Everyone dreads the thought of a failed home inspection. It can delay or even derail your plans to buy or sell a home, plus it adds unanticipated costs and headaches. But does failing an inspection mean disaster? Are there ways to avoid breaking down when it happens? In this post, we’ll separate fact from fiction by exploring the truth about failing a home inspection – so you can be prepared for any outcome!

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an objective examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Inspectors look for visible signs of disrepair and identify any items that are not performing adequately or may have not been installed properly.

While a home inspector’s job is simply to assess the condition of the property, homeowners often mistakenly believe that inspectors are there to pass or fail them. This misconception can lead to a great deal of anxiety during the home inspection process.

So, what exactly happens if your home doesn’t “pass” inspection? In most cases, it simply means that the buyer and seller will need to renegotiate to remedy any issues that were raised. In some instances, however, failing to negotiate over a significant issue can spell the end of a sale altogether.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your home inspection and increase the chances of “passing” with flying colors. First and foremost, be sure to disclose any known issues with the property upfront. This is critical to protect yourself legally and also prevent any “bad blood” from developing between the buyer and the seller. Anticipate their inspector finding a problem – it’s best to grab the bull by the horns and deal with things head-on. Secondly, take some time to address any minor repairs or cosmetic flaws that could give inspectors cause for concern. By taking these proactive steps, you can help ensure a successful outcome for your home inspection – and ultimately your home sale.

Is There Really Such Thing as Failing a Home Inspection?

When it comes to home inspections, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. One of the most common is that you can “fail” a home inspection. The truth is, there is no such thing as failing a home inspection.

An inspection is simply an opportunity for you to learn more about the condition of the property you’re interested in purchasing. The inspector will look for any major problems that could affect the value or safety of the home. If any are found, they will be listed in a report for you to review.

It’s important to remember that an inspection is not a pass/fail test. The goal is simply to provide you with information so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the property.

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

A home inspection is an important step in the home buying/selling process. It can also be a source of stress for buyers and sellers alike. There are a lot of myths out there about what major issues can pop up on a home inspection report. In this blog post, we’ll separate fact from fiction when it comes to failing a home inspection.

Fact: The most common show stopper for an inspection is problems with the home’s foundation.

Foundation problems are one of the most common reasons for a home inspection to stall. If there are significant cracks in the foundation or the house is settling in an abnormal way, this can cause major structural issues down the road. These problems can be very expensive to fix, so it’s important to have them addressed before you list your home.

Fiction: A small crack in the foundation won’t affect my home inspection.

While a small crack may not seem like a big deal, it can indicate larger underlying problems with the foundation of your home. Even if the crack is insignificant, it’s still something that should be addressed (sealed) before you put your home on the market. Otherwise, you risk stalling the transaction and possibly incurring additional evaluations down the road.

Fact: Mold is another common issue that can cause a home inspection to fail.

Mold is a serious health hazard and it can also cause significant damage to your property. If mold is found during a home inspection, it will need to be remediated before most buyers will be comfortable moving forward with the transaction.

What Buyers Need to Know About Serious Defects

If you’re in the process of buying a home, it’s important to be aware of the potential for serious defects that could be discovered during a home inspection. While many of the items that are flagged during an inspection are relatively minor, some potential problems could have a major impact on your purchase.

The most common reason for a home inspection to fall apart is the discovery of significant defects related to neglect or deferred maintenance. These can include issues with the electrical system (evidence of overheating electrical components or breakers for example), significant plumbing leaks (that old jetted tub that leaks into the crawlspace), or an inoperative HVAC system. If any of these major systems are found to be defective, it can be costly to repair or replace them. In some cases, the cost of repairs may exceed the value of the system, making replacement necessary. It doesn’t make much sense to repair a 25-year-old HVAC system when an outright replacement may be more cost-effective.

Another reason why an inspection might fall apart is if the inspector finds evidence of pests or other damage. This can include termites, water damage, mold, or other problems that can devalue the property and make it unsafe to live in. If you’re considering purchasing a property that has any of these issues, be sure to get estimates for repairs before making an offer.

Compare and Contrast Different Levels of Defects

We at 3 Arrows Property Inspection use three different categorical levels to help point you in the right direction during your home inspection: Minor Defect, Maintenance Item, or FYI Item, Marginal, and Significant/Safety.

Minor Defects, Maintenance Items, or FYI Items are typically standard maintenance issues (burned-out light bulbs, peeling paint, and window frames that need to be caulked) and do not typically impact the home or transaction in a significant (financial) way.

Marginal defects are more significant and are worth bringing up and correcting sooner rather than later. Most inspection issues fall into this category.

