Are you purchasing a new home? This blog is for you.
Have you ever heard of the term, “inspect your expect?” It’s pretty commonly used in the construction industry. If you were Ronald Reagan, you would say, “trust, but verify.” For contractors, it means that you generally trust the people that work for you and you expect they’re going to do the right thing on your behalf. Despite this trust, you still go behind them to inspect what they have done to ensure that they have actually done the right thing on your behalf.
Here are some things to look out for before you close on your new home.
- Do a final inspection on your home. If you’re buying a new home, this step is likely built in to the process. You will have a new home presentation where you’ll learn about your new home and have the opportunity to create a list of items you want fixed before you close. Then, you will come back a week or so later to verify those things are done. If they’re not done, you need to get a document in writing with everything you want done after closing (if your builder even allows you to close with open items). If you’re buying a pre-existing home, you’ll get the opportunity to do a final walk through prior to closing. This is your opportunity to look over the list of inspection items your home inspector (hopefully Freedom Home Inspections) has found to verify that the contractor that the seller hired has corrected those items to your satisfaction.
- Structural repairs are non-negotiable. If you have any items on your list that reference a structural issue or require further evaluation by a structural engineer, this should be a red flag. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is a red flag. Contractors are NOT structural engineers. Even if they stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the night before they repaired the item, they’re still not qualified to draw up a fix for any structural repair. Structural items must always be corrected. The fix needs to be drawn up by a licensed structural engineer, corrected by a licensed contractor, and verified as correctly repaired by your home inspector. Do NOT close on your home with outstanding structural items.
- Do not assume that a contractor has repaired your inspection items correctly or without damaging other items in the home. I recently re-inspected a home where the contractor was hired to install a vapor barrier in the crawl space. They did a great job of installing the vapor barrier, but literally ruined all of the insulation surrounding the duct work in the crawlspace. I couldn’t find a single duct that didn’t have torn or ripped off insulation due to this contractor crawling around installing the vapor barrier. Had we not gone in to the crawl space, these homeowner would have been the recipients of a great home with really high utility bills and a home that would not heat/cool correctly.
- If you don’t get it done correctly before you close, you will likely be paying for it when you go to sell the house, if not sooner through costly repairs. Spend your money on things you want for your new home, not repairs that someone else didn’t do correctly.
- If you’re the seller, do the right thing. You’re paying a contractor to repair your home for the next owners. My pastor said, “the way you leave one season determines how you will enter the next season.” Do the right thing and hold your contractor accountable to their work. Just because you’re not going to live there any more doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about the quality of workmanship.
6. Hire Freedom Home Servicess to inspect your home. I will provide the extra inspection for your expectation.
Links to other previous blogs: