Most lenders don’t require a home inspection, but it’s highly recommended so that you know what you are buying. Just because your lender requires an appraisal, doesn’t mean you’ll know if something is wrong with the home. The appraiser’s job is to determine the home’s value to allow the lender to determine if there’s enough collateral to make a loan. The appraiser doesn’t check every nook and cranny of the home to see its condition and to make note of any issues.
Because the home inspection provides such value, it’s safe to say that it’s worth the average $300 – $500 cost many inspectors charge. Of course, your exact cost will depend on a variety of factors including your location, size of the home, and the particular inspector doing the inspection for you.
What’s the Average Cost for Your Area?
You can ask your realtor or mortgage lender the average cost of an inspection in your area. This will give you a ballpark figure to work with when you shop around for an inspector. If you come across an inspector whose price seems way too low, it’s probably because he isn’t licensed or experienced enough to do the job. If you find one whose price seems way too high, you’ll know to keep shopping.
How Big is the Home?
The next factor is the size of the home. Obviously, the larger the home, the more ground there is to cover, which probably means a higher price. For example, you’ll likely pay much less for a one-bedroom condominium than you would a 2-story 3,000 square foot home.
The layout of the home may also play a role. Does the home have an attic, crawl space, or basement? Are there certain issues that you want the inspector to pay close attention to? These factors could all play a role in how much the inspector charges.
How Experienced is the Inspector?
Generally, an experienced inspector costs more than one that just hung a shingle outside of his door. You should take the time to find out what credentials the inspector has. You may not need someone with 20 years of experience under his belt if you are buying a fairly new home, but you may want someone with the knowledge necessary to inspect the home.
Ask the inspector about his background. What industries did he work that make him qualified to be an inspector? Also, find out if he is licensed. Granted, you will likely pay more for inspectors with an impressive background, but you’ll have a higher chance of getting an accurate report that helps you make a good decision about the home.
The home inspection can make or break your decision to buy the home. The report should show you everything that is wrong with the home and its potential cost. You can use that report to help you decide if buying the home is still a sound, financial decision.
While the home inspection may seem like yet another fee you have to cough up, it’s meant to help you. Talk with several inspectors in your area to find out the average cost so that you can find a qualified, yet affordable inspector for your home purchase.