It may seem odd to those of you that are buying a new home to consider hiring a third party to inspect it, since the home is “new”. While generally when a home is built in a municipality, the city or other governmental body will perform inspections related to the permitting process, many municipal building inspection departments are overloaded and thus may not be performing an inspection to the degree that you might expect. In addition, their inspections may focus on issues that are more narrow than your interests – permit inspectors may pass a home for permitting purposes even though construction defects may exist, since some construction defects may be outside the scope of permitting parameters. Further, many homes are built outside municipal boundaries and therefore no governmental-related inspections will occur.
Therefore, though generally money may be tight during the new home purchasing process, consider hiring your own inspector to perform various “stage” inspections on your behalf. Typically, 3-5 inspections may be necessary to assist in achieving the goal of quality construction; while each such inspection may cost somewhere between $250.00 – $500.00, and possibly more, these fees are typically money well spent when compared to the size of the overall investment that you are making. As with many things in life, it is usually easier to resolve issues early, as opposed to after the fact when the home is completely built.
Some builders inform buyers that the builder will hire a third party inspector to perform various “stage” inspections; however, since these inspectors are being compensated directly by the builder, you should consider hiring an inspector who reports to you so that you have the peace of mind that a person whose loyalty is owed only to you is providing you the information needed.
At the risk of being trite “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!