Home Inspection Tips for New Home Buyers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

As the excitement of watching your home rise from the ground grows, you may be wondering when you’ll get to see the inside and walk within your new home’s walls for the first time. If you’re anything like most homebuyers, you may even have a few moments of panic mixed into your excitement, wondering if you’ve made the right decisions about everything and whether the home is being built with every nail and screw and electrical outlet in the right place. One of the great things about buying a new home is that you can be assured that your residence will have been inspected numerous times by your builder and by contractors and by local jurisdictions who must check to make sure your home is being properly built to match government codes.

If you’ve bought an existing home in the past you probably hired your own inspector to evaluate the condition of the property. You can do that with a new home, too. In fact, many Realtors recommend that you hire a third party home inspector to check out your home before you sign the final purchase papers.

Why hire a home inspector

While you can be confident that your home is being built to high standards and will be reviewed by numerous people, hiring your own home inspector means that you have a professional who represents your best interests on site to check out the home. It can be overwhelming to try to check every minor and major feature in your new home yourself before you move in, especially when you are excited to see the full effect of the finishes and paint colors you chose.

It’s not uncommon for builders to find some minor issues that need correcting at the last minute such as a cabinet door that’s slightly misaligned, a switch plate that’s missing a screw or a strip of crown moulding that got skipped by the painters. Hiring someone to check on those items may seem a little silly, but home inspectors have been known to notice thing that could be bigger issues, as well, such as a lack of insulation in your attic.

Mistakes can happen anytime, so having your own inspector, a trained professional, can give you peace of mind that your home is built to perfection.

A home inspection can cost $250 to $450 depending on the size of your home, a small price to pay when you are making such an important investment as your home.

Tips for your home inspection

  • Before you hire your own inspector, consult with your builder about when you can schedule the inspection. It’s best to have the inspection done when your home is almost complete, but also a few days before your scheduled settlement in case any minor repairs need to be done. Your builder will likely want to participate in the inspection by having a representative attend the inspection and see the final inspection report.
  • Choose a home inspector who has experience with newly built homes. It’s best to choose an inspector who is a member of The National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Home inspectors in Maryland must be licensed.
  • Prepare yourself with any particular questions or concerns about your home, such as checking out the insulation or making sure the gutters are properly installed so that you won’t get water into your home.
  • Your home inspector can give you information about the life expectancy of your systems and appliances. Since they’re all new, you don’t need to be concerned about replacing them anytime soon.

Interested in a new home in St. Charles? Click here to download our free Homebuyer's Toolkit www.stcharlesmd.com/Toolkit.

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer with more than twenty years of experience writing articles and web content for newspapers and magazines on topics related to real estate, personal finance and business. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post,  NewHomeSource.com, Realtor.com, Bankrate.com, Insurance.com, HSH.com, The Washington Times, NAREIT's Real Estate Portfolio, and numerous Realtor association publications. Her latest book, "New Home 101: Your Guide to Buying and Building a New Home" and her first book, "HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time" are available now at Amazon.com or from MicheleLerner.com.