Living Green Olympia: Home Inspections on New Construction

Home Inspections on New Construction

Since many buyers are carefully watching their pennies as they prepare to become homeowners, they often ask if having a brand new house professionally inspected is necessary.  My answer is always "you betcha!"  It is SO much easier to have the builder correct things before closing than to hope that they will be responsive and easy to work with after the fact.  And some of the things I have seen inspectors find on new construction could certainly cause a buyer some grief if not found promptly - how about finding out their is no insulation in the attic or a heat vent in the crawl space is not connected?  High heat bills anybody?? Worse still is to find out that some of the plumbing isn't connected underneath - and if it is a sewer drainline that is spilling out underneath - EWWWWWW!

Seems like some of the most commonly found items in this area recently have been problems with the way the roof or the flashing is installed, and improperly designed drainage.  With the amount of rain we get in the winter, these are not good things!  And even really small things could cause a problem down the road: one new home I sold had a few steps from the house down into the garage and the hand rail for those steps blocked off the access panel to the furnace.  Neither the buyers nor I had noticed it in looking at the house, and they probably wouldn't have realized the problem until the first time they wanted to replace the furnace filter.  Simple fix when the inspector caught it, and we avoided having to find out if the builder would've been easy to reach and quick to come correct it at a later date.

The other option for buyers who really are reluctant to spend money on an inspection and unsure of its importance is to schedule a reminder on the calendar for them to have the inspection done 11 months down the road when the one year warranty period is about up (if a one year warranty is what the builder offers).  By then the house has gone through that initial shakedown period where additional little issues have probably popped up - and if the owners haven't noticed the little odds and ends, the inspector likely will!

So my two cents worth is that the home inspection is valuable even if the home is brand new - and what a great opportunity to learn even more about proper maintenance so you can avoid problems if you are new home owners!






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Nancy Conner, City Realty Inc,    360-701-1086      

Comment balloon 0 commentsNancy Conner • October 14 2008 03:40PM