These are commonly referred to as “New Construction”. Typically you will be purchasing directly from the builder/developer. Occasionally, the builder will have a professional Realtor market and list the properties and they will serve to accept your offer to purchase, complete the contract and related paperwork, and facilitate the transaction on behalf of you and the builder/developer. Your request is to have an independent inspector evaluate the property! It should be noted that although rare, we have inspected properties of honest and reputable builders who were open and amenable to the home inspection process. They afford us free and unlimited access to the property, full cooperation, and without time constraints. Our clients have reported that the builder took a genuine and sincere interest in our inspection report, and made prompt and proper repairs to the property based on our findings.
By definition, “built to code” is legal minimum standard a property can be constructed to, hardly a complement or a strong claim in support of not needing an independent inspection. I must tell you from experience as a general contractor for many years that municipal inspections can be quite cursory and abbreviated. Many building departments are understaffed and over-scheduled. It is not unusual for a municipal inspector to have 20 or more stops a day, which limits on site inspections to only random surveys of components lasting a few minutes. Please understand that unlike private building inspectors, municipal inspectors do not operate fixtures, equipment and appliances. In addition, they generally do not mount and traverse roofs, or inspect (crawl) attics and sub floor/crawlspaces. It is our experiences, these locations are where the highest percentage of reportable defects will be discovered.
Building a new home is a tremendously complex endeavor. It involves many people, split up into sub-contractor groups, often having been awarded the contract by being the “low bidder”, not based on their reputation for being a quality contractor or tradesman.
City inspectors do not enter attic spaces or go onto roofs. Improperly installed roofing materials are the one of the most most common defects found in new homes today, with moisture intrusion causing much collateral damage.
Even for the best builders, it’s nearly impossible to complete this process without missing something. It cold be a plumbing fixture that didn’t get tested for leaks or an electrical component that isn’t working, or any one of dozens of minor problems that can easily be overlooked in such a major undertaking. Sometimes it is more serious and could compromise the health and safety of your family or subject you to substantial expense to correct when you go to sell your home. We will look for such problems while it is still early enough for you to bring them up with the builder and have them corrected before you sign-off. A second set of eyes can only benefit you in this major investment.
It is a small investment to have the peace of mind and security that your investment is into a product you believe it to be.