As home construction activity picks back up, some clients are wondering if they need a home inspection before they close on the property. We think it’s a good idea, but then again, we have believe in solid risk management.
Sure, new construction is subject to building code inspections and often comes with a home warranty. But, obtaining feedback from an independent and reputable home inspector is like adding insurance against major costs should a problem be overlooked.
The inspection timing is important. Arrange for the inspection to be conducted by an objective independent inspector post-construction and prior to closing. This will ensure that you are not liable for any hidden repairs.
We have found that frequently problems arise not from the General Contractor, or builder, but from the sub-contractors on the project, who have performed work such as framing, plumbing, electrical, and drywall installation. Oversight of these sub-contractors cannot be done on a 24/7 basis, which may lead to missed defects.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen examples of the following in our work with clients:
- Improperly installed roofs and windows
- Faulty wiring
- Plumbing leaks
- Structural issues
- Missing insulation
- Improperly functioning HVAC systems
- Improper grading
Such problems can affect the quality of a new home and its safety. Potential problems include, but certainly aren’t limited to, flooded basements, freezing side rooms and mold growth due to leaks. These problems may not be discovered until months after closing.
In addition, home warranties have limitations and may not cover the specific problems. Even if they are covered, the new home buyer is likely to incur inconvenience, at a minimum, and potentially, additional costs related to having the deficiencies corrected.
If there isn’t an inspection, it may be difficult to prove that a problem occurred before a buyer took possession of a home. Some issues, like mold or missing insulation, may go unnoticed until after a warranty expires.
Look for a home inspector who is experienced, appropriately licensed and familiar with local guidelines. The inspector working closely with the realtor and/or your attorney is the best insurance policy of an efficient and safe new home.
Posternock Apell, PC have been helping New Jersey residents realize their real estate dreams for years. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, are involved in a real estate dispute or need help settling a zoning issue, contact us today for a free phone consultation.