For Homeowners

Annual home inspection versus re-inspection: what’s the difference?

December 8, 2021

As most people know, home inspections are key. Getting an inspection is a critical part of purchasing your home. After all, nobody wants to get stuck with unexpected repairs.

However, fewer people know that there are many different types of home inspections. Knowing the difference between them will help you understand the home buying process better.

So, here is a helpful comparison between common types of inspections: re-inspections and annual inspections.

Why are inspections important?

Before we get into the specifics, let's go over the basics. Home inspections are one of the best forms of leverage for home buyers. Using an inspection report, buyers are able to:

  1. Negotiate a lower closing price
  2. Request repairs from the sellers before moving in
  3. Back out of with confidence if the seller won’t budge

Not only do they help with negotiating, but inspections are also useful once you move in. The inspection report will usually include the ages of your key systems (HVAC, water heater, etc).

This allows you to budget for future repairs so you don’t get caught by surprise down the road.

Additionally, the home inspector will point out issues that you should monitor, but don’t necessarily need an immediate repair. So, what is the difference?

What is an annual inspection?

As you could probably infer, annual inspections are done yearly. Typically, an annual inspection is just like the home inspection you got before agreeing to purchase the home. (Except you don’t have to coordinate with the sellers). The inspector will do a full walk-through of the property, looking at the condition of its systems and structures.

About one in three homebuyers cite unexpected repairs as their biggest regret when it comes to buying a home. Annual inspections help. They are preventative, meaning that they are done to catch defects before they become large and expensive.

Everything has a lifespan that varies depending on how well you maintain your home. Part of maintaining that home is getting an annual inspection to ensure that no major issues have developed, in addition to keeping up with your routine maintenance.

What is a re-inspection?

While annual inspections are preventative care for the property after you purchase it, re-inspections are to ensure that the sellers actually completed their repairs before you purchase.

Before closing, buyers look over their inspection report and have the chance to request the seller's complete repairs before closing. But when you request the repairs, how do you ensure they were done correctly?

This is where a re-inspection comes in. Re-inspections are follow-up inspections to ensure that a defect (found during the first inspection) was repaired properly. This is especially important for complex repairs that require a trained professional to ensure the defect is fixed.

Re-inspections are done with the same inspector who gave the original report. Since they’ve already seen the issue, they can check the repair quickly.

It should only take 10 to 15 minutes (it can be longer depending on the number of repairs). This also makes re-inspections much cheaper, typically around $100.

You might also want to get a re-inspection after an annual inspection. When the annual inspection finds a defect, depending on how severe, you’ll still want a professional to double-check the repair.


There are a few key differences to be aware of. First, re-inspections are mostly done before you purchase the property when the sellers complete repairs. Annual inspections are done after you've bought the property.

Second, re-inspections are quick checks that are a lot cheaper than a full inspection. Annual inspections are a full, in-depth check of your property's condition. While a re-inspection can be done in under 10 minutes, annual inspections take around 2 hours.


An annual home inspection and a re-inspection do have some key similarities. Both should be carried out by a trained professional, and they both assess the condition of the home to make sure there are no major issues. A properly licensed home inspector is a must for both.

Annual home inspections and re-inspections also save you money in the long run. The annual inspection should find issues like a leaking pipe before it bursts, saving you the cost of repairing water damage. Re-inspections save you money by making sure that the leaking pipe was fixed properly so it doesn’t happen again.

As with any inspection, the goal is to maintain the condition of your house and prevent unknown defects from causing major problems. It will also keep your home value high, whether you’re looking to sell down the road or pass it along to your family.

Finding the right inspector

The first step in properly maintaining your home is picking the right home inspector. But with so many options, how do you choose the right one? At Inspectify, we’re here to help.

We have a nationwide network of highly qualified inspectors, at your service in just a few clicks. You can book an inspection in just 3 simple steps:

  1. Enter your address
  2. Choose your inspector based on reviews and pricing
  3. Pick a time that works for you, and let us handle the rest.

You can sit back and relax while our amazing customer success team handles the logistics. After the inspection, you’ll have your report within 24 hours.

Ready to book an inspection? Get started today!


We hope you found this information useful! Do you have any other inspection-related questions we can help you with? Let us know below!