When purchasing an existing home, there is essentially no question about whether or not to get a home inspection. It is so important to cover your bases and make sure you have as much information as possible before submitting an offer. However, when it comes to new builds, this decision may not seem as straightforward, and many people wonder if a home inspection is really necessary. After all, why would you need an inspection on a home that is brand new, supposedly in perfect condition, and in some cases designed and built to your preferences? Experts agree that conducting a building inspection on a new build is incredibly important for several reasons.
Is it Standard to Conduct a Home Inspection on a New Build?
The sale of a newly built home usually includes a final walkthrough, but may not include a home inspection. In most cases, buyers will opt to arrange their own inspection of a new build before closing the deal. In some rarer cases, buyers who have been very involved with the building and design process and have been present at the site throughout construction may opt to forego a home inspection because they feel they already have enough information about the state and quality of the home. Most experts agree, whether it is a house that is a hundred years old, or one that is brand new, a home inspection is a standard part of the home buying process.
Why Should I Get a New Home Inspected?
Brand new homes are attractive to buyers because many assume that a new build will be completely free of issues. The truth is, it is relatively common to find problems in a new home simply because it is brand new. While you are unlikely to encounter problems with the plumbing or electrical systems in the home, as well as cosmetic or major structural issues, new homes can still have issues. Sometimes contractors work too fast or are doing the bare minimum to get the house up to code. In some cases builders or contractors are outsourcing smaller projects to several or many other vendors, making proper oversight of the entire project difficult. It is also important to remember that mistakes do happen, and problems can occur that would have been unavoidable.
The bottom line is this: no one should assume that their home is perfect just because they are the first owners.
What Kind of Issues Could be Uncovered on a New Build?
Some of the most frequently seen issues with the interior of a new build are:
- Humidity Inside the Home
- Problems with Doors and Windows Sticking
- Nail Pops in the Drywall
- Flooring Issues
- Appliances (particularly the installation should be thoroughly checked)
- Truss uplift
- Cracks in the Drywall
When Can a Home Inspection Happen on a Newly Constructed Home?
A home inspection can be arranged at any time, and some people choose to schedule two inspections, one to take place before the drywall is installed (which allows the inspector to evaluate the framing of the house as well as the plumbing and electrical systems), and another to occur after the drywall is in place. This final inspection (if you choose to do more than one) should be scheduled as late as possible in the construction process, and ideally after the city has done its final approvals.
If you encounter a builder who opposes or questions your choice to hire an independent home inspector, this should be viewed as a red flag and in no way should deter you from proceeding with the inspection. A reputable builder should have no issue with a home inspection taking place on their work. In fact, if they stand by their work, they will welcome a home inspection.
As the buyer of the new build, a home inspection means that anything that needs to be rectified or repaired is the responsibility of the builder without the need for significant negotiation. If problems are found, the home inspector will simply advise the builder that they are not finished building yet and must deliver the quality of work they had promised.
The bottom line is, if you skip a home inspection on a new build you are foregoing the opportunity to have the builder fix any issues and you will ultimately have to pay out of pocket for repairs should they be necessary. It is never a bad idea to hire a reputable home inspector before you finalize the purchase of any home, whether you are the first owner or the 20th. Contact us today to learn more about inspections on new builds and how we can help you on your journey toward finding the perfect home for your family.