You’ve found the perfect home in an ideal location, with a great school district, and at a price that fits your budget. Before closing on the purchase, order a home inspection to make sure you understand the condition of the property. You’ll probably accept minor and cosmetic issues, but more serious problems can delay or stop the sale. Here are a few important things to look for in your home inspection report.

Aspects to Focus on in a Home Inspection Report

Water Damage

Water damage is an immediate red flag for homebuyers because it can indicate problems with the structure, plumbing, or roof. Excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew in the environment. These conditions may trigger allergy-like symptoms and make it difficult for those with pre-existing conditions to breathe.

Depending on the source and extent of the damage, repairs could be costly. Your home inspection report will give you detailed information on water damage and related defects and concerns.

Structural Issues

The home inspection report may indicate problems with the home’s foundation and structure. Standing water around the foundation can cause settling which might lead to cracks that allow water to seep in. Some signs of a compromised structure include:

  • Cracks in the basement walls
  • Gaps between the walls and floors
  • Leaning porches and decks
  • Visible cracks in the brick or stonework
  • Slanted floors
  • Rotted joists

Your home inspection report will contain the inspector’s findings related to the foundation and structure of the home.


The roof protects your home and your belongings from the elements. An old or damaged roof might sway a buyer towards purchasing a different house because roof replacement is costly. A well-designed and installed asphalt roof with quality materials can last 25 years, but you’ll want to inspect it regularly. The roof needs attention if it has loose, curled, or missing shingles.

Electrical Issues May Be Found in Your Home Inspection Report

Electrical issues are a leading cause of house fires, which makes the electrical system an important element to pay attention to in a home inspection report. Home inspectors look for indications of problems with the wiring or circuits. They will note the type of wiring used in the home and look for dangerous conditions such as the lack of GFCI outlets that offer protection in areas of high moisture.

Bugs and Pests

Besides being a nuisance, pests like wood-boring beetles, carpenter ants, and termites destroy wood severely enough to damage an otherwise structurally sound home. Carpenter ants and termites cost an estimated $5 billion in damage to homes in the United States every year. When ordering an inspection, ask your inspector to include a wood-destroying insect inspection. Make sure you’re making a smart decision by having a termite inspection before closing.

Major issues found during the inspection may be a reason to renegotiate with the seller. If you’re buying a home, talk to your real estate agent about your home inspection results. Your home inspection report will help you understand the condition of the property. With that information, you can make an informed decision about your purchase.

Ocean State Home Inspections offers inspection services, including termite inspections, to customers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Contact us to request an appointment.