First Time Home Buyer Tips: How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

By JDFerris | Industry Insights

Nov 05

What is the Cost of a Home Inspection in Olympia Washington and Why is it Important?

Buying a house is exciting; however, it can likewise be quite a demanding and lengthy process. The worst thing that can take place after you’ve signed your closing documents is an unforeseen and significant expense due to issues in the house that you weren’t warned of throughout the buying process. This is why making sure to have a home inspection is so important and why most real estate agents advise home buyers to hire a licensed(depending on the State) home inspector when they are buying a home.

Some buyers decide to save a couple of dollars by skipping this step. While hiring a home inspector is an additional cost, doing so can assist you in avoiding pricey repair work, saving you money and time in the long run. Let me tell you from experience; you do NOT want to be on the wrong side of a painted pig purchase!

This reminds me of the marshmallow experiment they did with kids several years back, essentially asking kids if they can delay gratification for a certain amount of time by not eating the marshmallow in front of them to get two later. Many flaws, don’t get me started, but this situation is very similar in that you are spending a small amount of money today to save a large amount of money down the road potentially. 

What is the Cost of a Single-Family Home Inspection and Written Report?

According to the HUD, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national average home inspection fees, or the average cost of a home inspection and report:

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size, and age of the house, scope of services, and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/insp/inspfaq

Surprisingly enough, this average home inspection cost range provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development was pretty accurate, at least for the Greater South Puget Sound and it’s surrounding counties and cities!

In my experience as a licensed and certified professional home inspector in Olympia Washington, a single-family residential home will have an inspection cost of roughly $400 to $500, depending on size, location, and age! You can find a home inspection cost calculator here, on spsinspections.com, to get a feeling for what it would cost to have your house or prospective home inspected professionally.

First Time Home Buyer Tips: How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?  -

Are There any Additional Fees Above the Total Home Inspection Prices?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Haha, but in all sincerity, the previous was a correct answer to this question! Allow me to elaborate for you. Home inspecting is not the type of industry that is strictly regulated by any particular local governing body, per se. As such, it is left to the home inspector to decide the prices he/she would like to charge for their services. 

Many times when you hire a home inspector, you are charged depending on the size or square footage of the new home you are buying. There are also a couple of other ways house inspectors go about determining the property inspection cost, but we will not get into them here.

In addition to the average home inspection prices, most inspectors will provide at least one or two ancillary services for their customers for an additional fee, typically $50 to $150, depending on the service. This could consist of offering mold testing services to your clients, private well water testing services, and ala carte inspection services among MANY more.

Moisture intrusion damages and mold inspection services
Moisture intrusion damages and possible mold damage on wall

Is the Home Inspection Report Included in the Price of the Inspection Services?

No home is perfect (yes, this even includes new and recently built construction). A good home inspector will usually discover some issues needing attention or problems that the buyer and seller should be made aware of. Going to the following link will take you to view some sample home inspection reports from SPS Inspections – premier provider of home inspection services in Thurston County and the Greater South Puget Sound! Once there, feel free to download the sample inspection reports, or view them as a PDF right in your web browser!

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

Although the exact length of time a home inspection lasts will be determined by several factors, from the quality of home inspector you hire to the standards of practice they follow.

Whether your inspector performs services above and beyond their scope of work, or if they fail even to meet the bare minimum, an average home inspection will last two to three hours. We find if you plan for the inspection to be three hours, this will usually be enough time for the inspector to evaluate what they need to.

This is also going to depend on what type of building is being inspected.

Chances are, a condo inspection or an apartment inspection are not going to take as long to complete as a single-family residential inspection or a multi-family home inspection.

research, or due diligence, is one of the most important steps for first time home buyers

Resources for First Time Home Buyer Programs

If you are a first time home buyer, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for getting to this point in life for one, and then it would be a good idea to read on because, for all of you who are first time home buyers, there are many programs out there to help you obtain your first home! From Fannie Mae to Freddie Mac, Federal Government subsidy programs, and guaranteed loans to help you with your first time home buying process! A great place to start your own research would be the main website for the FHA, the Federal Housing Administration. The following are links to a couple of first time home buyer programs that may be of use to you in some way!

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