You’ve done it! You’ve found that perfect house you’ve been dreaming about, and now it’s time for the home inspection. 

But wait, do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? A home inspection is a crucial step in home buying and can reveal potential issues with your dream home. This is your opportunity to learn about the property and decide if it’s worth investing your time, money, and future in.

A home inspection typically involves a professional inspector examining the house’s structure, systems, and components, such as the roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. As a potential buyer, you’ll want to be present during the inspection to observe and ask questions. 

Keep in mind that no home is perfect, and it’s up to you to decide what issues you’re willing to tackle and which ones might be too much to handle.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a thorough home inspection, common issues found during inspections, and when to walk away after a home inspection. We’ll also cover assessing the severity of inspection findings, negotiating repairs and concessions with the seller, weighing the pros and cons of walking away, and the financial implications of backing out and seeking professional advice. 

So let’s dive in!

The Importance of a Thorough Home Inspection

A thorough home inspection is essential for many reasons. First and foremost, it helps you make an informed decision about the property. 

A home may look flawless on the surface, but an inspection can reveal hidden issues that could cost you a fortune in the long run. It’s better to know about these problems upfront, so you can decide if you’re willing to take them on or if you should walk away and continue your search.

Another reason a thorough home inspection is crucial is that it provides you with negotiating power. If the inspection reveals significant issues, you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price or request that the seller make necessary repairs before closing. 

In some cases, the inspection contingency in your contract may allow you to walk away from the deal without penalty if you’re not satisfied with the findings.

Lastly, a comprehensive home inspection can also help you plan for future maintenance and repairs. Knowing the age and condition of your home’s systems and components will allow you to budget accordingly and avoid unexpected expenses down the road.

Common Issues Found During Home Inspections

Home inspectors often uncover a variety of issues during their evaluations. Some common problems found in home inspections include:

  • Roof issues: Damaged or missing shingles, inadequate flashing, and signs of leaks are all common roof problems. Repairing or replacing a roof can be costly, so it’s essential to know the condition of the roof before you commit to the purchase.
  • Plumbing problems: Leaky pipes, outdated materials, and inadequate water pressure can all indicate plumbing issues that may require costly repairs or replacements.
  • Electrical concerns: Overloaded circuits, outdated wiring, and improperly grounded outlets are all red flags that could signal potential electrical hazards.
  • HVAC malfunctions: An aging or poorly maintained HVAC system can lead to costly repairs or even require a full replacement.
  • Foundation issues: Cracks, settling, and water intrusion in the foundation can all lead to significant structural problems that may be expensive to fix.

Deal-breakers: When to Walk Away After a Home Inspection

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of a thorough home inspection and some common issues found during inspections let’s dive into the deal-breakers – the issues that might make you decide to walk away after a home inspection. The decision to walk away from a home purchase ultimately depends on your personal preferences, budget, and willingness to take on repairs.

Some potential deal-breakers may include:

  • Major structural problems: Significant foundation issues, sagging or bowing walls, and other severe structural problems may require extensive repairs that could be too costly or time-consuming for you to handle.
  • Extensive water damage or mold: Water damage and mold can lead to health issues and costly remediation efforts. If a home inspection reveals extensive water damage or mold, it may be a sign that the property has not been adequately maintained.
  • Termites or other pest infestations: Pest infestations can cause significant structural damage and may be difficult and expensive to eradicate.
  • Safety hazards: If the inspection uncovers safety hazards like asbestos, lead paint, or high levels of radon, addressing these issues may be expensive and could potentially impact your health.

Assessing the Severity of Home Inspection Findings

Not all home inspection findings are equal, and it’s essential to assess the severity of each issue before deciding whether to walk away. Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating inspection findings.

  • What will it cost to fix? Research how much the necessary repairs or remediations will cost, and determine if these expenses fit within your budget.
  • How long will the repairs take? Some issues may require a quick fix, while others may take weeks or even months to resolve. Consider whether you’re willing to wait for the repairs to be completed or if you’d prefer to find a home without these issues.
  • How will it impact your quality of life? Consider if the issue will affect your day-to-day living or if it’s something you can address over time.
  • Is the issue a safety hazard? If the problem poses a risk to your health or safety, it may be more critical to address it immediately or walk away from the property.

Negotiating Repairs and Concessions with the Seller After a Home Inspection

If you decide you’re willing to move forward with the home purchase despite the inspection findings, it’s time to negotiate with the seller. You may be able to request that the seller make necessary repairs or provide concessions, such as a reduced purchase price or closing cost credits, to offset the cost of addressing the issues yourself.

When negotiating, it’s essential to be realistic and reasonable with your requests. Understand that the seller may not be willing or able to make all the repairs, and be prepared to compromise. Also, keep in mind that some issues may not be discovered until after you move in, so it’s essential to have a contingency plan in place.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Walking Away from a Home Inspection

Deciding when to walk away after a home inspection can be challenging. To help make your decision, consider the following pros and cons of walking away:


  • Avoid costly repairs: Walking away from a home with significant issues can save you from expensive repairs and potential headaches down the road.
  • Find a better fit: If you walk away, you have the opportunity to find a home that’s a better fit for your needs, preferences, and budget.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you’ve made a decision based on a thorough understanding of the property’s condition can provide peace of mind.


  • Start the search over: Walking away means starting the home search process again, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
  • Lose money on inspection fees: Home inspections can be costly, and you’ll be out the money spent on the inspection if you decide to walk away.
  • Miss out on a potentially great home: If the issues are fixable and within your budget, walking away from a home could mean missing out on a dream home.

The Financial Implications of Backing Out of a Home Purchase

Walking away from a home purchase after a home inspection can have financial implications. If you decide to back out, you may lose your earnest money deposit, which is typically 1-3% of the home’s purchase price. However, if you included an inspection contingency in your contract, you might be able to walk away without penalty.

In addition to losing your earnest money deposit, you’ll also have to cover the home inspection cost, which can range from $300 to $500 or more. Keep in mind that these costs will be incurred each time you have a home inspected, so walking away multiple times can add up quickly.

Seeking Professional Advice and Guidance on Home Inspections

As you navigate the home inspection process and make decisions about whether to walk away from a home purchase, it’s important to seek professional advice and guidance. A real estate agent and a home inspector can both provide valuable insights and expertise.

Your real estate agent can help you understand your options and negotiate with the seller, while a home inspector can provide a detailed report of the property’s condition. Additionally, if you’re unsure about the severity of an issue or the cost of repairs, you may want to consult with a contractor or other professional.

Remember that buying a home is a significant investment, and making informed decisions based on reliable information is essential. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out expert advice.

Making the Right Decision for Your Future Home

Deciding when to walk away after a home inspection is a complex decision that requires careful consideration of many factors. A thorough home inspection is crucial for understanding the property’s condition and identifying potential issues that could impact your decision to purchase.

When evaluating inspection findings, it’s important to assess the severity of each issue and weigh the pros and cons of walking away. If you decide to move forward with the purchase, negotiating repairs or concessions with the seller can help offset the cost of addressing the issues.

Ultimately, the decision to walk away from a home purchase is a personal one that depends on your budget, preferences, and willingness to take on repairs. Seeking professional advice and guidance can help ensure that you make the right decision for your future home.

So, know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em – and make the decision that’s right for you.

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