Home inspection is an important part of the home buying and selling process, as it provides a comprehensive report of the condition of the property.
This report can help the buyer make an informed decision about the property, and it can also help the seller address any issues before the sale.
Here are home inspection statistics that provide insight into the industry and its practices.
Key Home Inspection Statistics 2023 – MY Choice
- 88% of buyers used a home inspector’s services for their most recent home purchase. That’s nearly nine in ten homebuyers!
- Nearly 20% (19.7%) of home inspectors found a problem with the roof
- 18.7% found at least one issue with the home’s electrical system
- 18.4% found problems with the home’s windows
- 13.6% discovered issues with the home’s plumbing systems, and 12.2% with the water heater.
- 86% of buyers who used a home inspection said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed.
- There are over 10,579 home inspectors currently employed in the United States.
- 14.3% of all home inspectors are women, while 85.7% are men.
- The average age of an employed home inspector is 50 years old.
- The most common ethnicity of home inspectors is White (69.2%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (12.8%), Black or African American (8.1%) and Unknown (5.7%).
- In 2021, women earned 96% of what men earned.
- 46% of buyers reported that they “used home inspection reports to negotiate a lower price on their home.”
Home Inspection Statistics
|Average cost of a home inspection||$300-$500|
|Average time taken for a home inspection||2-4 hours|
|Percentage of homes with major issues identified||10-20%|
|Most common issues identified during inspections||Electrical, plumbing, roofing, HVAC|
|Percentage of buyers who attend the inspection||50-75%|
|Average age of HVAC systems found to need replacement during inspections||10-15 years|
- Nearly 9 in 10 homebuyers used an inspector when purchasing their properties.
- 83 percent who used an inspector reporting that their lender insisted on an assessment.
- The majority reported paying $500 or less to have their homes inspected. The average inspection cost was $377
- The average home inspection takes 2-3 hours to complete.
- Home inspectors typically provide a written report within 24-48 hours of the inspection.
- The majority of home inspectors are self-employed, with fewer than 10 employees.
- Over 70% of home inspectors have a college degree.
- The average age of a home inspector is 56 years old.
- Over 80% of home inspectors have been in the business for over 10 years.
- Nearly 60% of home inspectors belong to a professional organization, such as the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
- The majority of home inspectors are male, with less than 20% being female.
- In 80 percent of cases, the buyers paid for the inspection
|Year||Percentage of Home Buyers who Conduct Home Inspections|
- 14 percent of people chose their inspector based on a friend’s or family member’s recommendation, while 10 percent said the seller picked who would perform the inspection
- A home inspection is not a guarantee that the property is free of all defects.
- Home inspectors do not move furniture or personal items to inspect areas behind or underneath them.
- Home inspectors do not provide an appraisal of the property’s value.
- Home inspectors do not evaluate the safety of the neighborhood or surrounding area.
- Home inspectors are not required to have a license in all states.
|Demographic Group||Percentage of Home Buyers who Conduct Home Inspections|
- 72 percent said they only considered one inspector before moving forward.
- 86 percent said their inspector identified at least one problem.
- In nearly half of cases in which home inspections turned up problems, buyers and their agents were able to bargain down the final sales price.
- Homebuyers who discovered problems with the heater, for example, negotiated their purchase price down by $1,250 on average.
- Homebuyers dealing with air conditioning problems negotiated a $500 price reduction on average; installing a new system would cost several times that amount.
- Respondents reported saving $14,000 on the final price of their home by negotiating based on their inspection.
- Buyers offered an average of $209,000 for the home they wanted to buy. Yet, their average closing price was roughly $3,400 higher.
- 38 percent of cases, buyers took their agent’s advice about revising their offer after an inspection.
- Only 23 percent reported they relied on guesswork to revise their offer.
Importance of Home Inspections
- A home inspection can reveal hidden problems with the property.
- A home inspection can help buyers negotiate the purchase price.
- A home inspection can give buyers peace of mind before making a large investment.
- A home inspection can help sellers address any issues before the sale, making the process smoother and quicker.
- A home inspection can provide a comprehensive report of the property’s condition, which can be used for future reference.
