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How Much Do Home Inspections Cost in California’s Bay Area?

Key highlights from this article:

  • On average, home inspections in the Bay Area range from $350 to $500.
  • But you might pay more than that, depending on the size and age of the property.
  • Generally speaking, inspections for older homes cost more than newer ones.
  • Regardless of the cost, it’s a worthwhile investment that gives you peace of mind.

A home inspection is a thorough examination of a property conducted by a trained and licensed inspector. They are routinely conducted as part of the Bay Area real estate process, with the buyer footing the bill.

In California, home inspections are not required by law or by loan program guidelines. But it’s still a worthwhile investment that gives you a deeper insight into the true condition of the home you’re buying. So inspect away!

Average Home Inspection Cost in the Bay Area

Now to the question at hand. How much does a home inspection cost in the San Francisco Bay Area? On average, these inspections can range from $350 to $500. But they can exceed that price in some cases.

In the Bay Area, home inspections for older properties can cost more than a newer one. That’s because older houses tend to have more issues “lurking” behind walls, in attics and crawlspaces, etc. So they often require a more thorough inspection that takes more time — and costs more.

But don’t worry. You shouldn’t encounter any surprises, when it comes to the price of your Bay Area home inspection. A reputable inspector will quote the cost up front, after a quick review of the property’s size, age and location.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Bay Area home buyers tend to have a lot of questions about the home inspection process and its cost. That’s only natural. For one thing, you’re paying out of pocket for this service. So you want to know what you’ll get for the money.

Additionally, you’re inspecting an asset that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. So it’s only prudent to ask questions about the process.

Here are some frequently asked questions on the subject:

What can affect the cost of a home inspection?

There are several factors that can determine the cost of a home inspection in the San Francisco Bay Area. They include the size of the property, its age, the number of competing inspectors in the area, and the location. Just remember to get a quote up front, before the inspector does the job.

Are home inspections required in California?

No, home inspections are not mandatory in California. If you’re going to use a mortgage loan to finance part of the purchase price, the home will need to be appraised. But the property inspection is an optional step in the process.

It’s up to you, the buyer, whether or not you want to have the home inspected prior to purchase. It’s generally a smart move, when you consider the amount you’re paying for the house. Here’s a related article on the subject.

Does the inspector check for mold as well? And what about radon?

Generally speaking, home inspectors do not perform a comprehensive mold inspection. But they do check for signs of water damage, standing water, leaking pipes, etc. If the inspector sees signs of mold, he’ll probably point it out.

Mold inspection and remediation requires special training and equipment that’s outside the scope of a standard Bay Area home inspection.

As for radon testing, it can vary. Some home inspectors in the Bay Area will offer this added service (for an extra cost), whiles others do not. If radon is a concern in the area where you plan to buy a home, it might be wise to test for it. The seller can perform this test as well, before listing the home. Test kits are available online and at home supply / hardware stores.

Is the inspector’s fee included within my closing costs?

No. The home inspection is not part of the mortgage or closing process, so it does not get rolled into the closing costs. In a typical scenario, the inspector will want to be paid at the time the service is performed.

Can I ask the seller to cover the cost?

You can. When it comes to real estate transactions, almost everything is negotiable. That said, it’s usually the buyer who covers the cost of the home inspection in the San Francisco Bay Area. After all, the service is performed on behalf of the buyer and is solely for their benefit.

Repairs are a different story. Your inspector will give you a discrepancy report with any issues he found during the inspection. It’s up to you, as the buyer, to determine what kind of repairs you want to request from the seller. (Your real estate agent can advise you on this.)

Depending on the situation, a home buyer might ask the seller to perform some, all, or none of the repairs. But that’s separate from the cost of the home inspection service, which is typically paid by the buyer.

Key takeaways from this article:

  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, the average cost of a home inspection can range from $350 to $500. But that range is not set in stone.
  • Older homes can cost more to inspect, due to the added complexities they often bring.
  • Larger properties tend to cost more, simply because there’s more square footage to cover. It requires more time and work to inspect a bigger house.
  • It’s usually the buyer who pays for the service, since it benefits them.
  • A home inspection is typically not required in California. But it is a worthwhile investment. It can help you determine the true condition of the house you’re buying. And that’s good for your peace of mind!

Mike Trejo

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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