A lot of buyers believe that they are “safe” when it comes to purchasing a new home from a builder. Because the home is brand new, buyers think that they probably don’t need a home inspection and that anything that might be wrong will be covered by the warranty. However, in order to be a savvy buyer, there are specific details that new home buyers can look for to determine if the home builder is quality, has attention to detail, and builds a solid new home.
First of all, if you or you and your real estate agent were not present during the final punch list walk-through, it would not be a bad idea to go ahead and get a home inspection of the property. This will allow you to have a qualified third-party checking on the construction, structure, and services of the new home.
In lieu of spending the money on a home inspector, there are certain new home details you can check both in the home and through observing the building jobsite itself. As you approach the new home (assuming it’s still under construction or almost finished), take a look at the jobsite. Is it a mess? Or, are the building materials stored in a safe, dry place, in an orderly manner? Is the trash removed, and are the entryways protected with walking boards to prevent dirt, trash, and mud from being tracked in? How a builder maintains their jobsite says a lot about how they build.
A couple of things to check about the new home construction include the trim and the wall outlets. The baseboards, shoe molding, and any crown molding should all be evenly cut and fitted. If you see trim of different sizes or that the pieces don’t fit together correctly and are heavily caulked, this could be a red flag.
When looking at the electrical outlets and switches, check to see that they are all firmly fitted against the walls, and that the screws have been tightened completely. Turn the switches off and on of both the lights and fans.
One last thing to check out are the wet areas and the entrances on the outside of the new home. If you detect any moisture that shouldn’t be there or anything that looks like leaks around the bathroom and kitchen fixture, this could be a sign of water leaks.
By using these simple tips in observing the details of a new home for sale, you can make a common-sense determination if the new home you wish to buy is solidly-built and would be a good investment.