There are a couple different ways to answer this question. In the broadest sense, a home inspection might cost anywhere from $150-$750. The vast majority of home inspections fall somewhere between $200-$500, and a simple average is probably somewhere between $300-$325.
One of the most common ways that people find and choose their home inspector is through their realtor, but this path isn’t always available. If you’re just trying to get a ballpark number, we can help you create a reasonable expectation with just a few minutes of research. If you’re looking to save every last dollar you can, there’s really no substitute for getting estimates from multiple home inspectors.
The good news is that there’s not always a strong correlation between the cost and quality of the inspection. Even some of the most experienced and knowledgeable home inspectors out there charge very reasonable prices, and just because a home inspection is relatively inexpensive doesn’t mean it won’t be thorough.
Location and Market
As with pretty much anything, where you live has an impact on how much things cost. The average cost of a home inspection in Manhattan, New York is considerably more than the average cost in Manhattan, Kansas. The relative temperature of the local housing market—and the sales volume in particular—may also have an impact on cost and availability, especially if it’s not met by a surge in the number of inspectors operating in that area.
For these local market factors in particular, a realtor can typically help you understand what to expect. Often times, the realtor may put a premium on making sure their clients’ can get on the home inspector’s schedule, rather than price, but the realtor may also explain this fact and encourage you to look for your own home inspector if you so choose.
Size and Age of the Home
Even within the same housing market, there can be considerable differences in the cost of a home inspection based on the size and age of the home. It makes sense, right? The bigger the home the longer the inspection is liable to take. And while it’s still important to have newer homes inspected for their own set of vulnerabilities—most notably, inadequate ventilation from over-sealing the home—it is true that these inspections usually go more quickly per square foot. At the same time, there is no standard fee schedule or pricing policies for home inspectors—some of whom may charge a flat fee up to a certain size, or they may charge by room, or by square feet.
Outside Resources for Estimating the Cost of a Home Inspection
What the Industry Says
If you’re looking for official guidance from, say, the American Society of Home Inspectors, you’ll get referred to the Department of Housing and Urban Development who will quote you the $300-$500 figures.
What the Market Says
The consumer-driven websites that track the actual costs their customers are paying for home inspections suggests this range might skew a little toward the high side, and that the actual average cost of a home inspection nationwide is likely somewhere around the $324 mark cited by HomeAdvisor (the last time we checked). Thumbtack is another great way to look for average home inspection costs in your area.
Math and Demographics
It’s nearly impossible to find a quality home inspector for less than $200. A small, newer condo inspection from an inspector who’s familiar with that condo community and can go through one of the units in 90 minutes might be an exception that proves the rule. It’s also true that a relatively small number of expensive homes could inflate the simple average cost. A several million-dollar home built decades ago on the edge of a seaside cliff will likely experience a series of various home inspections whenever the property is put on the market and sold.
For those of you who speak statistics, the median average for a home inspection is almost surely lower than the mean average because the distribution curve is skewed toward the more expensive end. This, too, helps explain why some sources suggest the average cost of a home inspection is between $300-$500, while others suggest it’s more like $250-$400 for most typical homeowners.