How much should you pay for a home inspection?
The level of protection and extra services play a huge role in the cost of any contracted service. A home inspection is not the transfer of tangible goods. It is the transfer of data collected by the home inspector during the home inspection. The value of a Cadillac verses a Yugo can be quickly determined. The value of a home inspection is not quite so easy. Knowledge, experience, decision making skills, data collection, report writing skills and data delivery skills cannot be seen. It’s not tangible.
A standard home inspection does not include radon, mold testing, thermal imagery or energy audits. Virginia radon testers must be certified by NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program or the NRSB (National Radon Safety Board), before conducting any fee paid radon test. Virginia requires asbestos and lead paint inspectors to be licensed by DPOR (Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations).
Home inspectors are not created equal and their reports will vary widely, from a standard paper form to a web based report with full digital photographs and videos. Years of experience in the home building trades, years of experience in the home inspection profession will have an impact on the fee structure. It will also affect the level of protection and professionalism, the thoroughness of the home inspection, how detailed the report is, repair plans and recommendations and timely home inspection report delivery.
Home building, construction knowledge and field experience is not required to obtain a home inspectors license or conduct a home inspection in Virginia. So how do you know the fee is too much or too little? Unfortunately, you don’t.
It has been said that all those bells and whistles are not necessary, so when you are shopping and getting ready to pay 100,000 or more, making the biggest purchase many will ever make. Do you want the Yugo home inspector, the Cadillac home inspector, or somewhere in between?
The amount being charged does not reflect the amount of protection you are receiving, check the home inspector out on Google, the Better Business Bureau and if they are affiliated with any governing, certifying organization like InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors), Member #NACHI16010408. ASHI American Society of Home Inspectors Gold Member Since 2003 # 243146 (HUD and FHA Recommended) Virginia Licensed Home Inspector # 3380000637, Virginia Licensed Home Improvement Contractor Lic # 2705151782.
The home inspector must consider their expenses to determine what they must charge for a home inspection. Reporting styles, distance, crawlspace inspections, General Liability Insurance, Errors and Omissions Insurance (not required by Virginia) go into determining the home inspection fee.
According to an article on Angie’s List “How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost” home inspection fees varied, starting at $375 up to $550, while a Home Advisor article “Home Much Does A Home Inspection Cost” reported home inspection fees at $315 for a condo or small home and a 2000 square foot home was at $400.
The home inspection fee is really worth its weight in gold. The home inspection cost is small compared to the protection you are receiving. I know you just want to know how much it will cost. I do not advertise my fees, give me call. But remember to compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.
Here is a comparison chart to assist you in comparing home inspectors.