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14 min read Apr 05, 2023

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in California?

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in California

86% of buyers have found one or more issues in a property they want during a home inspection.

In addition to providing peace of mind about the condition of the property, a home inspection can also save you from buying a home with unending & unexpected repairs.

Let’s find out what happens in a home inspection and how much does a home inspection cost in California.

What is a Home Inspection?

Inspections are non-invasive visual examinations of homes. Home inspections can reveal significant defects in the property that a homebuyer may miss.

A home inspector performs a home inspection, and the report carries an inspector’s objective assessment of the house. Qualified home inspectors will highlight material defects that could pose a significant financial or physical injury risk to the next homeowner.

Appearances can be deceptive. You don’t want to buy a house just because of the fancy the wallpaper is. What if the foundational wall is exposed to moisture, and you have mold on your new property?

Depending on the property’s condition and age, the home inspector will determine if you need to do specialized home inspections. This inspection report can help you escape a contract on a poorly maintained house.

In fact, a thorough home inspection can help you know the maintenance required for your new house.

🤌 Home Inspection California: Everything you need to know about California home inspections

What do Home Inspectors Look for in California?

A home inspector is a professional who will assess and evaluate the condition of the property.

Even for new homes, but surely for not-so-new homes, an inspection can help identify some key issues. Some common home inspection red flags are:

  • Wear and tear of mechanical systems
  • Cracked shingles on the roof
  • Leaks or cracks in walls
  • Improperly wired switches or faulty outlets
  • Cracks in windows or doors
  • Termite or rodent infestation

🤌 Home Inspectors California: Ranking the top Home inspectors in California

Types of Home Inspections in California

1. General Home Inspection

In a general home inspection, a home inspector will examine all the mechanical systems and physical structures of the property. Inspectors assess the interior parts of a house and the exterior grounds to find flaws.

Here’s what a home inspector does during a general home inspection:

  • Foundation Inspection: Inspection of the house perimeter to check for large cracks in walls, uneven flooring structure, sink holes, loosened or cracked windows, etc.
  • Garage: Inspector will check if garage doors open and close as expected, whether the garage is ventilated enough, and if the garage framing is visible.
  • Exterior Walls: Inspector inspects the walls of the property to check the damage caused by wood-loving organisms, a possible infestation of termites, etc.
  • Roof Inspection: Home inspector will check for loose or improperly secured shingles on the roof, signs of water damage, and the condition of the gutters.
  • Grading: House inspector will inspect property to check grading around the structure of the house to verify if the level of the ground around the home is positive, as in, water flows away from the house.
  • Electrical InspectionInspector will examine the electrical connections and wiring of the house to find potential shock points or possible surges.
  • HVAC Inspection: Done by a home inspector to assess the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of the house.
  • Plumbing Inspection: Thorough examination of the plumbing system, including sewers, supply and sewage lines, etc., done by an inspector.
  • Kitchen Appliances: Inspector will inspect household appliances like installed ovens, dishwashing machines, grinders, blenders, surface cooking appliances, etc.

2. Specialized Inspections

A home inspector may recommend an additional inspection for a house, depending on their initial assessment.

A trained real estate professional will evaluate a specific aspect of the property in a specialized home inspection. Specialized home inspections are also called ancillary inspections.

The areas flagged as “defects” during the general home inspection are scrutinized to find the root cause. After this specific reexamination, you get a complete view of the anomalies that exist in that aspect of the property.

  • Asbestos Inspection: The property is assessed for the suspected presence of ACM (Asbestos-containing material), which is a carcinogenic
  • Radon Inspection: Radon gas is a highly toxic material, and homes should be devoid of its presence
  • Lead-based Paint Inspection: Required for homes built before 1978 to check the type of paint used
  • Termites Inspection: Check the house for wood-destroying organisms like termites, pests, rodents, etc.
  • Mold Inspection: Mold or moisture can destroy the structure of the property & needs to be under control
  • Chimney Inspection: Evaluation of the chimney to determine if the fireplace & chimney is usable or not
  • Septic Tank Inspection: The disposal system of the septic tank is examined for defects or flaws

The home inspector will prepare a detailed inspection report with their findings & help the buyer get an inside look into every nook and crook of the house!

What is Home Inspection Report?

The home inspector documents their findings in a house inspection report or a property inspection report. These reports contain home inspection pictures and observations made by the home inspector.

Detailed inspection reports summarize the home inspection process succinctly and expose the true condition of the property.

Such a comprehensive report helps home buyers make an informed decision about the house.

» Home Inspection Report Example: Check out this sample inspection report for the house & how to read it

How Much is a Home Inspection in California?

The cost of a home inspection ranges between $260 – $630 in California, with an average cost of $430.

Prices may differ regionally and also depend on factors like the age of the property and the size of the property.

