Buying a home is a huge investment—and you can’t exactly read Amazon reviews to get a sense of any problems that might crop up after you’ve plunked down your money. That’s why it’s smart to get a home inspection before you close the deal. But since home inspections aren’t free and that cash comes out of your pocket, you might be wondering: How much does a home inspection cost?
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a typical home inspection costs $300 to $500. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the agony these inspections can save you down the road. But the exact price will depend on the size of your home, where you live, and what you want inspected, says Claude McGavic, executive director of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
What home inspectors look for
A professional home inspector, certified by the NAHI, is trained to look at over 1,600 features of your home that can fall into disrepair (who knew there were so many?).
Inspectors mainly look at the following:
- Grounds for possible water problems
- Structure for foundation, window, or door problems
- Exterior for rot, decay, and excavation problems
- Roof for shingle, flashing, and fascia problems
- Interior for framing, insulation, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical issues
- Kitchen for electrical code compliance, operating cabinets, and plumbing problems
An inspection of a typical house takes two or three hours; larger homes with two or three HVAC systems will take longer, and cost more as a result.