I Don't Need a Home Inspection . . . I'm Buying a New Home From the Builder

By
Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

I Don't Need a Home Inspection . . . I'm Buying a New Home From the Builder

My post, and title, came about after reading Nevin Williams' recent post:  I Don't Need an Agent Because I'm Buying a New Home from a Builder

With blessings from Nevin, I'm posting this as a "Part II," you might say.

In Oregon, new construction of homes falls under the auspices of the CCB, Construction Contractors Board. 

Under statute (ORS 701.320) new homes are under "warranty," for a period of time.  NOTE:  Be careful not to confuse "warranty" with "guarantee." 

Here's a link for more information on the CCB New Residential Structure Warranty Provisions 

Because some buyers realize a new home has warranties, they will forgo the home inspection.  And, some home buyers, mistakenly think the home is "guaranteed" because it's new.  

With this, they also think they'll save the $300 (more or less) of the cost of a home inspection.  They couldn't be more . . .

WRONG!

Here are only a few problems we've encountered, and fortunately, we DID have a home inspection:

  • Rain Gutters-- Here, in the Great Pacific NW, rain gutters are imperative.  It rains a lot.  In one new home inspection, the call made by the inspector was the gutters were hung parallel.  No slant.  Problem with that is, with a gutter hung with no slant, the water will not drain.  The long-term problem would have been the gutters rusting out very quickly with standing water, debris, etc.  Had the home buyer opted to forgo a home inspection (and they can), this problem might not have been discovered until the gutters rusted out. 

 

  • Bathtub -- Might not seem like a huge call, but a dime size dent in the bathtub would have gone unnoticed had it not been called out by the home inspector.  The bathtub/shower combo was fiberglass, and might have gotten dinged with the install.  These types of cracks are not noticeable to untrained home buyers.  Over a long period of time, water would have seeped -- consistently -- through the broken, small dent in the fiberglass.  Can we say "structural dry rot" boy and girls?  I knew you could!

 

  • Toilet -- During a home inspection, the inspector performed a check on the plumbing systems.  GOOD THING!!  The lower level toilet overflowed.  Thankfully, the home had never been used (if you know what I mean), and the flow was only clean water, not sewerage.  Problem was:  The pipe had become blocked.  How?  We suspect that when the drywall was installed, a drain (somewhere) wasn't covered.  Drywall, and other debris got lodged in the pipe.  When it got wet it expanded.  the house wasn't being used, so it dried, causing the blockage.  Sure, the home was under "warranty."  The builder, a local, honest guy would have fixed the problem AFTER move in -- when the issue would have been discovered (had the home buyers foregone a home inspection.)  The problem would have been:  The overflow could have occured at any time.  Perhaps, when they moved in on Friday, and at 10:00 p.m. the water in the lower level bathroom would have overflowed.  First reaction:  Call a plumber.  That would have been costly, inconvenient, and NOT something that a warranty would have reimbursed.  The plumber could not have fixed this problem, although they would have tried (at a hefty "emergency" service fee).  The pipe blockage was near the street, and had to have been dug up to be corrected.  Having the clogged pipes fixed PRIOR to move in, not having to go through the pain of calling in a plumber, paying for services that would not have remedied the situation -- YEAH, a home inspection was WORTH IT!!

I've got more stories . . . but suffice to say:  My clients were homebuyers who listened to my counsel, and obtained a home inspection on their NEWLY constructed home!   

 

Posted by

 

 

Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 

 

All Rights Reserved © 

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Linda Graves Arnold 08/28/2010 05:22 PM
  2. Karen Kruschka 08/29/2010 09:31 AM
  3. Mary Macy 08/29/2010 03:58 PM
  4. Coleen DeGroff 08/30/2010 05:21 AM
  5. Carrie Sampron 08/30/2010 05:51 AM
  6. Dub Walters 08/30/2010 06:26 AM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
Oregon
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Crap
Diary of a Realtor
REALTOR LIFE
"Whacked"!!!
Tags:
home inspections new construction

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Show All Comments
Rainer
137,264
Brent Wells
The LivingWell Team - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Broker serving all of North DFW

I also wonder if the sales associate of the builder convinced them not to get an inspection. I can't tell you how often folks are shocked to learn that friendly sales associate was not watching out for their best interests...

Aug 30, 2010 06:13 AM #73
Rainer
112,137
Cari Anderson
Danville, CA

Carla: this is a great post - I hope it gets through to new home buyers out there. Our first house was a new home and we didn't get a home inspection. We were lucky and nothing went wrong but you bring up some VERY compelling reasons to get an inspection. Thanks for the info!

Aug 30, 2010 06:28 AM #74
Rainer
15,673
Dennis Martin, J.D.
Real Estate One Charlevoix - Charlevoix, MI

New homes can have worse inspection results than used homes!

Aug 30, 2010 06:38 AM #75
Rainmaker
1,561,913
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Thank you Colleen DeGroff for the re-blog

Thanks Carrie Sampron for the re-blog.

Thank you for the re-blog - NEW TO ACTIVE RAIN MEMBER -- Dub Walters!

Aug 30, 2010 07:00 AM #76
Rainer
222,458
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

I actually think inspecting a new home is at least as important as a re-sale because of peoples false sense of security.  I cannot tell you how many times ductwork in the attic was not attached properly & if the inspector had not found it, moisture would have been trapped in the attic & 10 years later, everything would be rotten.  A fat lot of good a guarantee would have been.

Aug 30, 2010 07:10 AM #77
Rainer
461,633
Jeremy Wrenn
Winslow Homes - Youngsville, NC
C.O.O., Winslow Homes

Amen, amen, amen!  We contractors make mistakes, even though we hate to.  Having another set of eyes is ALWAYS a good idea.

