What you need to know about the home inspection process

The Biggest Home Inspection Problems to Avoid

Are you getting your first home inspection? When buying a home, the inspection can reveal many problems. This can be especially worrisome if you’re a first-time buyer, but don’t worry. This is what you hire the inspector for.

Learning the home inspection issues before closing the property gives you a chance. Home Inspections are one of the most important parts of buying a home.

In hot real estate markets, some buyers skip them to win the bid, but that’s never wise. If you forgo an inspection, you’ll be in a vulnerable position to deal with any property issue, some of which you’re no doubt unfamiliar with.

Any home inspection issues can be used to go back to the seller and negotiate solutions. Some faults found by the home inspector are serious and should be repaired by the seller. If the seller disagrees, you may need to look further for a home.

It’s easy to make home inspection mistakes if you’re new to the process or haven’t moved in a long time. But wrong decisions here can cost you a lot.

To avoid falling into the trap of these common mistakes, we provide a home inspection checklist. These are the things you really need to pay attention to when going through the home inspection process. The importance of a home inspection for the topics that we are going to discuss is paramount.

Understanding what to look for will help you avoid some of the bigger home inspection mistakes.

Structural elements

If there are major structural problems with the house, make sure they are properly investigated. If something is wrong with the structure of the house, it can lead to expensive repair bills that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Problems with the foundation, frame, walls, roof or basement can be significant. These problems can arise from poor construction, settling, or inadequate drainage. Whatever the reasons, you want them checked by a structural engineer. This could lead to renegotiation of the purchase price to account for the cost of repairing discovered structural damage.

The roof

If the roof has not been replaced in decades, it can lead to water damage throughout the property. If the inspection report finds minor problems with the roof, this is very unusual and can be resolved after purchase.

What you should be concerned about are the more serious problems that can include damage to the roof structure. If the roof is fairly new, there may still be warranty, so contact the seller. If not, you may need a quote from a roofing company.

A loose grind here or there is not the end of the world.

Electrical systems

A house is more likely to have electrical problems when it is older. You may notice that the wiring is more likely to be faulty in old homes and not up to code. This could mean rewiring the entire house, something that is expensive to fix. For example, if the house is antique, it may have what is called knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube is an inferior wiring system that is a known safety hazard in poor condition.

In fact, there are some lenders and home insurance companies that don’t want to be involved in houses with this old-fashioned wiring.

Ignoring home wiring problems is not an option. It can be dangerous for anyone living in the property. More minor electrical issues include the lack of GFCI outlets in rooms with access to water and double tapped circuit breakers in the electrical panel.

Both problems are easy to correct.

Plumbing systems

While a leaky faucet won’t really be a problem or something you want to negotiate with the seller, there could be bigger problems. Evidence of leaking pipes may mean that the house’s plumbing system needs to be replaced.

In the 1980s it was common to use polybutylene pipes, and some houses of that era have not had the pipework replaced. This type of pipework was prone to leaks and was banned in the 1990s.

If there is significant evidence of leaks, you can call in a professional plumber to check the system.

Leaks from the outside

One of the worst problems arising from home inspections is the discovery of water problems. If problems are found with the roof or foundation of the house, water damage can be one of the home inspection mistakes that is more serious than it appears at first glance.

A persistent water leak can damage the structural integrity of the home. This can cause rotting wood and mold that create the perfect conditions for some types of pests.

If your home inspector finds any evidence of water damage, it may be advisable to call in a specialist to check the extent of the damage and the cost of repair. Hidden water damage can be costly to fix. It would be best if you never let a seller’s problem become your own.

Termite damage

Checking for termites can often be an additional expense on top of the basic home inspection, but it can be valuable. If the house is in an area that suffers from termites, this is something you need.

A house with a termite infestation is gradually eaten away by these pests. This will result in the requirement to treat the affected areas of the house and replace part of the structure.

The cost for this work can run into a few thousand dollars or more, so it’s probably something you’ll want to discuss with the seller.


Problems with the home’s heating and cooling systems can lead to expensive replacement costs. If you need to replace the HVAC unit, you can expect a bill in excess of $6,000. If the unit is nearing the end of its life or not very well maintained, this may be something you need to negotiate with the seller.

There can still be problems with heating and cooling systems, even if the unit is relatively new. Work may be required to ensure that the ductwork is properly sealed, or the filters may need to be replaced. The system may benefit from a technician’s tune-up to resolve these minor home inspection issues.

These are not the only ones Considerations for a home inspection but they are some of the most important.

Other things to know about home inspection issues

Watch out for major home inspection issues
Watch out for major home inspection issues

Having a home inspection may be mandatory for some lenders or types of mortgages, such as VA and FHA loans. But even if it isn’t a requirement, a home inspection will ensure you make a wise choice with your purchase and uncover minor issues that you want to fix after closing.

If significant issues are found, this will give you the option to renegotiate with the seller or end the deal.

A home inspection can cost between $300 and $900, although it depends on the size and location of the home. There are also other costs, such as a termite check or radon test.

Even if the house you want to buy is fairly new, you can expect problems in the inspector’s report. However, not everything in the report is something you should discuss with the seller.

If you are not sure what is essential and what is not to negotiate, you can check with your broker. They will have the experience to know what to negotiate with the seller and what not.

Of course, your home inspector’s opinion is important too, and if you’re concerned or need more information, they can help. This should ensure that your new home is a purchase you won’t regret later.

Final Thoughts on Home Inspections

A home inspection isn’t just about finding problems, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to find out exactly what you’re buying. An exceptional home inspector will guide you through the operations of major systems and give you tips on maintenance.

If you’ve never owned a home before, you’re almost guaranteed to learn a lot. Be sure to attend the inspection so you can learn more about your most important investment.

About the author: The above article about The Biggest Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid was written by Bill Gassett. Bill has been working in the real estate industry for thirty-three years. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Massachusetts. Bill likes to provide reliable information to buyers, sellers and fellow brokers to make the best possible decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Today.com, Credit Sesame, and others.

About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team of RE/MAX Realty Group.

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