So, you’ve had a home inspection, and the report has come back with a list of issues. You might be wondering, “What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?” It’s important to understand that not all repairs are created equal, and some may be more urgent than others. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of mandatory fixes, exploring what they are, who’s responsible for them, and how to navigate the process after the inspection.

Health and Safety Issues: Non-Negotiable Fixes

When it comes to mandatory fixes after a home inspection, health and safety issues top the list. These are the types of problems that can pose a direct threat to the well-being of the occupants. Here are some examples of health and safety issues that are typically considered mandatory fixes:

Structural Problems

If a home inspection reveals structural issues, such as foundation cracks or sagging floors, these problems are generally considered mandatory fixes. Structural problems can compromise the stability and safety of the entire property and may lead to more significant issues if left unaddressed.

Electrical Hazards

Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and outdated electrical systems can pose a serious risk of fire or electrocution. As such, these types of electrical hazards are usually considered mandatory fixes after a home inspection.

Plumbing Leaks and Water Damage

Plumbing leaks can lead to water damage, mold growth, and potential health risks. Consequently, it’s essential to address any plumbing issues and associated water damage promptly.

Gas Leaks and Combustion Issues

Gas leaks, improper venting, or malfunctioning combustion appliances (such as furnaces or water heaters) can pose a risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. These problems must be addressed immediately.

Negotiating Repairs: Who’s Responsible for What?

The responsibility for mandatory fixes after a home inspection typically depends on the terms of the sale agreement. In many cases, the seller is responsible for addressing health and safety issues before closing the sale. However, buyers and sellers may negotiate the terms of the sale to determine who will cover the cost of certain repairs.

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a buyer or seller during the negotiation process. If you’re unsure, consult with a real estate agent or attorney for guidance.

Prioritizing Repairs: What to Fix First

Once you’ve identified the mandatory fixes after a home inspection, it’s crucial to prioritize repairs based on urgency and potential impact. Here are some general guidelines for prioritizing mandatory fixes:

  1. Address health and safety issues first: As mentioned earlier, health and safety issues are non-negotiable and should be addressed as soon as possible.
  2. Tackle major systems next: After addressing immediate health and safety concerns, prioritize repairs to major systems, such as the roof, HVAC, or plumbing.
  3. Consider long-term consequences: Consider the potential long-term consequences of delaying repairs. For example, a small roof leak might not seem like a big deal now, but if left unaddressed, it could lead to extensive water damage and costly repairs down the line. 4. Factor in cosmetic updates: Once you’ve addressed mandatory fixes and major system repairs, you can turn your attention to cosmetic updates. These improvements may not be as urgent, but they can help increase the value and appeal of the property.

Financing Repairs: Exploring Your Options

In some cases, the cost of mandatory fixes after a home inspection can be substantial. If you’re concerned about financing these repairs, you have several options available to you:

  1. Negotiate with the seller: As mentioned earlier, buyers and sellers can negotiate the terms of the sale, which may include the seller covering some or all of the cost of mandatory fixes.
  2. Apply for a home improvement loan: A home improvement loan can provide the funds needed to make necessary repairs. These loans are typically available through banks, credit unions, or online lenders.
  3. Consider a government-backed loan: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers 203(k) loans, which allow borrowers to finance both the purchase of a home and the cost of repairs. These loans can be especially helpful for buyers who are purchasing a fixer-upper or a property with significant mandatory fixes.


Understanding what fixes are mandatory after a home inspection is crucial for both buyers and sellers. By addressing health and safety issues promptly and prioritizing repairs based on urgency and potential impact, you can ensure the property is safe and well-maintained for years to come. Don’t forget to explore your financing options and seek professional guidance when negotiating repairs to ensure a smooth and successful real estate transaction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you need a home inspection report?
A home inspection report is highly recommended when buying a house, as it provides valuable information about the property’s condition, including any potential issues or necessary repairs. Although not always required by law or lenders, a home inspection can help you make an informed decision about your purchase, negotiate repairs or a lower price with the seller, and plan for future maintenance.

