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Avoid These Home Inspection Red Flags

Jessica Evans

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Jessica fell in love with D.C.’s unique neighborhoods while attending the University of Maryland...

Dec 13 3 minutes read

Here are some home inspection red flags you should definitely know.


Home inspections are almost always anxiety-provoking. It seems like whenever you fall in love with a home, issues come up during the inspection. However, some problems are more severe than others. That’s why I want to talk about home inspection red flags. 

When it comes to home inspections, I have a rule of thumb: If the repair cost is a known quantity and you can fully diagnose the problem, it isn’t a huge concern. For example, if the heating and cooling system is 20 years old, you can get some estimates and replace the old appliances without much hassle. 

On the other hand, if you don’t know the scope of the issue, it’s a big red flag. I often see this play out with structural problems. If you find cracks in the foundation walls, it might be a simple fix, or you might end up shelling out upwards of $50,000. It’s impossible to know for sure until you have a structural engineer visit the home, so this issue is the definition of a red flag. 


"If you don’t know the scope of the issue, it’s a big red flag."


Another potential red flag is water intrusion. By this, I mean water is leaking into your foundation or basement, and it isn’t from a leaky or broken pipe. The issue with this repair isn’t that it’s expensive; instead, it takes many tries to accurately diagnose where the water is coming from. For example, you might think it’s coming from the roof, so you replace your roof, only to find out the next time it rains that your roof wasn’t the issue. 

Lastly, let’s talk about homes that have great cosmetic updates but lack proper maintenance. Some people will market their home as move-in-ready and try to sell you on it with a fresh paint job and a nice bathroom. However, if one of these homes has old appliances, plumbing issues, or any other maintenance problems, it could be a huge red flag. 

The moral of this story is: Get a home inspection! If you need a great inspector, give me a call or shoot me an email. I have some fantastic contacts who will make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. I look forward to hearing from you.

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