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What Fails a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a crucial part of the process of buying a home. The goal of a home inspection is to identify any problems or issues that exist within the home. This is a very important step for both the seller of the home and the potential buyer, and passing the home inspection is imperative to move forward with the sale. It is important to note that home inspections are not strictly a pass or fail as much as an in depth look at the quality and condition of the home. That being said, there are some issues that are widely considered to be ‘deal-breakers’ should they be found during a home inspection. When a home ‘passes’ the inspection it means that the home inspector did not find any major issues. It is the job of the home inspector to identify anything within the home that needs to be repaired or replaced.


What Could Cause a Home Inspection to Fail?

The things that will cause the most problems during a home inspection are those that pose a risk to the health and safety of the residents of the home. Some of the most common areas of concern that can result in a failed home inspection are:

Roofing Problems – Roofing problems can be some of the more expensive issues to fix, and are more likely to cause the buyer to lose interest or call off the deal. Over time, roofing materials can degrade and break down, which can result in leaks and water damage. These issues can be exacerbated by extreme weather, poor or incorrect installation or subpar materials.  

Moisture in the Basement – The presence of water or moisture in a basement is always a possibility, simply because basements are below ground. Water or moisture in a basement can damage concrete, brick, or stone and can also cause mold to develop. 

Problems with HVAC Systems – HVAC systems are a common source of issues discovered during a home inspection. Whether it is an issue with proper wiring, adequate exhaust systems,  or the functionality of the heating and cooling systems in the home, problems with HVAC systems can significantly affect the outcome of the home inspection. 

Moisture in the Attic – Poor ventilation or insulation in an attic can cause moisture to build up and can ultimately result in the presence of mold and mildew. 

Electrical Problems – The home’s electrical systems must meet the current standards. One of the most common issues identified with electrical systems during a home inspection is over-fused circuits. These can be very dangerous and in some cases can start fires. 

Damaged or Rotting Wood – Any wood that has been used in the construction and structure of the home can become damaged by moisture and age. This includes the wood used on decks, railings, and door and window frames. 

Structural or Foundation Problems – A stable foundation is one of the most important elements when ensuring the structural integrity of a home. Issues such as cracks in the foundation or damage to the home related to foundation problems can be dangerous and expensive to fix. 

Problems with Plumbing – When it comes to plumbing, it is quite common for a home inspector to find at least one issue with the plumbing system in the home. From leaky faucets to clogged drains, plumbing issues are frequently found during a home inspection. The good news is that in most cases, plumbing problems are relatively easy and inexpensive to repair. 

Faulty Masonry – Cracks in a chimney are among the most common issues related to faulty masonry in a home, and can often be caused over time and due to weather. If a crack exists at the base of the chimney and goes upward, this can be a sign of a major structural issue.


Do Home Inspectors Always Find Something Wrong?

If there is something wrong in the home, a good and thorough home inspector will always find it. In fact, it is very rare for a home inspection to occur without the inspector finding a single issue, even in new builds. Often, the issues are minor and inexpensive to fix, leaving the choice up to the seller whether they want to repair it themselves or offer the repair cost as a credit off of the price of the home. When major issues are identified that may be more involved and expensive to repair, it can affect the existing offer/deal and in some cases, if the seller is unwilling to compromise, kill the deal altogether.

It is in the seller’s best interest to identify and repair any existing issues and prepare the house as best as they can prior to the home inspection. Once an issue is identified through a home inspection, it can end up costing much more to fix by forcing the seller to drop the price of the home. 

Many sellers opt to do a home inspection prior to listing the house. This can help to identify exactly what needs to be done before the house is listed and the search for a buyer begins. This also eliminates any possible surprises down the road, which can prove to be stressful and costly. In some cases, the buyer will accept the home inspection done by the seller in lieu of conducting their own.

If you want to learn more about what fails a home inspection or what makes Building Insights uniquely qualified, professional and trustworthy, contact us today!


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