Home Buying in Valencia>Question Details

Roman, Other/Just Looking in Kern County, CA

I have some questions re: new construction purchase. Should an inspection contingency been put on the purchase contract for the buyer's?

Asked by Roman, Kern County, CA Sun Sep 23, 2012

protection? Second, if a home inspection was not put on the executed purchase contract, can a buyer still get a home inspection performed when construction is completed before the close of escrow? Third, should a buyer's home inspection be MORE INVOLVED on a new construction purchase with inspections performed during the various stages of construction (foundation, wiring/electrical, plumbing etc.) rather than just a visual type of home inspection (the type of home inspection typically performed on a resale purchase) when the house is built....and mistakes found can easily be corrected with a service request to the builder. I appreciate all of your answers.

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Builder's are required to get things permitted and inspected by the city but you should have the right to have things inspected as you go along. Also you have the right to go to your local building and safety to make sure all the proper permits were ordered and completed.
I always recommend my clients get the house inspected after it is built and before close of escrow. I have never had a client receive a "perfect" report. Just because it's new does not mean something can get slipped over. One house had a broken truss in the attic.
Better safe then sorry. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Having worked in new construction selling new homes I am familiar with the process. First of all, the builder hires licensed and bonded vendors in all the trades used, so the quality of construction is held up to the builders standards, along with also having to pass city inspections throughout the construction process. Even though there are internal inspections it is never a bad idea to hire someone of your choice to inspect the home. The builder is not going to reject your request.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
Normally in new construction purchases you have to complete a final inspection that would allow you to make sure that all components of home are in working order. There are various inspections completed during the building process by County Inspectors to make sure home is being built properly. When buying a new home most builders will include a one year warranty for anything that may go wrong and a ten year warranty on major components to home. Please let me know if there are further questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2012
SCV,
Yes, a buyer should absolutely have an inspection done by an independent licensed inspector on new construction. Many issues that they will uncover will be warranty items the builder will/should be happy to address. If these are not caught while new, it's possible that some may not become apparent until after the builders warranty has expired and potential damage could result due to time.
Having an inspector make periodic checks during construction is not a common practice. If you are using a quality builder and local city or county inspectors are checking off the various phases such as foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing & heating you should be okay.
If you have doubts about the quality of your builder you should reconsider the purchase. Even if your home is inspected by an independent inspector at every phase of the process but your neighbors is not and multiple problems appear over time, your value will be affected.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
Hi SCV Home Buyer

“Should been put on the purchase contract for the buyer's protection?”

I think an inspection contingency is a great idea; however, you will probably find the Builder less enthusiastic about such a contingency.

I also like the idea of having 3rd party property inspection as well. This is the cheapest insurance you will ever pay for; still, this may become a bit costly as the project moves through the stages of completion you mention. Once more, the Builder may have a different view. Nonetheless, given the dilution of "10-year Builder warranty" in 2002 via Builder led lobbying/legislative action (see link below for more details), I would push hard to have your own inspections done. If not allowed to your satisfaction I would walk away and buy an existing home where you have an inspection contingency.

You may find the following of interest as well:

"Why You Do Need a Realtor® When Buying From a Builder"
http://docs.Steven-Anthony.com/BuilderRealtorAgent.pdf

-Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
During the home construction phases, county inspectors will perform inspections thoughout the process to ensure the construction is completed per approved plans and meets county code building requirements. This is all done before a Certificate of Occupancy can be released. When building your own home, it would be recommended for the homeowner to participate in each of these inspections.

A purchase agreement should always contain an inspection (due diligence) time period which should include, but would not be limited to; home inspection, title review, local and county disclosures, natural hazard disclosure, CCRs/HOA regulations etc. Just because it was not spelled out as a home inspection does not preclude the buyer from performing one. Now, if inspection was waived in the agreement that's another matter. This is never recommended. You will only have through the designated inspection period to complete respective inspections of the property so when you are in the escrow phase, it's paramount to understand your time periods.

Best of luck in the purchase of your new home!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
Generally speaking buyers do not do inspections during the construction process unless they are building the property. The city or county does inspections throughout the construction process to make sure things are done properly and to code, although they do make mistakes.

I always urge buyers to have a professional inspection because it makes it easier to get punchlist items addressed before close of escrow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2012
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