I am moving into new development condo, during my walk through, should I bring a home inspector along?

Asked by Ryan, Chicago, IL Tue Sep 2, 2008

Hi all, I am moving into a new development condo in the Parkside of Old Town at the end of the month. Should I bring a condo inspector along during my walk through? This is my first home purchase and want to be certain all is well. I was speaking with a work associate and he recommended to bring one. If I should bring one with, any recommendations? Thank you.

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Ken Dooley, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Sep 3, 2008

I would highly recommend bringing an Inspector with you for the walk-through. Normally an inspection is carried out within 5-7 days of acceptance of a contract but with new construction there's little to inspect if the unit hasn't been completed when terms of the purchase are agreed to. A developer will allow a punch-list to be created which will often be corrected within a window of time. Make sure a representative of the developer signs-off on the list so that you've a written record of what was agreed to. The more time you can give between walk-through and closing the better chance you have of any defects identified being corrected prior to closing. Those that aren't corrected will be addressed within the agreed to window of time post-closing but always pressure the developer to have them completed prior to closing.
You ask for an Inspector recommendation: Cary Seidner, cary@seidnerpi.com (847) 401 4255.

Best of Luck, Ken.
Web Reference:  http://www.KDRchicago.com
1 vote
Inspector Mi…, , Plainfield, IL
Sun Sep 14, 2008
I disagree that builders do not allow home inspectors into new construction. I do quite a few new construction inspections (the number increases every year as more and more buyers are not happy with their builder) and i try to do them during the final walk-through so that the unit/home is as close to "done" as possible. I've only had one builder refuse to let me in and it wasn't during the initial inspection, it was during a re-inspection to inspect the items that were repaired as a result of the initial inspection. -Inspector Mike Savage
1 vote
Jennifer Joh…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Sep 10, 2008

Did you not work with a buyers agent? I hope you did, as the ins and outs of new construction are complicated. Usually, the developer does not allow contractually for a formal inspector to enter the property in an appropriate time prior to close. I always write into my developer contracts as a buyers agent that the buyer will be allowed entry a minimum of 2 days prior to close with all appliances in working condition in order to conduct a formal inspection. At that time, your inspector can also help you in creating a punch list. If they have a significant amount of work to complete in the few days before close, then you will need to walk through again the morning before close to create the punch list (and add anything the inspector found to the list). Anything not on this punch list will not be fixed by the seller post close (unless it is outlined in the warranty offered by the seller).

As developer contracts are not standard and are created BY the developer, they must be closely read! Yes, take the inspector. Please!!!

1 vote
Jim Holder, Agent, Rolling Meadows, IL
Tue Sep 2, 2008
If this is a new new development, then I'd guess everything is new? Is the developer providing a warranty covering structure, materials and major components. If not you should have had an inspection as a condition of the contract that would have been completed within a week after contract acceptance.
Have you checked the developer"s reputation (the majority are poor).
Bottomline: if you are concerned, bring the inspector along. Once the sale is closed you'll have little leverage if you find problems.
1 vote
Ryan, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Mon May 31, 2010
Hi Diplomat,

Yes, I did bring one with to my walk through. I'd say it was worth the money even though all he said was that the condo itself is built better than nearly all he has seen in Chicago (windows, doors, bathrooms, etc). He didn't find anything wrong, but he did give us the presence of mind to know nothing was wrong and our purchase was justified.

I have had no problems during the year and a half or so we have lived here with the buildings tenants. My wife has had no problems even on the outside by Cabrini. People have been extremely respectful and pleasant to talk to.

As soon as Cabrini is entirely knocked down, I believe this will be one of the best spots in Chicago in terms of location.

Best of luck during your process of looking for a new home.

0 votes
Diplomat, Home Buyer, Near North Side, Chicago, IL
Thu May 27, 2010
Hey Ryan, I'm thinking about moving into Parkside of Old Town as well. What do you think of the area/building? Did you bring a home inspector along on your walk through? How are the other tenants in the building?
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Sep 15, 2008

New or old........our advice is to always have an inspection involved with a transaction. We find that quite often new construction inspections uncoved more items that need remediation than older ones.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes
Mike Long, Agent, Naperville, IL
Sun Sep 14, 2008
YES. Actaully, the more I think about it.....Yes. New construction/rehab is as important if not more important in terms of having a home inspection. As trusting as you are and as nice as the developer may be there are a lot of people working on your unit. While there may not be large problems the home inspector will help you find the little things that you can add to your "punchlist." A representative from the developer may be there with you to help create said "punchlist." Once you create it have you and the developer sign off on it and establish a timeline for them to complete. Anywhere from 30-90 days from closing. You want it shorter. Speaking from experience you will have to make some effort to contact the developer after closing to come in and correct any outstanding "punchlist" items.

Most contract will have this in your purchase agreement and your Realtor should be filling you in on this as well. It's Real Estate 101. Good Luck!!
0 votes
Jennifer Joh…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Sep 14, 2008
Right. What I said was, they do not allow for them contractually. You almost always have to add it into the contract.
0 votes
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