How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in Los Angeles
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in Los Angeles? The fees which home inspectors charge in Los Angeles vary greatly. There isn’t really a standard by which all the inspection companies chose to model their fees by. In other words, it’s more or less a free-for-all. That said, however, many home inspectors choose to model their Home Inspection Cost by multiple different conditions for example;
- Square footage
- Age of the house
- Condition of the house
- Is there a swimming pool
- Are we using thermography
As a home buyer, you have to expect the better these guys are at their job, the more likely you’ll end up paying more fo their service. If you have never lived through a bad home inspection, then this next sentence won’t really mean much. Nevertheless, trust me when I say, “a home inspection is no place to try to save a few bucks“. There you have it…
A $100-$150 savings from one inspector to another seems like a good idea at the time. That is, until you move in. Put it this way… you may never know how good or bad your inspector was until you move in and live in it for a while or, go to sell it.
Average Price For a Local Home Inspector Near Me
After spending a better part of my day calling around to various home inspection companies here in Los Angeles, I learned something interesting. Our fees are way more than these other guys.
We used a typical single family 1500 square foot home as our example. Good condition, no crawlspace and no pool. For this example, the average price for a home inspection here in Los Angeles is $350. You have to understand that home inspectors are just like any other business where the individual prices their service by what he or she feel is fair market value.
In contrast, a MAZZA home inspection for the same house is $550. Wow. But that’s okay. Knowing the amount of work we put into our craft, I couldn’t possibly work for less. You can always use this calculatorwe made to get an idea of local home inspector fees.
Many buyers are under the assumption that all home inspectors in Los Angeles are the same, do the same and know the same. Not true.Mazza
What exactly is a home inspection and why do I need one?A home inspection is a visual non-invasive evaluation of a home or building. Inspections are typically in connection with the sale of a house or building. Most people who are in the process of buying a home will get a home inspection performed on the home in which they intend to buy. Essentially, they are done in order to get a more clear understanding of the buildings overall condition.
The Home Inspection Cost is always an obstacle for the home inspector to have to quantify. Many buyers are under the assumption that all home inspectors in Los Angeles are the same, do the same and know the same. Not true… not even close.
Take (us) Mazza inspection group for example. We are building diagnostic experts. Meaning, we perform multiple different diagnostic inspections. Moisture or water related diagnostic building evaluations are really our specialty but we other testing services as well. Moreover, our inspections are building code centric. What that means is that we look at all things building related through the prism of building code.
Who should pay for a home inspection?For many, buying their first house is full of surprises. The fees seem to come out of the wood-work, and they are all-over-the-map. Booking a home inspection is one of those fees which the buyer will assume responsibility for. In other words… you’re paying for this one.
On the other hand, this is not to say the fees can’t be paid from other places for example;
- The seller can pay the home inspection fee
- Realtors sometimes pay for home inspections
- Escrow companies are known to fund home inspections
- Parents 🙂 My favorite. Thank you mom!
(Who doesn’t like the last one, am I right)?
The buyer is in my opinion suggested to pay for this service nevertheless. Mostly because you probably wouldnt want someone else picking a guy for you and “cheaping out“. Especially when picking the individual to inspect the largest purchase of your life.
Who conducts this home inspection?
A home inspection in Los Angeles, California is conducted by an individual who is not acting as a professional licensed Engineer, Architect, pest control professional or General contractor. Which is to essentially say the home inspector is a non licensed generalist. This, in accordance with the Business and Professions Code section 7195-7199. Make sure you really read and understand the next eight bullet points.
California Home Inspectors:
- California requires No minimum standards to work as a home inspector
- There are No formal Licensing standards in the state of California including Los Angeles
- The Home Inspection industry requires ZERO formal Certification in the state of California including Los Angeles
- No formal testing of any sort
The standard is there are no standards for Home Inspection fees in Los AngelesThe home inspection business is completely unregulated in the state of California. What does this mean to you?
- It means that inspectors may have NO formal certification or license (even when they claim they are).
- Your choice of Home inspectors by law is NOT required to possess genuine construction experience past or present.
- There is no mandate which requires home inspectors to carry ANYinsurances.
- The Home inspectors fees in Los Angeles are all-over-the-map due to a lack of manditory education IMO.
The Home Inspection Cost is based on square footageMost all home inspectors will base their fees on the total square footage of the home. For example, you may expect to pay the following for a home inspection in Los Angeles:
Condominiums Home Inspections can cost between $195 – $495.
- Averaged that’s about .35 cents a square foot.
