The Cost of a Home Inspection - How to Know if it's Worth it.
What You're Paying For
The cost of a housing inspection will vary greatly depending on the size on the building and how thorough the inspection needs to be. It can be as little as $100, but this usually only includes a simple 1-2 hour inspection and quick handwritten report. Inspectors charging this type of fee are usually new, or inexperienced and might miss important things that a more experienced inspector would catch.
If you are wanting to have a family dwelling inspected, whether you are looking to buy it, or just interested in the state of your home, expect to pay a good inspector $200-900 for the inspection. Most mid-range inspections take 2-4 hours. If your house is very large, or the inspector very thorough, the inspection may take up to 8 hours, and will cost more.
If special services are included in the inspection, such as the inspection of the swimming pool, or other outdoor structures, the cost may be more. Often there is a base price that the inspector will offer, then additional services you can purchase for additional fees. This might be items like a water sample, air quality test, septic system evaluation, or even an arborist’s report on any trees on the property.
The cost might also depend on whether your inspector is licensed or not. Not all areas require inspectors to be licensed. It’s in your best interest to look for one that is. If you are going to shell out hard earned money for an inspection, you are probably better to pay a bit more and get a better result. That being said, just because an inspector is expensive, doesn’t guarantee they are good. Check around and ask lots of questions when you are searching for a good inspector.
Take the time to find out what the base cost is, how long the inspection is, and what it usually includes. If there are additional things you want inspected that aren’t in the base inspection, such as a swimming pool, be sure to ask about additional cost, and find out if the inspector is experienced with the add on your need inspected. Some inspectors specialize and won’t be able to inspect your swimming pool properly.
Also be sure to check if there are any lab fees associated with the inspection. In the case of a water sample, there may be a cost to have the water sent to a lab and tested. Find out of the test results for that type of test comes to you, or your inspector.
It's Your Choice
Remember that it is your money and you can do what you want with it. If you don’t feel comfortable paying the inspector your real estate agent suggests, feel free to shop around and find an inspector you do feel comfortable with. You want to have a good experience and not pay someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.