Home Inspections Trends
- The demand for home inspections has increased in recent years due to the rising real estate market.
- The use of technology, such as thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters, has become more widespread in home inspections.
- The number of female home inspectors is increasing, but the industry is still primarily male-dominated.
- Home inspectors are becoming more specialized, with some focusing on specific types of properties or systems, such as radon testing or energy efficiency.
Home Inspections Adoption
- The majority of home inspections are ordered by the buyer.
- A smaller percentage of home inspections are ordered by the seller, real estate agent, or lender.
- The use of home inspections is more common in urban areas than rural areas.
- The use of home inspections is higher in states with a higher cost of living.
Home Inspections Market Analysis
- The home inspection industry is expected to grow by 3.7% from 2021-2026.
- The home inspection market size was valued at $2.2 billion in 2020.
- The market for home inspections is expected to continue to grow as the real estate market remains strong.
- The use of technology in home inspections is expected to drive growth in the industry.
Opportunities in the Home Inspection Industry
The home inspection industry is a growing field with many opportunities for those who are looking for a career change or for starting a new business. According to recent reports, the demand for home inspection services is increasing as more people look to buy homes and take advantage of the current low interest rates. Additionally, the trend towards green building and energy-efficient homes is also driving demand for home inspectors who can evaluate these homes for their energy efficiency and sustainability.
There are also opportunities for home inspectors to specialize in niche areas, such as commercial building inspections, historical homes, and multi-family dwellings. By offering specialized services, home inspectors can differentiate themselves from the competition and attract more clients.
Challenges in the Home Inspection Industry
Despite the opportunities in the home inspection industry, there are also challenges that home inspectors face. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of regulation in the industry. Unlike other professions, such as real estate agents and architects, there is no standardized certification process for home inspectors. This means that anyone can start a home inspection business without the proper training or experience.
Another challenge is the liability that comes with being a home inspector. If a home inspector misses something during an inspection, they could be held responsible for any damages or costs incurred by the home buyer. It’s important for home inspectors to have proper insurance coverage to protect themselves from these types of claims.
A Common Myth about Home Inspections
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN HIRING A HOME INSPECTOR
HOME INSPECTION Demographics stats
Home Inspector Gender Over Time
Home Inspector Male to Female Ratio
HOME INSPECTOR STATISTICS BY RACE
|Home Inspector Race||Percentages|
|Hispanic or Latino||12.8%|
|Black or African American||8.1%|
|American Indian and Alaska Native||0.8%|
Home Inspector Race And Ethnicity Over Time
|Year||White||Black or African American||Asian||Hispanic or Latino|
AVERAGE AGE OF A HOME INSPECTOR
|Race||Male Age||Female Age|
|Black or African American||48|
|Hispanic or Latino||42|
Home Inspector Age Breakdown
|Home Inspector Years||Percentages|
TYPES OF HOME INSPECTOR DEGREE LEVELS
|Home Inspector Degree||Percentages|
|High School Diploma||13%|
HOME INSPECTOR EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Home Inspector Jobs By Employer Size
|< 50 employees||11%|
|50 – 100 employees||27%|
|100 – 500 employees||30%|
|500 – 1,000 employees||9%|
|1,000 – 10,000 employees||11%|
|> 10,000 employees||11%|
Home Inspector Jobs By Sector
Home Inspector Unemployment Rate By Year
|Year||Home Inspector Unemployment Rate|
Home Inspector Tenure
|Number or Years||Percentages|
|Less than 1 year||14%|
Home Inspector Languages Spoken
Number Of Home Inspector Jobs By State
|Rank||State||Number of Jobs||Average Salary|
|47||District of Columbia||49||$47,597|
Common Repairs Needed after Home Inspection
Significant issues to plumbing include but are not limited to the following: slab leaks. A slab leak occurs when a pipe embedded within the slab foundation is leaking. A professional plumber will have to first find the leak. After the leak is detected, and if the leak is located in a concrete slab foundation, the plumber will have to either dig a trench under the home to repair the leak or break out the slab foundation to get to the leak. This is a significant problem!
