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.
The US national average cost for a home inspection on a 1500 square foot (SF) single-family home is $413. You can expect to pay about $50 per additional 500 SF for larger homes. Home inspectors often price their services based on square footage and foundation type (see table below).
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.
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
HomeAdvisor says the average cost of a home inspection is $280 to $400. However, this number is somewhat vague and omits some essential details. The most glaring omission is that the data does not represent how most home inspectors price their home inspection services.
Our home inspection cost calculator can help you determine the estimated cost based on the services you need and your state.
The cost of a home inspection provided by many online services is based on what customers pay for a home inspection, regardless of who performed the inspection.
From reading numerous Facebook posts and home inspector forum threads, most established home inspectors do not participate in the lead generation programs like HomeAdvisor.
HomeAdvisor (and similar lead-generation services) attract new, inexperienced home inspectors who don’t have a solid referral base. These inspectors often compete on price alone, skewing the average inspection price.
Average Home Inspection Cost by State
Many homes in the US are about 1500 heated square feet or less. Your home’s location, square footage, and foundation style often determine how much your home inspection costs. Below is the average price for a home inspection for a 1500 SF house (does not include ancillary services):
|State||Cost (1500 SF)|
The areas with the cheapest home inspection cost include (does not include ancillary services):
|State||Lowest Cost (1500 SF)|
The areas with the highest average fee for a home inspection include (does not include ancillary services):
|State||Highest Cost (1500 SF)|
Based on a poll of over 1000 certified home inspectors, the home inspection fee for a 1500 SF house on a concrete slab averages $413.
The typical quality home inspection fee is $450, but this fee can vary widely depending on the home’s location, age, square footage, and foundation type. A 1500 square foot house on a slab foundation less than ten years old may cost $400, whereas a 4000 square foot house on a crawl space in comparable older homes may cost $750 or more.
|Square Footage (SF)||Basement/|
Home inspection prices vary by location by as much as $50-$350 on average. For instance, rates in the Northeast averaged about $150 higher than in some Southern states and areas with distressed market conditions and high unemployment.
Other factors affecting the home inspection include if the property has detached structures, pools, well systems, or septic systems. Other services, such as radon or mold testing, also affect the home inspection fee.
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.
Always ask your home inspector to see their state license and association credentials (not all states have home inspector licensing), and business references, check online reviews such as Google My Business, and outline their home inspection process.
Is a Home Inspection Worth It?
A home inspection 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 inspection report from a certified home inspector, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
What a 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. Signs of wear and tear, such as missing shingles or water damage, and any potential structural issues could lead to more expensive repairs.
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 issues with the foundation, it’s important to know about them before making a purchase decision, as they can be difficult and expensive to repair.
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.
The house’s mechanical systems, including HVAC and water heaters, 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.
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.
Do You Need Specialty Inspections?
Home inspection fees do not include specialized or specialty inspections such as radon testing, mold testing, swimming pools, termite inspections, drone inspections, infrared scanning, etc.
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 fee. Additionally, certain areas require one or more of these specialized or specialty inspections, which raise your home inspection cost.
Home Inspection Cost FAQs
You may have additional questions about the home inspections. Here are some most common frequently asked questions.
Is a home inspection required?
A home inspection is not usually a requirement. The inspection contingency in the purchase agreement grants the buyer permission to have a home inspection as a part of their due diligence. It’s a good idea to have a home inspection to get a complete picture of the home’s condition.
Who pays for the home inspection?
The buyer typically pays for the home inspection unless it is specifically agreed upon in a real estate contract that the seller will pay for it. Sellers can also pay for a home inspection before listing a home for sale.
Can I do a home inspection myself without the help of a professional?
No, it is not recommended to conduct a home inspection yourself. A professional home inspector has the knowledge and expertise to properly inspect all aspects of a home, including structural components, electrical wiring, plumbing systems, and mechanical systems, to identify safety hazards that could lead to costly repairs or safety concerns.