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DUSTIN LONGPRE
Buzzer
reply 31 vote 4
 

Do you get a home inspection on a new build?

Watching "Holmes Inspection" the other day on HGTV, Mike was doing an inspection/fix up on a 5 year old home. A lot of the issues that were coming up appeared to be from the initial build, not renovations. This got me thinking about my past experiences with new/newer homes. The first was only 2 years old, the second was a new build. I never got a home inspection done on either. My logic was that since the home was still covered under warranty I'd be able to get the builder to just come fix any issues I came across.

After watching Holmes Inspection and thinking back to some of the "problem areas" of my homes, I can think of a number of areas that would I have gotten a home inspection done, the issues would have been fixed before I moved in, saving me the irritation of having to get them fixed while the home was occupied. Things like poorly insulated walls, incorrect yard grade, poorly sealed exterior doors/windows, not to mention all the stuff I never noticed.

In the future I plan on always getting both new homes and new build homes inspected before close of the sale. I was curious how many people out there actually do this?
13
Canada / New Home Q&A
 
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
BabbleBee
reply 498 vote 45
 
 
1 BEST REPLY
This is an interesting question - in the last 3 or 4 years, myself and members of my family have purchased 3 new build homes so I know all about the little irritants that prop up over the course of the first couple of years. Note that with the warranty there are 3 major components in the first year where you can make note of faulty items: a) PDI (pre-delivery), b) after 30 days, c) after 12 months.

I have spoken to a few agents/home inspectors and they all have varying opinions on how to handle the home inspection. I highly recommend getting a home inspection - yes - the question is WHEN.

a) PDI - you are going through the home with a representative of the builder. I have spoken to a number of home inspectors that have said that it's sometimes difficult to be very thorough when the builders representative is moving things along. While officially there is nothing saying that you can't bring along a home inspector, it's similar to when you view a property and the entire family is in the dining room having family dinner. It makes the buyers feel uncomfortable and sure you can look around but you're not getting the same effect.

Since the PDI is usually so close to closing, major items will likely not be done before you move in (we moved into one house where an entire kitchen was installed after we moved in...). During the PDI, the builders representative will often point out minor issues to make you feel like he's "on your side", but don't be afraid to let your voice be heard if you feel something is wrong. The last PDI we did had over 150 items on it (it was just one thing after another...). The one before that had just 20. I'm going to be a pain and NOT tell you who the builders for each respective PDI were....

b) 30 day point or 12 month point: this allows you to take your time to go through the home with your home inspector in much more detail. I have always gotten my home inspection at the 12 month mark, which allows the house to go through all 4 seasons and the house will have set.

Remember, your home inspector is not there to point out the visual flaws such as nicks and scratches on your hardwood floor - he's there to test the integrity of the house behind the scenes such as insulation, electrical, grading.
 
 
 
JEREMY SHIFTLER
Buzzer
reply 161 vote 1
 
 
With a new build in Ontario (unless it is a retrofit) you are going to get your chance to do a PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection). During this time, I would recommend that you note down everything with the builders representative, no matter how small.
During this time, you can take others along with you. I certainly recommend doing this with someone that has done it before, and knows the procedure.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2214 vote 132
 
 
^^Awesome post. Great tips.
Also, be sure to check out the TARION website.
Don't know what TARION is? According to them:
TARION said:
We are the Regulator of the new home building industry in Ontario, and in this role, we license all new home and condominium builders in the province and ensure that all new homeowners receive the new home warranty coverage that they are entitled to by the law.

They have some great resources for new home buyers, including a PDI checklist. Find it here: http://www.tarion.com/New-Home-Buyers/Your-Pre-Delivery-Inspection/Pages/PDI-Check-List.aspx Print the checklist, and bring it with to your PDI.
Before your PDI, I would also consult with the Construction Performance Guidelines, as set by TARION, so you will know what is acceptable and not acceptable. Find it here: http://www.tarion.com/services/pdg_browse.aspx
 
 
DUSTIN LONGPRE
Buzzer
reply 31 vote 4
 
 
I very much found that the PDI was a great time to catch the smaller items like paint touch ups, missing this or that, etc. A lot of the larger items, things like electrical/foundation/structural I for the most part am not clear on the codes, and thus don't know where I have a leg to stand on. I really liked Roy's post, I definitely will take greater advantage of my 3 and 12 month points in the future.
Is the PDI the only time pre-delivery to be able to have an inspector go in? or is it possible to have it be a separate inspection from the PDI?
Great tip on the TARION web site Matt! I've never heard of this, I'll definitely be checking it out!
 
 
SYMMETRY DEVELOPMENTS
Buzzer
reply 83 vote 4
 
 
1
With regards to the larger items such as structural, mechanical and electrical, the City inspects these items priorto signing off on the new home or building. In addition, these items are covered by Tarion.

As such, you don't really NEED an inspector to go through the unit. However, if you want to be pro-active and locate any major deficiencies in the home before anything goes wrong, then by all means conduct a home inspectionfor peace of mind.

If you've purchased from a reputable builder, I wouldn't spend money on an inspection.

On average an inspectionwill set you back $350-$450.

If you do get an inspection, the PDI would be a good time to get the inspector in but the inspection can take placeanytime following the PDI as well. Any deficiencies discovered by the inspector can be included in your 30 day or 12 month Tarion form.

Hope this helps.

