Many homebuilders look forward to “Inspection day” knowing that soon they will be moving into their new home. After your home is built, a home inspection will be conducted by an official home inspector. New homebuyers will benefit from using a professional home inspector during the construction and at the completion of their new home. Home buyers should also demand an inspection - even if the property is new.
The main thing is that you never want to just assume that your builder or contractors are overseen by state, local town or city government officials or that a city building inspector checks out all new houses. Further, there might be problems with the home that are not necessarily code violations, yet have could have serious consequences for the new home owner.
Home inspections may vary depending on your state and zip code, but this basic handy online *Total Home Inspection Checklist can printed out and used before your certified home inspector arrives, so you will know the kinds of things they will be looking for. After all, the inspection is how you can make sure your new home is a safe place to live, and a good investment for resale purposes.
All too often, home builders don't really understand what happens in a home inspection or what they need to do to get the most out of it. Find out what inspectors say are some of the key points relative to a new home inspection:
Don’t make the mistake of NOT having your new home inspected. Passing just the local codes and ordinances is not enough. Never assume that any builder or contractor -- did everything right just because the home passed code. The official certified new home inspector is critical to making sure there are no defects or issues that could affect your safety or financial future.
Choose a professional inspector. You're selecting a professional who will give one of your biggest investments. You want to choose someone you know who is competent, thorough and trustworthy. Never go with the cheapest inspector, and try to stay away from anyone recommended by a Realtor.
Do your homework and then interview a home inspector. You can find plenty of qualified inspectors online at websites such as Yelp, HomeAdvisor or Angie's List, Prior to the new home walkthrough, ask the inspector(s) that you have chosen about their licensing, and any professional affiliations and credentials, and also whether they have errors and omissions insurance. Last, make sure you are there during the home inspection. The written report you get from the inspector after the inspection will not give you as clear a picture of the condition of your home as if you also are there in person during the inspection.
Some people assume that the builder and contractors are overseen by state or local government officials and that the local town or city building inspector checks the house out. This is true to some degree, however, few if any municipal inspectors spend anywhere near enough time in the home to fully check it out. Further, there could be problems with the home that are not necessarily code violations, yet have serious consequences for the new home owner. Ask any private home inspector about the deficiencies and safety issues discovered in newly constructed homes.
The inspector usually performs the exterior wall and roof frame inspection, followed by the open wall or pre-drywall / pre-insulation inspection. Then this is followed by the final walk through inspection.
There may be time to come in afterwards if you as a home buyer has missed the opportunity to have an inspection during the construction phase or a final walk through. Keep in mind that new home builders offer a warranty period for new homeowners, but just understand that there are typically many items are not covered by the warranty. Some lenders often mandate a home inspection prior to loan approvals.
*Note: This checklist is for personal use only. It should not be used in place of an official home inspection. This list may not be comprehensive. Contact a qualified ASHI certified home inspector for an official inspection.