Another major problem that can arise on a home inspection for plumbing is backed-up lines. Backed up plumbing lines, which are discovered by slow drains in the sinks and bathtubs, can lead to a flood and extensive damages to a home.
Plumbing issues are the first of our major possible problems a home inspector might find during his investigation.
Electrical Issues (Specifically Federal Pacific Panels)
Electrical issues on a home inspection report can include things like faulty wiring, old wiring, bad junction box connections, spliced wiring, and faulty electrical panels.
On older homes built around the 1940s to 1960s, home inspectors will find a lot of Federal Pacific electrical panels still in use. These panels have been known to be the cause of fires in homes. Inspectors will always point out a Federal Pacific Panel (also called FPE for Federal Pacific Electric). During the time these panels were initially installed, most local codes allowed them to be installed in a closet of a home. Law has since changed (at least here locally) and now requires that the electrical panels be installed in a garage our on an outside wall.
With the fact that a Federal Pacific Panel might still be in use, and the fact that code has changed as to the proper location of the panel, you can see where the replacement and relocation of a panel box could get expensive for a buyer. Also note that if a Federal Pacific Panel is still in use, there is a good chance that the home’s wiring associated with the panel is also against the current code. Therefore, there is a good possibility that rewiring the house may also be required.
The Federal Pacific Panel is not the only possible electrical issue, but it is one of the biggest in a large number of homes constructed in the period mentioned above.
HVAC Items (Air Conditioning & Heating)
As modern people, we often state that we cannot live without our heat and air conditioning. During your home inspection, the inspector will visually check the units and the furnace. Common issues will be rusted pans, clogged drain lines, not enough walkway space to and around the units, dirty filters, etc. However, to test the unit’s efficiency, the inspector will check what is called the temperature differential.
According to Braeburn, the explanation of the temperature differential is as follows:
Your thermostat is equipped with an adjustable temperature differential setting which will determine how much your system cycles. The lower the differential setting, the more your system will cycle and the tighter the temperature will remain. If your system cycles too often, raise your differential setting to a higher degree.
Significant gaps in temperature differential can signal a potentially major problem to the HVAC system. If a significant temperature differential is noted, be sure to immediately speak with your agent about the seller having a qualified HVAC professional diagnose the possible issues.
As I am only licensed in Texas and, more specifically, just practice in the North Texas area, my opinions on significant foundation issues will are formed around my knowledge of homes in my area. However, structural support and design will mostly fit all areas.
There are two types of foundations found in North Texas (and I’d guess most other places) – the pier and beam foundation and the slab (concrete) foundation. In North Texas, we have clay soil which expands and contracts with moisture (rain). The contraction and expansion in the earth under a home causes the house to settle, shift and potentially move. According to most structural engineers and home inspectors, the pier and beam foundation is better suited to deal with movement caused by the soil. Unfortunately, the pier and beam will mostly be found in homes built in the 1970’s and older because installing this type of foundation is both labor intensive and expensive for builders. Because of this, today’s new homes are mostly constructed on slab foundations.
Major Pier and Beam foundation issues – the piers are no longer touching the support beams; the support beams have shifted to the point where they are no longer level with the beams; the beams/piers have rotted over time due to moisture under the home caused by time (years of rains), or a leak. A water leak can destroy the piers and beams which are almost always constructed from treated wood.
Significant Concrete Slab foundation problems – one major issue with slab foundations are cracking. If left untreated for a long enough period, movement can cause a slab foundation to crack under the home. Unlike a pier and beam structure which uses a system of connecting all the piers and beams, a slab is one solid block of concrete. Concrete, while solid, doesn’t flex or give much without breaking. If there are any signs of the following concerns: sloping floors, difficulty opening, and closing windows, doors not latching correctly, separation of brick from home, large sections of missing mortar from the brick, etc., then ask your home inspector more in-depth questions about your worries. If anything feels outside your reasonable comfort level, or you want to be safe, you need to schedule a structural engineer to inspect the home before purchasing.