Dustin said:
I very much found that the PDI was a great time to catch the smaller items like paint touch ups, missing this or that, etc. A lot of the larger items, things like electrical/foundation/structural I for the most part am not clear on the codes, and thus don't know where I have a leg to stand on. I really liked Roy's post, I definitely will take greater advantage of my 3 and 12 month points in the future.
Is the PDI the only time pre-delivery to be able to have an inspector go in? or is it possible to have it be a separate inspection from the PDI?
Great tip on the TARION web site Matt! I've never heard of this, I'll definitely be checking it out!
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
BabbleBee
reply 498 vote 45
 
 
^ Good points, and of course - you don't NEED an inspector to go through your home. In fact, I would say 95% of people don't have their new home inspected. Having said that, the average homeowner is not up to speed with the current codes etc. and probably aren't in a position to check if sufficient insulation has been installed etc. Yes, it's covered by warranty - but you only get it taken care of if you bring it up. This is where you rely on the expertise of a third party.
For the last house (the one with 150 deficiencies in the PDI), our home inspector informed us that the A/C unit was insufficient for the size of the house (they came and did some tests, and based on a certain ratio it was deemed that the unit was too small). We reported this and got a larger A/C unit installed. That change alone more than covered the $400 it cost to have the home inspected. In addition, it was highlighted to us that the electrical panel is at capacity and most electrical panels should have spare ports, especially brand new. This item we are still waiting to be resolved - not sure how big an issue it is to replace the electrical panel though (or even if they will will honor it)
Sometimes the builder will fight you on some items, and we did get a lot of hesitation from this particular builder and had to go higher up to get some of the work done.
Also, Dustin asked whether the PDI was the only time you can take an inspector through - my understanding is yes. I'd be vvvvvvv surprised if a builder allowed you to go through a home without their representation prior to closing (remember, the builder owns the home until closing).
Hope this helps!
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:)
 
 
SYMMETRY DEVELOPMENTS
Buzzer
reply 83 vote 4
 
 
I think most builders would allow inspection following interim occupancy. I don't see why they wouldn't or how they would even really prevent this from taking place in the instance of a new home. For a new condo, this may be the case since a lot of the common element areas are still under construction during interim occupancy.
Especially since the inspector won't be damaging the home during the inspection. If damage of any kind does occur during the inspection, then it's definitely an issue... but an experienced inspector wouldn't cause this.



Roy said:
^ Good points, and of course - you don't NEED an inspector to go through your home. In fact, I would say 95% of people don't have their new home inspected. Having said that, the average homeowner is not up to speed with the current codes etc. and probably aren't in a position to check if sufficient insulation has been installed etc. Yes, it's covered by warranty - but you only get it taken care of if you bring it up. This is where you rely on the expertise of a third party.
For the last house (the one with 150 deficiencies in the PDI), our home inspector informed us that the A/C unit was insufficient for the size of the house (they came and did some tests, and based on a certain ratio it was deemed that the unit was too small). We reported this and got a larger A/C unit installed. That change alone more than covered the $400 it cost to have the home inspected. In addition, it was highlighted to us that the electrical panel is at capacity and most electrical panels should have spare ports, especially brand new. This item we are still waiting to be resolved - not sure how big an issue it is to replace the electrical panel though (or even if they will will honor it)
Sometimes the builder will fight you on some items, and we did get a lot of hesitation from this particular builder and had to go higher up to get some of the work done.
Also, Dustin asked whether the PDI was the only time you can take an inspector through - my understanding is yes. I'd be vvvvvvv surprised if a builder allowed you to go through a home without their representation prior to closing (remember, the builder owns the home until closing).
Hope this helps!
#shamelessplug
Follow us: www.twitter.com/talkcondo | www.facebook.com/talkcondo
Visit us: www.talkcondo.com
:)
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
BabbleBee
reply 498 vote 45
 
 
There is no interim occupancy for a home (assuming it's not a condo townhouse). Your occupancy date = your closing date. For freehold homes there is no need to register like a condo....therefore, no interim occupancy.
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
BabbleBee
reply 498 vote 45
 
 
We may be getting crossed in our terminology - I always use home to mean freehold - but of course a condo is a home too :)
 
 
DUSTIN LONGPRE
Buzzer
reply 31 vote 4
 
 
My intention of the thread was to discuss freehold, but all avenues in the end should be considered I think.

When buying a previously owned home many people put in a "condition" that the home needs to go through an indipended home inspection before the sale will be finalized. Can you not put this same condition on the purchase of a new build? Or would builders just not go for it?
 
 
SYMMETRY DEVELOPMENTS
Buzzer
reply 83 vote 4
 
 
Roy said:
We may be getting crossed in our terminology - I always use home to mean freehold - but of course a condo is a home too :)

Yep! I was actually considering only condos (apartments and towns). You're right about freehold, of course. Occupancy date is closing date and builders wouldn't permit inspection prior to that.
Dustin, most (if not all) builders would not permit a home inspection prior to occupancy of some sort (interim or final).
If the intent of the inspection is to locate major deficiencies at an early stage, having an inspection immediately following occupancy would would be suitable. This would allow you to list the deficiency on the 30 day Tarion form and for the builder/developer to be made aware of the presence of the deficiency at an early stage.
 
 
ROY BHANDARI
BabbleBee
reply 498 vote 45
 
 
Dustin said:
Can you not put this same condition on the purchase of a new build? Or would builders just not go for it?

(assuming freehold here)
Builders would never go for it. They will always just say that the home is under warranty and they fix any deficiencies. There is no way that they will make the the offer conditional on a home inspection since the home was built to spec for you. That means the model and house type that you have chosen on your lot, the colours etc. are all built as you have requested. If you turn around on the day of closing and say that because of x,y,z you aren't going to close because of the inspection - there is too much risk for the builder.
 
 
CLAUDIA CHOPIK
NewBee
reply 1
 
 
Having a new build home inspection can prevent a lot of problems when it's time to sell. Builder issues come up all the time with resale home inspections things buyers weren't aware of when they purchased.  Problems that could have easily been fixed by the builder can end up as deal breakers or added expense to the homeowner.  Think it's a good idea to do.
 
 
 
 
 

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