Home Inspection Cost and Consumer Guide

Kenneth Wilson

Buying a home can be such an exciting endeavor, but it’s crucial to have the home inspected before fully committing to the purchase. Home inspections can help potential homeowners avoid unexpected issues within the house.  Knowing the condition of a home you want to buy can give you the upper hand when making your purchase.

Hiring a home inspector is highly encouraged for home buyers. When deciding to arrange for a home inspection, it can be helpful to understand the costs you will be facing. Once you know the factors involved in home inspections and how they can affect the price, you can move forward with scheduling an inspection for your home.

A home inspection costs between $300 and $500 on average. However, the overall cost can vary drastically. The age and square footage of the property can play a significant role in the final cost. If additional inspection services are included, they may also increase the price.

Chart showing the ranges of a standard home inspection with add on inspection services.

This consumer guide will explore the components of the cost of home inspection. Although mortgage companies do not require home inspections, it is highly recommended to arrange for one. Purchasing a house is a big deal, and you want to be sure you know everything about the property you are buying. There are many important details of a property that are inspected during a home inspection, and some of these may affect the overall inspection cost.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about home inspection costs.

Average Cost of a Home Inspection

The average cost of a home inspection ranges from $300 to $500, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These costs can vary significantly based on several factors regarding the age and size of the house. A standard home inspection can help home buyers discover the condition the house is in. Inspection add-ons are excellent for buyers wanting a more in-depth assessment of the property.

  • Asbestos Testing
  • Radon Testing
  • Sewer Scope
  • Mold Air Sampling
  • Water Quality Assessment
  • Pest Inspection
  • Energy Inspection
  • Solar System Inspection
  • Swimming Pool Inspection

All these home inspection add-on services can help you have a better understanding of the condition of the house you want to purchase. Each additional service will be an extra cost on top of the standard inspection fees. This table shows an average cost breakdown of the possible add-on services you can request with your home inspection.

Inspection Add-on Costs

Type of Service

Average Cost of Service

Asbestos Testing

$228 - $797

Radon Testing

$145 - $718

Sewer Scope

$251 - $1,196

Mold Air Sampling

$296 - $1,006

Water Quality Assessment

$50 - $550

Pest Inspection

$50 - $280

Energy Inspection

$207 - $662

Solar System Inspection

$150 - $300

Swimming Pool Inspection

$100 - $150

Standard Home Inspection

A standard home inspection includes an assessment of the roof, plumbing, foundation, structure, and electrical systems. During an inspection, each area will be evaluated to determine its current condition. All windows, doors, faucets, and drains are inspected, along with the floors, walls, and ceilings.

The main goal of a standard home inspection is to seek out any damages or issues within a property before it is purchased. A routine home inspection typically covers the critical basics a prospective homeowner would want to know before making a purchase. The home inspector will notify the homeowner about any safety risks or health concerns involved with the condition of the house.

If the prospective homeowner wants a more in-depth inspection of the property, they can request additional inspection services for an extra cost. Listed below are details about the inspection add-on services you should consider before arranging for a home inspection.

Inspection Add-on Details

As mentioned in the table above, there are a variety of inspection add-ons you can request for your home inspection. These are services that are geared towards specific aspects of the property that some future homeowners may want to be assessed. Purchasing these additional services can allow you to know essential details about the home you are wanting to purchase. None of these home inspection add-on services are required during the process of purchasing a home, but they can provide beneficial information to prospective homebuyers.

Asbestos Testing

The average cost of asbestos testing ranges from $228 to $797. In some scenarios, the costs can be as low as $90 or as expensive as $2,000. These prices depend on the square footage of the property being assessed, alongside the complexity of the project. Asbestos testing includes a visual inspection of the property, collection of samples from at-risk areas, asbestos testing of the samples, and a report of the findings from the asbestos testing.

These tests are essential with older properties that may have asbestos present. Flaking asbestos creates a risk of cancer and other health complications for people who accidentally inhale particles of this harmful material.

Radon Testing

The average cost of radon testing ranges from $145 to $718. Home test kits that cost between $10 and $30 can be used, but the results will be nowhere near as accurate as hiring a professional to complete the assessment. A radon test can help figure out the severity of radon levels in the surrounding air. The size of the home and the region it is located in may play a significant role in the final cost. Requesting an additional radon inspection of the water can cost up to $200 extra.

Radon inspection is very important when purchasing a new property. The number two cause of lung cancer is coming into contact with radon fumes. Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless and odorless that materializes from the decaying process of radium in water and soil.

Sewer Scope

The average cost of a sewer scope ranges from $251 to $1,196. This price is impacted by the size and accessibility of the sewer being inspected. These costs do not include any cleaning, clearing, or replacing of sewer lines. Sewer scopes, also known as sewer camera inspections, involve sending a device with a camera into a drain and through a sewer line in order to inspect the current condition of the sewer. The inspector will provide a report of their findings, along with a copy of the footage taken inside of the sewer line.

Having an idea of what condition the sewer lines are in when purchasing a property can help homeowners avoid costly repairs down the line if there are issues within the sewer. If sewer line issues are found before the purchase of the property is complete, the prospective homeowner can sometimes have the previous owner cover the costs of repairs.

Mold Air Sampling

The average cost of mold air sampling ranges from $296 to $1,006. The size of the property and the accessibility of the areas being inspected can affect this price significantly. DIY air mold tests can be purchased for $10 to $40, but they are known to have misleading results. With mold air testing, an inspector will gather samples of the air around the property to test for mold. They will also perform a visual inspection of the property. After the tests are complete, inspectors will provide an assessment of the results. If any mold is found, most mold specialists can provide mold removal services for an additional cost.

Mold in the air can be toxic to humans and animals. It can cause asthma, allergies, illness, or respiratory infections. When purchasing a house, it’s crucial to find out if there is any mold on the premises. Having a mold-free home can help you live and breathe easy, knowing your health is not at risk due to the air you breathe.

Water Quality Assessment

The average cost of water quality assessments ranges from $50 to $550. This price depends on the quality of the test performed, alongside the number of substances being tested for. The cost also is affected by whether the source of water for the home is a private well or the public water supply. Water quality tests are sent into laboratories to be tested by experts. Testing the water quality in your home can help identify any harmful substances inside of your water supply. However, these water quality assessments do not include any necessary treatment to the water.

In homes that have their own private water well, water quality testing is essential before purchasing this property. Generally, homes that use the public water supply do not require quality testing unless the house is very old and there is a risk of rusted pipes.

Pest Inspection

The average cost of pest inspection ranges from $50 to $280. Square footage of the home and accessibility to the at-risk areas will substantially impact the cost of pest inspection. If there are visible amounts of extensive damage around the house from the pests requiring lots of labor from the inspector, the cost can increase. During a pest inspection, the inspector will examine the structure of the home and the rest of the property to seek out any signs of possible pest infestations. If any pests are located, the inspector can provide an extermination service for an extra charge.

When purchasing a home, inspecting the property for pests can help avoid expensive fumigation costs in the future if an infestation were to go unnoticed. Fumigation prices can range from $1,000 to $4,000, which is significantly higher than the cost of a preventative pest inspection.

Energy Inspection

The average cost of an energy inspection ranges from $207 to $662. An energy inspection, also known as a home energy audit, can help a prospective homeowner figure out the energy efficiency levels of a home they are interested in purchasing. These costs can be affected by the square footage of the property, ranging from $0.08 to $0.50 per square foot. Energy audits cover all aspects of your home that provide sources of energy or conservation of energy. All appliances, light fixtures, and wiring structures are assessed for efficiency. Older properties may have more expensive audit costs due to having so many needed adjustments.

Energy inspections are one of the least important focuses for a potential homebuyer. Although it can be very beneficial to have an understanding of the current energy efficiency of the house, it is not typically a deal-breaking factor. Some home inspection services will offer energy audits at an additional cost, but it is not as crucial as some of the other possible additional services.

Solar System Inspection

The average cost of a solar system inspection ranges from $150 to $300. These prices depend upon the quantity of solar panels installed and the accessibility of the solar system. Some home inspection companies will specifically offer solar system inspections, but usually, it will be necessary to hire a company that focuses on solar equipment.

During a solar system inspection, the inspector will examine the solar panels to check for any wear and tear. The solar system will be analyzed entirely to check for any needed repairs or part replacements. An inspection can help ensure that the solar system is working at maximum efficiency.

Solar system inspections are only necessary if you are purchasing a home that has solar panels installed. This inspection can help identify any prior damage to the solar panels so you can include that information in your decision to purchase the home with the panels. Typically, solar system inspectors are specialists who can provide necessary repair services for an extra cost.

Swimming Pool Inspection

The average cost of a swimming pool inspection ranges from $100 to $150. This price will vary depending upon the size and shape of the pool. Swimming pool inspection costs do not include the fees for any necessary repairs. Typically, the swimming pool inspection company will offer repair services at an additional cost. An inspection for a swimming pool involves examining the pool equipment to check for leaks, damage, or malfunctioning units. The post-inspection report will generally include comments regarding the condition of any pool and suggestions for any needed maintenance or repairs. Cleaning systems and heating systems of the pool will also be inspected.