Common Inspection Problems Found in every report
#10 – Soil Height Around Foundation Of Home
The soil height around the foundation of the home will not be the correct height. It doesn’t matter if the soil is 2″ around the foundation or 12″ tall around the foundation, the height will not be correct to the inspector. I’ve never seen an inspector say the soil level around the foundation is the correct height. Hell, I don’t even know what the correct height is supposed to be. However, I can tell you that it will be noted in your inspection report.
#9.5 – GFCI Outlets Not Up To Code
If you’re buying a pre-owned home, get ready because the GFCI outlets will NOT be up to current building code. The local code on GFCI outlets seems to change as much as gas prices at the pump. Again, I’ve never seen a preowned home live up to current building code with regards to its GFCI outlets. The outlets not being up to current code doesn’t mean the seller has to rectify the situation. The home will be “grandfathered” into the correct code for when the home was constructed. This means that if the home was constructed today, the GFCI outlets wouldn’t meet current code. In case you don’t know, GFCI outlets are the ones required in a wet area and will cause the breaker to trip with the slightest detection of water. These outlets save lives in kitchens and bathrooms. But, I can promise you that the home your buying will not be up to current code with its GFCIs.
#9 – Smoke Detectors Not Up To Code
I included a #9.5 and a #9 because both of these issues are code issues. Smoke detectors are now required to be in every bedroom in the State of Texas. This one is probably a good point to remedy after you purchase the home. Smoke detectors do save lives and having them in every bedroom is a good rule of thumb. Again, this isn’t something the owner must fix. And, truthfully, I’d rather go to the hardware store and buy my smoke detectors since I can get them with carbon monoxide features built into the same unit. If you make a seller fix this issue, you can rest assured they will do it as cheaply as possible. Get your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you go to the hardware store for the other things on this list.
#8 – Foggy Windows
You’ve seen them. You probably have one or two in your own home. No matter how much you clean and scrub these windows, they still have a “fogged” appearance. This issue stems from the double panes of glass with inert gasses (mostly argon) in between the panes which insulate both the windows and your home. The gasses are sealed between the panes by a seal. Over the years, the seals eventually break down and succumb to the elements which allow moisture to begin to enter the space between the panes. This is when fogging will occur. You can read more about this at Pella’s website. I bet it hasn’t been on the top of your repair list for your home. And, it won’t be for a seller either. Expect some foggy windows.
#7 – Wood Rot Around Those Exterior Doors
Exterior doors take a beating from mother nature. Fully expect there to be some wood rot around exterior doors, windows and your garage door frame. Wood rot is evidenced by the coat of paint peeling (usually near the ground) and the surface of the wood being exposed to the elements. If you ever have seen any rotten wood, you’ll easily be able to identify what the inspector is talking about when he shows you the wood rot. This is a prevalent issue. Wood rots. Expect this to be noted in your inspection report.
#6 – Get Your HVAC Serviced
This one is a prevalent one here in Texas. Even if the HVAC is performing correctly on inspection day, I’ve never not seen an inspector recommend getting it serviced. This is big CYA inspectors use in this part of the country because as modern humans, we enjoy our cold AC and warm heat. If your system gives you problems right after you purchase the home, guess who you are blaming? Yep, the inspector. I swear this is an item inspectors mark as needing repair or servicing before they even arrive at the home for the inspection. You’ll see this item marked…I guarantee it.
#5 – Loose Nails On The Roof
Each roof has thousands of nails which secure the roof to the decking and the decking to the framing of the home. You’ll have some missing and loose nails. I guess that the seller never even knew any of the nails were loose. However, if the seller did know there were some loose nails, I can almost guarantee you that he or she never climbed onto the roof to remedy the issue. You live with loose roof nails on your home, so did the seller. A handyman can make this repair. Don’t stress about some loose nails on your roof.
#4 – Replace Those Broken Sprinkler Heads
Sprinkler heads take a lot of abuse from kids running over them in the yard to mower blades hitting them when mowing, to just being stuck in the ground. I promise there will be some broken sprinkler heads. I think they cost about $4 at the local hardware store and they simply screw off the threaded PVC pipe in the ground. They are a very easy fix and you do not need a handyman to fix these. This is about as easy of a DIY project as you will find.
