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how much would you charge to inspect this?


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Greetings,

I know everyone's inspection prices vary greatly across the country but I'm really stumped on what to charge for this house.

It's 110 years old, 11,000 sq ft, 9 bedroom, 9 bathrooms and a 1500 sq ft finished carriage house/garage. In Denver Colorado.

I've done a ton of old houses (old by Denver standards before you east coasters snicker) and quite a few giant newer homes but never both in the same house. Honestly I'm a little scared of this one. Just curious what you folks think.

Dave

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I'd get $400 for the carriage house alone. Add Marc's fee for the main house as a base price, plus Ben's hourly and you might be in the right ball park. Sub out the mechanicals to reputable local contractors. And, plan on spending at least a few days, it is 5 to 7 times the size of typical house. It's nearly a week's work, earn a week's wages.

Marc, it would take more than a day to write the report.

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I'd get $400 for the carriage house alone. Add Marc's fee for the main house as a base price, plus Ben's hourly and you might be in the right ball park. Sub out the mechanicals to reputable local contractors. And, plan on spending at least a few days, it is 5 to 7 times the size of typical house. It's nearly a week's work, earn a week's wages.

Marc, it would take more than a day to write the report.

I would estimate the time needed and give them an hourly rate. If they are shopping for the best price instead of for the best inspection, you probably don't want to do the job. SOunds like a fun one!

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Thanks for the advice guys.

I definitely would want more than $825. I was thinking $1200 -$1500. It would be a full day in the house(s) and another full day of report writing I would assume.

I've done one inspection for the buyer in the past (on a MUCH smaller home) Two years ago I charged him $400 for a 2400 sq ft older home (yea he's movin' on up for sure). The equivalent price for the 11,000 sq ft would be about $1800 but I'm afraid I'd be pricing myself out. I know you guys on the coasts are getting way more than us here but my experience has shown that people around here won't pay much more. Maybe I'm

wrong.

I was contacted for an 8000 sqft oldie a few months ago and told them $900. They went with a guy who did it for $600! No way I'm taking on that kind of liability and amount of time for that amount of money.

I'm going to an ASHI meeting tonight so I'll ask around there as well.

Thanks again and best of luck to everyone out there.

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Not nearly enough info to determine a price.

I look at big old houses that are pretty old, and sometimes they're very simple. Sometimes they're not. Honestly, the worse the condition, the easier they are to inspect.

I'd figure it to be a long day. I have no idea what folks would do for 2 days in a house.

It's not a weeks work. It's a house.

Yes, yes, there can be complicated houses that take a long time, but I look at some of the more complicated stuff there is, and I can't imagine any house taking a week.

And, if any report took me more than a few hours to put together, I think I'd have to rethink my report writing methods. What the heck are folks doing?

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As a friend of ours said during a lecture I attended in the recent past, the old portion of the house usually isn't too bad, it's the crappy additions with the horrid crawlspaces that are all screwed up. (And see, some of us actually paid attention to that rap you were laying down).

I'd want to know how many additions there are, what's beneath them, how many HVAC systems are in place, and other pertinent info before telling them what my fee would be.

Marc, with nothing but fondness and respect, your are giving your time away if you'd check out 11K sq. ft. for eight hundred bucks. I'd charge somewhere around three times that much here in ass-backward Kentucky.

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My report on a house of that age would likely be mostly 'location neutral' meaning similar conditions affecting several rooms would be represented by one write-up. A 'location neutral' report is a change in strategy that better suits some houses (like old ones) and doesn't take longer than a 'location specific' report on a recently constructed house. All reports of mine are a blend of 'location specific' and 'location neutral' reporting depending on the particular house.

I don't think the inspection would take over 5 hours and yes Tom, a day to write it up but mostly because I'm slow. If my typing WPM was up there where I want it, 3 hours would be enough for this report.

Keep in mind that inspection fees are regional. A house that sells for over $300K here is on the lower fringe of 'upscale'.

I agree with John B's friend and in my area, additions are so bad that I can sometimes write up all of them together with no more than 3 paragraphs total. 10 minutes and they're done. Details don't benefit the client on these 'screw up' additions. That's 'location neutral'.

Marc

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You could hire another inspector to help you and split the fee any way that works equitably for both of you, but you should get the bigger share since you booked the job and have all the liability.

I did a 9,000 + sq. ft. house around 100 yrs. old a couple of months ago and hired a fellow inspector to help me. I had been assisting him on a number of his inspections through the summer and fall (he was recovering from an injury and needed help), so we were used to working together as a team.

The house had 2 kitchens, 5 baths, 3 furnaces, 3 A/C units, solar PV, & solar hot water, and a back up generator.

We each did separate areas and spent about 6 to 7 hours on site, including the presentation to the client. It would have gone faster but he was not used to using my reporting software and how I have it organized. My job was then to put it all together in the report. The key is to organize the report software ahead of time, not unlike how you would do it for a multi family inspection. It does take more time to write, to be sure.

Scott and Robert are close to what I would charge, but I think I'd be even higher, maybe around $1800.

I don't understand the reason to sub out the mechanicals unless it's something you're not familiar with, but if you've inspected a lot of old houses, that shouldn't be an issue.

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As a friend of ours said during a lecture I attended in the recent past, the old portion of the house usually isn't too bad, it's the crappy additions with the horrid crawlspaces that are all screwed up. (And see, some of us actually paid attention to that rap you were laying down).

I'd want to know how many additions there are, what's beneath them, how many HVAC systems are in place, and other pertinent info before telling them what my fee would be.

Marc, with nothing but fondness and respect, your are giving your time away if you'd check out 11K sq. ft. for eight hundred bucks. I'd charge somewhere around three times that much here in ass-backward Kentucky.

I would agree with that, even here in bassackward NJ. I would likely be at 2k for the big house and another 400-500 for the carriage house. No way I'm off that property in 5 hrs. All day on site, 10 hours at least, another day in the office going though pics, notes, etc.

I state in my Pre Ins Agreement the time that I will spend on site with a gig like that, so you are not there a week. Price the job right and embrace it, could be a great experience.

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I'm told by two guys on the board I sit on that I'm way too cheap, so take this with a grain of salt.

.15 cents for square foot on the big house = $1650 plus $425 for the finished carriage house/garage. That's $2095. If I have to drive more than 20 miles to get there, I add an additional $30 per 20 miles (60 miles = $90 added, 90 miles = $120 added etc..)

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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11,000 square feet of remuddled is a lot different than 11,000 square feet of well maintained original.

Depending on a bunch of factors, my fee would range up from around $2500.

Between the inspection, the scheduling, the research and the report, it would take me between two and and two and half days.

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Funny you mention that Mike. Lat week I was called about a 2700sq ft house and I gave my usual quote. I didn't hear back until a few days later and the person called and said "weren't you the guy at $320?", I said uh no. And he hung up to never be heard from again! I refuse to sell my soul!

The looky loos will always drive you nuts. For a price difference of $20 they'll spurn a guy who's been in business 15 years and will be in that house for 4 hours for a guy who's been in business 15 days and will be in and out in an hour.

A guy that I'm mentoring asked me the other day how I price my business. It's not rocket science. If it were, I sure as hell couldn't figure it out.

Figure out the maximum number of inspections you want to do per year; and then, using last year's expenses adjusted for inflation, figure out how much you need to charge per inspection for your company to break even. Then take what you want to make for personal income that year, divide it by that maximum number of inspections, add the result to the break even price and then add another 10% for fudge factor. That give you the minimum inspection fee you'll charge. From that point, just add on a set amount per set square footage and create a chart. Once you've done that, refuse, come hell or high water, to go below that.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I'd probably quote $1200 and one of my competitors would under bid me and I'd never get the job.

I'd probably quote something more, but our experience would be the same. Some schmoe the realtor recommended would be in under me by a grand.

And, I've done enough of these, the thrill is gone; it's impossible to price them where I'm happy. Gimme a two flat with a first time buyer any day.

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$2,500.

Two guys at $1,000 for the day.

Plus one guy at $500 for a half day on the report.

It wouldn't take us that long, but that's the amount of time we'd have to block out for it, so that's what we'd charge.

On most of these, we get the job.

Frankly, though, I agree with Jimmy. I'm perfectly happy inspecting 1950's ranches.

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