fees for radon testing which costs US$100 to US$200, detecting asbestos which costs US$400 to US$800 for a 1,500 square foot house, mold testing which costs US$820, detecting lead which costs about US$300, and sewer scope which cost averages from US$85 to US$300.
As home inspectors only check for visual clues of the problem, you might need another inspector who could give you an in-depth analysis of the condition of the house.
For instance, a home inspector could only identify wall cracks as a sign of a foundation problem, but he/she won’t be able to tell you the specifics. Thus, you should hire another expert, particularly a structural engineer, to check the house’s foundation. A structural engineer could cost you up to US$500.
Additionally, you would have to pay more if another expert detects a problem and recommends that you hire someone to fix it. For instance, if a structural engineer says that you need to repair wall cracks, the cost would run US$500 to US$700.
Another necessity that may turn up during the inspection is the need for professional mold removal which could cost from US$500 to US$4,000. The price could even reach as high as US$10,000 to US$30,000 if the mold has already caused extensive damage to the house.
Old houses could also cost you more as you might face expenses related to improving the basement (US$10,000 to US$30,000), upgrading the electrical system (US$10,000 to US$15,000), and fixing the plumbing (US$275) of the structure.
To give you a better idea of how much inspectors charge, here’s a sample cost of home inspection as listed by the Certified Home Inspectors of Florida:
- Inspection of Average-sized Home US$250-US$375 (prices are higher for larger homes)
Inspection for Additional Components:
- 4-Point Inspection US$40 minimum (often required by insurance companies)
- Wind Mitigation Inspection US$50 minimum
- Pool/Spa Inspection Starts at US$40
- Water Quality Inspection US$45
- Termite Inspection US$75
Benefits of Home Inspection
How much does home inspection cost? Only a few hundred dollars. However, once you discover the cost of repair and replacement the house needs, you could end up spending thousands of dollars. Add that to the price of the house itself, and you would likely regret purchasing the estate in the first place.
Fortunately, you could use the inspector’s report to point out to the house seller the areas that need repairs. Depending on your agreement with the seller, they could opt to pay the repair fees before you buy the property.
Aside from that, a home inspection could also help you renegotiate the price as you already have a proof that the property has some problems.
Furthermore, if the defects are too much for you to accept, you could cancel the purchase altogether. This move is possible if your contract with the seller includes an inspection contingency.
Before you buy a product, you tend to research about it and inspect it to know if it’s worth your money. If you do it for small purchases, the more you would have to do it for major ones like buying a house.
Check the house first by hiring a professional and assess the results. Is it worth the money? If it’s not, you can either ask for a lower price or just refuse to buy it. Either way, a home inspection that costs hundreds of dollars is not expensive compared to all the repairs you would be spending for a property that did not go through inspection.
It’s okay to be excited about buying a new house, but make sure you get what you pay for!