Home inspections can be nerve wrecking.

Will it include any of the things that fail a home inspection? Here are the 10 most common.


Whether you are buying or selling a home, getting a thorough inspection is critical. Your home inspector will be able to spot any safety issues as well as structural damages.

The inspection findings will provide a snapshot of the quality of the building, and make clear certain issues that might need to be addressed before the sale can be finalized. A home buyer will certainly want to know what exactly they are purchasing. For many, buying a home is the single largest investment they will make.

It would be disastrous to spend all of your money on a new home, only to find that it needs a new roof, a new A/C, the swimming pool is leaking, it has safety issues, or you have major structural problems. That’s why many home buyers will ask for a home inspection contingency, which means that a bad inspection could allow them to back out of the contract without penalty.

For the seller, there’s nothing worse than having a deal fall through at the last moment because of a failed home inspection and being forced to put the home back up on the market. Having a home inspector survey the property before a deal is in place will allow the seller to make any fixes or common repairs before they have a buyer.

What are the things that fail a home inspection?

Well, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily pass OR fail your home inspection. The home inspection report is simply going to provide a snapshot of the current state of the house. The buyer could decide that they still want to buy the home, even with a failed inspection. On the other hand, though, some lenders might back out of the deal even if the buyer wants to move forward.

So with that in mind, here are some of the more common things that fail a home inspection.



close up of shingles on a roof

1. The Roof

The roof is a major part of the inspection process and with good reason. The roof protects everyone and everything inside the home from the elements.

A leaky roof could lead to massive problems in a very short time. Adding a new roof can also be a major expense, and buyers will want to account for that in the selling price if any issues with the roof are found. On top of that, older roofs could make it difficult (if not impossible) to get insurance. Even if the roof is still fine, just being past a certain age could be an issue that needs to be addressed before the house can be sold.

Anyone involved in real estate long enough will tell you that the roof is a major part of any inspection report and that buyers will often back out if issues are found with the roof. 


2. The Foundation & Other Structural Components

The roof might protect the home and its occupants up above, but you need a strong foundation, walls, and roof framing down below to make it all work.

Unfortunately, settling, deterioration of structural members, termites, and other safety issues can pop up, causing the foundation and walls to possibly crack and wood framing to deteriorate. Some issues with the foundation could be caused by the ground sloping or draining water toward the house rather than away from the home. Even homes that were once sitting on a perfect slope could settle over time as the soil under the foundation shifts. 


white outlet on a robin's egg colored wall

3. Electrical Issues

Electrical problems are another focus of home inspections.

With most electrical wiring kept out of sight, problems could be developing and you would have no reason to know until it is too late. Common electrical issues include frayed wiring, improperly wired electrical panels, or even wiring that’s no longer up to code.


4. Plumbing Issues

Just like with electrical wiring, most of your plumbing is out of sight. And that means problems can develop and go undetected for a long time.

Leaky pipes that result in water damage can be a very expensive problem, with cast iron waste piping underneath the house and inside walls, galvanized water piping within the walls, and shower pan leakage—which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars worth of expense for the home buyer.

Note: BIS checks shower pans for leaks! (25% of the time we find leaks that can cost thousands of dollars. Most inspection companies do not test for shower pan leaks.)


5. Termites and Pests

Termites and other wood destroying organisms can be a big red flag for potential buyers. Even if you have a concrete block home, termites and other pests can be a major issue. Any wood in the home will also be checked for wood rot caused by age and moisture, too.

The inspection company and the individual inspector must be licensed by the State of Florida, Department of Agriculture in order to contract for or perform a termite inspection.


mold in corner of window

6. Mold

Mold is a common problem, especially in a wet and humid climate like Florida. Left untreated, mold can be a very dangerous situation for anyone in the home, especially if there are any underlying health concerns.

And it’s not just black mold that is a safety issue. Exposure to any kind of mold could lead to any number of health problems.


HVAC system on a concrete slab


HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. So when you see someone discussing HVAC, they are most likely talking about that all-important A/C that makes living in Florida possible during most of the year.

Inspectors will make sure the system is working, check the ducts, and make sure the system was installed properly and up to code.

Newer HVAC systems that are properly working can make a big difference not only in how comfortable it is to be in the home but also how expensive your electric bill will be each month. But older systems, or even new systems not installed properly, can be expensive to fix.


8. Four Point Inspections

In some areas in the state of Florida, insurance companies require a Four Point Inspection to be performed before they will issue an insurance policy.

Check with your insurance company before giving up your rights underneath the contract to cancel the purchase transaction. If there are problems on the Four Point Inspection, the insurance company may deny coverage and unless you’re paying cash and don’t need insurance you will no longer be able to buy the property and you may lose your deposit if you don’t notify the seller within your contractual time frame of this problem.


Home Inspectors Are Here to Help.

As we previously mentioned, there is no such thing as a “failed” home inspection. The list of deal breakers might be different from one home buyer to the next. Some people want to move into a home that doesn’t require any additional work. Others are totally fine with moving into a “fixer-upper” that they can improve over the years. 

If an inspection report finds any issues, buyers will be able to either request the seller to make certain repairs or ask for a credit that will lower the selling price to offset the cost of the repairs. Your real estate agent will be key here to help in the negotiation, whether you are a buyer or a seller who might be wondering if it is worth it to make the requested repairs. 

As you can see, the home inspection report is knowledge. It lets you know about the status of the home at that moment in time and can allow both the seller and the buyer to make better-informed decisions.