When you are buying a home, a home inspection helps to provide insight into this major purchase. Not only does a pre-purchase home inspection help identify issues that could be wrong with the home, it also provides you with an idea of the maintenance that is required and how many of the major operating systems are functioning—and how to work them. In the state of Florida, home inspections are not required by law to complete a sale but are highly recommended. Many lenders, however, may require an inspection before they grant a buyer a mortgage for the home.

So, what is the cost of a home inspection?

Not nearly as much as not getting one could cost you if there is something significantly wrong with the home and you buy it without knowing. On average, in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas, home inspections cost around $1,000. This amount is out of pocket and not usually wrapped into your mortgage loan.

Can anything influence the cost?

Yes. This cost of the home inspection can be influenced on the location of the home, how far the home inspector has to travel—if the home is within their service area or if they are driving outside of their normal inspection area—and the size of the home and property. In addition, if the home requires additional or further inspection services (like a pest inspection, water quality testing, or a mold inspection), then your costs can rise.

It is important to know what is and is not included in a home inspection, and whether the home inspector is capable, certified, or licensed to perform the other inspections you may need or want.

The qualifications of the inspector may also influence their pricing. An inspector with extensive training, who continues their training and knowledge, is certified or licensed in multiple inspections may charge more for their inspections.

Do I have to use the home inspector my realtor recommends?

No. You can do your own research into local home inspectors and hire the one you want. Realtors provide recommendations, usually of inspectors who have checked homes they have sold or helped others buy. This recommendation is usually offered because it is a professional they know can be trusted to provide an honest insight for their client.

How long do home inspections last?

On average, home inspections can take about 3 or 4 hours. More or less depending on the size of the home and property being inspected and the number of inspections being conducted. If you are having a traditional home inspection done as well as a water quality test and termite inspection, the your inspections may take closer to four to six hours.

Can I be there for the home inspection?

Absolutely! In fact, any home inspector who does not want you present should not be trusted. Home inspections are for the client’s benefit and they are going to see a detailed report—why shouldn’t they be allowed to be there? Plus, most home inspectors want you there to show you where high risk areas, major maintenance, and key aspects of your home are located.

Home inspections are important to understand the “big picture” of the home as well as getting insight into even the littlest details and knowing which need attention or repair, immediately or over time. So, how much does a home inspection cost? A simple fee that provides you peace of mind, knowledge about your purchase, and educated information about maintenance and functionality.