*this article was originally published in 2017, but is updated annually
Buying a home is a time of heightened emotion.
You're spending hard earned money on a down payment and a future of mortgage payments. Learning how to protect that large obligation is an over-looked aspect of the home buying process.
A home inspection is a smart way to ensure you're aware of the potential problems that could arise. A common question is how much the average home inspection costs.
Across over 100,000 home inspections in the Spectora network in the past year, our data shows the average home inspection quote is $468.
Our data has been aggregated from our database. There are some other reliable sources, that get cost data from consumers. HomeAdvisor and Angie's List collect cost data from thousands of home buyers to see what people actually paid around the country.
The average home inspection cost from these two sources was $327-473.
There are variables that will affect the cost such as:
In this case, we use the same regions as the National Association of Realtors, which you can see here.
note: PR is Puerto Rico
We should probably note this is based on Spectora home inspectors. In rural states with less home inspectors, or in states with less Spectora home inspectors, these numbers might not represent the market as well. But for the most part, they're probably a good gauge.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives a typical price range of $300-$500, and cautions that "cost does not necessarily reflect quality".
Fixr, a popular home services site, got their home inspection cost range of $175-$600 from IndependentInspectors.org.
InterNachi, the largest home inspector trade association, has a home inspection fee calculator that estimates for inspectors what they want to charge.
You probably should know what's included for the price.
There are a couple major home inspection associations that dictate what a home inspection covers, but in general, you can expect to have the following areas and systems inspected:
Yes, in most cases the buyer pays for the home inspection. Look at it as an investment in learning about your home.
This depends on a number of factors like the contract terms, if it's a seller's or buyer's market, the types of repairs or if the seller is willing to make repairs vs. give the buyer a credits towards the price of the home.
We recommend that you do your research.
Take a look at the website and reviews of the inspector that your agent recommended.
Get a quote from them and a couple others. And don't shop on the cost or price alone.
Then go online and do a search for home inspectors in your local area. Who has great reviews? Who has a professional online presence?
Most decent home inspectors are well worth the cost. Whether it gives you leverage to ask the seller to cover more fixes, or sets your expectations for what to budget for, getting a quality home inspection is one of the smartest investments you can make in your new home.