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HOW MUCH SHOULD A HOME INSPECTION COST?
This is often the first question prospective home buyers ask a home inspector. (Asking the inspector about their qualifications, experience and how they get most of their business, should be the first questions.) In home inspection, one size does not fit all. The level of experience and talent of home inspectors varies. The size and age of homes varies. Some homes / condos can be inspected in 2 to 3 hours. Older, larger homes can take 4 or more hours. Some inspection reports might take an hour or two to complete, while others might take 4 hours or more. Some so called “informational” web sites state that home inspection fees run from $175 to $300, however, these “low” fees are usually based on an inspector doing 2 or 3 inspections per day. If a thorough inspection and report takes around 5 to 6 hours, how “thorough” is the inspector who does 3 inspections & reports in one day? Remember, home inspectors know the value of their service and charge accordingly.
Inspectors quote inspection fees using different criteria or methods. Some charge a flat rate, others charge by the square foot of living area. Some charge by square foot of area under the roof, some charge by the price of the house and others charge by the amount of time spent (which is reflective of not only size but condition.) Some consider detached garages as part of the main house and do not charge for them (but may include the square footage into the overall size calculation) while others consider detached garages as outbuildings and charge extra for them.
Some inspectors charge for all the optional items, others charge for some of them, others will not inspect for certain items such as swimming pools or septic systems. Most inspectors have a minimum charge for their services. In some parts of the country the “general rule” of $100.00 per hour applies. Some charge for mileage from their location to the inspection site. Some inspectors maintain web sites where a prospective client can submit information about the property and receive a quote by e-mail.
Let’s put home inspection fees in perspective: If you’re buying a $400,000 house and the inspection fee is $700, that’s less than .2% of the cost of the house! Most real estate agencies charge 3% to 6% to sell a home, that would be $12,000 to $24,000 for a $400,000 house! The cost of a home inspection is a bargain, even if you paid $1500 for the inspection, and most are less than half that!
Aside from the time invested, the value of the inspection and report can be measured by its usefulness. If the inspection turns up little wrong with the house, you’ve bought some relatively inexpensive peace of mind. If the inspection finds serious problems, your $600 could end up saving you many thousands of dollars.
WELCOME TO PEACE OF MIND
We reserve the right to adjust the inspection fee if the property is deemed different than scheduled regardless of MLS description. This includes correction for type of dwelling, square footage, pools, guest houses, age, condition, etc.
Houses over 5,000 Square Feet
Larger houses will most likely have more complicated roofs, multiple HVAC and water heater systems, numerous bathrooms, larger attics and crawlspaces and many more items to check than a moderately sized house (windows, doors, garages, receptacles, etc). We therefore often send two inspectors.
Two Houses on one property
If two dwellings on a single property (one assessor’s parcel number) each have a unique address, they will generally have separate electric meters and are considered separate houses each requiring their own inspection and pricing. Example would be addresses of “123 Main St.” and “123-1/2 Main St.”
Limited Scope inspections are available for one system or component like a roof, plumbing or electrical evaluation at a cost of $150. We also offer a major systems evaluation that is taylor-made for distressed properties and includes evaluations of the roof, attic, foundation, electrical and plumbing at a cost of $300.
Verbal Only Inspections
Geared towards investors and home sellers alike who do not need a full-blown inspection with written report, these inspections include a limited verbal-only consultation with one of our certified inspectors. Be prepared to take notes during a fast-paced and informative whole house walk-through.
Since Condo/Townhouse buyers will only own the inside of the structure, these inspections do not include the evaluation of common areas or components controlled or maintained by an HOA including the roof, exterior grounds & exterior cladding and mechanical devices.
Multi-Unit inspections are for single properties containing 2 or more units and unlike inspections for condos and townhouses, these include an inspection of the roof, exterior and common areas. Due to the time involved and the size of the complex, additional inspectors may be required.
Because some homes are built on a slab foundation and do not require a crawlspace inspection, our Single Family Home base prices do not include accessing the crawlspace which is reflected in the lower price. If your prospective new home has a crawlspace, simply add $60 to the Single Family Home base price.
As the awareness of deficient home construction methodology, materials and safety issues has increased over the years, so too can the consequences if corrective measures have not been implemented. Examples we report on are; 2-wire electrical systems, hardboard siding and asbestos building products.
A composition roof is generally easy to access, takes little experience to move around quickly and can be efficiently inspected in short order. We DO NOT walk Tile roofs, they are inspected from the ground, ladder or binoculars.
A detached garage much like an outbuilding requires a separate roof/gutter, exterior cladding, foundation and electrical inspection and in some instances the structure was built after the house with different materials and methodology.
Log, timber-framed and post & beam homes have some characteristics that are quite different from conventional homes and it is essential that your home inspector be aware of them. Things like settling as it relates to moisture content, construction techniques that promote wood decay and proper joinery and mechanical connectors are all things that our certified log home inspectors look for.
A distressed property is based solely on the overall condition of the home and not just its current status. It is a house that for whatever reason has a multitude of deficiencies that will need to be addressed. So it can be a short-sale, a foreclosure, an REO, a rental, or just a house that has been severely neglected or mistreated (see Limited Scope).
A Re-Inspection will occasionally be desired by the buyer or required by the lender when confirmation of a repair made on a report deficiency is needed or when a particular area of the home was not accessible at time of inspection but has subsequently been made available.
Cabana / Pool House
A Cabana or Pool House is a structure adjacent to a pool with enclosed space that often includes a bathroom, but without defined bedrooms or a kitchen and not generally intended for overnight occupancy.