If you are purchasing a home that includes a swimming pool, arranging a swimming pool inspection is an essential preventative measure that can help you to avoid costly repairs down the line. Most home inspection companies offer swimming pool inspection services at an additional cost, but you may have to reach out to a specialist, depending on your location.

Selecting a Home Inspector

When selecting a home inspector, there are several factors you will want to take into consideration. The number of home inspection companies in each region can be overwhelming. So many first-time homebuyers have one big question during the process: where does one begin when choosing an inspector?

In the process of choosing a home inspector, here are some factors that should be considered:

  • Credentials
  • Reviews
  • Recommendations
  • Sample Inspection Report
  • Price
  • Experience

Sometimes, your real estate agent may try to refer you to an inspector. However, it is essential not to use this referral unless you wholly trust your agent. There can sometimes be a conflict of interest if a real estate agent recommends an inspector who will do a half-hearted job to complete the sale.

Selecting a home inspector on your own can help guarantee you will find an inspector who has your best interest in mind. Even if you have never worked with a home inspector before, it’s possible to find a company near you that meets your needs. By doing proper research and taking the time to carefully select a home inspector, you can find someone who is trustworthy and reliable to assess the condition of the home you want to buy. Choosing a home inspector on your own can help guarantee you are working with someone within your budget who can get the job done effectively.

Here is a breakdown of some important elements to consider when selecting a home inspector:

  • Credentials: Checking a home inspector’s credentials is an excellent way to see if they are qualified to inspect your home. 68% of states in the U.S. require home inspectors to obtain a license. Click here to visit the National Home Inspector Examination website to determine if your state requires licensure for home inspectors. If a home inspector is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), it means they have completed a minimum of 250 paid home inspections, as well as passed an in-person examination. Working with an ASHI-certified home inspector can guarantee you are working with a credible inspector.
  • Reviews: Online reviews are an excellent way to discover the quality of service a home inspection company offers. Websites such as Google, Yelp, or Facebook are reliable platforms to check out when seeking reviews for a home inspection company. The Better Business Bureau is also an outstanding resource to investigate companies. Very satisfied and very unsatisfied customers are the most likely types of people to leave reviews, so typically, you will find a collection of their strengths and weaknesses. Companies are unable to control reviews, so if they offer inadequate services, any reviews regarding that cannot be reviewed. Checking reviews is vital to ensure you are working with a company that is reliable and trustworthy. Reviews can also show you which home inspection companies are most popular in your region.
  • Recommendations: Asking friends, family, and peers for recommendations is an exceptional way to select a home inspector. When relying on a personal recommendation, you can guarantee that the company you are working with is satisfactory. More often than not, people are likely to be honest about an experience when providing a personal recommendation. Home inspection companies will have good reputations within their community if they provide high-quality services. And if a home inspection company is providing services that are substandard, people within the community will likely notify one another. However, if you are unable to receive recommendations by word-of-mouth, there are other ways to make a decision on which home inspector to choose.
  • Sample Inspection Report: When seeking a home inspector to work with, you are able to ask inspection companies for samples reports from their inspectors. Inquire with several different companies about this before making a decision. Once you have a collection of several sample reports, you can make a side-by-side comparison. It’s important to seek out a home inspector who will do an in-depth assessment of the property. Keep an eye out for sample reports that show inspectors making generic, undetailed comments. A home inspector’s core responsibility is making sure they figure out every detail about the condition of a house. You don’t want an inspector who will be careless or overlook damages that could cost you expensive repairs down the line.
  • Price: If you don’t have an unlimited budget, you will want to pay attention to the price of the home inspection services a company has to offer. Depending on the living cost of your local region, average costs for home inspection services may vary. It’s also essential to find out what services are included in a company’s standard inspection. Some home inspection companies will consist of more services than others.When researching a home inspector to hire, you should also consider the possibility of hiring a specified expert. For example, you could hire a certified home engineer to inspect your home. Working with a specialist will guarantee the report you receive will be detailed and accurate. However, when hiring a specialized expert, costs could potentially double in comparison to working with a standard home inspector.
  • Experience: A home inspector with extensive experience is more likely to have a broader range of knowledge than an inspector with one year of experience. However, this doesn’t guarantee that an inspection company that has been around for twenty years will provide outstanding services. There’s always the possibility that a newcomer to the field can perform an expert inspection. Experience should play a role in your decision when selecting a home inspector, but it’s important to pay attention to other elements such as reviews, recommendations, and certifications. Overall, an inspector with more experience has seen more homes in their lifetimes, so they may have a better understanding of what condition your property is in.

