The Biggest Home Inspection Deal Breakers


A man wearing a hardhat and a utility vest writes on a clipboard as he inspects the construction of a house.
Consumers home loans

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Home inspection issues that could affect your home’s ability to sell.

Homebuyers are faced with a myriad of factors to consider when selecting their next house, including location, size, style, age and condition, which are only some of the major considerations. While you might be willing to compromise on some items, a home in poor condition might not be worth the investment, if major repairs are needed. Here are some of the conditions revealed through home inspections that could make people reconsider and even walk away from a home purchase.

Outdated or poor quality electrical systems

Very old wiring or an electrical system that’s not up to code is hazardous. Concerns about personal safety and property damage from the risk of fire are the primary concern. An outdated electrical system can also wreak havoc on appliances and electronics.

Foundation and framing problems

Crumbling or bulging foundations, floors that sag, windows that don’t open, doors that stick and cracks in walls are indicators that a home has structural problems. Repair costs that could range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars would be considered unacceptable to most buyers.

In some cases, lenders won’t even issue a loan for a home in need of structural repairs.

Plumbing problems

The plumbing system is largely out of sight, but that doesn’t mean potential problems can’t be detected. Signs of existing and potential concerns in the pipes include slow drainage, low water pressure, evidence of leaks and outdated pipes. Depending on the scale of the problem, repairs could cost thousands of dollars.

Poor quality workmanship

Substandard work, whether done by a contractor or homeowner, raises concerns about whether permits were obtained and if the work is up to code. Many buyers simply say, “No, thank you,” and walk away from DIY and other work gone bad.

Mold and mildew

Any evidence of mold warrants further investigation. Mildew-stained grout may be just that. However, a home that smells musty may have been flooded or have other water problems—such as a leaky foundation or damaged roof. The presence or just the possibility of toxic black mold has led many would-be homebuyers to forego a deal.

Damaged roof

An intact older roof may warrant a concession from the seller, however, a damaged roof with missing or curled shingles could kill a deal because repairing leaks, rotted wood or water-damaged ceilings and walls is a costly proposition for prospective buyers.

Environmental factors

Many things around the home can sway potential homebuyers. Buried oil tanks, erosion, flooding risk and some easements pose risks of having to remediate the problem, face property loss or have limited use and enjoyment of the land.

Infestation of pests

Nearly every house has pests at some point, such as insects or mice. Homeowners who quickly address infestation problems reduce the chances of major damage occurring. However, no one wants to deal with a home overrun or damaged by any type of pest.

A problem doesn’t have to derail a deal

This isn’t a comprehensive list of deal-breakers, just some of the most common ones that cause potential homebuyers to walk away. However, these problems don’t necessarily derail a deal. The seller may be willing to correct the problem or negotiate a lower price to offset the cost of fixing the problem.

Before going ahead with the purchase of a home with major flaws like the ones above, honestly assess your financial ability to cover the repair and whether you want to spend the time and energy fixing the flaw.

Whatever home you choose, we’re here to help with competitive mortgages.

Consumers helps thousands of members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800.991.2221.

*All loans subject to approval. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on credit worthiness, qualifications, and collateral conditions.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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