Cost of a Home Inspection – Vancouver

When choosing a home inspector, one of the considerations that always comes up is the cost of a home inspection. Typically in Vancouver, Richmond or the lower mainland the average price will be $400 – $600 for typical home inspection.

As with any service, some inspectors will charge less and others more. In my opinion, it is really important to look beyond the cost of a home inspection, because you will be buying into an investment. When thinking about it this way, cost becomes secondary in comparison to value. I believe that a cost is something that you pay for with no return, like a nice dinner out. An investment will be long lasting.

In reality, you may not know what kind of value you will get until the home inspection has been completed. By taking a few minutes to find out about the home inspector you’re considering, you’ll get a better sense of their motivations, professionalism, accountability and knowledge. Here are some questions to better assess the value you’ll receive rather than just the cost of a home inspection. (In BC all home inspectors must be licensed, insured and a member of an association, so I will assume we are all competent and legally permitted to practice)

  • When speaking to home inspectors, do you feel that they are truly concerned about protecting you?
  • Does the inspector take the time to learn about what needs are important to you prior to the inspection?
  • Will the inspector send you a contract and Standards of Practice in advance? (It’s nice to know what is and is not included prior to the inspection)
  • How much time will the home inspector set aside for the inspection? (Less than 3 hours, watch out!)
  • Is the inspector willing to take as much time as required to properly complete the full inspection? (Some will try to wrap it up quickly so they don’t miss their next appointment)
  • Will you be permitted join the inspector for the entire inspection and ask questions along the way? (Some don’t want to be distracted or take extra time)
  • Is the inspector open to hearing from you after the inspection? (Many worry that a call back will be bad news)
  • Is the home inspector patient and considerate?
  • Does the inspector communicate clearly so you really know what is going on? (Some will unknowingly use technical jargon which can be confusing)
  • Does the inspector charge extra for travel, crawl spaces, age of the home or offer a flat rate?
  • What kind of reporting will you get at the end… A checklist or a narrative style?
  • Does the report come with photos? (Checklists are much faster & easier for the inspector but provide much less information for the buyer than a narrative)
  • What exactly is the process a home inspector uses when performing the job?
  • Will the inspector take the time to clearly explain the contract at the time of inspection? (Some inspectors tend to avoid this because it can be “awkward” when discussing the legalities)

I bring up these questions and points because I think it is important for you get fair value for the work performed. The vast majority of my clients are really interested in getting a thorough inspection and excellent service for a fair price, which equates to value.

When cost is the only important factor, typically the home inspection is considered to be a formality rather than a necessity… followed by the assumption that we are all “pretty much the same”. I can assure you that this is not true.

Just like most services, you will usually get what you pay for, so the least expensive option may not be what you are really looking for, especially with the investment required for a home purchase. You’ll know quickly what kind of character you’re dealing with by the way he or she reacts to your questions.

So before making a final decision based on the cost of a home inspection, consider carefully what is involved, who you’ll be hiring and what you will end up with in terms of overall value for your investment on a new home. All the best with your home buying experience.