When selecting a home inspector to assess the home you want to purchase, you should consider the elements listed above before making your decision. The home inspector you choose can have a significant impact on your experience within the home. An adequate home inspector can help you avoid costly repairs down the line, while an inadequate home inspector can cause severe financial damage if they do not detect substantial damages. Take your time when choosing a home inspector to ensure you are working with somebody who is trustworthy and reliable.

Home Inspection: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When receiving a home inspection for the first time, there may be many questions that come to mind. Home inspections generally aren’t a part of our daily routines, so it’s normal to have some questions about the process. The inspection process is a very important aspect of purchasing a property, so having these questions answered is essential.

Here are ten of the most frequently asked questions regarding the process of home inspection:

How long does a home inspection take?

A typical home inspection lasts around two to three hours for an average single-family home. Larger properties will take more extended amounts of time. Sometimes, for very large inspections, a company will send multiple inspectors. If you are purchasing additional inspection services, the process could take up to several hours longer, depending how many add-on services you requested.

How long until I receive the home inspection report?

The home inspection report is delivered within 24 hours generally. It should rarely take more than 48 hours for a home inspector to provide the report with their findings. However, in some uncommon cases, it can take longer to receive the inspection report. For example, during a busy home buying season, home inspectors might have their hands full with clients and have a slower turnaround.

Can I be present during the home inspection?

It is highly recommended that the prospective homebuyer is present during the home inspection. If you are present during the home inspection, you have the chance to ask any questions that may arise regarding the property and its condition. Being present during the home inspection can also help you to ensure the inspector is doing a thorough job when examining the property.

Who pays for a home inspection?

The home buyer should always pay for the home inspection. This is to avoid potential conflicts of interest. When paying for the home inspection, the buyer will have control over the inspection process and selection of a home inspection company to work with. (Related: Who Pays For The Cost Of A Home Inspection Before Negotiations)

Does a home inspection determine market value?

No, a home inspection does not determine market value. A home inspection will only be able to decide on the current condition of a home and any existing hazards or health risks. A home appraisal would be used to determine the market value of the property.

Can a home fail a home inspection?

No, a home cannot fail a home inspection. The process does not involve a pass or fail system. Instead, a home inspection will identify all the areas of a house that are damaged or malfunctioning. The inspection will also make a list of any needed repairs. It is possible that a home inspector will find an extensive amount of health risks within the house and declare that the house is currently unlivable.

Can I perform a home inspection myself?

While it is possible to perform a home inspection yourself, it is not recommended. Working with a professional home inspector will ensure the property is assessed accurately. Any mistakes made when inspecting the home yourself could be costly down the line.

Why is a home inspection necessary?

A home inspection is important to avoid any unexpected issues when purchasing a house. Doing a thorough inspection of the property can identify any existing damages or areas needing maintenance. It’s important for prospective homebuyers to be completely familiar with the house they plan on purchasing. 

Do mortgage companies require a home inspection?

No, mortgage companies do not require a home inspection. However, most mortgage companies will highly recommend that homebuyers arrange for an inspection before sealing the deal. This is to ensure the buyer is fully aware of what they are purchasing with the mortgage loan. If any unexpected expensive repairs come up after the home purchase is complete, this could interfere with the homeowner’s ability to make mortgage payments.

Should I get a home inspection if I’m selling my home?

Typically, home sellers do not arrange for home inspections. However, more and more sellers are choosing to have their home inspected before putting it up on the market. They are doing this in order to get a better idea of what asking price they should list for the house. A home inspection can also help home sellers know the full condition of the property they are selling. This can help to avoid unpleasant surprises during the negotiating process of the home sale.

Final Thoughts

The process of buying a home can be an exciting and complicated endeavor but arranging for a home inspection can help home buyers have a better idea of what they are getting into. Without a home inspection, there is the risk of purchasing a home that has a significant amount of underlying damage that cannot be seen by the untrained eye. Knowing the condition of a house before completing the purchasing process can ensure buyers are not making an irresponsible purchase that could cost them lots of money in repairs.

Whether you decide to have a standard home inspection completed or an inspection with additional services, the advantages of having a home inspected before purchasing it are plentiful. Arranging for a home inspection is not required during the home buying process, but it is highly recommended by mortgage companies and real estate agents. After reading this guide, you should have the tools you need to get started with selecting a home inspector to work with.

Kenneth Wilson
September 24, 2021
Cost Guides, Ideas & Inspiration

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.