Home Buying in Ridgewood>Question Details

Frank, Home Buyer in 07013

How much does a home inspection cost in NJ?

Asked by Frank, 07013 Mon Feb 16, 2009

Hello Everyone.
I'm currently in the process of budgeting a home purchase, and am interested in finding out the cost of a home inspection. Can someone please help me with this? And should I pay extra to get a licensed profession (engineer or architect) to complete the inspection? I'm kind of weary of trusting a home inspector who completed an online course. The licensed professionals give me a bit of comfort in knowing they went through several years of schooling to become knowledgable in their respective fields.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Overcautious buyer

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27
Hi Frank,

In my opinion, you should retain your home inspector independent of Realtor recommendations. The inspector's purpose is to protect your interests. Over time, Realtors and home inspectors can get quite friendly through business referrals and repeated contact, and certain home inspectors might become reticent to kill a favorite Realtor's deal, even though it may need killing.

Plus if you think about it, a Realtor is going to "like" a home inspector who doesn't find a lot of problems. So while it is not impossible to get a good recommendation from a Realtor, you are better off researching this on your own and making the selection without the input of your Realtor.

When all is said and done, the Realtors, inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, and mortgage people will come and go as you progress through this transaction. But you and the house will be together for a long, long, time. So in the spirit of due diligence and "buyer beware", you should pick the best professionals to work with, independent of each other. It keeps everything clean and avoids the problem of conflicting loyalty. Good luck!

-Marc

Marc Paolella
Relocation Director
Member, Worldwide ERC
Licensed Realtor NJ
Licensed Appraiser NJ & NY
Century 21 Joe Tekula Realtors
Agent of the Year 2008
Owner: Sands Appraisal Service, Inc.
Phone (direct): (973) 584-4235
web: http://www.marcpaolella.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
Marc, Marc, Marc---I don't get it. If buyers trust the real estate agent to help them through the rest of the transaction, why wouldn't they trust the agent to make recommendations that are in their best interest? After all, our Realtor Code of Ethics requires us to put our client's interest above our own!
Flag Wed Oct 16, 2013
Always trust a licensed professional. But you should be entitled to references as well. The best source, in my opinion, is to use inspectors recommended by real estate agents who have had successful transactions.

Here is an example of a price list from a home inspector I've used in the past for properties I have helped with clients.

http://www.familybuildinginspectors.com/inspections/

This is just a recommendation and prices are average. You may want to interview a couple of home inspection companies before commiting to one.

Another good resource is http://www.usinspect.com/HomeBuyers.asp .

Good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Carmelo Torres
A Home For Sale Realty
A Premier Statewide Real Estate Company
Website: http://www.ahfsr.com
Contact info: http://contact.ahfsr.com
Web Reference: http://www.ahfsr.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
Some inspectors are known for wrecking a deal. See below for inspectors that troll the web looking for business and reasons to justify their exhorbitant fees.

You should never pay an inspector more than $400-$450.

Be wary of the ones that advertise fancy gadgets to justify their fees.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 25, 2011
Totally not true. If you want a high-quality inspection, depending upon square footage of home, you can pay $750 for a thorough inspection. If you figure $750 as a percentage of the purchase price, you know it's next to nothing. Do it right.
Flag Fri Mar 20, 2015
The ones that don't give you a price and just a bunch of reasons why you need them are the most expensive and most likely to wreck your deal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 25, 2011
Hi Frank, please be advised that the cost of the inspection should not be the only item when choosing your inspector. Important criteria should be: inspector's background and experience, other certifications/qualifications, tools (oh yes, we have a required tool list) years in business, referral base (most of which should be from past clients), qualifications, who he/she was mentored by, report style/type and quality, pre and post inspection availability.

Is the home inspector a certified thermographer and use infrared thermal imaging, which the Department of Energy recommends on new construction, so it makes sense to incorporate in the inspection of any and all homes.

I concur with your trusting an online home inspector. Anyone can be "tommie textbook". Plus, not all licensed home inspectors went to school but all licensed home inspectors must take 40 hours of CEU's to keep their license.
If you feel more comfortable with an engineer or architect, then pay the extra money. Now is the time to invest in your home, so it makes sense. FYI, in the past 10 plus years, I have probably only recommended further evaluation by an engineer or architect maybe 15 times.

Check out my web site at http://www.afullhouseinspection.com, and you will literally see the difference.

