Yes, your newly built home still needs to be inspected.
Have you ever heard of a 12-month home warranty inspection? Don’t worry…most people haven’t. These are increasingly common, especially in places like Southwest Florida where new construction is growing at a rapid pace.
In its simplest form, a 12-month home warranty inspection is where an inspector conducts a full inspection before your warranty runs out. This way, if there is anything that needs to be fixed, the builder can take care of it on their dime, not yours.
Most people think that since their home is new, they do not even need a home inspection before they close. I was one of these people by the way, and I regret not having it professionally inspected. That is a different story though.
Let’s fast forward to your 11th month in your brand new home in paradise. You think that the door doesn’t latch properly to the outside, or some windows are not opening or closing as smooth as you would like. Hiring a home inspector lends instant credibility to your case for why these items should be fixed.
During an inspection like this, I treat it like any other inspection—evaluating all of the systems and components of the home, taking pictures, writing a report, etc. The report that I deliver to you should be forwarded to the warranty department for their review.
While conducting an Warranty Inspection in a recently built $500,000 home, I had finished with the outside and started to work my way inside. As I entered the house, there was a bedroom and bathroom immediately to my right so I decided to start there. I ran the faucet to check for any leaks below then pulled the stopper to check the drain-flow. When I went to push the stopper back down, it was completely stuck. Nothing I did worked. The homeowner was very surprised, as he was having company the following week and they would be using this bathroom and sink.
Now that is a minor fix on a home warranty, but I have seen others that are not nearly as easy, or affordable for the builder: Major exterior stucco repairs needed due to cracking, a major roof leak that required patching, and a handrail that was extremely unsafe and needed to be replaced.
It is in your very best interest to hire a home inspector to evaluate your home before you close and before your warranty runs out. Wouldn’t you rather have the builder pay for the repairs?