Common Home Inspection Red Flags to Watch For

Having a home inspection conducted is one of the less glamorous aspects of buying a new house. You’ve already jumped through the hoops of securing a loan, found the perfect place for you and your family, and have successfully made your bid. The process is nearly complete, and you're eager to move in. Before you do, however, its imperative to have a thorough home inspection conducted, whether it's required or not. Home inspections reveal any potential problems you weren’t made aware of during the buying process and can save you significant dollars and heartache in the long run. As you prepare for a home inspection, there are several areas to look out for.

Kristin Wong of Architectural Digest offers home buyers advice on what to watch out for once an inspection report is received. In her article How to Read (and React to!) a Home Inspection Report, Wong advises to check first for any signs of mold, as this can pose a serious threat to your health (2018). She also advises that buyers look for major flaws in the structure, plumbing, and HVAC and electrical systems. In addition, she says to look for notes on cracked foundations and “…older roofs, not only because of water-damage concerns but also because replacing them can be expensive” (Wong, 2018).

In the article Home inspections 101: What to look out for, Evan Bindelglass also points out areas of interest for home inspectors. In addition to the areas noted above, Bindelglass says that home inspectors check for aged or damaged oil tanks, structurally unsound chimneys, evidence of water damage, flooring quality, and noxious gases like Radon. “Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but it is radioactive and carcinogenic” (Bindelglass, 2018). For this reason, it is expected that any home has at least one radon detector on each floor, mounted low to the ground. He cites lead paint and improperly installed exhaust fans (Bindelglass, 2018).

Originally appearing in Practical Homeowner in 1990, and featured on the Realtor Magazine website, the article The 10 Most Common Home Inspection Problems, proves that good advice never goes out of style. The article warns to also watch for faulty wiring, drainage directed toward the house, poor up-keep (Practical Homeowner, 1990). While poor up-keep will not necessarily be flagged as a no-go in a home inspection, it could be a warning sign of bigger problems.

While it’s one of the least-exciting aspects of home-buying, home inspections are extremely important for buyer protection. If you are planning on buying a home in the near future, be sure to keep an eye out for these common home inspection red flags, and consult a trusted and certified home inspector who can spot problem areas before they become your problem.


Bindelglass, E.. (2016, September 7). Home inspections 101: What to look out for. Retrieved from:

Practical Home Owner. (1990, March). Top 10 House Problems. Retrieved from:

Wong, K. (2018, March 8), How to Read (and React to!) a Home Inspection Report. Retrieved from:

Image courtesy of Andrey Popov

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