After making an offer on a home, you'll enter a contract, part of which should always include getting a home inspection from a licensed professional. It is recommended that any homebuyer make an offer to purchase contingent upon a home inspection that allows you to withdraw your offer if there are any major issues discovered during an inspection.
More than likely, the home inspector will find problems that need to be fixed before closing. Major foundation issues and significant water damage are at the top of the list of signs to walk away from.
On the other hand, there are some home defects found during an inspection that don't have to be deal-breakers. Many of them can be fixed, and they can be used to negotiate with the seller for a lower price point or additional help with the closing costs.
Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but it's still possible that you could purchase a home that contains it if it was built before the ban. The sellers should disclose this, but the home inspector may find it, as well. It doesn't have to be a deal-breaker: you can hire a contractor who is certified to remove lead-based paint, and the home will be completely safe.
Concrete Floor Cracks
Cracks in a concrete basement floor may seem like a structural problem, but this is natural and not indicative of significant damage. Small cracks occur in concrete because it's a porous substance. These cracks can be fixed at a relatively low cost and shouldn't be a reason for you to back out of a contract. Cracks in concrete walls, however, should give pause for concern.
Mold is something that no one ever wants to see in a home you put an offer on, but a little bit of mold by the shower doesn't mean you need to back out of your offer—at least not immediately. If mold is found during the home inspection, have a qualified mold inspector look at it to determine if it is a deal breaker.
When problems arise during home inspections, it doesn't always mean you have to back out of your contract. Home inspectors will often find problems outside of their scope of expertise, so always get a second opinion from a specialist before making a final decision. In many instances, these problems are opportunities to negotiate with the seller. You can request that the seller do the repairs or ask for money to put towards repairs. Either way, hiring a licensed home inspector will put your mind at ease and help you make your final decision on a home.