Do I need a home inspection on a new construction home?
When you purchase a pre-owned home, you definitely want to get a home inspection.
But what do you do when it’s a brand-new home? The answer is pretty simple… get an inspection.
Let’s look at why a home inspection on a new construction home is smart and what it costs.
Benefits of an Inspection
Don’t assume your home is flawless because it’s new construction. Even though it is brand new, it can still have issues.
Humans build homes. And humans make mistakes.
And sometimes, contractors cut corners to save time. Or forget to do something.
If you buy a home without an inspection, you will inherit and be responsible for these issues. Don’t rely on a new home warranty to cover these repairs. The warranty doesn’t cover every repair that comes up, and there may be a disagreement on who is responsible (was it the builder’s error or did the homeowner cause the issue).
Plus, when you need a repair, you’ll have to track the builder down and have them return to the house to perform the work. That’s more work and stress for you for something avoidable.
And you may not discover certain issues until after the home warranty expires and be stuck with the repair bill. Are you going to thoroughly inspect the attic in the first year of owning the home? Probably not.
The inspector will treat your new home like every other home. They will do a thorough inspection. They will test all the outlets, inspect the HVAC system, check the attic, get up on the roof (weather permitting), and more.
Right to an Inspection Needs to Be in the Contract
If you want to do a home inspection, it needs to be in the purchase contract with the builder.
If it’s not, the builder can prevent you from doing an inspection.
Even if you don’t want to do an inspection, put it in the contract. You can waive the inspection when the time comes. If you don’t put it in and decide you want an inspection, you may be out of luck.
Most builders will have a home inspection addendum that they will have you sign. It will specify any rules or restrictions the builder has.
Most builders will allow an inspection.
If they don’t, it should be a huge red flag. Builders should stand behind their product, including allowing an independent home inspection.
Here are some of the rules and restrictions that builders may have involving inspections.
- Some builders will require an ASHI Certified Inspector to perform the home inspection.
- Radon inspections may not be allowed.
- The inspection timing may be dictated by the builder (more on that later).
In the Omaha area, expect to spend about $400-$600 on a home inspection.
An inspection usually takes about 3-4 hours. When the inspection is done, you will meet with the inspector at the home to walk through the report.
I use inspectors that I know and trust. If you need an inspector, please reach out to me. At a minimum, make sure you hire an inspector that is ASHI Certified Inspector.
When to Schedule the Inspection
The inspection should be performed when the home is complete (or as close to completion as possible).
Some builders will provide guidance on when the inspection is allowed.
Builders often want the inspection and any repair requests received before the new home orientation or the punch list (blue tape) walk-through.