If you would like to discuss more, send me an email or call me personally.
Good L(abor) U(nder) C(orrect) K(nowledge)

Peter W. Bennett, Owner
http://www.AFullHouseInspection.com
Residential & Commercial Building Inspections
Infrared Thermal Imaging Services
(Energy Loss, Plumbing, Moisture & Roof Leaks, Electrical Systems, Structural Defects)
530 Prospect Avenue Little Silver, NJ 07739
Office 732-758-9887 Cell 732-245-9817
NJ Home Inspector Lic#GI371
NJ DEP Radon MET11140
Certified Infrared Thermographer No.7406
Certified Energy Inspector No. 1364
Certified ASHI Member #205748
Certified Member of INACHI
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 27, 2010
It is legal for home inspectors to do the termite inspection and give you the NPMA termite form to satisfy the mortgage company. This is how a lot of inspectors keep their prices low. I do not go that route because most of these inspectors are not properly trained and they are not licensed to treat for wood destroying insects. My price might be higher than some, but the company I use can treat, rebuild damaged areas and give a 1 year warranty for free with the inspection.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
Frank: Call and research any home inspector you choose to use. You can find a list of a few in your area at http://www.JustJerseyRealEstate.com/inspections.htm .

Good luck to you,

Camille Miller
Broker Owner
Just Jersey Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
To answer your question on how much does it cost for a home inspection. It depends on the size and age of a home. The bigger and older the higher the price. The average inspection is around 300 to 400. Radon and termite is extra.
It is not that hard to get a license to do home inspections in New Jersey. When looking for a home inspector, ask the person what kind of background they have. I would look for someone who has been practicing for while.
I would want someone who has a broad background in hands on construction. Most engineers are class taught and not necessarily the best in the field. Don't be afraid to ask hard questions to find out if they really know what they are doing. You can also check with the BBB for any problems.
A New Jersey license number will look like 24GI00088500

I hope this will help
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
Frank, the dollar estimates provided below are reliable. As a licensed home inspector in South Jersey, much of my business is done through referrals from Realtors -- so definitely ask for recommendations. Also review the websites of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). Their websites provide information on the certification requirements for members and the organizations' codes of ethics, and the websites have "find an inspector" search functions which will help you locate members in your area. You are right in desiring an inspector with years of experience, compared to someone who just passed the course.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2009
Frank, I hope you're taking all this in.

Just to let you know, all Realtors are bound by a Code of Ethics. No need to tell you where that got us now. Unfortunately, some agents do get too friendly with home inspectors and will work closely with them and will selectively address problems. In the end, most real estate agents have to bring the bread home to survive because most are not salaried employees. We all work on commission so this pay stucture will skew the professionalizm of some agents. But not all of them. As you can see, there are some good agents providing good information to your question. There are many good agents out there, but all are there to make a buck if this is their only means of support. So I do agree with Marc also with regards to the selection process of a home inspection.

However, it's a catch 22 because if you don't know anyone in the business, you're first inclination might be to seek out a Realtor who can help recommend one. Now I'm not a top producer like other agents but I strongly follow the code of ethics and have some experience in what to look for also in a home and because I have multiple streams of income, I don't solely depend on selling real estate to survive. However, you may feel better seeking a top producer in the town you're interested in buying and seek out brand name offices as well. (Wow, a real estate agent who actually recommends you working with another agent, how about that).

If there are major problems with a home, any home inspector should point them out. Here are some things you may want to look for also and request:

Of course, every home should have a termite inspection.
Check the electric supply coming into the home and any loose electrical wiring. Check for overloads.
Beware of wall paneling in an older homes, God knows what's behind them.
Looking for sagging floors or ceiling.
Check for oil tanks, well water, septic if the home is not connected to public service utilities.
Check under and in close proximity to sinks and toilets for possible rot based on past issues with a home.
Find out the age of hot water heaters and furnaces (average life time is 10 to 15 years).
Find out how sturdy the home's foundation is (again check for termites).
Check for sump pumps and make sure they work in the basement.


There is so much more to check but these come to mind as red flags when home inspections are done.

Again good luck with everything.

And by the way, Robert Hahn's company is offering a discount as someone else mentioned, If you would like the coupon, let me know. I can forward without a problem. Or you may want to contact him directly from the link I sent in my previous post. But in the grand scheme of things, a savings of $35 dollars is a tear drop in the bucket compared with the actual expense of a home that has not been properly inspected if purchased.

