Key takeaway

A home inspection reveals if key components are in working order. Take a close look at what the inspector says about the HVAC system, roof, and other items to identify any repairs that you may need to negotiate with the seller.

A home inspection is a crucial step toward purchasing a new home. It reveals the condition of the home’s most important parts, such as the foundation and roof. Even if you intend to buy a “fixer-upper,” it’s a good idea to go into it knowing exactly what you’ll need to fix up.

Typically, a home inspector will spend several hours at the home, taking notes while squeezing into crawl spaces and climbing onto the roof. The inspector will then write up a detailed report. You can review this report and determine how to move forward. You can accept home’s condition, negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of needed repairs, or even decide not to purchase it.

Here are some of the important things to review from the home inspector’s report, along with their national average costs as of 2020. Because prices can vary by geography, be sure to research costs in your area before you formulate your budget for any home repairs.

What to look for in your home inspection report

Learn about five critical issues


Tap any of the headers below the image to reveal some of the important things to view from the home inspector’s report.


Hover or tap on the numbers in the image below to reveal some of the important things to review from the home inspector’s report.

Home Inspection Review
Home Inspection Review

Hover or tap the items on the left to reveal some of the important things to review from the home inspector’s report.

  • The inspector will look for a very old roof; missing or rotting shingles; or problems with the chimney, skylights, or gutters. The national average cost of replacing a roof is $8,037 and, if not repaired, can sometimes affect the sale price of the home.1
  • Concerns with electrical systems include old wiring that is not to code, and bathroom and kitchen receptacles that do not have the proper circuit interrupters. These issues increase the risk of fires in the home. The national average cost of upgrading or replacing an electrical panel is $1,120.2
  • Inspectors will check for pipe leaks, look for dripping faucets, flush the toilets, and check the shower water pressure and temperature. If there is a septic system, they will check on that as well. The national average cost to replace a water heater is $1,063.3
  • The inspector will typically check and turn on all cooling and heating units to ensure they are safe and operational. If a unit is particularly old, they will usually note that in the report. The average air conditioner and heat pump last between 10–15 years, and the national average cost to install a new whole-house air conditioning unit is $5,623.4
  • If there are cracks or shifts in the foundation, the inspector will note it. The foundation holds up your home, and cracks can cause walls or floors to shift slightly and sag. If there is a basement, the inspector should check for issues like mold and water damage. The national average cost to repair a foundation is $4,446.5

A note to screen reader users: Depending on what browser you’re using, you may experience that during the quiz, your screen reader becomes refocused outside of the quiz frame. If this happens, simply navigate back to the quiz to continue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Quiz only available online






Ready to make a move?


Let us contact you
Have a home mortgage consultant call you back. Get a call back


Call us
1-866-852-8501 1-866-852-8502
Mon-Fri: 7 am - 9 pm
Sat: 8 am - 6 pm
Central Time