To inspect or not to inspect, that is the question
As a specialist of assisting buyers in their purchase of new homes in the Columbia SC real estate market, I am often asked: “If I receive all the new home warranties when buying a new home, why would I have a professional inspection done?”
That is a very good question. Let me break it down for you.
Aren't there inspections done on the home as it's built?
As the home is being built, the county will inspect the house multiple times. They are looking for code violations, not necessarily workmanship or functionally issues. These inspections and professional home inspections are not comparable. Neither is an inspection by a VA or FHA appraiser/inspector.
During construction the home builder’s site or neighborhood superintendent has been inspecting behind contractors as each phase of construction is done. Again, nice to know that there is some quality control going on during construction.
Just before closing on your new home
Typically a week or two before closing on a new house, the building superintendent will meet with the future homeowner to give a new home orientation and allow them to point out concerns or issues. This includes cosmetic issues as well. I attend these meetings to be another set of eyes on the house as well. Any items of concern that come up from this meeting are taken care of before closing 99% plus of time. Occasionally a part or contractor may not be available and the issue is resolved at the convenience of the new owner after closing.
On the day of closing we go by the house to confirm that the work has been done. After closing, the new home warranty kicks in. All is well and good, right? Most times yes.
Getting an independent professional home inspection
I would say 30% of my new home buyers have a professional home inspection done. The cost is about $250 to $400 depending on the size of the house. The inspector goes through the property as the future homeowner’s advocate checking behind the builder. Are terrible issues found from these inspections? Well here’s a list of major items that inspections on new construction homes I’ve seen caught by a professional: Dryer return vent not properly connected, missing insulation, scratched appliances and tubs, damaged flooring, missing floor or roofing framing. Now this is not all in one house. Most inspections on new houses find relatively minor items.
So the question remains, “Why would I have an inspection done on my new home?” INSURANCE, that’s why. If you were buying an existing home, 100% of the time you would have a professional home inspection done because after you close on the property, the house for all purposes is now “AS-IS”. If the plumbing breaks right after closing, it is on you. In a new construction home, the builder or the plumbing contractor takes care of it.
Just as insurance covers your risk and it depends on your aversion to risk if a new home inspection is the way to go. Because the house came with a warranty, you may be the type that wants to save the expense knowing the likelihood of a major issue coming up in a new construction is much rarer than an existing house. Or you may be the type that can sleep better at night knowing that you may have caught potential issues right in their tracks before they became a problem.
My personal experience
Me personally, I’ve purchased 2 new construction homes and had both professional inspected. It just helps me sleep better at night. A few issues I never would have found were caught by the inspector.
In general, I’ve usually been impressed by the condition of the property as it is handed over by the builder to the new homeowner. When you work with me in the purchase of your new home, we’ll discuss your choice of having a professional home inspection on your new home as the time arises.
Get the best deal and representation when buying a new home
The Columbia New Home Buyer team doesn't represent the builder but buyers of new homes ensuring they get the best deal and service.
To find out about current homes for sale, the latest builder incentives and more visit the most complete website online dedicated to everything about new homes in Columbia South Carolina.
You can contact team leader Adrian La Fosse with the Columbia New Home Buyer team with any of your new home questions. Adrian can be reached on his cell at 803-622-9731
or toll-free at 800-620-1323.Check out the article 9 Questions to Ask at an Open House