Carmelo Torres
A Home For Sale Realty
A Premier Statewide Real Estate Company
Website: http://www.ahfsr.com
Contact info: http://contact.ahfsr.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Frank,

Also be aware that home inspectors have been affected by the downturn in the housing market, so they are ripe for negotiating on their prices; hence a further benefit to contacting multiple sources. I've received multiple communications as of late regarding discounts these inspectors are offering my buyers, including the aforementioned Rob Hahn is currently offering a $35 discount.

Remember go local and negotiate!

Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
NJAR Circle of Excellence '06-'07
REALMART REALTY - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell your home
Ranked #15 of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth / Ocean County
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
I also have to argree with Carmelo below.. I have used and recomended Family Building inspectors.
Robert Hahn is the owner.. he is a great home inspector with great techology and speaks to you like a person.. he knows his stuff.

As a Real Estate professional I want my clients to have the best available to them. If it is a home inspection or a plumber or a moving company, I create relationships with my clients that trust my opinion and referrals from home inspectors to landscapers, to contractors. My relationship with these business people are of mutual respect and business. If I recomend someone you can rest assured they are going to serve you to the best of their ability in their field and rank amongst the best.

A good home inspector is a key ingredient to the sale of the home, of the few home inspectors I recomend none of them would not put their license or reputation on the line for me or any deal and I would not expect or want them to. I would also recomend that you research a bit about the home inspector on your own.

When all is said and done, when I sell a client a house I continue that relationship and garner excellent referrals from satisfied homeowners.

Again, Family Building Inspectors

http://www.familybuildinginspectors.com/inspections
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Hired Robert Hahn for a home inspection and it was a big mistake.

Took him only about an hour and a half and he missed a number of major issues. Such things as water in the basement. Hahn minimized it. Cracks in the driveway. Broken garage door. Poor foundation. If it’s not in the report the seller can completely ignore it at no cost to himself.

He was more interested in talking about why his wife left him after 25 years than in doing what I paid him to do. Had this gizmo that could see through walls, etc. and he could do part of his inspection that way. Of course he doesn’t go up into the attic to really do his job.

We found out about the issues when I had two separate contractors come to the house for estimates on some work I would want done. These are people who I had worked with in the past and I know for a fact are trustworthy.

Also, sent him a few followup e-mails and phone calls which he never responded to. He only responded after a negative review on his website.

Bottom line – Robert Hahn cannot do a good job. He was recommended by the realtor who I found out gets baseball tickets from him as a payoff. (Again, I’m not joking about this.)

And he has several unanswered complaints with the NJ BBB.

Go with someone more trustworthy.
Flag Sun Aug 12, 2012
Frank,

A home inspector is pertinent to a sucessful transaction and not a cost that you should look to skimp upon - saving $100 today could potentially cost you $1000+ tomorrow. I would recommend that u ccall upon multiple LOCAL home inspectors that are frequently used in your area. Intereview these licensed inspectors and determine which u feel best working with.

If you are not using a Realtor, trying calling upon one of the local brand name companies (i.e., Weichert, Prudential, Coldwell) and ask for their chocies.

Also, be sure that someone accompanies the inspector during the home inspection (be it yourself or your agent). Never hesitate to point out potential defects. After all, to err is human and these guys although licensed and highly trained are not immune to mistakes.

Sincerely,
Francesca Patrizio, Realtor Associate
NJAR Circle of Excellence '06-'07
REALMART REALTY - An AFFORDABLE Way to Sell your home
Ranked #15 of 436 Real Estate Brokers in Monmouth / Ocean County
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Frank,

The last two homes I sold the buyers paid $325 and $350. Both inspectors were very good. Ask the inspector how long have they been doing inspections ask for refrences. Ask if they go on the roof or in the musty crawlspace. What you'll usually find is a very good report with pictures and a summary page that summerizes the items that need attention. I would not spend extra for an engineer or architect.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Oh yeah, I forgot. Cost is $400-$600. And I would want a home inspector who has built a house if I were making the choice. Check out this site:

http://www.ashi.org/
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
Hi Frank - Ask your realtor for reccomendations.

Home inspectors can range from 250 - 400 on average. Some of the 25o people only do that actual home inspections then have a "termite guy" come in for about 100 and then an additional 90.00 for a radon test.

I have heard of one or two inspectors that charge 600 for a home inspection, which to me is a crazy number.

Ask your Realtor for a few references.. I usually give three that are good and I mean good inspector contractors that have been in the business of building homes and such. Do your research also.. you can check most online.

If you need three, email me and I can give you three reputable people/companies that can help you out.

