gives you the opportunity to bring the property up-to-date.
For newly constructed homes, it may be more important to have the major workmanship inspected as the home is built. There are three important times to have a home inspected:
o Foundation A home is only as good as what it’s standing on. If you’re purchasing a newly constructed home, try to have the foundation inspected before the cement is poured. The inspector can determine if the foundation is the right depth, among other things. If the foundation is not laid correctly, problems from settling, cracks, or improper drainage can appear during the life of the home.
ooPre-sheetrock The electrical, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing are put in place before any walls go up. Haynie says this may be the most important inspection for a home under construction. It allows the inspector to see how the building is put together before any major problems are hidden from view.
ooFinal walk-through This inspection is done with new and existing homes. If you had the first two inspections for your newly constructed home, your inspector can check that previously flagged problems have been repaired. For all homes, the major systems are evaluated, including the heating, central air conditioning, interior plumbing, and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visual insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; and basement. Cosmetic imperfections are also noted for new homes.
HANDLING INSPECTION RESULTS
Haynie says no home-not even a brand new one-is perfect. Most home inspection findings are fixable, as was the case with the Joneses’ home. “The only major things the inspector found had to do with some of the un
der-cabinet plumbing. There were also a few electrical switches that did not work,” says Jones.
Sometimes problems become noticeable after sealing the deal, especially with newly constructed homes. “There were a few things we noticed once we had moved into the house,” says Jones, “minor things that were related to small leaks that happened within 30 days [after closing] that the builder kind of took his time in fixing.” Getting the builder to fix a shower that only spouted cold water took two months.
This is one example of why it is best to find as many defects as possible before closing. Builders are notorious for being less responsive to complaints after they’ve received their money. And in many cases, they aren’t responsible for cosmetic fixes or those they deem minor after you sign off on the final walk-through.
With Phillips’ older home, there were a number of defects, which she expected. “With any older home, you’re going to find more things that are wrong,” she says. “A lot of times they’ve done updates, and the updates may not have been done correctly.”
The inspection revealed a need for major repairs, such as a new roof and several electrical defects. Phillips negotiated a deduction of the cost of a new roof from the sale price of the home and had the seller fix the electrical work before closing. “After the home inspection, I knew even with