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Old 02-13-2018, 09:49 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,790 times
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All,

I am currently waiting on my builder to finish building a house (new construction) for which we signed a contract a few months back. The builder will be using a third party to perform the final inspection on the house and has promised to provide me with the inspection report. He also has a final walk through with us in a few weeks from now. This is our first home so I am very ignorant of how things should be done and always second guessing my decisions.

I am now conflicted on the inspection part. Few of my friends who have previously bought homes are suggesting to hold off on inspections now and have it done at the 11th month before the warranty expires. Some of them insist on getting one done before closing and skipping the warranty inspection during the 11th month. And the final few are suggesting I have both inspections done.

After all my research, I do not want to skip on the final warranty inspection during the 11th month just before warranty expires. One of my neighbors is a licensed general contractor and is willing to walk through the house with me before my final walk through and point out the deficiencies that he sees so that I can skip on the inspection before closing and have one done at the end of the warranty period. My thinking is that the general contractor would have more insights to where builders might cut corners when building homes and having someone from the same trade look at the house would be a good approach. What are your thoughts about it ? Do you think a inspection is mandatory before closing or would having the contractor look at it suffice ?

Also, I would like to get some general idea about Highland Homes in Texas (Houston/Spring) area. How are they in terms of general build quality, responding to warranty requests and post closing questions.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,466 posts, read 1,809,532 times
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I'd recommend another option altogether..... Certainly have the inspection before closing, but it should be your inspector, not one who works for and was hired by the builder.

Your contractor friend can be a valuable resource, but technically and legally, a general contractor and a licensed inspector are different jobs, different skills, and different licensing and liabilities. Check and see, your contract may actually specify whether you are allowed to bring in a contractor to look, or a licensed inspector, or either, or both. If it specifies, you just may need to make sure in writing that you have permission to do what you want to do.

Of course, unofficially, you can probably bring a friend along to any permitted showing with your agent. Talk to your agent and see.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:20 AM
 
3 posts, read 1,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I'd recommend another option altogether..... Certainly have the inspection before closing, but it should be your inspector, not one who works for and was hired by the builder.

Your contractor friend can be a valuable resource, but technically and legally, a general contractor and a licensed inspector are different jobs, different skills, and different licensing and liabilities. Check and see, your contract may actually specify whether you are allowed to bring in a contractor to look, or a licensed inspector, or either, or both. If it specifies, you just may need to make sure in writing that you have permission to do what you want to do.

Of course, unofficially, you can probably bring a friend along to any permitted showing with your agent. Talk to your agent and see.
Thanks for the response Diana. My builder is fine with me getting a inspection done from my side and he is willing to accommodate a date and time for it. I will check with the builder on bring a contractor in and if that is allowed. My friend said he would point out things he sees are not up to the mark and I can bring it up with the builder during my final walk through. So I am guessing he wants to do it unofficially just to help me out.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Austin
7,016 posts, read 16,599,782 times
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Most builders in Texas will not allow an inspector in the house without showing a $2M insurance policy. Inspectors needs to be licensed and bonded. Your General Contractor does not need such a license. The builder will probably not allow your GC to inspect the house as many issues can happen. If you plan on taking a GC, make sure you have prior approval, IN WRITING, from the builder.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:14 PM
 
Location: NC
6,063 posts, read 6,783,698 times
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I've never bought new construction but many who have recommend that you have the house inspected several times at key stages. One of the most important seems to be before the drywall goes up, when all of the electric and plumbing structures are still exposed. Just adding that for your interest.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
18,483 posts, read 9,506,020 times
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When I built new construction 3 years ago, I hired my own inspector. She did a pre-drywall inspection, and then came back and did another inspection shortly before closing. Pre-drywall, she talked to the site super who was there for the inspection about a few things but thought it looked ok, and the builder did address the things she had discussed with them. Pre-closing, she did a full report with about 25 action items, the builder turned it into a punch list and completed every item prior to closing, along with what the super and I had discussed during my walk through with him.

I ended up not doing a formal inspection just before the warranty period expired, but I had already had a bunch of warranty work done over that year, and I walked through with my handyman and was comfortable that nothing else was pending that needed to be done.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,790 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconheadWest View Post
Most builders in Texas will not allow an inspector in the house without showing a $2M insurance policy. Inspectors needs to be licensed and bonded. Your General Contractor does not need such a license. The builder will probably not allow your GC to inspect the house as many issues can happen. If you plan on taking a GC, make sure you have prior approval, IN WRITING, from the builder.
Thank you. I will keep this in mind and talk to the builder about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
I've never bought new construction but many who have recommend that you have the house inspected several times at key stages. One of the most important seems to be before the drywall goes up, when all of the electric and plumbing structures are still exposed. Just adding that for your interest.
Thank you for letting me know. I offered on the house after the dry wall was already up (inventory home), so I did not get a chance to do the inspection at that stage but the builder mentioned that they had a inspection done at that stage and has promised to provide me the reports from that inspection. I am still waiting on those reports though.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,486 posts, read 52,641,618 times
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You need both, pre-closing and 11-month.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
770 posts, read 444,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muralironaldo7 View Post
the builder mentioned that they had a inspection done at that stage and has promised to provide me the reports from that inspection. I am still waiting on those reports though.
Anyone who gets a check signed by the builder is not working for you.

Your instincts are serving you well. Don't fall for the builder pitch "don't worry about what we miss at closing because we warrant wall to wall for 12 months and you can get it fixed later". The warranty is the builder's hedge against weak supervisors, poor subs, pressure to meet deadlines and all the shortcuts that most buyers will never catch.

Use your own inspector prior to closing and hold the builder to their own delivery promise--once closed, it is all on you to call and schedule warranty work. I had great warranty service on my new townhome. The warranty staff were very helpful, and every one of my claims were honored. But it was inconvenient, like having half the flooring pulled up to fix bad subfloor squeaking that emerged a few months after closing.

The warranty gives you peace of mind, but should never be the builder's response to mistakes or defects identified prior to closing, and in my experience in buying new construction 5 times over many years, the warranty service varies by builder.

A funny story, only marginally on topic: local builder's crews left so much trash buried in my yard, I was digging up brick bands, tree limbs, soda bottles, pieces of brick and block for months. Builder owned the lot next door. I told the builder and he ignored my request to have the yard cleared of the trash, so I made a huge pile in the entrance cut to his lot. No kidding, it was 2-3 tons of debris I fished out of the top 6-12 inches of my yard. That fool had to hire a bucket loader and a dumpster to haul it off so he could develop my future neighbor's lot. I doubt he said a word to his foremen or supervisors, but it makes one question what a builder will try to get over on.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,607 posts, read 4,902,435 times
Reputation: 8885
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalconheadWest View Post
Most builders in Texas will not allow an inspector in the house without showing a $2M insurance policy. Inspectors needs to be licensed and bonded. Your General Contractor does not need such a license. The builder will probably not allow your GC to inspect the house as many issues can happen. If you plan on taking a GC, make sure you have prior approval, IN WRITING, from the builder.
How uncommon is that? It sounds like something that your average inspector you pull out of the yellow pages would have...
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