#3 – Window Screens Will Need Repair
I’ve never quite figured out why we have window screens in Texas. But we do and they’ll need repairing or replacing. You’ll probably even find that some of your windows are missing their screens. Where these screens go is something I’ve never quite solved. At any rate, there will be missing screens, broken screens and screens which are bent and no longer fit the window correctly. Again, here in Texas it is usually hot and I cannot remember the last time I opened a window to let in “nice” hot breeze. I wouldn’t worry about window screens but this is your call. In any event, get ready to read about missing window screens.
#2 – The Bathroom Exhaust Fan Vents To The Attic
This one drives inspectors mad. In the old days, builders would simply vent the bathroom exhaust fan into the attic. However, we now need special vents to vent to the exterior of the home as opposed to the attic. Modern code says that venting to the attic will cause the moisture from the bathroom shower to collect in the attic and could cause wood rot for the raw framing. I guess in theory this is right. However, I’ve never seen a home where the exhaust fan has caused major issues in the attic. Honestly, most people never correct this issue. This one is up to you.
#1 – Caulk, Caulk & More Caulk!
Get ready because you’re going to need a gallon of it when the inspector is finished looking at your new home! Caulk can help seal the weather out of your home, and inspectors love this product. They’ll want you to caulk around windows, doors, bathtubs, showers, counters, backsplashes, your kids, the dog, the Christmas Tree… OK, so maybe not the kids, dog or Christmas Tree, but they will want you to caulk just about everything else in the home. I’m not kidding! After you get your home inspection report, you may email me and tell me I was right about the caulk. Caulk comes in at #1 because, well, you’ll see.
Lessons for homebuyers
1. Safety Hazards: A poorly maintained home is susceptible to plenty of safety hazards. A home inspection can detect safety issues like carbon monoxide, mold, and radon. Buyers should verify that their home-buying contract has a clause that allows them to cancel their offer should safety hazards be discovered.
2. Reveal Illegal Additions or Installations: If the home has an altered garage or basements that either violate code or were completed without the required permits, it affects the home insurance, property taxes, and overall value of the home. Also, once the buyer closes on the home, those illegal additions become the buyer’s financial problem to fix.
3. Negotiating Tool: The home inspection report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal! If you need guidance on negotiating, ask Ben Weaver for tips!
4. Forecast Future Costs: A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself, and tell you how long finishes have been in the home. All components in the home have a “shelf-life.” Understanding when they require replacement can help you make important budgeting decisions, and it will determine what type of home insurance coverage or warranties you should consider.
5. Determine “Deal-Breakers”: Home inspections can help buyers identify how much additional money or effort they are willing and able to spend to take the home to a condition that is personally acceptable. If you are unwilling to repair issues like faulty gutters, cracked walls, or ceilings, perhaps you are not ready to end your home buying search. This is not the time to settle!
6. Identify hidden problems: The home buyer will most likely hire a professional home inspector to check your home. As a seller, you can hire a home inspector to conduct a pre-inspection. This way, the homebuyer’s inspection shouldn’t have any surprises on it that you weren’t prepared for. When hidden problems are discovered by the homebuyer it will either scare them off or lower the value of your home.
7. Deciding whether or not to make repairs: Once you have the inspector’s report, you have two choices: make the repairs or lower the sale price. When the repairs are small and relatively inexpensive, it’s a good idea to go ahead and get them done. Additionally, if it’s a big problem, like a leaky roof or a fire hazard, you also want to fix those because it means there are fewer problems to disclose to the buyer.
8. Protection from legal action: In 1994, the Illinois legislature added seller disclosure obligations to the Illinois statutes. This means that when selling a home in Illinois, you must make certain disclosures to prospective buyers regarding the home’s physical condition. This includes code violations, environmental issues and more. These disclosures must be made prior to the sales contract. If they aren’t, the buyer has a case against the seller should they decide to sue the seller for hidden problems.
9. You may be able to close faster: Getting ahead of repairs and knowing the issues before the homebuyer’s inspector finds them helps speed along the process of selling your home. Seller’s can get a head start on repairs with a pre-inspection, thus saving everyone time in the long run!
