6 Home Inspection Red Flags Buyers Should Watch For

Scott Castillo
Scott Castillo

Once you’ve made an offer on a home you’re interested in and have come to agreements with the seller on the initial negotiations, the closing process will begin. One of the most important steps of closing is the home inspection, and buyers need to know what home inspection red flags to be aware of.

What is a Home Inspection?

The home inspection occurs when a certified inspector visits the property for sale and conducts a thorough investigation of its condition. Inspectors look at the interiors, exteriors, and surrounding areas of the home as well as the property’s history of renovations and other impactful events.

Why are Home Inspections Important?

The results of the home inspection will reveal if there are any hidden issues within the home that may influence the transaction.

In some cases, the price will need to be adjusted accordingly. In others, buyers may request additional contingencies based on the results of the inspection. It’s also possible that buyers decide to back out of the deal and not purchase the home based on the inspection findings.

Whatever degree of action is taken by the buyer, the inspection is a critical step in the closing process that should be taken seriously.

6 Home Inspection Red Flags to Take Seriously

It’s true that some issues may not merit a major response from the buyer, there are many home inspection red flags that need to be addressed by buyers before they progress with the transaction.

Here is a list of serious home inspection red flags that buyers should watch out for when they are reviewing the home inspection documents.

#1. Water Damage

Water Damage

Water damage on a property is one of the most important home inspection red flags to be aware of.

Water damage is difficult to treat once it has seeped into the home’s foundation and structure. Water damage is also an expensive issue with the average homeowner in 2021 having to invest $2,930 to repair water damage.

Water damage can lead to further issues, like mold, rot, and instability in the home. Take water damage seriously if it shows up on the inspection report.

#2. Roofing Problems

Roofing issues are critical since the roof is a major barrier between the exterior and interior of the home. Roof issues can be time-consuming and expensive to address, so you won’t want to ignore them and face a larger problem later.

Leaky, sagging roofs that are exposing the home’s structure to water can lead to water damage if it’s not already present due to the weak roof. Since roof replacements range between $5,000 and $15,000, buyers want to make sure that the listing they are purchasing has a roof in good condition.

#3. Foundation Issues

foundation damage

Foundation issues threaten the home’s structural integrity and can lead to other issues in the future. Cracking at the foundation, misaligned brickwork and woodwork, uneven floors, and cracks in the walls and ceilings are all home inspection red flags that merit a closer look.

#4. The Presence of Mold

Mold is extremely damaging to health and is not an easy problem to fix. Mold removal can cost thousands because it usually requires full replacements of the damaged areas.

If your home inspection report reveals the presence of mold, it’s recommended to request further inspections by professionals specializing in mold detection. While the intensity of the issue varies, the presence of mold should always be investigated by a trained and certified mold inspector.

#5. Aged Electrical Systems

Older homes with outdated electrical systems are hazardous to home buyers as they pose a substantial risk of fire outbreaks.

Aging electrical systems run throughout the entire home, meaning a repair would need to replace the electrical infrastructure of the home. This repair is expensive and time-consuming, typically costing $2.65 per square foot of the property.

This red flag should not be ignored if it surfaces on the initial home inspection report.

#6. Issues with Plumbing

copper plumbing

Since plumbing issues have the potential to turn into water damage problems, plumbing system red flags should be addressed by the buyer.

Plumbing issues can range from low water pressure to rusted and leaky piping, so discuss the severity of the plumbing inspection results with your agent to decide what the best course of action is to secure your interests.


Keeping an eye out for these home inspection red flags will make sure that you’re purchasing the right home that won’t give you surprising issues down the road. For more guidance on home buying and selling, visit RealEstateAgents.com.

BuyingHome Improvement
Scott Castillo

Scott Castillo