Does a NEWLY constructed home need to be inspected?

I hear this line from people time and time again: “It’s a newly constructed home, so it doesn’t need to be inspected.”

That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here in New Hampshire, we have numerous municipalities that have no building inspector on staff, or even any oversight available.

In those towns, it’s like the wild west. So how does a homebuyer protect themselves? Through a home inspection of course!

And I’m not saying that there aren’t good builders out there that have pride in their work – there certainly are! However, just like any other trade or line of work, there are always exceptions.

And we don’t know all the circumstances that occurred when the home was being constructed. Perhaps the builder’s normal crew wasn’t available for a particular home? Perhaps the crew no foreman on the job or no oversight during the construction?

We just don’t know. All I know, is that 3 out of the top 10 worst homes that I have ever inspected were brand new homes.

One of the homes was a newly constructed home in Weare, NH that had more issues than I have ever seen. According to the homeowner, the builder was building his first new home. Unfortunately, my clients were the recipient of the new home. Needless to say, there is now an ongoing lawsuit regarding this situation.

I also had a new home in Rochester, NH in a subdivision where the builder ran out of money on the last 5 lots / homes, and he sold off the remaining lots to local handymen etc., who proceeded to construct the homes with no prior new construction experience.

Recently, I inspected a newer home located in Tamworth, NH that was constructed using a dry stacked concrete block foundation. Never before in my career had I witnessed a home that literally was a total loss. The dry stacked foundation caused the entire house structure to settle. We saw evidence of settlement all throughout the home.

I asked the listing how did this home get constructed? His answer was very telling: “This is Tamworth man. There is no oversight up here.” Anyone can build a house in Tamworth, and there is no one to make sure that the homes were constructed to code, or more importantly, constructed safely.

So the bottom line, please get a home inspection. Not so we can make money, but because we (home inspectors) are the front line for homebuyers. That’s why our trade exists. Please get a home inspection!

Michael McCarty
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
Vermont Property Inspector License # 143.0134099
HUD 203k Consultant # P-1939

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