The home inspection cost in California ranges from $511 to $694, with an average cost of $602 for a 1,500 SF (square feet) single-family home, depending on the house size and additional services required. Home inspection costs can vary widely, primarily based on local market conditions.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), nearly 84% of all home buyers will hire a home inspector for their home purchase.
In general, larger cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco tend to have higher home inspection costs due to the larger demand for inspectors and the higher cost of living.
For example, Los Angeles’s average home inspection cost is around $500 to $800. In Fresno, the average cost may be slightly lower, averaging around $400 to $700. In San Diego, the average cost of a home inspection is around $450 to $750.
The home inspection cost in California for larger homes can range from $730 to $1,241 or more. A home with a crawl space can add $50 to $150 more than a house with a concrete slab.
It is important to note that market conditions can also impact the home inspection cost in California, as higher demand for inspectors can lead to higher prices. Additionally, the size and age of the home, as well as its location and other factors, can also impact the cost of a home inspection in California.
Researching and comparing prices from multiple inspectors before selecting one for your home inspection is important to ensure a fair price.
|Home Size in Square Feet||Inspection Cost||Average Cost|
|1500 SF||$511 to $694||$602|
|2000 SF||$584 to $803||$694|
|2500 SF||$657 to $913||$785|
|3000 SF||$730 to $1,022||$876|
|4000 SF||$876 to $1,241||$1,059|
The largest cities in California, in terms of population, are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. These cities offer many opportunities for people looking to move to California. Here is what you can expect to pay for a home inspection in the largest cities in CA.
|Largest City||Inspection Cost||Average Cost|
|Los Angeles, CA||$515 to $699||$607|
|San Diego, CA||$512 to $696||$604|
|San Jose, CA||$514 to $698||$606|
|San Francisco, CA||$563 to $748||$656|
|Fresno, CA||$475 to $662||$569|
|Sacramento, CA||$492 to $681||$587|
Average Home Inspection Cost in California
Our home inspection cost calculator can help you determine the estimated average home inspection cost per square foot based on the services you need and your state.
Do You Need Specialty Inspections in California?
The home inspection cost in California does not include specialized or specialty inspections such as radon testing, mold testing, swimming pools, termite inspections, drone inspections, infrared scanning, etc.
Other factors affecting the home inspection cost in California include detached structures, pools, well systems, or septic systems. Other services, such as radon or mold testing, also affect the home inspection fee.
Here is a list of ancillary services and costs:
|Specialized or Specialty Inspections||Inspection Cost|
|Radon testing||$100 to $350|
|Well water testing||$200 to $450|
|Mold testing||$300 to $800|
|Lead paint testing||$125 to $350|
|Drone roof inspection||$100 to $250|
|Infrared scanning||$100 to $250|
|Pool inspection||$100 to $250|
|Septic dye testing||$100 to $350|
|Sewer scope||$300 to $800|
|Termite inspection||$150 to $350|
If any of these are requested, the extra cost will be added to the home inspection cost in California. Additionally, certain areas require one or more of these specialized inspections, which raises your home inspection cost.
According to the California Department of Public Health, radon has been found in every county in California. Radon Potential Maps are used to speculate where high radon levels might be found. These maps WILL NOT tell you how much radon is in your home or any other location. The ONLY way to know if radon is present is to test.
You can view the EPA’s Radon Zone Map for California here, but every home should be tested for radon gas.
While rare in most markets, some inspectors base their inspection fees on a percentage of the purchase price.
Many home inspection companies offer discounts for:
- military and civil service personnel
- first-time home buyer
- additional inspections for multiple properties
- ancillary services purchased at the time of inspection
Beware of home inspectors offering cheap home inspections. Most of these are scams or provide a minimal home inspection that often doesn’t meet the NACHI Standards of Practice.
What is a Home Inspection?
Real estate agents usually write a purchase agreement with a home inspection contingency clause, giving the home buyer 10 to 14 days to complete the inspection process.
A home inspection is a non-invasive visual evaluation of the condition of a residential home. A professional home inspector will inspect the interior and exterior of the home, including the roof, foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, to identify any existing problems that may need to be addressed.
The purpose of a home inspection is to provide buyers with complete information about the condition of the property they are considering buying so they can make an informed decision and gain peace of mind.
During a home inspection, a trained and qualified home inspector will evaluate the home’s major systems, including the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical, and structural elements such as the roof and foundation. The inspection will typically take 2 to 3 hours, and the inspector will provide a detailed report of any issues or areas of concern they discover.
Is a Home Inspection Worth It in California?
You may also be debating whether a home inspection is a good idea. The home inspection cost is worth it and provides in-depth information on its overall condition and safety concerns. A home inspection identifies what needs repair or improvement.
A home inspection is an important step in the home-buying process, as it can help buyers identify potential problems with the property before they commit to purchasing it.
The home inspection cost in California is worth it because it can identify potential issues with a home before you purchase it. From my nearly 20 years of experience as a licensed home inspector, a home inspection often discloses about $5,000 or more in necessary repairs or improvements.
A home inspector can give you peace of mind knowing that the house you’re interested in purchasing has been thoroughly inspected and any significant issues have been identified. This can help ensure that there are no surprises down the road and that what you see is what you get when it comes to your new home.
With a detailed home inspection report from a certified home inspector, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
What a California Home Inspector Looks For?
