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Look Out for These Red Flags During Your Home Inspection

Both buyers and sellers often dread home inspections, and it’s easy to understand why. A thorough inspection can uncover problems both big and small, and they may even impact a sale. When you’re dealing with one of your biggest investments, you’ll want to make sure you’re not moving into a money pit!

The 4 Biggest Red Flags to Look for During a Home Inspection

Before you start panicking over repairs, it’s important to remember that most homes (even brand new ones!) might have a few easily fixable issues. However, there are certain types of problems that should raise some red flags—here are a few.

Water damage

faucet during a home inspection

Here in New Orleans, we see quite a few big storms and hurricanes every year. Unfortunately, that also means our homes are prone to water damage—and fixing it can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

If an inspector detects water damage anywhere in a home—especially near the foundation or roof—you may want to reconsider your purchase. In addition to fixing the damage, you’ll also have to invest in waterproofing your home and more expensive flood insurance.

Structural issues

Repairing a roof

If your potential new home has a sagging floor, cracking foundation, or a faulty roof, be sure to proceed with caution. Major structural issues can be one of the costliest types of home repairs, and they take a while to fix, too.

While all structural problems should be taken care of immediately, talk with your inspector to determine the severity of the issue. They may even be able to give you an estimate of how much the repairs could cost.



Let’s face it—nobody wants unwelcome guests in their home, especially in the form of insects or rodents. These pests can be difficult to expel, and repairing the damage they’ve caused may not be worth the headache.

If a home has a pest problem, be prepared to shell out a few thousand dollars towards repairs. Termites should raise the biggest red flag, as they can chew through wood and aren’t always easy to exterminate.

Outdated electrical systems

Making repairs after a home inspection

It’s totally normal for a home to have a broken outlet or a sticky switch—but major electrical issues could spell out trouble in the long run.

If you’re buying an older home, pay careful attention to any electrical problems uncovered by your inspector. Outdated wiring can make it difficult to power major appliances, and it may even cause a house fire. Updating your electrical system will also require the help of a professional, so be sure you know the severity of the problem before you buy.

What Should You Do if You Encounter These Problems?

Home inspector writing a report

If you encounter any of these red flags during your inspection, you have a few options. You can choose to walk away from the deal entirely, negotiate some money off the sale price to cover the cost of the repairs, or ask the seller to make the fixes for you.

Not sure what to do? Your agent and home inspector can answer any questions and help you make an informed decision. You may also want to get an estimate from a professional to gauge the cost of any renovations.

Ready to Make a Move?

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in New Orleans, the Nugent-Freeland Team is here to help! We have the tools you need to navigate your next real estate journey, so just contact us today to get started.

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