Profile picture for SeekingHomes

Inspection on new construction home

Hi everyone,

It's not required but my agent highly recommend that we should get an inspection (walk through of the home and sewer check) before signing the paperwork, even on a new construction home. I don't think I should spend $600 for it because I doubt the inspector will find much things to fix with a newly construction home. Also, isn't there warranties from the builder by law for the new homes? Please advise. Thank so much in advance!
  • November 18 2013 - Portland
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Answers (21)

Profile picture for HelpTheWorld
Having an inspection on a home is very important even if the home is new. It is also important to find a good inspector. You don't want to find out after you have purchased the home that there are defects. There are some home inspectors out there that may not have the experience so ask for references. You should also be sure you have good representation from a lawyer to make sure all bases are covered before signing. Make sure your P&S has a clause in it that allows you to get out of the deal if any defects are found.
  • July 24 2014
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Yes, you should have the home inspected.  The local City building inspectors do not look a home over as closely as many home inspectors do.  This is not the place to save a few bucks.

It's a new home after all and if the inspector finds a defect, the builder should repair it or you probably shouldn't buy from that builder.
  • December 02 2013
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Definitely have an inspection.  From when ground is broken to various phases of construction, the local permitting department has building inspectors come in and check the work to make sure it is done correctly - so nothing should be horribly wrong. 

The inspector I work with on a regular basis says that on new construction, he has seen all of the exterior rock put on without a water barrier behind, so water could come into the house. 

Yes, you should have a minimum of three inspections: Home inspection, sewer scope, and radon metering done.  Brand new construction in the Portland Metro Area have built in radon mitigation systems (pipes for venting out the radon gas) but I sold one recently where the radon level was 12.0 picocuries per liter - so even with the radon mitigation system built into the house, it did not have lower radon levels (minimum "actionable" radon level by the EPA is 4.0 picocuries per liter).  You could be past your inspection period now but you should definitely have the inspections done.

There are two rounds of negotiation in buying a house - the first round with the initial offer, the second round after the inspection.  In 100% of cases when an inspector inspected a new construction home for our client, the seller agreed to complete ALL repairs.  It is not money wasted, but money well spent!
  • December 02 2013
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Sounds like you have an experienced agent working for you- as for my clients I always suggest to do an inspection  on new construction home- yes you would think that a new construction home would be built with zero defects- this would be true in a perfect world - I can give you an example on one of the new construction homes the electrical outlet wiring were switched,  which could of caused potential damage to some expensive electronic items also on a two story house  one of  the roof  vent piping was not sealed properly - just imagine rain pouring into a hole  in the roof, -  The  hole was not large but is was not sealed either potential future damage and a small  leak under a vanity sink.  Just some of the items I could remember from the past .

Hope this helps

Best wishes!
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"American Home Shield is a private home warranty agency that you could purchase to protect most of the mechanical and structural compents of the home.  The cost of the one year policy would be about the same as a home inspection."

Those warranties have significant limitations if the house is not up to code and many claims get bounced for new construction. Buyers need to know that a new house is not problem free. Many builders cut serious corners and no home warranty will protect you from serious repair issues in new construction.

Smart buyers don't trust their agent or a quick walkthough before close to discover significant issues, they hire a contractor or home inspector to cover their bases before they own an expensive problem.
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for Ken Amstutz
Normally the Builder offers a one year warranty.  Read the contract to see if you already are getting this warranty.  American Home Shield is a private home warranty agency that you could purchase to protect most of the mechanical and structural compents of the home.  The cost of the one year policy would be about the same as a home inspection.

Before the closing you will get another chance to walk the house with your Realtor and the Builder.  Take your time and you should be fine.

Did you get recommendations from other customers of the Builder?
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for Shenanigans612
At the end of the day if you're spending money on a brand new home, why cheap out on 600 bucks for an inspection? Not all builders are created equal. If a mistake was made, I'd rather have it fixed before I moved in personally. Our house is already built as well, but there are a number of small issues that should be addressed now. So they don't turn into big issues. We might have not even noticed them until after the warranty expired. 

Presumably you're spending almost a half million on a brand new home. I'd recommend spending 600 dollars to ensure your investment is sound. I'm not a big risk taker though. :)
  • November 20 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
I have sold new homes.  My buyers had an inspection done by a home inspector.  Most of the pros out here are telling you to get a professional inspection.

None of the pros out here get a dime for a referral to a home inspector.  So why do they recommend it?  Experience from prior new home sales.

