Buying a house? Know these common home inspection issues — and what they cost to fix

April 2, 2019 - 2 min read

Most homes average $11,000 in repairs

Home inspections can provide key insights when buying a house — not to mention save buyers serious cash, too. In fact, according to new data, the average inspection reveals more than $11,000 in potential repairs.

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Lots of issues, expensive repairs

According to a new report from Repair Pricer, the average home inspection reveals more than 20 necessary repairs. In total, those repairs average $542 each and $11,222 total.

In many homes, though, the costs could go much higher. The five most home inspection defects — failing window seals and out-of-date roofs, AC condensers, heating units and water heaters — cropped up in 9 to 20 percent of all reports analyzed. These range in repair cost from $1,000 to almost $10,000.

According to the analysis, homebuyers are generally best asking for repair credits for these items — not requesting the seller actually make the repairs themselves.

“if the seller agrees to take the time to address any defects, they’re under no obligation to implement quality repairs and frequently execute the cheapest option or fix, potentially leaving the buyer with substandard work, no transferable warranty and no recourse,” the report reads. “The best option for homebuyers is to ask for a credit for repair items, providing flexibility to address defects in a more reasonable timeframe, using a preferred contractor who performs the work the way the buyer — not the seller — wants.”

Common home inspection issues

Doors that need adjusting or servicing were the most common issue found across the 50,000 inspection reports analyzed. Nearly 55 percent of all homes had this issue at work, with the average associated repair costing $254.

Though that might seem a minor cost to many, according to the analysis, door problems are often “a strong indicator of foundation issues” — and a much more expensive repair down the line.

Faucets that need servicing and missing exterior caulking and sealant were the second- and third-most common issues found. Missing caulking is another worrisome problem. As the report explains, “More than 54 percent of homes were missing caulking and sealant, which can lead to slow and subtle water penetration that degrades wood, wiring, insulation and more. Water penetration and resulting damage are the silent killers of homes and are incredibly easy to prevent but expensive to repair. Missing caulking and sealant can also exacerbate larger defects, including mold.”

No GFCI protection on electrical circuits, missing/broken smoke alarms and sheetrock cracks were also top issues found among the reports.

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Are you considering buying a house? Make sure you get a home inspection to protect your financial interests. Want to save even more money? Then shop around for your mortgage rate today.

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Aly J. Yale
Authored By: Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor
Aly J. Yale is a mortgage and real estate writer based in Houston who has contributed to Forbes and worked for organizations such as The Dallas Morning News, PBS, NBC, and Radio Disney.