Should You do an Inspection on a New Home?

Quick Answer: Definitely!

Suburban, tract builders are going to tell you that it is a waste of money. After all, it has already been checked by multiple City inspectors; the builder himself has checked it; and you the buyer is going to do a walk-through with him, so why pay for an inspection? They have some valid concerns…mainly they don’t want you to nit-pick their homes. Nothing is perfect.

Most builders inside the loop expect an inspection, and they welcome it. They know they can fix any problems found simply by getting that particular sub-contractor to make it right. It is easy to do before the house is occupied. If the problem isn’t found for months, then it is much more complicated to get guys back into the house to fix.
 Below  are simple reasons for a new home inspection. Everybody in the building process has their own goals. They are not necessarily the same goals you have. You want someone entirely on your side.

New Home Inspection

New Home Inspection


· The City inspectors want to make sure your house is built to city codes and is safe to live in. They do not care if doors don’t shut properly, or that every electrical outlet is wired correctly. They are looking at the big picture.

· The tract builder wants the house to close ASAP. He has production goals to meet. He wants to make you happy, of course, but any little bugs can be “worked out” after closing. He has a lot of balls in the air and doesn’t want anything to interrupt the flow. Just call the warranty department afterward. He will not be nearly as attentive to you down the road as he is during the building process.

· The Houston inner loop small builder has the best chance of matching your goals. He wants to close on time of course; he may not be able to start another until this one closes. But, he also wants to make you VERY happy…word of mouth is everything to him. He wants bugs worked out ASAP. His subcontractors are available to him now for touch-ups, A/C problems, plumbing issues. They are tougher to schedule in the future; and much more difficult to get into the house after you’ve moved in. Yes, he will want to keep you happy, but things are easier to now, rather than later.

· The person you hire to do your new home inspection has one job: to find every problem he can with the structural and mechanical systems of the house. So, a tract home builder may not be happy to see you bring an inspector to the house, but most small builders see the benefit. He will want to correct problems now, while they are easy, not 6 months from now when they are complicated.

Typical new home inspection findings: There is no perfect house. The inspector will find GFCI’s that don’t work, wires reversed on outlets, hot and cold water faucets reversed; ponding of water under house, roof jacks improperly installed, furnace vents too close to combustible material, doors and windows not properly closing/latching, A/C temperature differential not high enough. These are easy to correct. The subcontractors just come back and correct them while the house is still vacant. It becomes much more difficult if you find them after move in.

Water leaks are the most important items to find ASAP. I’ve seen baseboard nails go into water pipes. It doesn’t leak much; the nail almost seals it. It just seeps a few drops a day until the sheetrock gets wet; if it continues, the baseboard warps. This is EASY to repair if found early and the house is vacant. Imagine the mess if you found it 4 months later be seeing floors and baseboard buckling. Pipe connections inside the wall can leak too. Showers are the worst place for leaks. The inspector knows what to look for and where. His magic moisture meter and IR temperature meter can find “invisible” problems. So, take care of issues while it’s easy to do so.

One caveat to the benefits of an inspection: Some inspectors are idiots! This is probably one reason builders cringe when a buyer’s inspector shows up. Don’t let your realtor just give you a list of all inspectors and tell you to pick one. If he doesn’t know enough to recommend some, then he’s not doing his job.

Buying a new home is exciting! Get competent advice throughout the whole process to avoid the “bad” excitement.

One Advisor to get is your Home Inspector.

The inspector can not only point out potential problems, but can give advice on maintenance, things to watch out for, etc.
One last advisor to get is a local Realtor. I’m happy to answer questions and give advice. I’m the rare person who truly loves his job. Contact Houston Heights Realtor Rich Martin today. I specialize in the Heights, Oak Forest and the surrounding inner-loop areas. I can also recommend some home inspectors. Call any time: 713 868-9008