Home Inspections: What to Expect

Congratulations! You’ve gotten your property under contract, or as a buyer, your offer was accepted. The next step is a home inspection to ensure that everything is safe and in good working order. This handy blog will give you an idea of what inspectors are looking for, and why they are important.

Foundations & Structure

It goes without saying, but foundations need to be in adequate condition to pass inspection, particularly since they are subjected to seasonal differences (in the winter, for example, frozen ground expands and puts pressure on the foundations). Inspectors will look for:

  • Cracks in masonry 
  • Cracks in basement walls
  • Cracks in interior walls and door frames
  • Gaps around windows or door frames 
  • Leaning steps, stairs, or porch
  • Condition of chimneys
  • Condition of the roof structure


Given the potential fire hazards with electrical systems, inspectors will look very closely at all things electric, including:

  • Knob and tube wiring (no longer approved in new construction)
  • Exposed wiring
  • Inadequate grounding
  • Double-tapped circuit breakers
  • Aluminium wires 
  • Modification to electrical panels
  • GFCI protection 
  • Missing knockouts in electrical panels


Water stops at nothing, just ask the Grand Canyon. Houses can also fall victim to the relentless nature of H2O, and often plumbing problems are only found once they’ve become a problem. Inspectors will be looking for and checking:

  • Low or high water pressure
  • Rusty, galvanized, lead, or broken pipes
  • Clogged sewer system
  • Efficacy of toilets 
  • Leaks (hidden and visible)
  • Thermostat on the water heater
  • Build-up of sediment

Heating and Cooling Systems

With the range of temperatures experienced in New England, it is important that a property is climate controlled through the year. An inspection will check:

  • Thermostats 
  • HVAC system
  • Air filters
  • Condensate drain and drip pans
  • Pests in systems

Insulation and Ventilation

How much of either is too much?  Much like a person , a house must breathe! Proper ventilation will help prevent mold growth.  It must also have adequate insulation to keep your energy costs affordable.  

  • Mold Growth
  • What type of insulation was used, what exactly is insulated, and the “R” value?


Ovens, ranges, dishwashers, and washers/dryers all fall under the category of appliances.

  • Are they included in the sale?
  • Do they work as intended?


Is this information overwhelming? Are you curious about what happens next? Give us a call or shoot us a text. One of our professional Real Estate Agents can explain how they help their clients and how they can help you through this part of the process!


To learn more about how RISE navigates inspections, or to get more tips on home ownership and maintenance in Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts, and Connecticut, check out our other blogs here