Happy Birthday to your new home! It's almost 1 year old. Has it been like the dream child you always thought it would be or some terrible stepchild from who know's where that has wore out its welcome?
That's the way some people have described their new homes to me. "Oh no, it's been a very nice home" and other times I hear "This thing is like a bad dream that I can't wake up from". Chances are that you are somewhere in between. You have been pretty happy with your home, but it does have some areas that could be improved. Your one year warranty is about to expire on your new home and you don't know if you should contact your builder over some "nit picking" things or not. What many folks don't realize is that these items that are "nit picking" now can become major repairs down the road. Often they are only advanced warnings of things to come..
What Makes Our Services Different?
Our service to our customers. While many inspection companies, including many 'Professional Engineers', will only inspect new homes to the TREC SOP, we go above and beyond those standards when inspecting your home.
We bring to your inspection knowledge of the IRC codes and many industry construction standards. What many of the home inspectors and inspection companies in the Houston area fail to tell their new home clients is that builders ARE NOT required to build homes to the TREC SOP standards. TREC SOP was and is intended for pre-existing homes being sold in the Real Estate market. Builders ARE required to build your home to the IRC code and industry standards. Tell a builder their home does not meet TREC SOP standards and see what they say! Builders have told our clients that we are too nitpicky and tough on them. My clients have never had a complaint about that!
Sadly, many people are talked out of having an inspection by either their builder or real estate agent.
"You don't need an inspection on this home, it's brand new, if anything goes wrong, you have a warranty!"
is what most consumers are told. IF that doesn't work, the new home owners are then told....
"Look here, we've done paid for a third party inspection on your home, there is no need in you hiring your own inspector"
Of course they don't ever finish the complete truth. They may have had an inspection comany come out and insepct your new home, but what they "forget" to tell you is that it was a minimul inspection at best. Right now, at this moment I have a filing cabinet full of reports on new homes that had major problems that were overlooked by the "builders inspector". Some of these people were fortunate and called their own inspector out and found these problems before they moved in. Others weren't quite as lucky and only found these major flaws and defects because they had a warranty inspection before their warranty ran out. Even though it's time consuming and inconvienant, they will most likely finally get their homes fixed. Others will only find out later down the road that they have major defects and flaws in their homes that could have been fixed easily during construction had they only knew! Now however, it is going to cost them quite a bit of their hard earned money to get their house right.
It doesn't have to be this way! Quality control is one of the cheapest forms of insurance you can buy...it's called a Professional Real Estate Inspector! Find one that has construction experience and one that works only for their clients and hire him or her to watch over your dream home while it is being constructed! When you hire a Professional it's some of the best money you can spend!
I think most of us have seen at least one episode of the shows like "Dateline" , "60 minutes" or "48 Hours" were a group of home owners had been taken advantage of by a builder. Did you ever ask yourself "How could they have let that happen?" It's easy. One of several things happened.
* They listened to their real estate agent or builder and never had it inspected
* They chose the wrong inspector.....either the cheapest one they could find or one referred to them by their real estate agent (often they're cheap also)
And now your home is 1 Year Old. You know the warranty is about to expire. Maybe you haven't had any problems with your home. The builder assured you that you didn't need an inspection before you bought the home. He assured you that "their inspectors" were thorough and professional. That isn't the case from what we see.
The fact remains, every home I've done a 1 year home warranty inspection on has had problems that the builder needed to be called back out on to fix. The majority of these are items are moderate to costly to fix. Many of the costly repairs you hear about home owners facing today do not just pop up over night. They seem like it, but it's actually a gradual process that may take years to be noticed, usually when it's too late.
Even on the homes that I only found minor problems with (which has been few, very few!), my clients have still been very happy to have had the inspection done because now they know for certain that they have a house that won't surprise them down the road.
If your builder or real estate agent assured you that you didn't need an inspection, and you went ahead and bought the home without the benefit of an indepedent inspection, then I'm telling you that it is of the utmost importance to have one before your warranty runs out.