Is A Home Inspection Worth It? [A Case Study]

Date Published: December 9, 2019

Is having a home inspection worth it? This is a common question some buyers might ask themselves before ordering an inspection on the home they are planning to purchase.

Realtors almost always recommend home inspections, but is that just because it is a common practice? Or is it a legitimate negotiation tool? And, do Realtors need the inspection report to request the seller to make corrections to the home?

Some buyers are more construction-savvy than others, where minor defects to the home do not worry them. Other buyers, however, may just want the peace of mind that a detailed home inspection can bring.

At Scott Home Inspection, we see the value of a home inspection firsthand every day at our inspections, and the value it brings to our clients. However, you shouldn’t just take our word for it.  Let’s look at the data.

In a world of data-driven technologies and buyer-informed decision making, we decided to crunch the numbers and share them with you.

So, is a home inspection worth it? Can you hope to recoup the cost of the inspection in avoiding costly repairs?  Let’s find out for ourselves.

Is A Home Inspection Worth It? Our Inspectors Inspect the exterior of a home.

How to determine if a home inspection is really worth it.

So how do we evaluate this? As a long time Home Inspection company, we have access to the reports of the thousands of inspections we have performed, and can run back through the final recommendations of randomly chosen inspections.

For each inspection, we will collect the following information:

  1. Cost of the inspection (You can see our prices here.).
  2. Age of home.
  3. The estimated cost of repair recommendations included in the report that needed immediate action.
  4. The average cost of the biggest repair item.

For each inspection, we will NOT collect the following information, due to privacy and limitations:

  1. Address or homeowner information.
  2. Add-On service data. (We will include extra services into repair cost and total inspection price.)
  3. Specific repair recommendations.

By doing this, we can take the raw data of the average cost of the inspection, and compare it to the average cost of the recommended repair items.

This study does assume a few things:

First, it assumes that the buyer of the home attempted and was successful in negotiating some or all of the bigger items addressed in the report. This should be a safe assumption because this is typically the main point of a home inspection.

Second, it assumes the repair cost of these items. We will use local averages to compare, but some items may cost more or less than the numbers we use. We also assume that a qualified contractor is performing the repair, which will typically cost more than doing it yourself.

Third, this uses our inspection pricing. Inspection pricing can vary depending on the company. We believe our pricing is fair and competitive, but other companies’ fees may be different.

Last, if there was an item that was called out for further evaluation, like structural issues, EIFS siding, or asbestos, we only added the cost of evaluating the issue, and not the cost of remediation. That way if it didn’t end up needing repair, we did not inflate the repair cost in the study.

Sample size:

To get an accurate result, we will choose 50 homes that we inspected within the last year. This will give us up-to-date information that reflects our most recent pricing at the time this article was written.

Once again, these homes will be randomly selected, and reports from all of our home inspectors will be used.

We believe that by using these rules, we can find a fair and data-driven answer to the age-old question.

Is a home inspection worth it?

How the data was compiled.

One home inspection report was randomly chosen each week for the last 50 weeks.

We created a spreadsheet with all the inspections from the last 12 months and randomly clicked on one inspection within the weekly range.