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Should you get a home inspector with new construction?

Real Estate Agent with Smart Green Realty

I mostly sell  homes that are 50 years old and older, so I'd love some input. My 60 year old clients are buying their retirement home near their daughter. Thanks to responsible living and good jobs, they have plenty of cash and nice pensions. The purchase represents a lifetime of savings and thoughtful money management. They tell me "We are from New York and we don't trust anyone." The builder has been building homes for 40 years. He is proud of what he builds and personally does a final walk through with clients to create a punch list. He also gives them a one year warranty where they can call him for routine items that might need adjusting or whatever. But my sceptical New York clients want the security of the home inspection. So....the day comes. When we arrive, the living room floor guys were still nailing and the tile guy was finishing the floor in the small basement bathroom. The home inspector refused to do the inspection. He was also miffed that the gas had not been "unlocked" so he could not turn on the brand new furnace and stove. The builder and I wanted the home inspector to inspect what he could, but he insisted he owed the clients a full inspection. So, what is the verdict? Should we advise clients who are buying new construction to get a home inspection? Should they get more than one? Thanks for any comments!

John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Zeta - Absolutely!  All homes should be inspected by a licensed home inspector.  As a former home builder I know the value that home inspectors bring to the transaction.  Read Jay Markanich's current blog.  Code inspectors do only a cursory inspection and look for the major flaws; many times significant issues get missed.

Sep 10, 2010 04:28 AM
Ilona Matteson
Beach Realty & Construction on the Outer Banks of NC - Duck, NC
Ilona Matteson

Hmmm...interesting question.  It would seem with a great reputation of the builder, a 1 year warranty and punch list that any concerns would be covered.  However, if the buyer insists, then it has to be done.  Seems you need a willing inspector though.  I don't really see the need for it.

Sep 10, 2010 04:30 AM
Greg Reynolds
Spin Realty - Knoxville, TN

Zeta, as a builder and now a Real Estate Agent I have seen both sides of this issue.  The problem that you  brought up is a legitimate problem that usually only comes up with new construction.  While I felt that I built a good home and would have repaired any problems that would come up, unfortunatly there are builders who cut corners and can hide problems so that normal building inspectors don't or can't find them.  That is where a good home inspector can help.  They do a more thorough job of climbing through the attics and crawlspaces.  I never had a problem with the buyer employing the expertise of a Home Inspector, but I also had a few inspectors that I had to inform that they were wrong and would explain and support my stance to the buyer.  Good luck.

Sep 10, 2010 04:30 AM
Ryan Case
SCA Real Estate - Anaheim, CA

I think it's a waste of money if the builder has a warranty

Sep 10, 2010 04:35 AM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Zeta~  ALL homes, no matter what age or even if brand new should always be inspected!  Brand new homes can have issues too!  Yes, it may come with builders warranty, but it is still in the best interest of the buyer to have their own inspection done.

Sep 10, 2010 08:37 AM