I am a Home Inspector and want you to think about one thing. All the individuals involved have a vested interest in your house closing [money]. Hire a Home Inspector to work for you and only on your behalf, he has no vested interest and hopefully will tell you exactly what he finds and reports it to you. This way you know and can negotiate repairs or just live with it, but at least you know.
The majority of structures built have something missed, it's nearly impossible to built something with hundreds of different components and not have something missed. My opinion, get one and the best you can find. It will be worth it.
TBK Inspections llc
ALL new construction should have a professional indpendant inspection, as there are standards to which builders can be held accountable, but few buyers know of them.
I always offer my clients the opportunity to choose. I always go through with the Developer's rep and my clients and create my own Punch List which I make into my Agent's Inspection which is a part of the Transfer Disclosures in a regular sale and is always included with the Developer's paperwork by me and my clients. I tend to write ALL that I see including things that the Seller might not agree to fix.....but we ask. Sometimes my Agent's Disclosure is accepted and those items are repaired. Sometimes the Developer states they will use only their Punch List. If you a have an experienced agent, you he/she should do this and discuss how to handle the responses. And I always ask the Rep to put my items on their Punch List!
That being said, a Licensed General Contractor could find items that I, as a realtor, might not. If you have an extra $450, and don't trust the Developer or your Agent to fully find and list all items, I would take one with you. That would put your mind at ease! If you have a contractor friend who would do it for free, you can take him/her in lieu and save yourself some $$. Have the Contractor point out flaws to the Rep for the Developer to include in the Punch List while they both are there.
One another hand, the Developer goes gives a 10 year warranty in SF for major defects and a one year warranty for most but not all problems which could affect your unit. All the appliances usually have a one year warranty which many companies will allow you to extend another year or more for a fee. This, too, offers your protection.
You can also add a Home Warranty from Fidelity National or American Home Shield or First American but I would not have it start until AFTER the first year of ownership. You can call these companies and discuss their terms. The warranty can be put on the home at the end of the first year.
Maria, here are your options. I hope they are helpful. If I can answer any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For new construction, a home inspection can help you learn the important components and systems of your building, your unit, etc. It may also catch stuff that you should know about, but that may not be 'wrong' or 'bad' necessarily.
If you can not afford the $500 or so for it, then maybe you should not be buying the condominium in the first place.
The builder is much more motivated to work out all the glitches on the home before closing, especially if you request those items be handled prior to closing. Those builders move fast if they know the closing is going to be held up.
So a home inspector would be an excellent resource to be your eyes and your ears as they know what to look for.
Sounds like you're getting a lot of good opinions on this.
I'd generally suggest using an inspector for any purchase, with a few exceptions. If the seller has already had their own inspection done and you've read through it via the disclosure packet, a second inspection might not be necessary.
In the case of a new building, if they don't have their own inspection, I'd base the decision on the type of warranty, if any, they have. Some new buildings cover all repairs for up to a year, in which case an inspection wont really matter, because they'll fix any problems you discover as you live in your new home.
That being said, inspections are relatively inexpensive ($400-$700 ish depending on who you use and the type/size of property), and if it wont affect your ability to get a property (ie: if you're not competing with other buyers who are making offers without any contingencies) go ahead and do one just to be safe.
If you'd like a recommendation for a great inspector that I've used on many projects, let me know!
Hope this helps,
If a client comes to me and says they don't need to hire an inspector, I want to confirm that they have purchased homes before, or have some experience in construction so they at least have the ability to thoroughly inspect a property to their satisfaction prior to removing any contingencies.
In a very heated market, it might put your offer ahead of the competition to waive your inspection contingency. If this is the case, I would still suggest doing an inspection "for informational purposes only" so that you are very clear about the condition of the property you are buying.