Do I Need an Inspection on My New Home?
We all know (or we should) that an inspection by a licensed home inspector is necessary when buying or selling a home that has been lived in.
But would you be surprised to know that an inspection (while not legally required) is a great idea on a new home as well? In fact, if you are having a new home built, you may want to consider more than one inspection.
Being new does not necessarily mean that the home does not have issues. Problems can arise and possibly be missed during construction even with the best builders. In fact, with older homes, you may already know what the problems are. But in a new home, there can be issues with anything – the HVAC system, the plumbing, electrical – and you won’t know until you live in it for a while.
Homes must be built to code, but that’s generally a minimum building code. And even with the best of intentions, if a builder misses something, and the county inspector doesn’t catch it, you may be dealing with warranty issues much later.
In fact, you may want to actually consider two inspections if you are building a new home.
The first inspection would occur before the walls are sealed. During this examination, your own inspector can take a look at framing and the installation of any systems, like plumbing and HVAC. Additionally, there can be an examination of studs, insulation, beams and posts. None of that can happen after the walls are done.
The second inspection should occur before your final walk-through with the builder. In fact, this inspection should include the homeowner, the inspector and the builder. This time your inspector would look for details you might not see. This avoids any communication issues later on. Any issues found can be added to the punch list for you to review with the builder. You probably don’t want to make your final payment until these things are corrected.
An inspection should be considered even if you are buying a spec house. Make sure to add a home-inspection contingency to the sales contract. Then hire your inspector to look at the home before closing.
So, let’s bullet point why it’s important to have your new home inspected by a professional.
- New construction can absolutely have problems.
- Government building inspectors are not the same as having your own professional home inspector.
- Any problems found can be fixed before you move in.
- These problems can be fixed before they become major problems and cost more to repair.
- And most important, if these issues occurred in construction and were never noticed, you are responsible for them when you decide to sell your home.
So, while we are suggesting adding two home inspections to your up-front costs, consider how much you are spending on this investment before deciding whether it is worth it. We believe you will agree that they additional expense makes sense.