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Congratulations! You put in an offer on your dream home and it’s now under contract. What’s next?

The savvy home buyer schedules a home inspection as soon as possible. We know you’ve put a big chunk of your savings away for the down payment. But save a few dollars for your peace of mind.

How much does a home inspection cost? Better yet, how much does peace of mind cost?

Read our guide which, includes a break-down of the cost of a home inspection. If you’re serious about purchasing that dream home, don’t go to the closing table until you have the inspection results in your hand.

The Cost Formula

There is no secret formula for calculating the cost of a home inspection.

Each inspector uses their own pricing method. In the United States, costs vary depending on the region where you buy your home and a variety of other factors.

An inspector takes into account not only the size of the home but also the age. Some inspectors offer extra services not included in the base price of an inspection.

Since there isn’t a set standard for price calculation, discuss cost with the inspector before hiring them. A standard inspection should not include any surprises as far as price. The inspector sets the price based on the service you choose and gets the job done.

Some inspectors use a flat rate while others base their price on square footage.

Flat Rate or Square Footage?

If you find a home inspector who prefers a simple price structure, they may base their fee on a flat rate.

Inspectors who charge a flat rate typically use one fee for a single family home with 2-4 bedrooms and 1-3 bathrooms. The price goes up for anything larger than that. They charge a flat fee for condos and another flat rate for multi-family units.

Using the square footage calculation opens the door for errors. If you or your agent misquote the square footage by a large amount, it forces the inspector to raise the price when he arrives at the home.

The flat rate method is popular because of its simple structure, but some home inspectors prefer charging by the hour.

By the Hour

Most buyers like the flat rate or the square footage rate because they know the price before the inspection takes place. When an inspector uses an hourly rate, several factors can affect the price.

How much does a home inspection cost using the hourly rate? If your inspector charges by the hour, simply ask upfront the hourly rate and then consider the following:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Writing speed

The larger the house, the more time the inspection takes. Age can also increase the price.

Home inspections for an average newer home take 2-3 hours. Older homes may need 4 hours or more. Keep in mind older homes often come with years of repairs, additions, and other interesting things that an inspector may not anticipate.

The price also includes the inspection report. Reports can take anywhere from 1-4 hours (or more). Every inspector has their own method and timeline for completing reports.

Buyers and most inspectors prefer using a flat rate calculation. How does an inspector come up with their rate?

Supply and Demand

What’s the real estate market like in your area? And how many home inspectors are available?

In markets where the demand is high, home inspection price may also be higher than in areas where demand is lower. It’s the old rule of supply and demand. Demand allows leverage for home inspectors to charge more.

If you’re buying a 1700 square-foot home in an area with relatively high demand how much does a home inspection cost? Professional home inspections cost an average of between $400 and $450 nationwide.

Here at CLASS Home Inspection, our rate is $350 for a single-family home.

Aside from a full inspection of your dream home’s structure and major systems, what are you paying for when you have a home inspection?

The Price for Expertise

When you hire an experienced home inspector, you pay for their expertise.

The average home buyer, even those experienced in remodeling and other DIY projects, don’t have the expertise required to inspect and detect problems with every system in a home.

Consider that an inspector looks at the structure, electrical, plumbing, flooring, and all major appliances. They inspect the home’s exterior, including a basic inspection of the roof. They take photos of everything and write up a detailed report.

The home inspector reports what they find during the inspection. Just the facts, ma’am. While the information on a home inspection report may save a buyer from making a huge financial mistake, the inspector can’t tell you how long before an appliance gives out.

At a minimum, an inspection prepares a buyer for a future repair bill.

Many home inspectors come from a background in construction or remodeling. Most professional home inspectors also belong to a trade association. Trade associations have qualifications for membership, which usually include continuing education.

You pay before buying the home for knowledge and competence so that you avoid paying for costly repairs later.

Do I Really Need to Pay for a Home Inspection?

Unlike closing costs, the buyer pays for the entire cost of the home inspection.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life. Yes, an inspection costs money and you’re already depleting your nest egg with the down payment and other related costs.

Don’t let temptation get the best of you. A home inspection can save you thousands of dollars.

Buyers who opt out of a home inspection often realize after closing their home is far from perfect. One couple decided their home looked fine and didn’t get it inspected before closing.

Several months later they discovered the previous owners had removed a load bearing wall and the support beam was rotten. The same buyers also found issues with the foundation—it was sinking.

Those are not minor issues and cost the new owners way more than the cost of an inspection.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

For the buyer, home inspection costs a minimal amount of money in comparison to the peace of mind gained knowing the house may not be perfect but it’s safe. 

How much does a home inspection cost the seller?

Certainly, if an inspection uncovers major problems, the seller may end up paying for repairs before closing. And the inspection could cost them the sale of their home if they don’t feel like paying for repairs is their obligation.

For both buyer and seller, the home inspection is usually the next step in an important business transaction, which provides the buyer the keys to their new home, and the seller the return on their investment.

Contact us today and schedule your pre-closing home inspection.