Single family home inspections up to 1000 square feet can cost between $225 – $550
- Averaged that’s about .39 cents per square foot.
Swimming Pool Inspections In Los Angeles Can cost on Average $50 to $395
- Swimming pool inspections in Los Angeles are most times conducted by the home inspector providing the physical home inspection. They are simply “added to the price” for a few bucks e.g.$50. That said, a professional swimming pool inspector will take a great deal of time for a significant amount more. Note: Their inspection is not generally very thorough or exhaustive.
Why such a huge swing in home inspector pricing?The Home Inspection Cost or fee is first of all, largely determined on the total square footage or the home. Yet, as previously mentioned there are other ancillary conditions which may affect the overall fee structure. However, these are typically limited to only a few. Here are a few examples of what may affect the fee for your home inspection here in Los Angeles.
- Many new inspectors entering the market sell themselves short with low pricing to compete with seasoned guys (like us) 15,000+ inspections strong. 🙂
- Room additions which are typically un-permitted
- Additional components such as chimneys or additional kitchens, bathrooms etc…
- Swimming pools
- Detached garages or carports
- Raised foundations (crawlspaces)
- Special roofing inspection (drone use)
- Inspectors drive time to the property
- Some inspectors are far more qualified than others, therefore their service is considered a premium
How to Choose a Home Inspector in Los AngelesIn light of the Business and Professions Code mentioned herein, our position has always been get a professional California “State Licensed” General contractor, Engineer or Architect’s opinion of your home prior to purchasing that home. The Home Inspection Cost may be slightly higher on average for these individuals, however, these individuals will generally on average, demand a premium for their service.
Why do we say this?As a general contractor who’s built custom homes, a swimming pool contractor who’s built, repaired and remodeled swimming pools and a fireplace contractor and inspector who has inspected, built, removed and repaired chimneys and fireplaces, I’d never have an individual who has ZERO real world experience evaluating a home in which I plan to purchase. Especially with so much of your money at stake.
Where to choose a Home Inspector in Los AngelesChoosing a home inspector is a task you may have to perform only once every few years. With so many companies to choose from how does one make an informed decision? Well, as a professional who has conducted well over 14,000 physical home inspections, let me provide you with a few tips when choosing a home inspector in los Angeles.
- Use the resources at hand such as internet reviews (Yelp / Google), or friend / family referrals when choosing a home inspector in Los Angeles. Internet review can be tricky, however, I suggest reading the lot and averaging them out.
- Choose a home inspector who gets less than 85-95% of their annual income from referrals or the internet.
- Limit your choices to General contractors and other State licensed professionals (construction related).
- Make sure your home inspector has conducted over 5,000 real inspections.
- Use only a Los Angeles home inspector who uses a narrative style inspection reporting program.
Other Inspections You may want to consider with your home inspectionThere are other types of inspections many people buying homes will choose to have done in addition to the home inspection. For the most part, as a general contractor myself and home inspector for over 25 years I say do everything. Sure the inspections will cost you more money… but not nearly as much as the repairs if you don’t.
Some of these other inspections may include;
- Water intrusion investigations
- Thermal imaging inspections
- Roof inspections
- Swimming pool inspections
- Mold inspections
- Sewer inspections
- Geological inspections
- Foundation or structural inspections
What to avoid when choosing a home inspector in Los Angeles
- Never allow anyone with a financial interest to choose your home inspector or make the appointment for you. (Realtors)
- Do not Choose a Home inspector based on the Home Inspection cost.
- Try not to choose a home inspector who performs more than 2 inspections a day.
- Always avoid a home inspector who limits your time for the inspection (any home inspection should take no less than 1.5 hours on average, an hour for every 1000 square feet).
- Finally, Avoid choosing a home inspector who provides a checklist style report.
So how much does it cost to have a house inspected?Ask yourself this question…
- How much will it cost you if you choose the wrong person?
- What costs will you the buyer incur by choosing a home inspector based on price, availability or worse yet, your realtors advice?
Choosing a home inspector in Los Angeles based solely on the fact that they can get to you tomorrow for half the price is a recipe for disaster. Be discerning. Do your due diligence. Choose wisely.
In conclusion. The home inspection is a service that can only be performed once before you buy (with exceptions). the individual who you choose to perform your home inspection here in Los Angeles has to care about your investment, your safety and the safety of anyone dwelling with the building. Empathy is a good characteristic to seek out when shopping for your home inspector. The Home Inspection and Cost should never be a primary consideration when choosing between so many qualified individuals.
Marc Mazza is a water intrusion specialist.