Non-pros tell you don't need it.  If your Doctor told you to take a pill and your neighbor told you - you don't need it - who would you listen to?
  • November 20 2013
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I recommend getting the inspection just to be sure.  Sewer check is important too and will cost extra because it is a separate inspection.  I have a buyer client doing that right now because the home was built in 1972 and there is a great big mature tree in the middle of the front lawn.  Maybe you can ask the builder for any current inspection reports they have on the home.  
  • November 19 2013
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You bring a valid point regarding completed construction especially if its recently completed construction, inspector will not be able to see major foundation issues because that takes time to develop, but s/he will be able to see if construction was done correctly and weather areas of the home has solid support and whether things have been done to code, that goes for electrical, venting systems, pipes, etc as well. With all the rain we've been having they will also see if there may be potential issues in the near future in re to water penetration. I would still strongly recommend having inspection done regardless of house value and regardless of age of home!
  • November 19 2013
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I would always recommend that a buyer get a home inspection - new home or existing. If nothing else it gives you a record of the condition from a professional that has your best interest in mind. It may seem redundant, but it is well worth the money. 
  • November 19 2013
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Profile picture for knightlight
Buy from a reputable builder, sometimes honest mistakes are made.  In my state, almost every stage of the build in already inspected by the city or county.  

A home inspector is not going to rip open walls for faulty workmanship.  Buy from a reputable builder and sleep well.

Ask some neighbors how they like their homes, assuming the same builder.  Remember asking a realtor about building is like asking a dentist to fix your washing machine.  

Every builder has a team of real estate agents that push that builders product.  Don't expect much expertise from them, just the sales pitch.
  • November 19 2013
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Profile picture for SeekingHomes
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for taking your time to response. I would like to clarify the inspection is on a COMPLETED new home. If I had known and ideally, I would have the inspection through various stages, from breaking ground, putting put the frame, putting sheetrocks, hooking up the sewer and the final walk through after the home is completed. I didn't have the inspection from the very beginning when the frame was put up, so I was thinking how can they identify if the structure is good or not. If I were to do the general inspection now, it would to be just a what is on the surface to check (ex: if the door is installed well, faucet working, paint is good, caulking is good, and etc)

Would you do inspection at this point?
  • November 19 2013
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We recommend it. The builders do have to provide a warranty by law, but it won't cover everything and could be a pain to enforce. It is better to catch the problem up front and have it fixed before you move in. If you really needed to save some money I would choose the home inspection over the sewer scope.
  • November 19 2013
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Profile picture for Shenanigans612
I'm buying a new construction home. Our inspector found things that needed to be addressed. Nothing super catastrophic, but definitely things I want fixed before we close. It was 600 well spent in my opinion. YMMV.
  • November 19 2013
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I always advise my clients to get a home inspection from a reputable inspector, whether new construction or not. 

I cannot answer as to the quality (or existence) of any warranty offered by your builder, but do you really want to find out 6 months from now that your home has structural (or other significant) issues?  The warranty may or may not help (both dollar-wise and emotionally), but I'm guessing you would regret not having an upfront home inspection.

Good luck with your new purchase! 

  • November 19 2013
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A professional home inspection is far more than a "walk through of the home and sewer check" and in fact an improperly connected sewer is one of the more common problems with new construction. The owners don't usually discover that until many months or years after they move in and learn that their sewage is one reason their lawn is so much greener than the neighbor's. No matter the reputation of the builder, people make mistakes, almost all of them unintentional. Hot & cold water gets connected backwards, electrical outlet polarity is ignored, and on and on....any one of which will cost you more than $600 to rectify. As for warranty, as far as I know, that is purely a function of the contract between you and the builder, though I'm not clear if you're referencing a home that's yet to be built, or has already been completed. I am clear it will be among the best $600 expenditures you ever make.
  • November 19 2013
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I highly recommend a home inspection and sewer scope even on new construction. $600 may seem like a lot of money but its a small % of what you are actually going to be paying on the new home. There have been many instances of faulty new construction and even though they are warranteed against defects its not always simple to get things resolved, sometimes it takes years and sometimes the company goes bankrupt. Looking at it from this perspective $600 takes the risk out of the large purchase you are about to make. I hope that helps. Kali Zadok
  • November 19 2013
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You are correct, it is not required but as a real estate agent I always suggest that a buyer get a home inspection on any property they purchase for buyers protection.

  • November 19 2013
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I'm start a online marketing or outsourcing servicing business to run a business successfully, because the investment of amount to your business is very low, but revenue is high, it's depend on your work and customer satisfaction.


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  • November 18 2013
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I have had buyers do both going forward with the their own inspectors and using the builders inspectors. It is truly about your comfort level with the builder and the home buying process. The reason that it is good to have your own inspector go to the property as a neutral party. Once nice this about hiring an inspector is they can come to the property multiple times, when the foundation is poured, framing, drywall, final walk through. 

This can help you get acquainted with you house as well as give you peace of mind that your home was well built. 
  • November 18 2013
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