A good home inspector will examine the property from top to bottom and objectively report its condition. But what exactly are they looking for?
The roof is one of the most important components of any building, so it’s no surprise that it is at the top of any good home inspection checklist. The typical shingle roof can last 15 to 30 years, depending on the shingle thickness and quality. Signs of wear and tear, such as missing shingles or water damage, and potential structural issues could lead to more expensive repairs.
Your homeowner’s insurance may require a roof certification if the roof coverings are over 20 years old to issue you a new home insurance policy.
The house’s mechanical systems, including water heaters and HVAC systems, only last 10 to 15 years. The inspector will ensure that all of these items are in proper working order and functioning as they should be.
Electrical and Plumbing Systems
The plumbing system is essential for carrying away waste and preventing flooding in your home. Home inspectors will test all faucets and fixtures, check for leaks in pipes, examine drainage systems, and note whether water heaters are functioning properly or need replacing.
The electrical system should be examined thoroughly during the home inspection to ensure it functions properly and safely. Electrical defects like frayed wires, improper grounding, or other malfunctions could cause a fire or electrical shock hazard.
The safety features like ground fault circuit interrupters, smoke detectors, or carbon monoxide detectors are also inspected during this process.
Foundation & Structure
The foundation and structure are key elements of any residence and should be inspected for signs of cracking or shifting. If there are any foundation issues, it’s important to know about them before making a purchase decision, as they can be difficult and expensive to repair.
Reporting on Water Damage
The inspector will likely note these issues in their report if there are any visible signs of water damage or mold growth due to leakage or dampness within the home. Water damage can occur due to improper ventilation, poor drainage, or leaky pipes.
Other Safety Issues
Home inspectors look for a variety of potential safety issues when inspecting a house, such as:
- Proper railings on steps and stairways
- Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Tripping hazards like loose steps or uneven pavement
- Fireplaces, chimneys, and flues for blocked or damaged ducts
- Properly functioning doors and windows for emergency egress
Are California Home Inspectors State Licensed?
No, California home inspectors are not state licensed. NACHI and ASHI offer home inspection certification programs to equip reputable home inspectors with the knowledge and skills to perform accurate inspections. The courses cover building systems, safety protocols, legal requirements, and communication techniques.
Upon completing the home inspector training program, graduates will receive a certificate and be qualified to provide home inspection services for their clients.
Be sure the home inspector you hire is certified through NACHI or ASHI and has the experience necessary to inspect the type of home you buy.
In California, home inspectors are not required to obtain a home inspector license. However, they are regulated by a trade practice act. California Trade practice act (Chapter 338) was enacted in 1996.
The law in California prohibits unethical home inspection practices, including repairing properties that home inspectors have inspected in the previous 12 months. The law encourages courts to consider the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of ASHI and the California Real Estate Inspection Association when determining whether an inspection meets the required standard of care.
How to Choose a California Home Inspector?
Choosing a professional home inspector is not always straightforward. A home inspector can help you find problems with your property. Before scheduling a home inspection, you should check for these qualifications.
- Look for professional certifications: Look for a home inspector who is a member of a professional organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). These organizations have strict standards and codes of ethics that their members must follow.
- Check for experience: Look for a home inspector with experience in the type of home you are buying. If you are buying an older home, you may want to look for an inspector with experience in historic homes. Similarly, if you are buying new construction, you may want to look for an inspector with experience in new homes.
- Review sample reports: Ask the home inspector for a sample report so that you can see what kind of information they will provide. Look for a report that is thorough and easy to understand.
- Consider the cost: The home inspection cost in California varies widely, so shopping around and comparing prices is important. However, don’t choose an inspector solely based on cost. Choosing an experienced, licensed, and certified inspector who will provide a thorough and accurate inspection is more important.
See the HUD website for a list of questions for a home inspector.
Should Sellers in California Get a Home Inspection?
Sellers should get a pre-listing home inspection before listing their house for sale. A pre-listing inspection can provide an unbiased assessment of the property’s condition and reveal any hidden issues that may need to be addressed before putting the house on the market.
Knowing about potential problems in advance will enable them to address and repair any major issues on the seller’s terms and prevent renegotiating terms after a buyer’s home inspection.
A seller home inspection checklist can help you get the most from your sale and prepare you for home inspection day.
Home Inspection Cost in California FAQs
You may have additional questions about the home inspection cost in California. Here are some additional frequently asked questions.
What do home inspectors look for in California?
A home inspection in California typically includes a visual inspection of the home’s major systems, including the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as the roof, foundation, and other structural elements. The inspector will also look for evidence of water damage, mold, and wood-destroying pest activity. Lastly, they’ll check for safety features like GFCI protection, smoke detectors, or carbon monoxide alarms.
Are home inspections required in California?
No, home inspections are not required in California. However, it is highly recommended that buyers get an independent home inspection to ensure that the property they are purchasing is safe and in good condition.
Who pays for a home inspection in California?
Typically, the buyer pays for a home inspection. However, in some cases, the seller may offer to cover the cost of an inspection as part of a home sale negotiation. The terms of a home inspection cost agreement should be discussed between the buyer and seller before an inspector is hired. For more, see Who Pays for the Home Inspection?
How much does a home inspection cost LA?
A home inspection in Los Angeles costs between $515 and $699 for a standard home inspection on a 1,500 SF house. You can expect to pay about $0.34 to $0.47 per square foot for larger homes in LA.