Aug 30, 2010 07:14 AM #78
Rainer
16,609
Cory Ure
Security National Mortgage Company | Co. NMLS 3116 - Cottonwood Heights, UT

Having purchased new and pre-owned homes, I have realized first hand the importance of getting a home inspection in both instances.  Plumbing problems like toilets that need to be plunged every fourth flush, or DIY'ers who wire outlets in the garage to outlets in the house causing them to trip GFI's whenever you plug a battery charger in for a car or motorcycle... All would be found by a thorough home inspection.  Thank you for your great post.  I linked back to it from my blog.

Aug 30, 2010 07:47 AM #79
Rainer
219,223
Robert Amato
Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc - East Meadow, NY

Excellent advice Karla. Although I think the home inspector was just lucky to find the ding in the shower stall and could have easily been overlooked. But for $300 it is well worth the price of a new home inspection.

Aug 30, 2010 08:51 AM #80
Rainer
217,535
Andi Grant
310-508-4354 | FirstTimeHomeBuyerRealEstate.com - Los Angeles, CA
Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA!

Wow 80 comments and 6 rblogs later, great advice Carla!  I've seen and heard some horror stories on what happens when people who buy new do not get an inspection.   

Aug 30, 2010 10:41 AM #81
Rainer
25,170
Kelly Penuita
DecoChic Interiors ~Creating Beautiful Spaces~ Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, RESA

Your post is much appreciated Carla!  We have just started the building process of our new home & we have been toying with the idea of hiring a Home Inspector when it's finished - before we take possession.   I think we will be!

Kelly  :)

Aug 30, 2010 12:30 PM #82
Rainer
36,033
Ken Gramley
Cary, NC

I saw a new home once where the sink drain emptied into the crawl space.  It had NEVER been connected!  The plumbing sub-contractor missed it.  The very reputable contractor missed it, and the city inspectors missed it.  However, the home inspector caught it!

Aug 30, 2010 01:11 PM #83
Rainmaker
334,102
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Carla, a home inspection should be considered with most purchases.

Ty

Aug 30, 2010 01:44 PM #85
Rainmaker
84,878
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

Seriously...people are buying by far the largest purchase in their lifetime and they are tightwads on a $350 inspeciton?  Come on folks this is not brain surgery and I'm sure the builder's intentions are too build the best house he can build, but he can't watch everything and tradesman sometimes cut corners.  Get an inspection and with it the piece of mind that you had someone looking out for your best interests. 

Aug 30, 2010 03:08 PM #86
Rainmaker
166,573
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Carla, Not only do you need a home inspection for new construction ... you are also advised to schedule several earlier inspections to catch things that get hidden by the siding and sheetrock. One of the worst problems we've run into at My Handyman is builders forgetting to put up a moisture barrier over the sheathing so you know there's a future mold problem just waiting to happen.

Aug 30, 2010 05:13 PM #87
Rainer
295,365
Jason Boone
Duke Warner Realty - Bend, OR
Principal Broker, CRIS, RENE, SRS, PSA

Sage advice. Having personal experience with purchasing a brand new home and electing to forgoe a home inspection makes it rather easy to council my clients. As it turns out the master bedroom toilet was defective and needed to be replaced. Additionally, one of the heating ducts in the crawl space was disconnected. I ended up heating my crawl space for about two months before I realized it. I did wind up with a rather dry crawl space though.

Builders and contractors, even the most conscientious are not infallable; and I certainly believe that it's prudent to not only have a professional home inspection conducted upon completion but also to have a watchful eye during the process if the home is "pre-sold". Nonetheless this can create some uneasy feelings between the builder and the buyer, which is yet another testiment for utilizing the services of a professional Realtor to broker the transaction and not only mitigate any potential problems between builder and buyer but also provide structure to the process of inspection and oversight that is both professional and reduces risk for everyone involved.

Aug 30, 2010 05:36 PM #88
Rainer
43,335
Valerie Duncan Stewart
(Metro First Realty) - Oklahoma City, OK
Real Estate Agent-Broker, OKC, OK

Our dear friends purchased a new home without a home inspection. it was their first home and were so excited they signed papers the very first day they saw the house! The builder is known for cutting corners and not honoring defective workmanship.

After their one year warranty ran out, they found out that the roof had been put on without the felt paper. Needless to say they were out thousands to have the roof replaced properly. The builder said too bad and our friends said they would never buy a home without a realtor again. 

Great advice and great post. 

 

Aug 31, 2010 04:03 AM #89
Rainer
432,445
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

Anyone can mistake and a home inspection could save $s in the end and peace of mind all the time.  Margaret C.

Aug 31, 2010 03:43 PM #90
Rainmaker
1,561,913
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I got a nice compliment, and was mentioned on Sean Hess' blog:  Homes for Sale In St. Augustine.

St. Augustine Team Realty

 

Sep 01, 2010 07:25 AM #91
Rainer
117,860
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

I speant my first 4 years in real estate doing on-site selling for a builder and, not only do I recommend a home inspection on new construction to, I got one myself.  Having an inspector put the home through it's paces will at least provide reasurrance (albeit costly) and at worst avoid a disaster,    Ideally, the initial inspection should be done before sheet rock is hung and then a final at the end of the process. 

Sep 01, 2010 03:58 PM #92
Rainer
33,002
Stephanie Williams, Realtor Murrells Inlet
Seaside Properties - Murrells Inlet, SC

Great advice in an entertaining blog.  Thanks! 

Sep 03, 2010 07:28 AM #93
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