Top 5 Issues that Commonly Appear on Home Inspections

When you’ve finally agreed upon a price and terms, one of the last variables left in a real estate transaction is the inspection – one bad item and the whole deal could fall apart. In order to avoid this, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 issues that commonly appear on home inspections. With this, you can prepare in advance of your home inspection and take care of any issues, making sure your sale goes smoothly.

1. Wiring and Electrical Issues

Faulty electrical wiring can be a major concern in older homes and can be a safety hazards, as improper wiring can cause house fires. Ensure that power output matches the capacity of the wiring and that no wires are exposed. If you’re not comfortable with this on your own, best to call a licensed electrician.

2. Grading and Drainage

Having improper grading can cause major drainage issues for a home — especially in the basement — by allowing water to pool too close to the foundation, which could lead to mold or mildew in the foundation. Luckily, this is a relatively easy fix – a few bags of dirt from a local hardware store can do the trick to make sure the basement stays nice and dry.

3. Roofing issues

Roofs can be a major sticking point in a transaction as older roofs tend to lose shingles (or the shingles lose their integrity and simply don’t repel the elements like they should after cracking or flaking). This can cause leaking if left uncorrected and unfortunately, if not maintained, lead to a roof replacement which could put your sale in jeopardy.

4. Poor ventilation

Oftentimes poor ventilation takes the form of a rather warm attic and/or condensation accumulating in it. While some warmth is to be expected (as the space typically isn’t air conditioned), if it is too warm, it can be an indication of a ventilation problem, which can lead to condensation (which leads to mold and eventually roof damage if severe enough). Luckily, it could be as simple a fix as removing any insulation or items blocking the soffits in the attic.

5. HVAC Systems

Much like roofing systems, HVAC systems can make or break a home sale. Be sure to check out the HVAC system in the home you’re buying or selling to make sure it’s up to par. Do note: just because it is older, does not mean that’s necessarily a problem. An older but well maintained system could run for several more years. However, if not, it can cost several thousand dollars to replace.

A simple annual maintenance plan can keep you apprised to the status of your HVAC system so you’re not blindsided by problems from the inspection.


While these issues are common in home inspections, the vast majority of them are preventable with the right maintenance. However, if you’re in the process of buying a home with one or more of these issues, be sure to weigh the costs.

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