Farren West is the owner of Key Inspection Services and is a contributor to the Seattle Condo Blog.
Many people feel there isn’t a need to inspect new construction because the home has been “Code” inspected by the city. And, to a certain degree this inspection could be accurate but here’s my take as a home inspector and as a potential buyer.
As a buyer, purchasing a home and scheduling a move is stressful enough without having to worry about potential structural issues. The cost of a new construction home inspection runs with median home prices in the Puget Sound area. So, with a median price around $400,000, a new home inspection runs approximately $400 (condos inspections are generally priced lower than single family homes). Thus, you’ll gain additional peace of mind for roughly a tenth of a percent of the price of the property for an inspection.
Now here’s my impression as an inspector. I have been inspecting properties for over 8 years and haven’t found a single one without a problem. Small or large, most need some sort of attention to prevent a safety hazard or a potentially significant financial investment if not tended to in a timely manner. With new construction a list of corrections can be just that, a simple punch list with photos to assist the buyer and contractor to ensure all details were corrected by the time of the final walk through. Also, since the home is new, systems and appliances haven’t been thoroughly tested or used to ensure they’re functioning properly before you move in.
Here’s a sample list of items that would be tested during the inspection: run water throughout in the home, flushing toilets, test appliances for proper installation & function, test the furnace and heat distribution, the fireplaces, review in the attic/roof and crawlspace areas (single family homes).
If you have any questions, or if you’d like to view a sample new construction report, feel free to contact me.