The new home inspection is a very important part of the home buying process. In most contracts, the home inspection cost is paid for by the buyer. They are almost always required by the lender as protection against a bad investment. Home inspections differ from appraisals because they give detailed information about the overall condition of the house prior to the purchase. The inspector will evaluate the home’s physical condition, including the structure and the mechanical systems. Anything that needs to be repaired or replaced will be noted, as well as the estimated remaining life of any major systems or equipment. An inspection is necessary for a buyer to make an informed decision, which is why the buyer pays the cost of home inspection. This way, the inspector is accountable to the buyer, and less likely to be pressured to file an inspection report that is skewed in favor of the sale.
Average Cost Of Home Inspection
Average home inspection cost varies geographically, and according to how thorough of a report the buyer expects. Lower home inspection costs are usually an indication of a less than thorough job. Those who charge less tend to make that money up by performing 3 or more inspections a day. A thorough and competent inspection by an experienced professional home inspector can take 5 to 6 hours. If you hire an inspector that does several inspections a day, they are bound to be cutting corners to shave off the time it takes to complete the inspection.
The lowest house inspection cost you will find is a flat rate of $200 or less. This inspection will take only about 2 hours and, therefore, might miss some important issues. The industry norm for an average inspection is 3 hours, but the most dedicated professional inspectors take 5 hours. House inspection cost can range from $200 to $900 depending on the part of the country. Longer and more thorough home inspection cost averages are on the higher end of the scale.
Home Inspection Services
A standard home inspection will look at the condition of heating and air conditioning systems, electrical and plumbing systems, and structural issues from the roof to the basement and crawlspaces. The inspector will also look at insulation and ventilation, as well as inspecting fireplaces and any other solid fuel burning appliances.
Home inspectors are usually independent and local businesses rather than national chains. Look for an inspector that is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a professional society of home inspectors since 1976. One national company is National Property Inspections. They claim to have been performing inspections in the United States and Canada since 1987. Through their website you can contact a local franchisee and request a house inspection cost quote online. When you submit a form, a representative will contact you regarding the cost of home inspection in your area.
Be wary of low home inspection prices. Some services will quote low prices in order to undercut the competition and generate a volume of business that will offset the low cost. These services would rather charge a home inspection cost of $200 and complete four a day than charge home inspection costs of $350 and only complete two a day. They make more money this way, but do not deliver a quality inspection.
Home Inspection Tools
If a home inspector arrives with only a ladder and a circuit tester, you are in trouble. Your house inspection cost should be paying for a lot more than that. While a ladder and electrical tester are necessary, your inspector should also have some form if respirator to properly conduct inspections of area that might have asbestos or be harboring mold growth. Radon test kits, moisture readers, and infrared cameras are also essential tools or the trade to identify potentially hazardous situations that cannot be voted visually. Although this extra equipment is not necessarily required, they are a sign that your house inspection cost is not paying for a thorough inspection. Your inspector should also be using the latest home inspection software like Home Inspector Pro or Inspector FX to help store information and generate reports.
Home Inspection Tips
If you are not sure what services your home inspection cost should be paying for, there is great information available on the ASHI website. You can access the ASHI Standards of Practice and quickly learn what the inspector should be covering. They do not regulate home inspection fees. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has a list of ten questions you should ask an inspector when inquiring about their services and home inspection cost. Among these questions is how long the inspection will take. As previously discussed, any inspection that takes less than 3 hours will be insufficient to protect you from a large financial mistake. You also want to be able to be present during the inspection. Any inspector that tells you “no” is likely to be trying to rip you off.
Some problems require the opinion of a professional engineer. If your inspector is not a professional engineer, you might double your cost of home inspection, because a second inspection will likely be required by your lender before approving the sale. Do not accept any offers by the inspector to repair issues they find. This is a serious conflict of interest, especially if the offer is to fix any issues that are not uncovered during the inspection. You can also complete your own preliminary inspection first by completing one of a number of inspection checklists that are available on line. This will educate you as to some of the possible issues that the inspector will discuss with you after completing the inspection.
Home Inspection Insurance
Home inspection insurance is an insurance product that protects professional inspectors from liability from errors or omissions. Everybody can make a mistake. But, a mistake in a home inspection can mean a financial disaster for a home buyer. The cost of home inspection will cover for whatever insurance the inspector needs. You should ask to see if your inspector is covered. Inspectors who charge an extraordinarily low home inspection cost might not be properly insured. If they do not have any assets, then suing them in court for material problems with the home inspection will generate little to no monetary compensation. If your inspector is insured, then you should easily be able to recover the cost of home inspection plus any damages as a result of the poor inspection.