Michael makes an excellent case below for home inspections under all circumstances - including new construction. I know many people feel "if it's new, it should be fine," but that's definitely not the case. There can be a number issues with a house that the average consumer is not going to see, much less recognize as a problem - and it's too late to do anything about it, sometimes, by the time a serious problem manifests itself.
With a purchase of several hundred thousand dollars, it just does not make sense to cheap out when it comes to having a home inspected, even a brand new home.
Having just read a post by Clint McKie, home inspector extraordinaire based in the southern part of New Mexico, the gist of his blog gave a lot of credence to a huge travesty that is going on in the real estate industry. That is, on-site agents who sell properties in large building developments.
For the most part, the on-site agent works for the builder and their alliance is to the builder - not the buyer. Their main goal is to put bodies in the vacant properties – nothing more nothing less. They often pooh-pooh the need to get a home inspection. More often than not, this happens when the buyer goes on-site without a buyer’s representative. Time and time again I hear stories from sellers that have purchased homes in this type of scenario and were urged/coerced into the feeling that they did not need a home inspection because the property was inspected by the local codes department during construction.
While I feel that the local codes departments do an excellent job at catching some of the items and keeping the builders honest, they are only on-site for a few minutes and they breeze through the property like a white tornado. How much can one see and catch in 10 minutes? A home inspector is generally on-site for 2 to 3 hours depending upon the size and condition of the property.
I can only speak for myself and what I see going on in my market area. There are some builders that really toe the line and build a great house. However, there are those Johnny-come-lately's that throw up a property like a cat throws up a furr-ball. Those are the ones that that leave the buyer holding the bag for a lot of expensive repairs when they go to sell the property - repairs that should have been on the builder. I know, too, that in most states there is a release that the buyer has to sign waving the home inspection process. Think about that.
Sadly, many of the laws are designed to protect and put at arms length real estate agents and brokers. While there are some great, caring and honest agents out there; there are many who are not. This gives credence to the title of my post, "Buyer Beware...".
The Complete Home Inspections, Team
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