When do you get a home inspection after buying a house?
You should schedule a home inspection shortly after signing a purchase agreement or going under contract on a property. Typically, the inspection should be completed within 7-10 days of signing the agreement. This allows time for the inspector to identify any issues, and for you and the seller to negotiate repairs or adjustments to the purchase price before the sale is finalized.

Can a seller ask for cosmetic repairs during an inspection?
Home inspections are primarily focused on identifying structural, mechanical, and safety issues, rather than cosmetic concerns. Sellers can request cosmetic repairs during negotiations, but buyers may be less inclined to address these items since they do not impact the overall safety or functionality of the home. Cosmetic repairs are generally considered the responsibility of the buyer unless otherwise negotiated in the purchase agreement.

What are the most common fixes after a home inspection?
Common fixes after a home inspection may include:

  1. Electrical issues, such as outdated wiring, overloaded circuits, or faulty outlets
  2. Plumbing problems, like leaks, slow drains, or water heater issues
  3. Roof repairs or replacement due to leaks, damaged shingles, or improper flashing
  4. HVAC system maintenance or replacement, including cleaning or replacing filters and servicing components
  5. Structural concerns, such as foundation cracks, settling, or wood rot
  6. Safety hazards, including missing or non-functioning smoke detectors and inadequate railings

Do home inspectors always find something wrong?
Home inspectors are trained to thoroughly evaluate a property and identify issues or potential concerns. While it’s rare for a home inspection to reveal no issues, most findings are minor and can be easily addressed. Keep in mind that no home is perfect, and the purpose of a home inspection is to inform you about the property’s condition, rather than to provide a “pass” or “fail” assessment.

What are the three basic safety concerns during the home inspection?
The three basic safety concerns during a home inspection typically include:

  1. Fire hazards: Inspectors will check for proper installation and functioning of smoke detectors, as well as any electrical issues that could pose a fire risk.
  2. Gas leaks or carbon monoxide issues: Inspectors will evaluate gas lines, appliances, and the HVAC system to ensure there are no leaks or other hazards that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  3. Structural and environmental hazards: Inspectors will assess the home’s structural integrity, checking for foundation issues, wood rot, or other problems that could pose a safety risk. They may also identify environmental hazards like mold or asbestos, depending on their scope of work and expertise.

What are the biggest red flags in a home inspection?
The biggest red flags in a home inspection may include:

  1. Major structural issues, such as foundation cracks or significant settling
  2. Extensive water damage or mold growth
  3. Serious electrical problems, like outdated wiring or an overloaded electrical system
  4. Significant plumbing issues, such as sewer line problems or major leaks
  5. Roof damage requiring extensive repairs or replacement
  6. Hazardous materials, like asbestos or lead-based paint

These issues can be costly to repair and may impact the safety or livability of the home.

What are the most expensive home inspection issues?
The most expensive home inspection issues typically include:

  1. Foundation problems: Repairing or replacing a damaged foundation can be costly, depending on the extent of the issue and the required remediation methods.
  2. Roof replacement: Depending on the size and materials used, replacing a roof can be a significant expense.
  3. HVAC system replacement: Replacing an entire heating and cooling system can be expensive, particularly if it involves upgrading to a more energy-efficient system.
  4. Major plumbing issues: Repairing or replacing sewer lines, addressing extensive water damage, or fixing significant leaks can be costly.
  5. Extensive electrical work: Upgrading an outdated electrical system, rewiring a home, or addressing other major electrical issues can be expensive.
  6. Mold remediation: Depending on the extent of the mold growth and the necessary remediation methods, addressing mold issues can be costly.
  7. Structural repairs: Addressing major structural issues, such as wood rot, termite damage, or significant settling, can be expensive.

Keep in mind that the cost of addressing these issues can vary based on factors such as the size and location of the property, the severity of the problem, and the specific repair or remediation methods required.

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