Cost of a Home Inspection

A general home inspection can cost around $100 to $500, depending on the size of the house.

# NoHome SizeHome Inspection Cost Per Square Foot
1.Less than 1,000 sft$100 to $400
2.1,000 sft to 2,000 sft$400 to $500
3.More than 2,000 sft$500+

🤌 Additional Home Inspection Costs: Inspectors charge extra for specialized home inspections. The home inspector may also charge for transportation if your house is remote or difficult to reach.

Cost of Special Home Inspections

Specialized or specialty home inspections can cost between $25 to $500, depending on the type of inspection.

All homeowners should consider getting the termite inspection done. It also depends on your geographical location. You might need multiple foundation-related inspections in cold-weather areas like Washington, Illinois.

In contrast, if you buy a property in flood-prone areas of Florida or Texas, you will need the flood-risk inspection/assessment.

Cost of Reinspection After Repairs

A re-inspection is done to verify whether the issues identified during the first inspection have been fixed. The home inspector will only check the areas tagged for repairs this time.

Home re-inspection costs can vary, but the average is usually $50 to $100.

🤌 Cash for Ugly Houses: Distressed sellers lack the motivation to do the repairs identified in the house inspection and may eventually sell to a cash home buyer.

Home Inspection Cost Estimates in California

Home Inspection TypeInspectionAverage Price of this Home Inspection
Exterior1. Foundation$300 - $1,000
Exterior2. Garage$200 - $600
Exterior3. Roof$75 - $200
Exterior4. Exterior Walls$200 - $800
Interior1. Electrical$150 - $200
Interior2. Plumbing$180 - $225
Interior3. Kitchen Appliances $200 - $400
Interior4. HVAC$100 - $400
Specialized1. Asbestos$229 - $791
Specialized2. Radon$145 - $700
Specialized3. Lead-based Paint$250 - $700
Specialized4. Wood-destroying organisms or Termite$230 - $930
Specialized5. Mold$200 - $1,000
Specialized6. Soil$700 - $2,000
Specialized7. Chimney $300 - $600


1. Forbes:

2. Homeadvisor:

3. Homeguide:

4. Fixr:

Who Pays for the Home Inspection in California?

The homebuyer typically pays for the home inspection in California.

The house inspection cost is included in the buyer’s closing costs, but this cost is paid at the time of the service.

🤌 Sellers Paying Inspection Fees: If a home seller does a pre-sale inspection, they incur the house inspection cost.

Pre-Listing Inspection

A seller typically schedules a pre-sale or seller’s inspection before they list on MLS. The primary motivation is to find flaws in the house early on. The inspection report can also be used as a home improvement guide for enhancing the property.

Sellers don’t have to worry about the home inspector’s visit when a buyer is interested in their property. A pre-listing inspection may help you sell your house quickly without bargaining the home sale price.

To ensure your home sells fast, you need to prepare. If you can invest in home staging and real estate photography, then there’s a chance you may get the full market value of the property.

» Real Estate Photography Pricing CaliforniaHere’s a guide to help you click the best listing photos

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

The average home inspection time is 2 to 3 hours.

The time is lesser in the case of smaller properties like a condo or if the number of defects is less. It also depends on the thoroughness of the home inspector.

» How Long do Home Inspections Take: Find out how long does an inspection take in CA

Do New Homes Need an Inspection in California?

Yes, new-construction homes should be inspected. The newly constructed property may not have cosmetic flaws or wiring issues, but it’s still uninhabited and brand new.

The structure and foundation, plumbing, and HVAC should be evaluated. Contractors and sub-contractors that work fast only follow the bare minimum requirements of house building. It is possible that an issue with your new property exists because it is a new construction!

Do not assume that a new home will be unblemished!

California Home Inspection Checklist

Home inspectors look for visual cues of major flaws that could compromise overall safety. There are different home inspection checklists based on the type of inspection.

Here’s a sample of a house inspection checklist that you can refer to when preparing for home inspection:

  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Bathrooms
  • Ceilings
  • Doors
  • Electrical Systems
  • Foundation
  • Floors
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Kitchen
  • Plumbing
  • Windows
  • Insulation & Ventilation

🤌 Home Buying Inspection Checklist: Check out 2023’s checklist for home inspection

Repairs identified by a home inspector can either be mandatory or non-essential.

Mandatory RepairsNon-Essential Repairs
1. MeaningSafety and health-related defects that aren’t negotiable. Cosmetic issues that don’t compromise the safety of the residents who shall occupy the house.
2. ExampleLeaking roofs, outdated electrical systems, or rodent infestationsPoor aesthetics, damaged countertops, or tiny cracks in the bathroom floor
3. Can You Skip These Repairs?No. Several U.S. states will require the sellers to make amends before closing. Even lenders or mortgage brokers that finance the home buyer’s transaction will expect the house to be devoid of these issues.Yes, partially. You can negotiate these minor repairs with the home buyer. This entails either splitting the repair costs or reducing the sale price.

