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Why Do New Houses Need to be Inspected?

By: Fred Willcox
Copyright©  2010
All Rights Reserved

I get phone calls or emails from people asking if they should have their newly built house inspected. The answer is “yes”, you need to have your new house inspected.

In another article I have written, I explained that builders use third party inspectors to convince you that their product, your new house, conforms to some standard. What your builder doesn’t tell you is that he created the “standard” that the third party inspector will conform to. And that, if the third party inspector doesn’t conform to the “standard” that the builder created, the third party inspector gets fired by the builder.

In the same article I also explained that municipal building inspectors have no liability so even if they performed a proper inspection of the house to see that it complies with the building code, I must state that I have been around construction since I was eight years old and I have never, not once, seen a municipal building inspector perform anything even close to a code compliance inspection, the city has no liability to you even if the house falls down or burns to the ground.

Not more importantly but probably much more relevant to you, approximately eighty percent (80%) of the things that I find wrong on resale inspections are things that the builder did wrong. Most sellers know that their range or oven doesn’t work or that their water heater makes noises when its running and most sellers are upfront and honest about such things. Some sellers, maybe 20 percent, attempt to hide defects or get a technician to ‘force’ an appliance to operate when it should have been replaced.

But the owner doesn’t know, and has no way to know, that the cladding system (exterior veneer or siding) was improperly installed, that the roof covering materials were not properly secured to the roof deck, that the framing of the structure itself is defective or that the electrical system is connected improperly and can, under the right circumstances, cause the house to burn to the ground or cause you to be electrocuted, etc.

All of these things can be discovered by a competent, educated, experienced real estate inspector.

While it is much more exciting to buy big screen televisions and nice window treatments, a well performed real estate inspection can save you from major problems with your new home and can save you many thousands of dollars when you sell your house.

A real estate inspection is well worth the investment that you make in your largest investment. Your new home.