How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

The average homebuyer usually decides to buy a home within seconds or minutes of seeing its exterior.

This is never a good plan if you are in the market to buy a home. You can never know what unforeseen money-pit problems await the novice homeowner who doesn't commit to prior research.

All home sales are finalized via closing costs. Closing costs are a variety of final expenses related to mortgage and property-related fees. The seller usually pays the lion's shares of closing cost fees.

What kind of closing cost expenses a homeowner is expected to pay varies state to state and whether or not the buyer is represented by a real estate agent or a lawyer.

Some closing cost fees include, but are not limited to, credit report research, appraisal fees, escrow account fees, underwriting fees, origination fees, title research fees, home insurance fees, and so on.

The average cost to finalize most closing costs is 1% to 6%, equivalent to the home's value. If real estate agents or lawyers are involved, the average closing cost fees can be as high as 15%.

The real estate market is volatile, but as of September 2021, the average price of a new home was $451,700.

So, closing cost fees can significantly add up for the buyer. But they are a necessary part of the process of buying a home.

And one of the most vital closing cost fees you will pay are those related to a home inspection. 

The home inspection costs anywhere between $300 to $500. However, a home inspection can cost a lot more than that, depending on your financial circumstances. 

And with the stress of paying for much, it might be tempting to forgo paying for a home inspection.

After all, many states or municipalities don't legally require a home inspection. Many states don't require home inspectors to be professionally licensed

And many sellers may even discourage you from paying for home inspection to expedite the finalization of the sale.

One of the essential closing costs you will pay for is the home inspection.

Let's talk about home inspections, what you get when you pay for one, and why home buyers should fork over $500 to get one.

Do you need a site or floor plans for a housing permit? Contact My Site Plan today.

Related: DIY Shed Cost: Step-by-Step Guide

What is a Home Inspection?

a couple talking to their real estate agent


A home inspection is a thorough inspection and vetting process of the home a buyer plans to buy.

Home inspectors will look over the four primary systems of any home: the foundation and structural, plumbing systems, roof, and electrical systems.

A qualified home inspector can approximate the age, condition, and future viability of the foundation, walls, load-bearing structures, floor, and roof.

Home inspectors will test the viability of the home's water pressure, plumbing systems, and electrical systems. They will also test the HVAC system.

A home inspector should spot water intrusion and current, developing, or future mold problems.

Home inspectors will check out the septic systems in a front or back yard to ensure they work.

Or they may spend hours inspecting the interior and exterior walls for signs of decay, rot, and structural instability. 

Home inspectors can check for invisible radioactive gases like radon which can seep into a house from cracks in the foundation. They can check the asbestos levels in the paint or insulation. Or they can check for pests like rodents or termite infestation.

Most importantly, a home inspector will check to ensure that the home in question and its systems are fully required will all relevant local housing and building codes.

Now that you know what home inspectors do, you need to know how to hire one.

Hiring the Right Home Inspector

The most efficient way to hire a home inspector is through a real estate agent, broker, or lawyer. Whether you go that route or hire a home inspector on your own, you should know what you are getting when you hire one.

Don't just accept the home inspector suggested by your real estate agent or lawyer – vet them yourself. Get the name of the home inspector, check their credentials and prices online, and comparison shop.

Don't be afraid to contact the home inspector directly. Ask the home inspector if they are licensed and registered to work according to local and state laws. 

Professional home inspectors are licensed and have state certifications to perform a home inspection. And most experienced home inspectors are members of home inspection industry organizations and groups like:

  • National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)
  • American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
  • National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)

Make sure that your home inspector is a member of one or more of such organizations.

Another mark of a professional in a home inspector is to ask them if they have performed 1,000 inspections at the minimum. A good home inspector should have a business record going back at least three to five years.

You can also ask a home inspector to send you a sample report, which is a rough estimate of what the home inspector will do during an inspection and their fee estimate.

Please don't do business with an unlicensed home inspector with only a few jobs under their belt.

Why You Should Invest in a Home Inspection

Repairman inspecting a ceiling


Buying a new home is sometimes the most significant investment a person will make in a lifetime. 

However, if you buy a home without paying for a home inspection, you may be purchasing a money pit.

The home you buy may have a crumbling structural system. It may have significant rodent or insect infestation problems. 

Or the entire electrical or plumbing system in the house may need to be replaced entirely. You may need to replace the roof or all the flooring.

You have no idea what time-bomb money-pit problems could be awaiting you when buying a new house. Remember that home inspection are not legally required. 

And there is no incentive for a seller to tell you that you will spend a fortune rehabilitating the house they are trying to sell to you.

Don't be surprised by unwelcome hidden surprises you may find in your home.

Make sure that you pay for the home inspection during the closing cost phase of a home sale. Be an informed buyer. Otherwise, the costs you pay to rehabilitate the home could exceed the sales price.

Do you need help developing floor or site plans to get a permit? Contact My Site Plan today.

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