Did you ever think you would have the chance to purchase a home that no one else has ever lived in? Perhaps you jumped at the chance to own a newly constructed home. As you begin the due diligence process, someone may have mentioned that you don't really need a home inspection since it's a new construction.
Don't believe it. You do need a home inspection of a newly constructed home. They can have defects just like any other home if for no other reason than peace of mind.
What a home inspection could reveal
A newly constructed home may have that "new home smell," but it may not be as structurally sound or well built as the builder attests. A home inspection could reveal one or more of the following issues:
- Leaking windows
- Half-installed handrails or fixtures
- Insufficient insulation
- Missing pieces of hardware
- Plumbing issues, such as improper piping, reversed hot and cold faucets or leaks
- HVAC issues, such as loose connections or malfunctioning thermostats
- Structural defects, such as poor framing, improper grading or foundation cracks
- Electrical problems, such as missing switch plates, open grounds or improperly wired outlets
- Drainage and grading issues that could cause flooding at some point
- Roof issues that could lead to water damage or worse
You want to know that you are getting what you pay for. A home is most people's largest purchase, and everything should meet or exceed your expectations, along with the expectations of the home inspector. If it does not, you may need to return to the negotiating table for repairs, a price reduction or to back out of the deal.
If possible, you should have inspections at certain points during the construction process or records of them for review by someone who will know what they mean.
The right support is vital in a home purchase
Of course, you can skip the home inspection, but your mortgage lender may require one, and frankly, it would be worth the cost. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it also alerts you to any potential problems that the builder should fix prior to closing. If you fail to have an inspection done, you could end up paying much more in the way of repairs and dispute resolution with the builder than you would on the home inspection.
Moreover, you may want to make sure that your purchase contract includes the appropriate contingencies should the home inspection reveal something you are not willing to overlook. Some of the possible deficiencies in a newly constructed home could be quite expensive, and you don't want to end up footing the bill yourself. For this and other reasons, you may want to work with a residential real estate attorney to make sure your deal goes as smoothly as possible and that your rights are protected throughout the process.