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Should I inspect my brand new house?

By
Home Inspector with Advance Look Building Inspections and Environmental Testing

Do I really need an inspection on a new house?

 

Absolutely. New home builders make the same mistakes rehabbers do and if you were buying a 75-year-old home that has been "updated" you would have it inspected, right? So why not a new house?New house

For the sake of conversation, I will call a new house something built within the past 10 years. This also includes brand new or custom built homes. Depending on your agent (yes, you should have an agent if you are buying a brand new house, they can help), they may or may not tell you to get an inspection. I know my opinion may be slightly biased, but you should definitely get an inspection.

There are several reasons for getting an inspection on a new home. Most of the time, they are built well, but there are a lot of homebuilders out there. We recently did an inspection on a 3-year-old home and found that there was a fundamental flaw in the structure of the house. I won't get too into it, but it was built with TJI floor joists. They are great, but must be installed correctly to operate properly. They were not. You can find out more about it here.

Another reason is that home builders are in business too. Let's say they are building a 25 home subdivision. If they can save $10 on one component of every house, they will save $250. There are thousands of components to a home. If they can save $10 on Sump drain100 components, now that's $1000 per house or $25,000 for the subdivision. And sometimes they can save a lot more. I'm not faulting the builder, because, like I said, they are in business too. It is an inspectors job to look out for you, the homebuyer. The picture on the left is of a brand new construction home we inspected a while ago. That is the sump pump drain. When the pump was going, that was spitting water five feet from the foundation. There was already a trench in the mud (no grass yet) from the sump running frequently. This is something we point out to you, our customer, so you know when you buy a home, what you are getting into.

Below are a few links to help you in your homebuying process.

National Association of Home Builders Guide

Building a Green Home

New home in St. Louis

Inspect before you invest, call Advance Look Today!

Mary Pope-Handy
Christie's International Real Estate Sereno - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley
I once helped buyers to purchase a brand new (never lived in) home and we did have it inspected, of course. We learned that one of the support beams in the roof structure was installed incorrectly.

And I have seen new construction where the wood used came in already infested with termites.

Always inspect!!
May 29, 2007 03:21 AM
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

You can never be so sure as to not encourage yur buyer to have ANY home inspected by an ASHI certified inspector.  It's insurance!   i have my buyers sign a disclosure that "I as buyer agent recommended that they have it inspected and they the buyers said no)  That way , I'm off the hook, just in case.

 

Patricia Aulson/Hampton NH Real Estate/ ME & MA

May 29, 2007 03:25 AM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production
Yes...it's an insurance policy at worst.  At best you catch something that's not up to snuff and take care of it.  I say go for it.
May 29, 2007 03:28 AM