Significant/Safety defects are the most serious type of defect and can pose an immediate threat to the occupants of the home. Any inspection item that falls into this category should be evaluated and repaired by a qualified licensed contractor as soon as possible. Issues that may not pose a safety hazard but may be very expensive to repair may fall into this category as well.

Working Through Objections and Negotiations

There are definitely things you can do to help keep your deal on the table and move forward smoothly. One is to ask the seller to make the necessary repairs before you close on the home. Another option is to get an estimate of the cost of repairs and factor that into your offer price. This way, you’re not stuck with a bill for repairs after you move in. Again, this can be tough to negotiate, but it’s worth considering if you really want the home. Finally, you could always hire your own inspector to take another look at the property before you make an offer.

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you’ve likely heard some horror stories about home inspections. Maybe you’ve even heard that “failing” a home inspection is the kiss of death for a real estate deal.

Rest assured, speed bumps during a home inspection are not the end of the world. It’s quite common. Here are some tips for working with your inspector to make sure that you get the most accurate report possible:

1. Be present during the inspection. This way, you can ask questions and get clarification on anything that you don’t understand.

2. Take advantage of your inspector’s expertise. They can offer valuable insights into potential problems with the property that you may not be aware of.

3. Don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion. If something doesn’t seem right, or if you’re not sure about something in the report, get a second opinion from a contractor or specialist.

4. Keep an open mind. Not every problem is a deal-breaker. Sometimes, small repairs can be made to address deficiencies noted in the inspection report.

5. Work with your real estate agent to negotiate repairs with the seller. In many cases, sellers are willing to make repairs to help keep the deal moving forward.

Uncovering problems during a home inspection is certainly not the end of the world, but it can be stressful. The best way to avoid this situation is to do your research beforehand and make sure that you are reasonably prepared for things that might come up. If you educate yourself on common home inspection defects as well as prepare yourself mentally, then you should be able to pass with flying colors. With these tips in mind, I am sure that even if disaster strikes and something does go wrong during your next home inspection, it will still be an opportunity for growth and improvement rather than a complete catastrophe!



Buying a home is one of the most exciting and stressful experiences you will ever encounter. You have so many questions about what to look for, who should handle the transaction, how to get the best financing terms, etc., that it can be easy to forget about other important details. One of these details is having a home inspection performed before closing on your new home. The benefits are numerous—from helping save money on repairs down the road to gaining peace of mind knowing everything works well at this current moment in time—and they’re all worth considering if you’re buying or selling real estate in any way shape or form!

Even if you aren’t selling your home, it is important to stay on top of necessary maintenance.

Even if you aren’t thinking about selling your home, it is important to stay on top of necessary maintenance. Regular inspections help you identify problems before they become serious and costly issues. A thorough inspection can also reveal hidden issues that may impact the value of your property.

A good inspector will find things that need attention now or in the future, so that when it comes time for an inspection again (or even when you go through the process of buying another home), there won’t be any surprises waiting for you!

The inspector will check for issues that could affect the value of your home.

The inspector will check for issues that could affect the value of your home. If you’re selling, you want to make sure the home is in good shape so that it will sell quickly and for top dollar. If you aren’t selling and just want to keep a comfortable living environment, then an inspection can help identify problems that could cause health issues or even lead to fire hazards (which would not only be dangerous but also cost money).

If there are no major issues with your house after an inspection, then one less thing has been taken care of before moving forward with any other plans!

When you have an inspection performed, a list of the items inspected is provided and shows you what needs attention.

There are many reasons why you should have an inspection performed on your home. If you’re planning to sell the property, having it inspected can help ensure that the house you are selling is in good condition. The inspector will provide a list of items that need attention, whether they be repairs or maintenance tasks such as cleaning gutters or replacing filters in HVAC systems. This way, when potential buyers come through for their walkthroughs, there aren’t any surprises waiting for them!

If you’re not planning on selling but would like some peace of mind about what condition your home is currently in (or isn’t), then getting an inspection done could be useful too! It’s important for homeowners everywhere – regardless if they’ve recently bought their first home or have been living there for decades – because we never really know when something may break down unexpectedly until after it happens…and by then it might be too late.”

An inspection can give you peace of mind knowing that everything is in good working order.

The main reason to get a home inspection is peace of mind. If you know that everything is in good working order, there’s no need to worry about future problems or expensive repairs.

When buying a house, it’s easy to have blinders on when looking at the property itself–you can get caught up in how beautiful it is and forget that there may be issues hiding behind closed doors or under the floorboards. A professional home inspector will go through every inch of your house with a fine-toothed comb, checking for leaks and cracks in pipes; noting any wear and tear on electrical fixtures; inspecting windowsills for rot; looking under sinks for signs of water damage (and making sure they’re properly secured); etc…They’ll even check things like light switches/outlets/circuits for safety issues (such as loose connections), which could potentially save you from having an electrical fire down the road!

A homeowner should always keep up with routine maintenance checks on their property’s systems, including heating and air conditioning, plumbing, energy efficiency, electrical wiring and more.

Regular inspections can help you keep your home in good shape and prevent major problems. They also allow you to stay on top of important maintenance tasks, such as replacing the air filters or checking faucets for leaks. Finally, they allow you to find out what needs attention before it becomes an emergency–and that’s especially important if you live in an older home with aging systems.

If there is any damage during an inspection, it may be minor enough that repairs are affordable without selling your house (for example, repairing a cracked window pane). But if more serious issues arise during an inspection–such as mold growth caused by water damage–you may need more money than what you could get from selling your house at this time (or perhaps ever). In this case, having access to funds from other sources could mean the difference between being able to fix these issues or being stuck living with them indefinitely


So, the next time you think about having an inspection performed on your home, don’t let the thought of selling it stop you. Even if you aren’t planning on moving anytime soon, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your property’s maintenance needs and get them taken care of before they become major problems that cost more money than expected. And who knows? Maybe this little checkup will give you peace of mind knowing that everything is in good working order!

As a new construction home buyer, you want to know that your investment will be safe and comfortable providing years of enjoyment. While I’m sure you’ve thought about the most important features of your new construction home (like a big kitchen or spacious bedrooms), there are many things to look out for when buying so make sure you ask questions!

Know the limits of your builder warranty

Most reputable builders in Middle Tennessee offer two different warranties on new construction homes. This article will not talk about express or implied warranties (you can find out more about those through this link) but construction warranties but will highlight typical new construction warranty practices.

Most builders offer a 1 to 2-year inclusive warranty (bumper to bumper sort of thing) on everything from cosmetic issues, carpeting, mechanical problems/failures, etc. Builders are also required, by Tennessee state law, to offer a 10-year structural warranty which covers the structural performance of your new home. As reported by 2-10 Warranty Company, the average cost of a home builder’s warranty structural claim ranges between $42,000 to $113,000.

Examples of unhappy new construction buyers can be found if you are looking but as with most things in life, the unhappiest of folks tend to be the loudest. The bias of review websites is heavily tilted toward angry consumers but there might be some truth in all that noise. Have you thought about checking out your builder’s reputation online at places like this?

Check the grading around your home

You may be thinking, “what’s the big deal with grading? It’s just dirt.” But don’t let this fool you. Grading is an important aspect of your home and can have an impact on the foundation, mold, structural movement/settlement, and other things that can cost a lot of money.

Checking the grading around your new construction home will ensure that there are no drainage issues, standing water issues, and more importantly that there are no drainage problems on or near your property line.

The consensus seems to be that a good slope to aim for when grading land extending out from a house foundation is about 6 inches of drop in the first 10 feet (that translates to a “slope” of 5 percent). Many professionals grade land successfully using a lesser slope than that, but those who wish to be on the safe side err in the direction of the greater slope.

Look out for soil settlement or what professionals refer to as “incompaction of fill.” During construction, a large hole is dug to construct the foundation footers. Inevitably the dirt that is filled back in around the foundation walls will settle in the first year or two and new dirt needs to be added to maintain proper grading and to help make sure water drains away properly.

Look out for common electrical slip-ups

Check for excessive gaps around electrical panels and receptacles (outlets). Typical safety standards require no more than a 1/8-inch gap.

Make sure any electrical panels are improperly installed and well secured to the wall. The electrical panel needs to be installed in a safe location, away from water sources (such as bathtubs) and other heat sources (like fireplaces or ovens), and are not typically allowed to be installed in closets or other areas containing combustible material.

Check for the presence of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the bathrooms and kitchens and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) in sleeping areas, which help to prevent electrocution by cutting power if there’s a dangerous short circuit or current leak somewhere else in the house (think: pinched electrical cord in a door jamb). This prevents deadly shocks while also preventing fires caused by this type of problem!

Kitchen islands are notorious for not having enough (or ANY) receptacles and are a pet peeve of mine. Who wants to have a dinner party and be stuck stringing extension cords to your kitchen island for things like blenders and crock pots?

Scope the main sewer lineSewer scope revealed city main connection was damaged.

