How Much Are Home Inspections?
It is important to get a home inspection before moving into a new house. But how much are home inspections? Click here to learn more.
Did you know you can back out from a home purchase (as long as you’re within the inspection contingency timeframe) and get your earnest money back?
Most purchase contracts provide an “out” of seven days if you decide not to purchase the home after the inspection. This is because the inspection could reveal the house has significant damage, making it less valuable and costly to repair.
Yet, since the buyer is responsible for paying for the home inspection, you cannot recoup these costs. If you’re thinking, “How much are home inspections?” continue reading.
Table of Contents
What Is a Home Inspection?
Before jumping into the home inspection cost, let’s get over what a home inspection is and what it includes.
A home inspection contingency allows potential buyers to hire a professional who will come to the property to assess if it has issues before the sale is final. It can include major and minor problems.
A home inspection checklist may have more than 1,600 features to assess on your property! But generally, there are two categories the inspector will evaluate.
The exterior inspection includes:
- Exterior Walls
While the interior inspection includes:
- Fire Safety
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- Kitchen Appliances
- Laundry Room
- Water Heater
If you are taking out a mortgage on your new home, the lender will often require a home inspection to avoid future difficulties.
What’s Not Covered?
It’s essential to know the inspection only covers visual problems. So, for example, if there is an issue with the foundation (like a significant crack), but the issue cannot be identified without ripping out all the flooring, the inspector will not be able to tell you if the problem is there or not.
Thus, the following are not part of the inspection:
- Behind electrical panels
- Engineering problems
- Inside chimneys, pipes, sewer lines, or walls
- Problems with mold, pests, or asbestos
However, if an inspector thinks a problem needs further inspection, they will recommend you hire a specialist. Although this will cost you more money, it’s a sign there are potentially serious problems with the house you need to know about before purchasing.
Why You Should Get a Home Inspection
The law does not require you to schedule a home inspection. Yet, buying a home is not like buying something off Amazon. On Amazon, you can read through the reviews and ask questions. You can see whether the product is worth buying by researching directly on the website.
But when buying a house, there is no place to read reviews on the property. What if it floods easily, or there is a problem with the electrical wiring making electrocution possible? You won’t know unless you have a trained professional inspect the premises.
Plus, a home is the biggest purchase you will probably ever make. So the home inspection is truly for your benefit and protection as the buyer. This is especially true if you are a first-time homebuyer.
While the law requires sellers to disclose fundamental flaws with the home, some sellers may be motivated to hide problems to make a quick sale. Thus, you cannot simply trust the house is in perfect condition because the seller says so. Additionally, there could be problems the homeowner is not even aware of.
While you may lose money on the inspection fee and other closing costs if you choose not to buy the property, you may save a lot if the property has serious concerns.
How Much Are Home Inspections?
The home inspection price varies by location and size of the home. However, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national average is between $300 and $500. Of course, depending on where you live, you may find someone to do it for less (or more). For example in the San Francisco Bay Area, prices range between $500 and $900 rather than the national average.
Additionally, homes with obvious problems typically cost more to inspect because the inspector needs more time to assess the situation. Older homes are also more expensive because they require a more thorough examination of their wiring and plumbing to ensure everything is up to code.
Something to know is that the price of an inspection doesn’t dictate the thoroughness of the examination, the final written report, or the accompanying photos. These are standard features. If an inspector tells you they will provide a more thorough inspection or include a written report for an extra fee, find someone else to do the job.
Unfortunately, some scammers will try to nickel and dime or mislead you about their services.
Special Home Inspections
If you require a special home inspection, you can expect to pay up to $1,200 more, depending on the specialty you need.
For example, you may need to request a more in-depth roof inspection if you think there appears to be damaged, like water contamination. On the other hand, you may need to test the well water for lead or get radon testing. This requires the inspector to send samples to a laboratory.
New homes (or new construction) also require a special inspection but should cost around the same price as a standard home inspection. This inspection will cover the following:
- Checking the foundation before pouring the concrete
- Studying the structure and mechanics before laying the drywall
- Complete walk-through when the construction is finished
How Long Does the Inspection Take?
For a standard home, the inspection will take two to four hours. However, the assessment will take longer for larger homes or homes with significant issues. This is particularly true if the house has more than one HVAC system or several water heaters.
It’s best if you attend the inspection along with the inspector. This way, you can see what they are reviewing and ask any questions as they arise. In addition, should the inspector find a problem, you’ll be able to see it first-hand.
Buying a Home? Schedule an Inspection
Now that you’re no longer worrying about “How much are home inspections?” you can feel confident arranging one during the home buying process. The fee is worth knowing if there are any serious issues with the property you want to purchase.
At Corespect, we have expert inspection teams in Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties waiting to help. So schedule an inspection today.
get the knowledge you need
Get the information you need to make an informed decision about your real estate transaction.
If you’re in the process of purchasing a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, don’t risk making a costly mistake. Contact CoreSpect today to schedule a comprehensive home inspection. Our team of experienced professionals will help you identify any potential issues with the property and give you the confidence you need to make the right decision.