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9 min read Nov 17, 2022

What are the Things That Fail a Home Inspection?

Failed home inspection

A home inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of a home performed by a licensed inspector. Many things fail a home inspection. Buyers of houses usually pay for home inspections. The home inspector’s role is to provide the buyer with a comprehensive report detailing any problems with the home. A buyer usually has the option to back out of the transaction if the home inspection fails or to renegotiate the price based on the cost of repairs.

A home inspector will inspect every aspect of the subject property for electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and structural problems. A home inspection may fail from drainage issues in the yard to foundation cracks. Preparing for a home inspection can help sellers address some of the most common home inspection issues ahead of time.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a property. Home inspections reveal significant defects in the property that an untrained eye can miss. Inspections paint the real picture of the true condition of the property.

A home inspector will assess your house and provide valuable insights into the property’s interior and exterior, electrical systems, and more. Specialty home inspections, like radon, mold, and asbestos, are also done. One such inspection is the termite inspection.

ūü§Ć Home Inspections: Everything you need to know about home inspections

How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

This usually depends on the type of home inspection!

If it’s a general home inspection, 2 to 3 hours are enough. A specialized home inspection, like mold or termite, may take more time depending on the square feet of area that needs to be covered.

ūü§Ć Checklist: Check out this home inspection checklist to get an idea of what areas a home inspector looks at!

Things That Fail a Home Inspection

A professional home inspection will reveal a lot about your future dream house when you buy a home. The home inspector will discover any visible flaws in your home, along with details about its mechanical systems. Cosmetic faults and minor repairs, such as a broken window pane, may be noted in an inspection report. However, these minor issues are unlikely to derail a deal. It is costly and often has hidden problems that can cause a buyer to back out or request a reduction in the contract price. 

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) recently polled its members to determine the top ten home inspection issues. Listed below are the ten most common issues encountered during a home inspection.

1. Inadequate Surface Grading and Drainage

Inadequate surface grading and drainage is the most frequently discovered issue, as reported by 36% of inspectors. Many common household problems are caused by it, including cracked slabs and water penetration into the basement, footings, or crawlspace. Re-grading the ground around the house, repairing or installing a gutter and downspout system, and providing positive drainage away from the foundation are the most effective remedies for poor drainage.

2. Impaired and Undersized Electrical Wiring

 Impaired and undersized electrical wiring was identified as the most common home inspection problem by approximately 20% of inspectors. 

Inadequate electrical service to the house, aluminum wiring, insufficient overload protection, improper grounding, and dangerous amateur wiring connections are all examples.

3. Older, Damaged Roofs 

Older and damaged roofs were cited as the most common home inspection problem by approximately 9% of inspectors. Many wooden roofs have outlived their usefulness. Roof leakage is a common issue caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing. Repairing damaged tiles and shingles, as well as re-caulking roof penetrations, can be simple and inexpensive. Postponing the repairs, however, may result in costly, major roof repairs in the future.

4. Inadequate and Old Heating Systems 

Broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, unsafe exhaust flues, and cracked heat exchangers are some problems in this category. These circumstances represent more than just inefficient heating. As a result, they pose a significant health and safety risk. Under the manufacturer’s instructions, a professional heating inspector should service and maintain heating systems annually. Despite their high cost, newer, more efficient central heating systems will help you recoup your investment by lowering heating and cooling costs.

5. Inadequate Overall Maintenance 

On average, Americans take better care of their cars than their homes. Many home inspectors agree, citing cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, improvised wiring or plumbing, and broken fixtures or appliances. Although some of these issues may appear more cosmetic than serious, they reflect the overall lack of care given to a home.

6. Structural Issues

Many houses sustain some, albeit usually minor, structural damage from problems in one or more of the other categories, such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, or window and door headers. These issues are more prevalent in older homes.

7. Plumbing Issues

Plumbing issues were among the most common house problems encountered. The presence of old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures and waste lines, and improperly strapped water heaters are all examples. Surprisingly, some home inspectors claimed to have discovered natural gas leaks in these homes.

8. External Issues 

Water and air penetration cause discomfort and damage due to defects in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces. The most common causes of a cold and drafty residence are inadequate caulking or poor weather stripping.

9. Inadequate Ventilation

Many homeowners have “over-sealed” their homes to save energy, resulting in excessive interior moisture. Rotting and premature failure of structural and nonstructural elements can result from this. Excessive water from unventilated bathrooms and kitchens can damage plaster and lead to mold growth, which can cause allergic reactions.

10. Miscellaneous Items 

This category includes interior components such as sticky windows and dripping faucets and environmental concerns such as lead-based paint and asbestos.

How to Prevent Your Home Inspection From Failing?

Homeowners can improve the appearance of their homes by painting inside and out. It is also necessary to replace or repair broken light fixtures and appliances.

What Does a Home Inspector Look for In a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a crucial element of the home-buying process. If the inspector fails to notice a foundation crack or a potential hazard, you could be in for a costly surprise as the buyer. You can renegotiate the price if the inspector discovers issues with the property or even walk away if the inspector reveals repairs are needed. It is also critical that you hire a certified home inspector. 

What does an inspector look for exactly? There are 1,600 items inspectors check for on the checklist. Heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical systems, structural components, foundations, and insulation are just a few examples. These are just a few of the things an inspector will check. They also examine the fundamentals of a house, such as the walls, floors, ceilings, and windows.

You Failed Your Home Inspection: Now What?

If your home inspection was a real eye-opener, seek advice from your real estate agent. In developing an action plan, they will report details and consider the market conditions.

As a Buyer, you Have Several Choices, Including:

  • Request that the seller make repairs.
  • Request a credit from the seller (seek advice from contractors first to determine an amount that will cover the repairs).
  • Make a lower counteroffer.
  • If the repairs are too difficult to complete, move on to another property.

As a Seller, you Have Several Options, Including:

  • Make the necessary repairs.
  • Provide a repair credit to sellers.
  • Sell the house “as is,” though this may necessitate lowering the purchase price.
  • Purchase a one-year home warranty for your buyer, covering the HVAC system, appliance, and some electrical work repairs.

Remember that if a seller decides not to make repairs and the buyer backs out, the seller must disclose the findings when they relist the home.

How Much is a Home Inspection?

A general home inspection costs range between $250 to $400 typically. It also depends on the size of the house and how old the property is. Your home inspector may charge you extra fees for transportation if the property is in a remote or difficult-to-reach location

ūü§Ć Home Inspection Costs: How much does a home inspection cost in your state

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