10. You could list your home for more: If you decide to make repairs, it could increase the value of your home… putting more money in your pocket. Who doesn’t want that? Making sure your home is in top tip shape will increase your leverage in negotiations when there are new repairs.
Exterior Inspection Points
Grading, Drainage, Retaining Walls, and Vegetation (Vegetation inspection is limited to the way it affects the buildings, such as ivy heavily covering and damaging the siding)
Driveways, Patios, and Walkways
Decks, Balconies, Stairs, and Railings
Wall Elements (Cladding, flashing, trim, eaves, soffits, fascia)
Doors and Windows
Roof Coverings (Shingles, standing seam metal, etc.)
Roof Drainage: Gutters and Downspouts
Roof Flashing (Metal “cuffs” around roof protrusions that prevent water from seeping in)
Electrical Service (Service entrance, grounding, etc.)
Lawn Irrigation System
Interior Inspection Points
Walls and Vertical Support Structures
Electric Service Panel Interior Components
Electric Devices (Switches, receptacles, lights, etc.)
Cooling and heating
Flue and Venting Systems
Thermal Insulation (Only where visible)
Moisture Management (Related to thermal insulation as moisture follows insulation)
Ventilation Systems of Attic, Crawl Space, and Roof Assembly
Plumbing (Water supply, fixtures, faucets)
Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems
Fuel Storage and Distribution (Propane tanks, for example)
Walls, Ceiling, Floors, Doors, and Windows
Steps, Stairways, Landings, and Railings
Garage Vehicle Doors and Operators
Fireplaces, Solid-Fuel Burning Appliances, Chimneys, and Vents /li>
Kitchen Appliances, Proper Condition and Operation
Why sweat the small stuff? If you fall in love with the house, there is no need for any of these inspection report items to come between you and the home you love. These are defined as issues that typically cost less than $200 each to cure.
Gutter and Downspout Problems
One or two hanging gutters, a downspout on the ground, missing extenders – not a big deal. They are inexpensive to purchase and entire DIY-able.
Outlets and Switches
Replacing outlets and light switches is a classic amateur electrician project, and most communities allow you to do this work yourself without a permit.
Isolated Appliance Issues
If the home has a single major appliance that is performing badly and in need of replacement within the next year, assess whether it is within your budget to replace. But an outdated cooktop does not rise to the level of being a deal breaker.
One or Two Failed Window Seals
When a window seal has failed, you will know because the window fogs up and never seems to completely clear out. Yet even IGUs, or insulated glass units, that no longer hold their argon or krypton gas still have some R-value – just not as much as before.
It is almost expected that every homeowner will redo the landscape upon purchase. Landscaping is a highly personal project, and as long as there are no major problems (like old vehicles left on the property or unsafe outbuildings), do not worry about this issue.
Cracked or Missing Floor Tiles
A few broken or missing ceramic tiles do not mean that the entire floor must be replaced. Tile technicians can replace individual tiles at a reasonable cost.
Loose or Missing Fixtures
Cabinet pulls and knobs, door knobs and levers, and even exterior fixtures can be replaced on a do-it-yourself basis
What is a home inspection? A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of a home’s systems and structures to evaluate its condition and identify any potential problems.
Why is a home inspection important? A home inspection is important because it helps protect the buyer from purchasing a home with unknown or costly problems.
How long does a home inspection take? A home inspection typically takes 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the home and the complexity of its systems and structures.
What is included in a home inspection? A home inspection includes a comprehensive evaluation of the home’s systems and structures, including the roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, and more.
What is the cost of a home inspection? The cost of a home inspection varies depending on the size of the home, the complexity of its systems and structures, and the inspector’s experience and qualifications. On average, home inspections cost between $300 and $500.
Home inspections are a critical step in the real estate process and play an important role in protecting the buyer and ensuring a smooth transaction. Understanding the key trends, challenges, and opportunities in the home inspection industry is essential for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. The statistics outlined in this blog post provide valuable insights into the current state of the home inspection industry and can help inform decision-making and drive positive outcomes for all stakeholders.