If you are purchasing a new home and want to be sure that everything is in good working order, then you should have the main sewer line scoped (inspected) before you move in. Inspecting the main sewer line involves putting a long (sometimes up to 200 feet) fiber optic camera down the main sewer pipe to check for proper pitch, grading, flow, and to check for obstructions (typically construction debris like paints, industrial paper towels, and other obstructions). You would be surprised how often contractors flush prohibited items down the toilet! Installation problems (crushed lines, sun-damaged PVC pipe, and pipes with bellies or low spots) are also common and can be easily missed without a thorough sewer scope.

The photo above is a screen capture from a sewer inspection I performed on a new construction home in 2018 where the sewer pipe pulled loose near the city main connection under the driveway. Thankfully this issue was found BEFORE moving in because the builder had to crack up the driveway, and part of the street, excavate the damaged area, repair the pipe and then put everything back together. Not an easy task and it would have cost my client over $15,000.

Be aware locating and correcting sewer line problems can be very invasive and costly. If you wait to find these problems till after you move in, repairs could be very messy and disruptive to normal living (think cracking up your garage floor to fix a broken pipe).

Pay close attention to the walls for any problems

Inspect the walls for any problems. Smooth drywall will whisper a story if you are listening (sometimes drywall will scream if problems are big enough). Walls should be solid and free from cracks, gaps, or other issues that could lead to water damage and electrical problems.

Check for insulation gaps. If you see spaces between your studs and their corresponding insulation, there’s a good chance that an air leak is occurring. This can cause higher energy bills and a chilly living environment in the winter months when you’re trying to stay warm with your heating system.

Look for water damage inside concrete slabs that line your home’s foundation walls or crawl space area (if applicable). This will not only cost more money to repair later but may also mean there was a safety issue during construction—which would need immediate attention before moving in.

Air ducts should be checked clean and in good working order

Before you move into your new home, make sure the ducts are sealed, insulated, and free of debris/trash. You should also check that they’re not damaged or leaking. If there is mold or mildew on the ducts, this could indicate a problem with how they were installed. If your builder hasn’t ensured that all their work was done correctly, it’s probably best to have them come back and fix any issues before you move in.

Make sure all plumbing fixtures are working properly.

Make sure the water heater is working properly. This will ensure that you have hot water when you need it.

Check to make sure all the plumbing fixtures are working properly—sinks, toilets, showers, and faucets. All these things should be in good condition and be easy to use.

Look for leaks. Leaks can waste a lot of money on bills as well as cause damage to floors or walls around your home if they go unnoticed for too long so if you see any signs of leakage ask a professional plumber to come out and look at them ASAP!

Make sure that windows are functioning properly and leak-free.

When you’re looking at a new home, make sure that the windows are functioning properly and leak-free.

Make sure that the windows are properly sealed. This can be done in two ways: with caulk or by adding foam insulation around the edges of the window frame.

Make sure that there aren’t any leaks in any of your new windows, either air leaks (holes where cold air comes through) or water leaks (where rainwater sneaks into your home). Leaky windows will not only waste energy but also cause mold growth if left unchecked for too long!

Look out for improper installation: if a window isn’t installed correctly, it may open and close improperly or even fall out completely!

Make sure that all appliances have been installed properly and are functional.

When it comes to appliances, look for things like:

  • A stove that has a smooth surface that’s not cracked or damaged.
  • A refrigerator with no dents or scratches on the doors or interior.
  • An oven that lights up and quickly reaches operating temperature.

You want your appliances to be durable and efficient, but don’t overlook the aesthetics of these items either.

There are many things to look out for when buying a new construction home so make sure you ask questions!

Asking the right questions is an important part of building your dream home. A good builder will be able to answer all your questions, but if they seem hesitant or don’t have a good response, it’s time to start asking more questions.

Did any problems arise during construction that were not caught by the inspector?

Did you notice any issues with the house after moving in?

Do you have any other recommendations for builders who provide this type of service?

After asking these (and any other) questions it’s important for both parties involved in the transaction to feel comfortable with each other and their answers. If there are still doubts about a potential builder, ask him/her for references from previous clients or other builders he/she has worked with before on similar projects.

New homes tend to eliminate one set of problems (worn out flooring, old(er) appliances, and HVAC equipment for example) but can easily bring on a whole new set of issues (unused plumbing can start to leak after moving in, sewer lines can back up due to construction debris jammed into the drain by that tile contractor, wiring and plumbing can be damaged during construction and not manifest until months or years after moving in). Please consider having a professional home inspector represent you in your new home purchase. Tom with 3 Arrows Property Inspection has personally inspected hundreds of new construction homes since 2005 and knows where problems typically crop up. Builders and their sub-contractors have a very tall order when building a new home and things will get overlooked and missed. The key to a happy new construction purchase is transparency and a thorough inspection! We hope that you have found this article helpful and that it will make your home-buying process more enjoyable and less stressful.