John Sacktig
Broker /Manager
Orange Key Realty
Office: 732-863-6969
Cell: 732-213-1409

JSacktig@orangekeyrealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
John, why is $600 for a home inspection a crazy number?
Flag Mon Jun 25, 2012
In New Jersey a home inspector is required to be certified by the state so the first thing to ask is his licence number. This ensures you will get a professinal inspection.
Fees vary but you should get a package deal including structure, radon and termite for a reasonable price.
If you have a septic or a well this will cost you extra. You are also permitted to have an older house tested for the presence of lead paint and in all houses you can als ohave a test for the presence of mold.
Prices vary but you can call several inspectors and get a quote from each.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
home inspectors are licensed by the state of New Jersey which should provide you with a measure of assurance. Cost between $400 and $500 They will include a termite inspection that your lender will require and a radon gas test.. if you use a realtor to find your home most will know reliable inspectors who they can suggest to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 6, 2013
As a Licensed Electrical Contractor you are correct not to trust someone who claims to have knowledge in every system in a home, These people are trained in the basics for a very short period of Time. You Should hire a Licensed professionals to do the inspection it may cost more but you can be sure the report you get will be accurate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 6, 2013
Although this question is 3 years old.

Your "people at work" are probably not being accurate.

Pricing that I commonly see-

Home inspector - $350
Radon test - $90
Termite Cert- $100

Some home inspectors charge $50 for Radon test, $75, $90.

Also - BEWARE- of hero home inspectors that look for $600 - $750 for an inspection that they say will save you money off your sale price, by giving you room to negotiate issues. Take a reccomendation from friends or your Realtor. Someone that is or has been in touch with these companies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 3, 2013
I just received a quote of $500 from a licensed engineer for the home inspection, radon and termite. I feel that is kind of high also. I have a couple people at work who just recently paid $350-$425. I'm going to shop around. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 3, 2013
Hello Frank,

I'm adding my two cents to the discussion. The range of fees given below are accurate. One thing I would like to counter is the advice given below by a realtor to not get an engineer. An experienced and licensed home inspector who is also an experienced and licensed PE can deliver a level of quality information that is just second to none. And before you think it costs more to have a PE involved, normally it doesn't. I charge in the same range as you're seeing below, and you get a full structural assessment to boot. I don't see where that's "not worth it". In my experience, the reason folks don't recommend home inspectors with PE's either has to do with competition (the competitor doesn't have a PE), or with the information provided to the buyer (we give an unbiased, unvarnished, and complete professional engineering opinion on the structure and foundation, and sometimes that stirs up negotiations, which can lower the sale price.)

To give you some perspective, New Jersey has a number of red flag issues when it comes to its housing stock. And having a licensed engineer do the inspection will fortify you with high quality information very quickly regarding these red flag issues. These issues include: the median age of New Jersey's housing stock of 36+ years old, the recent seismic events and their effects on foundations and framing, recent flood events and the lingering effects/repairs on foundations and slabs, carbonate rock formations and their effects on terrain and foundations, and wind loading and mitigation efforts (truss uplift, shear effects, etc).

My recommendation would be to research prices for inspectors, with and without the PE license, and consider experience, reputation, etc. Then consider the chance of you needing an engineer to look at something. If you go with a non-PE inspector, and a problem crops up, you need to add $350 for the PE to come out and assess the structure, and then give them a day or so to schedule a visit and a day to write a report. Or, just hire an experienced inspector with a PE to begin with (for a similar cost), and get it all done in one shot without having to hire someone else.

Best Regards,
An experienced New Jersey PE/Home Inspector
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 13, 2012
Steve, are you a licensed home inspector?
I can't seem to find you on the internet.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 22, 2011
Chris,

Aside from this thread being from last February (2009) .... What in the world are you talking about?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
It should cost $400 to $450.
Do not hire an electical or structural engineer they will tell everything needs to be redone.
A man with a hammer is looking for a nail.

HIRE SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT DO REPAIR WORK.

Also, do not hire an inspection company that guarantees all systems deemed functional to work past closing. They will fail eveything and get to inspect the next house you try to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
Hello Everyone,
First let me begin by saying thank you. All of your insight into my search is greatly appreciated. I will take all of your advice, and in turn try to make the best educated decision when selecting a home inspector.

Once again thank you everyone for your sage advice.

Thanks
Frank
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2009
Budget anywhere from $300 to $500 for a home inspection. Interview several inspectors to detemine how comprehensive their inspections are. Most will include a termite inspection. If the inspector finds problems, then I would move forward with an engineer or other expert.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 16, 2009
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