🏚️ Sell Your California House As Is: If the mandatory repairs cost more than the profit you will get from the home sale, you can consider selling your home as-is to an ibuyer or local investors.

👉 Skip Repairs and List Your Home As Is on the MLS

Listing with a Flat Fee MLS service gets your property on the market within just 24-48 hours. Flat Fee MLS is the best way to sell your California house fast and has 4 significant benefits:

  • MLS is the fastest way to hit the market, plus your listing is syndicated to Zillow,, etc.
  • Your property listing gets maximum exposure.
  • You can negotiate all offers.
  • You skip paying commission or service fees.

» Flat Fee MLS CA: List on your local California MLS within 24 to 48 hours for just $349!

How to Choose the Right Home Inspector in California?

Only a credible and diligent home inspector can identify the flaws in your property. Before scheduling a home inspection, you should check out:

  • Customer Reviews: Review the home inspector’s reviews on popular review sites like Google & TrustPilot
  • Home Inspector’s Credentials: Check if your home inspector is licensed and a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
  • Training and Experience: How many homes were inspected in their tenure? Do they perform specialized home inspections?
  • Pricing: Verify if the home inspector is charging as per the average house inspection costs in your area.
  • Quality of home inspection reports: Is the inspection report detailed and specific? How meticulously has the home been inspected?
  • Access to technology tools: An inspector with new-age home inspection tools and drones will have a higher chance of detecting issues hidden in plain sight.

👌 Best Home Inspector in California: Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Custom Inspection Packages


Logo - Pillar tp Post Home Inpsectors
  • Charges: Variable
  • 📍 Coverage: 45 markets
  • 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (27 reviews)

Pillar to Post Home Inspectors is a popular choice amongst home buyers looking for customized home inspections. They offer exclusive home inspection packages, Plus, Premium & Prestige, and the pricing varies nationwide. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors™ undergo rigorous training and adhere to official and proven procedural guidelines.


  • “Plus” Package: General home inspections for existing homes and new construction inspections cover all the major areas in the interior and exterior of the home. The fee varies by state and franchise and can be higher for larger or older properties.
  • “Premium” Package: Includes everything in the Plus package with an infrared scan, a digital owners’ manual, rodent inspection, 15 percent discount on added inspection services, and a lifetime maintenance advisory service.
  • “Prestige” Package: Includes everything in the previous tiers along with the Healthy Home Package and 30 percent off added inspection services
  • Specialized Inspections: Your local Pillar To Post franchise may offer other specialized inspections like radon, mold, infrared, sewer and septic systems, roof, foundations, stucco, pool and spa & more. Prices vary. Specialized home inspections aren’t available in all areas.

👉 Our Take: Pillar to Post Inspection’s custom packages vary by state, and some franchisees have questionable service quality. Furthermore, specialized home inspections aren’t available in all areas, so we recommend you connect with the local Pillar To Post inspector first and then schedule an appointment.

What You Need to Know about Pillartopost:

  • How to Schedule an Inspection via You can schedule online via
  • How Long Does it Take to Get My Inspection Report: Up to a few hours after the home inspection is complete. Typically, a general home inspection requires two to three hours. After that, the Pillar to Post inspection report is available online within minutes. The period may vary for specialized inspections.
  • Your Experience May Vary: Pillar to Post is available in 44 states & Canada. Because you will be matched with a local inspector, your experience depends highly on the expertise and professionalism of that inspector.

Pillar to Post Home Inspectors has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Yelp with 27 reviews for one of its California franchisees and a 4.9 out of 5 stars (208 reviews) on Google for its Fayetteville branch.

👉 Check customer reviews before scheduling a home inspection: Pillartopost reviews differ drastically by state, so always check the customer reviews of your local Pillartopost branch.

Near-Nationwide Coverage: Pillar to Post Home Inspectors is one of America’s largest home inspection service companies, with offices in 44 states in the U.S and a few in Canada.

Do You Need a CA Home Inspection?

Yes, you need a home inspection!

Buying a house is probably one of the biggest transactions of your life. A home inspection gives you a preview of the house you will move into, and the average cost is just $430 in California. You can save yourself unexpected repairs in the future!

Home Inspection reveals potentially life-threatening issues in a house. As a home buyer, you can negotiate with the seller to fix the issues identified in the home inspection report.

Eager to Know How Houzeo Works?

We’ve got you covered. Check out the following video to understand how Houzeo works and why it is one of the best For Sale By Owner websites in the U.S.

What is Houzeo?

An overview of what the platform is all about

Start Your MLS Listing NOW!

» NEED MORE CLARITY? Read these exclusive Houzeo reviews and learn why it is one of the best FSBO sites in America.

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