By Keith Boggs
Posted May 10, 2019 at 10:43am

Did you know the average listing price of a home in Frisco is nearly $500,000? And in Dallas, it’s more than $600,000! If you’re like most people, a home is probably the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. And there is so much risk involved. Many defects can hide behind walls, under floors, and in the dark corners of attics — termites, electrical problems, plumbing issues, water damage, structural issues… the list goes on and on.

Which is why a quality home inspection is one of the most valuable investments you can make.

The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the cost of a house. Most home inspections cost less than $1,000 with many closer to around $500. That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind when facing this high-dollar investment. Here are a few more things we want to share about the financial aspect of home inspections.

How Much Is a Home Inspection?

For most homes in Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Fort Worth, Texas and surrounding areas, the average cost of a home inspection is about $500 to $700. Can you pay less? Yes! However, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is as true in home inspecting as it is in virtually every other business. With the cost of a home in popular North Texas locations coming in at about half a million, investing in an evaluation by a professional, experienced inspector has the potential to save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Read on to understand more about how inspectors determine their pricing and why cost alone is not the best deciding factor when you’re selecting a firm to perform your home inspection.

How is the Price of a Home Inspection Determined?

Every home inspection company will have its own unique method for determining the cost of your inspection. However, there are considerations that all will take into account. For example, your home inspector will set the price based on a number of common factors like:

  • The home’s square footage: Most home inspectors base their fees on the size of the home inclusive of all floors, basements, attics, and porches. And most will have a minimum fee for small homes and those with pier and beam foundations.
  • The presence of certain items on your property, for example, a pool, a spa, outbuildings, or a high-pitched roof that may require additional time to walk thoroughly.
  • The age of the home or condo: Older or historic homes may take longer to inspect, particularly if the home has undergone extensive renovations, which can lead to complicating factors, like hybrid electrical and plumbing systems.
  • The local real estate market — if more people are buying homes, home inspectors are in demand and competition can drive prices up.

A few additional factors may also affect the price. Estimates can vary based on the location of the property — if it’s outside the inspector’s normal service area, there may be a travel fee included. Additional travel fees may be applied if the inspector travels to a property only to find the home isn’t “inspection-ready” or keys and combinations to items on the property aren’t made available. And the reinspection of defects that the seller agrees to fix may or may not be included in the inspector’s final estimate.

Bottom line: It’s important to make sure you understand the services your home inspector will provide. A few key questions to ask:

  • What will you inspect and what will you not inspect?
  • How do you perform the inspection and how long will it take?
  • What will the inspection report look like and when will I receive it?
  • How do you handle questions after the report has been delivered?
  • Will you recommend repairs? Can you do them yourself?
  • What if you miss something?

Who Should Pay for a Home Inspection?

The buyer is usually responsible for paying for the home inspection, although this is negotiable, and inspection fees can be wrapped into closing costs if the seller agrees. What’s most important, however, is that the buyer should be the person to select the home inspector, oversee their involvement, and receive their initial report. Buyers take on a huge amount of risk when investing in a home and land they know little about. The home inspector is their ally, helping them see things they would otherwise miss as they progress through their homebuying journey.

Additionally, it’s important for buyers to know that sellers may also choose to do a pre-listing inspection at their own expense to identify any potential defects they can address before putting the house on the market. If they do, they’re required by law to share the results with potential buyers. So, as a buyer, make sure you ask if a pre-listing inspection report is available. That information will help ensure you are making the wisest decision based on the most information available.

Why Shouldn’t I Choose a Home Inspector Based on Cost Alone?

All home inspectors are required to be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), which indicates a certain level of education, training, and professionalism. Quality, however, comes from experience on the ground. A high-quality inspector will go beyond TREC’s minimum inspection requirements. His report should be longer and more detailed than TREC’s minimum report (which is only required to be six pages, with no pictures and only a few performance statements). He should educate you, make sure you understand the findings, and go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied.

And remember, you’re not hiring a company, you’re hiring a person. Many of the larger inspection firms hire new inspectors with little field experience. Make sure your inspector has a depth of experience — ideally with inspections in North Texas — to get the most from this small, but extremely valuable, investment in a home inspection.

Want to learn more about how to select a home inspector? Here are some helpful links we’ve created based on our experience performing high-quality home inspections in the North Texas area:

And remember! Finding the best home inspector for you is key to ensuring you are making a wise home investment decision. We hope you’ll reach out to us if you have any questions or just want to learn more about what we do and how important your business is to us.

Image Credit: Hloom Templates

About Keith Boggs

Keith Boggs is the owner of Stonebriar Property Inspections. He is your personal home inspector, and his investment in the company will be reflected in the quality of your inspection. Mr. Boggs’ inspection reports are professional, comprehensive, detailed, and clear. They average about 50 to 60 pages and include detailed findings and recommendations along with tips and best practices for maintaining your home. The reports also contain an average of 100 to 200 pictures and video clips of active defects, for example, leaks or components that aren’t functioning properly. And Keith provides a full debrief of findings, which normally takes between 15 minutes and one hour.

Stonebriar Property Inspection’s customer reviews speak to Keith’s reputation as an ethical, reliable, and courteous Dallas home inspector. Stonebriar Property Inspections is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. SPI is fully licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission for home inspections and the Texas Department of Agriculture for termite/wood destroying insect inspections.