Buying a home is expensive, and not all of the costs are included in the listing price. With such a large amount of money at stake, it should be no surprise that there are extra expenses involved, and getting a Home Inspection is just one of them. Buyers can also expect to pay for expert evaluations (such as chimney or septic inspections), appraisals, title searches, and various other fees that will typically fall under the umbrella of “closing costs.”
All of these fees can vary widely depending upon your location, the type of property, listing price, and more. While it might be tempting to forgo one or more of the “optional” services, you could run the risk of facing costly repairs after closing to remediate issues that would have come to light during your due diligence period.
An important thing to remember is that price should not be the only factor when choosing a home inspector. You should look at experience, professional affiliations, online reviews and testimonials, and a sample report. An inspector who is dedicated to professional excellence will have all of these readily available on their website. If you find an inspector whose price is considerably lower than other quotes you have received, you should ask yourself what they are sacrificing to offer such a low price.
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
Focusing just on the cost of a home inspection can distract you from seeing its true purpose: to educate you about the home, and give you information about its condition and what it may need in the way of upkeep or repairs. The conditions we find could require some low-cost repairs (such as caulking around a plumbing fixture), but sometimes they can involve quite a bit of money.
- Home Inspection cost: $479
- Issues found: significant foundation issues
- Outcome: Sellers paid for $75,000 in repairs
- Home Inspection cost: $710
- Issues found: undisclosed buried oil tank
- Outcome: Sellers paid $4,000 for removing buried tank and installing new above-ground tank
- Home Inspection cost: $995
- Issues found: improper electrical work, failing retaining wall, deteriorated chimney and more
- Outcome: Seller agreed to $35,000 reduction in sales price
The potential costs of not having a home inspection can also be significant. This is why we also recommend having a Home Check-up Inspection every 7-10 years, and also prior to undertaking any major renovation. The following client did not do this.
- Home Inspection cost: $549 (home check-up)
- Issues found: Rotted joist ends due to bad drainage, resulting in sagging floor under newly-upgraded $40,000 kitchen
- Outcome: Owner faces extensive foundation, framing and grading repair to restore the structural integrity, and will likely have to demolish and rebuild part of the new kitchen. Estimated costs will likely exceed $60,000.
If the owner had a Home Inspector prior to redoing the kitchen, they would have been able to incorporate the framing repair into the renovation at much less cost and without the pain of tearing out the new work.
Every home inspector or home inspection company sets their own price, so it is difficult to say without knowing about the property. Some charge by square footage; some charge by sales price. We use a formula that takes size, price, and age into account when pricing a home inspection. Because of this, we don’t post a price list; to get a free quote, you can call our scheduling line at (301) 208-8289, or use our online form. Don’t learn the hard way. Skipping the home inspection can mean nasty surprises down the road.
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