A home buyer can expect to pay anywhere from $300-600 for their next home inspection, putting the national average right around $450. Many factors come into play with the cost of a home inspection. The most important factors are sorted out below.
Location, Location, Location
As many of us have heard, these are the 3 most important things about pricing real estate. But, location doesn’t just affect the cost of real estate, it affects just about anything we spend money on, wouldn’t you agree? If, for example, you live in a large urban area like Los Angeles or Phoenix, you can expect to pay more for a home inspection than someone would pay in places like Bowling Green, KY.
Square Footage oF the Property
Any home inspector will tell you that the bigger the house, the more work there is to do. It’s more than just the workload, however. Another key factor is time. A home inspector can actually make more money inspecting 3 average size homes in one day than 2 big homes because charging by the square foot allows the home inspector to balance his/her work schedule while maximizing profitability.
age oF the Property
Most home inspectors will tell you that the older the house, the greater the risk to the home inspector, because there’s more risk inspecting outdated systems and a greater potential for hidden deficiencies. Additionally, older houses require more skill because they typically have aging equipment and a LOT more DIY work from multiple homeowners over the decades. Expect to pay as much as a 20% surcharge for houses over 50 years in age.
Some home inspectors offer services like radon testing, termite inspections, and recreational equipment such as pools, spas, and hot tubs. These services are above and beyond the requirements for most home inspectors to perform and are usually an added fee. Be sure to ask your home inspector for a breakdown of his fees and know exactly what services are included. Never assume any home inspector will offer the exact same services as your last one – especially if you’re relocating from another state.
Home Inspector experience
The home inspection industry is a relatively new industry. In the last 30 years, nationwide, we’ve gone from 2 homes in 10 being inspected by a fee-paid home inspector to nearly 8 in 10. Unlike 30 years ago, before any states had a licensing law, today’s home inspector is likely to have a formal education and decades of experience. There are now experienced home inspectors out there with literally thousands of home inspections under their belt and for the most part, can be counted on to do a thorough job and communicate their findings effectively. The experienced inspector could cost as much as 50% more than the guy in his first year or two in business. Be wary of home inspectors promising not to be undersold or whose prices are 25% below everyone else in the market. That’s usually a sign of an inexperienced home inspector desperate for business.
Choosing the Right Home Inspector
Choosing the right home inspector should include more than just price shopping. You should call at least 3 home inspectors recommended by your real estate professional, ask a lot of questions, and choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
Better yet, choose one certified by HI-TEC Home Inspection Training because our graduates get the most relevant and up to date training available in the industry. Just ask your home inspector where he got his education!