America’s economy is booming, and that means new home construction is booming, as well! This is a good thing, but a home building industry in high gear does have some downsides. You may think that only an older home or a home that has had at least one previous owner needs a home inspection prior to the purchase, but this isn’t the case. Any time you’re plunking down home-buying money, it definitely pays to pay a professional.
But… It’s brand new
Your prospective home may be brand spanking new, but that doesn’t guarantee that it’s problem free. Our years spent inspecting new construction has taught us that even a home builder with the best work ethic can’t be looking over every subcontractor’s shoulder all the time. When you add in the fact that many builders have multiple projects going on at the same time, that increases the likelihood that something can get overlooked.
We’ve seen showers with no hot water, plumbing leaks, doors that won’t close and, most recently, improperly wired switches and outlets. And that’s just to name a few. These are things that would typically be noted by a licensed or certified Home Inspector and, more importantly, they’re things you would not want to find out only after an exhausting day of moving into the house.
But… I trust my builder
That’s good. A good working relationship with your builder can go a long way towards making the home buying process go much more smoothly. However, you’re the one who is investing in his or her product. It makes sense to protect yourself as much as possible before embarking on one of the most expensive investments you will ever make in your life.
Would you buy a stock without checking out its past performance? Would you buy a car without taking a test drive? Did you even buy your last mattress without laying down on it first? I doubt it! So why would anyone buy a home, even a new home, without having a professional “kick the tires”, so to speak?
But… I’m afraid my builder will be insulted
Time out. If you were selling your home, wouldn’t you expect the buyer to have it inspected? Of course you would, and you’re (probably) not a professional in real estate. If you tell your builder that you want to have a Home Inspector check out the house and you are greeted with anything but enthusiasm and encouragement, that is a red flag!
We have worked with builders for years and can tell you that if they are confident in the quality of their work they’ll welcome an inspection.
But… My house was inspected by the City Building Inspection Department
My hubby was a Building Inspector for the municipality in which we live for 18 years. The difference between a final inspection from the City and a home inspection is quite significant. A final inspection from a municipality is a code check. This is a good and necessary inspection that will still alert a builder to code items that may have been overlooked. However, it is very basic, especially compared to a home inspection.
Did you know that a city inspector does not test plumbing fixtures or the HVAC system? Did you know they don’t test doors or windows? They don’t test drains, appliances or sprinkler systems, either. And they shouldn’t. It isn’t appropriate for a code inspection. That’s where a professional Home Inspector, who is working solely for you, can be invaluable.
But… I’m already spending so much! I don’t want to spend more money
If this describes your feelings about paying for a home inspection, allow me to help you see things differently. And by differently, I mean correctly. In your mind, right now, picture the price or price range of the house you want to buy. Now, imagine how you’ll feel about that number if you sign on the dotted line, move in and then find that the master bathroom shower isn’t draining, or the emergency drain pan for the HVAC system overflows, ruining at least one of your ceilings, floor coverings and your personal items (yes, we have inspected new homes with emergency drain pans that were a fraction of an inch from overflowing).
Imagine how you’d feel about the purchase price if, say, the whirlpool bathtub didn’t have GFCI protection. For those of you who don’t speak Home Inspector, that means a giant sudsy tub of possible shock hazard.
So, in short, every home purchase, whether for your family or as an investment, should be inspected by a professional Home Inspector. Whether it’s to house your family or a tenant, a house is an investment and should be approached as such, with careful consideration and as much protection as possible.
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