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  • Writer's pictureDave Dail

Inspections are tedious to read. Inspectors outline every little thing that is wrong with a home. Everything that is not up to code, or may not be functioning properly (whether it really matters or not) will be outlined in a report.

There are a lot of little things that will be flagged. You’ll be tempted to skim the report in areas.

Do not skim over the inspection report too quickly.

You can miss some of the big issues that can make or break your housing purchase.

What are some of the most important pieces of your inspection report?

Read on about the five big ticket inspection items that should not be ignored.

1. Roof-

Your home’s roof is one of the major systems of protection for your home. It is also expensive.

Any part that is worn, mossy, missing venting or installed incorrectly is an issue.

Water getting into the home can cause huge issues such as rot and mold. These are even more expensive issues to fix aside from your roof.

If the roof needs to be replaced or repaired, it is valuable to know in negotiations.

During negotiations you can figure out whether the seller or buyer will replace/repair the roof.

Some states will not even allow the sale of a home to take place without a proper functioning roof that can last 5 years.

Do not overlook the condition of the roof. Make sure you understand what condition the roof is in before you sign off on the inspection contingency.

2. Foundation-

Most contractors will tell you to run if you find foundation issues in your inspection report.

It takes a lot of money and time to fix a foundation that needs more than a simple repair.

It is probably something that should be avoided if at all possible. Major structural work on a foundation can easily cost you in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Sometimes, if you can pinpoint a small repair in the foundation, it may be ok.

Because a lot of times a smaller foundation repair will not be quite as expensive as structural work. However, on average foundation repairs can be around $4,000.

Understand the condition of the foundation before you purchase a home.

3. Septic / Well-

Septic and well issues are other big ticket items that should not be neglected in an inspection report.

If you are not within city limits, make sure the septic system has been maintained and is working properly. Septic systems can actually last a long time if they were well cared for.

Well pumps need to be replaced more frequently than a septic system. Check the age and the functionality before you purchase. (Read about 5 signs you need a new well).

You’ll notice problems quickly if these systems are not functioning.

Depending on the severity of the issue, you can find that these costs are anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 for major repairs.

4. Mold-

While the other items mentioned are big issues, they are not necessarily harmful.

Mold on the other hand is very harmful to human health.

It can be found in crawl spaces, attics and inside walls. This can make it very hard to find.

It can also be a multi faceted issue to get rid of.

Maybe there is mold in the attic.

Ok, you can remove the mold, but unless you figure out why mold grew in the first place, you'll end up with more mold in the future.

So the mold will need to be addressed, as well as work on whatever caused the mold.

5. HVAC/ Water Heater-

Everyone needs a water heater and HVAC system that works.

We all need hot water and most of us need air conditioning. Although in the winter, you may not need air conditioning.

But these two items can cost more than a couple thousand dollars each to fix.

It is not fun to take a shower in the winter and recognize there’s no hot water. Or you don’t have AC in the summer and live in the southern United States.

Make sure that both the HVAC and water heater are working properly or that you use their conditions to aid in your negotiations.


Understand what is in your inspection report.

Some fixes are so big that while we may be tempted to say “I’ll just deal with it later,” you really shouldn’t. Read your inspection report thoroughly.

Another good way to make sure you will not be surprised is to hire a reputable inspector.

Check with your realtor for recommendations on good inspectors.

Do you need a good inspector in the Moscow/Pullman area? Contact me and I can give you some referrals.


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