Buy a Home
To Inspect or Not to Inspect?
Have you wondered if it’s necessary to pay for an inspection when you’re buying a new home? It’s new, right? What could go wrong?
The answer is simple and yet more complex than you might think. Any house, whether a modest ranch or an expensive custom-made home is a complex maze of structural, heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems, and it’s not unusual for even the most responsible and dedicated subcontractor to inadvertently miss something that could become a real problem down the line. Like what, you may wonder? The fit and finish work of most new homes is usually very good. Any problems a new home may have tend to occur in the subsurface work. For example, new homes occasionally have improperly designed or installed furnace flues that can result in a failure to properly carry furnace exhaust out of the building. Problems of this nature can create serious health risks.
Another problem that is not uncommon has to do with the crawl space beneath the house. Occasionally construction debris is inadvertently left behind. Another crawl space issue can be caused by poor grading or an inadequate vapor barrier which can allow water to pool under the house. This standing water creates excess moisture, attracting wood-destroying insects, and may lead to rot. A range of other issues can occur as well.
Sometimes the lugs that secure the electrical wires in the service box are not properly tightened and can cause sparking. Occasionally new home inspections reveal bathroom and kitchen fans that vent into the attic and not outside (as required by code) or plumbing fixtures that are not connected to the drain system. Other potential problems can be caused because materials have been left out. Failure to install proper flashing around the fireplace chimney, for example, could allow water to run down the chimney and into the home.
Most brand new homes have to go through what is called a “shake down” period in which problems are discovered and corrected. Having a professional inspection will make sure there are no unpleasant surprises and enable you to solve any issues with the builder before you take title to the home. Even though many homebuyers purchase new construction without an inspection and do not experience problems, why take the chance when the cost of an inspection is relatively small. Most builders are quick to correct defects once they have been identified in a professional building inspection report. When you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on what for most people is their single, largest investment, it’s a good feeling to know that your beautiful new home is sound, safe and ready to provide years of shelter and enjoyment.