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What Do Home Inspectors Look For: Top 10 Essential Factors for a Property Inspection

In the world of mortgages, a critical question often revolves around what do home inspectors look for? It’s a significant concern, especially for potential homeowners and real estate investors who want to ensure they’re making sound investment decisions. This comprehensive guide outlines the top 10 factors that are at the core of what home inspectors typically examine during a property inspection.

1. How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?

Generally speaking, an average home inspection takes around two to four hours, but it can vary based on several factors. The property’s size, age, condition, and complexity all play vital roles in determining the inspection duration. However, a thorough inspection is crucial to determine any potential issues with your investment. Remember to choose a certified home inspector who knows the ins and outs of the process. If in doubt, check out this comprehensive list of HUD-approved home inspectors.

2. Structural Integrity

During a property inspection, the inspector will assess the structural integrity of the building. They will check the foundation, walls, and roof, ensuring that these essential components are in good condition and free from significant defects. A foundation inspection focuses on any cracks, settling, water penetration, or other concerns that may compromise the structure’s stability. For more information on foundation inspections, visit MortgageRater’s Foundation Inspection page.

Things That Fail A Home Inspection

3. Roof and Attic Examination

What Do Home Inspectors Look For? A significant part of the property inspection revolves around the roof and attic. Inspectors will look for leaks, signs of water damage, proper ventilation, and insulation, among other factors. Remember that a well-maintained roof and attic are vital in protecting your investment from moisture issues and energy loss.

4. Plumbing System Assessment

Plumbing issues can lead to costly repairs and water damage. During a property inspection, inspectors will examine the plumbing systems, including pipes, water supply lines, and drains. They will also check for any leaks or signs of corrosion, assessing the overall condition of the plumbing system.

5. Electrical System Analysis

Safety is paramount when dealing with electrical systems. Home inspectors will examine the property’s electrical system, checking for proper wiring, functioning outlets, switches, and circuit breakers. They will also verify that the electrical panel meets current safety standards to ensure your investment’s safety.

6. HVAC System Inspection

A properly functioning HVAC system is crucial in maintaining a comfortable living environment. Inspectors will assess the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems during the property inspection. They will evaluate the overall condition, potential lifespan, and energy efficiency of the system. For more information on certified home inspectors who can assess your HVAC system, visit the MortgageRater Certified Home Inspector page.

What Do Home Inspectors Look For

7. Appliances and Interior Evaluation

During the inspection, home inspectors will examine the various appliances and interior spaces of the property. They will assess their functionality, durability, and potential lifespan. Besides, they will check for issues such as water damage, mold, or other factors that could potentially impact the property’s overall value.

8. Things That Fail a Home Inspection

Various factors could potentially jeopardize a property inspection and negatively affect your investment decision. Some common things that fail a home inspection include structural issues, water damage, mold, outdated electrical systems, and faulty plumbing. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a property.

9. House Inspection Cost

The cost of a house inspection varies depending on factors such as property size, age, and location. On average, you can expect to pay between $300 to $500 for a house inspection. However, it’s essential to consider this an investment rather than an expense, as it will help you avoid future costly repairs or disputes. For more information on how much a house inspection may cost, visit the MortgageRater House Inspection Cost page.

10. Home Appraisal and Land Appraisal

While not part of a home inspector’s responsibility, potential homeowners and real estate investors should also be aware of the importance of appraisal processes. A home appraisal evaluates the property’s value based on factors such as location, market trends, and comparable sales. Similarly, a land appraisal assesses the value of a piece of land based on factors such as zoning regulations, topography, and access to utilities. For more information on home appraisers and land appraisal, check out the MortgageRater Home Appraisers Near Me page and the MortgageRater Land Appraisal page.


The concept of home inspections dates back to the early 20th century when the US government introduced building codes and standards to ensure the construction of safe and durable homes. However, the practice of home inspection as we know it today began in the 1970s with the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which established industry-wide guidelines and practices.


According to a survey by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), more than 90% of home buyers in the US request a home inspection before purchasing a property. Furthermore, approximately 70% of real estate professionals believe that home inspections significantly impact the final sale of a property.


Did you know that home inspectors are not required to move furniture, appliances, or other items during a property inspection? A home inspection is considered non-invasive, meaning they will only assess what is visible and readily accessible.

Property Inspection


Q: What should I do if a property fails the inspection?

A: If a property doesn’t pass inspection, you might have the option to negotiate repairs, ask for a price reduction, or even walk away from the deal. It’s crucial to understand your options and make an informed decision that aligns with your best interests.

Q: Can a home inspection be done without a real estate agent present?

A: Yes, it’s possible to do a home inspection without a real estate agent present. However, it’s essential to have a certified home inspector who can evaluate the property thoroughly.

Q: Are home inspections required when purchasing a property?

A: Home inspections are not always legally required when purchasing a property. However, they are highly recommended, as they allow potential homeowners and investors to understand better the property’s condition and any potential issues that may arise in the future.

In conclusion, understanding what do home inspectors look for and being aware of the property inspection process can save you a great deal of time, effort, and money in the long run. By identifying potential issues and evaluating the property’s overall condition, you can make informed decisions based on your findings. Knowledge is power in the world of mortgages, so arm yourself with the necessary information and embark on the journey to homeownership with confidence.

Mortgage Rater Editorial, led by seasoned professionals with over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, offers comprehensive information on various financial topics. With the best Mortgage Rates, home finance, investments, home loans, FHA loans, VA loans, 30 Year Fixed rates, no-interest loans, and more. Dedicated to educating and empowering clients across the United States, the editorial team leverages their expertise to guide readers towards informed financial and mortgage decisions.
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