Should I have an Inspection on a New Home?
New homes are exciting to see develop. After months of making decisions over details like the color of paint, types of countertops, and bathroom faucets, countless drive-bys to see how the progress is coming you are beyond ready to get into the home. It seems like maybe one way to save a few bucks is to pass on the home inspection–“I mean, the city inspector has already done his thing so it should be just fine.”
As a home owner, I completely understand this logic from an emotional perspective. Home building and buying is expensive and the costs continue to pile on as you get closer and closer to closing. But, from a functional perspective this is not the best line of thinking. Here’s why.
A city inspector has an important role in the building process. But, they check elements here and their as the home is being built. They are checking for code and seeing if the sampling they check is done to the city’s standards. Most city inspectors do their job very well. But, this is quite different from a home inspector working for the buyer.
Home inspectors look at the whole house after it is completed for you benefit. Things can be impacted by the building process. The plumbing looks great when it is roughed in. But, what has happened in the process of building the home? Here are just a few of the stories I’ve personally experienced as I’ve inspected brand new, never been lived in homes.
Hairline Cracks in Stucco
One beautiful $300k+ home had a lovely view out the back of the home. It sat up higher than the rest of the neighborhood and you could just look out over the top and see for a long way. It was a wonderful build and had great curb appeal. However, during the inspection we looked closely at the stucco on the front of the home and there were hairline cracks all over. This is not unusual to see in stucco after a number of years. But, it was definitely a concern on a brand new build.
Another home that was in the $400k range was all set for the buyer. It had the sod in. The painting was done. The only thing left to do was set the splash blocks on the gutters. It was a beautiful home. For the most part it checked out perfectly. The only catch was when we got into the attic there was not a single piece of insulation in the attic. The efficiency of the home was about an R-0. The attic access was in the garage about 10′ off the ground. The buyers had no plans of checking this area. But, this is a critical component of the home.
Backed Up Waste Line
One of the new homes we inspected was a home that had a base price of around $600k. The buyer added several upgrades including an elevator and a media room which made this home overlooking a golf course around $800k. As we ran water through the bathtubs and sinks and tested the toilets on the main and second floors we got to the basement to discover that the drains were backed up and the basement bathroom was flooding. It appeared that there may have been some construction debris plugging up the drains. This debris, perhaps mud from Sheetrock, appeared to have been sitting in the pipes for quite some time waiting to flood the basement. The only way to have discovered this was by running a great deal of water. That is beyond the expectation of a city code inspector.
Along the way we’ve seen other things. From plumbing leaks to inoperative outlets, to missing downspout extensions. Some are very minor things while others are quite significant. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving into a $130k new build or a $1M+ new build it is important to have someone come in and take a look at the whole home upon completion so that you can have confidence moving forward.
We would be honored to be your home inspection company for your new home. If you are in the Kansas City area and would like to hire Home Partners to serve you please call us at 913-901-7171. You can also schedule here on our website. We look forward to serving you.