Average Cost Of A Home Inspection – According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the average cost of a home inspection ranges from $300 to $500.1
This average estimate, however, does not take into account the specific location, size, configuration, age, or inspector competence. All of these factors can have an impact on the cost of a home inspection.
Home Inspectors Might Not Be Licensed
Many people are surprised to learn, for example, that nearly half of the states in the country do not require home inspectors to be licensed by the state. That’s correct. Because there are no licensing requirements, there is a 50/50 chance that your state does not require a home inspector to be licensed.
The Cost Can Depend on the Inspector’s Experience
If the cost of a home inspection is higher for an experienced home inspector, it may be well worth the extra money. It can mean the difference between hiring a layman who hung a home inspector sign and hiring a professional tradesperson. Many home inspectors come from a construction background and learn on the job. Consider the level of expertise of an inspector who has performed thousands of home inspections.
The Cost Can Depend on the Square Footage
For a 2,000 square-foot single-family home, most professional home inspectors charge between $400 and $450 on average. A home inspection for a smaller two-bedroom condo, on the other hand, may cost between $300 and $350. Some home inspectors will charge an extra fee for crawling under a house to inspect it. The additional fee to enter a crawlspace (which may be damp or infested with bugs) of a raised foundation can range from $50 to $100 or more. Slab foundations are less expensive.
Does Every Buyer Pay the Cost for a Home Inspection?
Keep in mind that prior to the 1990s, the majority of home buyers did not obtain a home inspection. They instead relied on seller disclosures to learn about pre-existing conditions. A home inspection was regarded as a luxury, an extra cost. Not any longer. Nowadays, it is uncommon for a home buyer to not obtain a home inspection, and if a buyer declines an inspection, it is usually against the advice of the buyer’s real estate agent.
General Inspection Costs vs. Specialized Inspections
Hiring the same company to perform not only a general home inspection but also specialized home inspections is one way a first-time home buyer can save money on the cost of a home inspection. Many companies will provide a package price for a variety of home inspections. This implies that they may also conduct additional inspections, such as (but not limited to):
- Pest and dry-rot inspections
- Roof inspections
- Sewer or septic inspections
- Chimney inspections
- Mold, radon, and asbestos inspections
- Well inspections and bacteria count
When the Sale Hinges on the Inspection
Typically, an inspection is scheduled after the buyer has signed a contract to purchase the property. Additionally, lenders and insurance providers may require specific items to be inspected before issuing a loan or insurance policy. If the reports reveal enough serious flaws, the buyer may cancel the purchase contract, the lender may deny the mortgage application, or the home insurance may become more expensive.
Alternatively, the buyer may attempt to negotiate a lower purchase price to cover the cost of repairs. They may also demand that the seller complete repairs before proceeding with the contract. In addition, there is no guarantee that a seller will renegotiate the sales price or complete repairs following a home inspection. In this case, the transaction is likely to fail.
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