I get asked this question often by buyers and sellers of new or newer homes. Why should I spend $400 for a home inspection? Isn't it covered by the Ontario Tarion warranty program? My answer is always the same...spend the money. It will give you peace of mind and may save you grief at resale time. I recommend taking a home inspector along for your pre-delivery walk through. You'll never have more leverage with the builder than before you pay for your new home. If there are issues, it's much easier to have them addressed at this point. Likely one of the most frustrating things buyers of new homes encounter is poor after-sale service. Why? A robust economy in recent years has resulted in busy home builders who have more houses to build rather than taking care of their previous customers. Those busy builders have hired new trades which may lead to "cutting corners". Here's a recent example.
A buyer client contracts to have a home built. The builder's website trumpets "attention to detail" and their "standards are considered upgrades to other builders". It suggests the buyer can "rest assured that you are buying a well-built home that will stand the test of time". Fast forward to resale and the buyer has a home inspection condition in their offer. The home inspector discovers the roofer neglected to add an ice and water shield on the outside edge of the roof inspite of this being a requirement of the Ontario Building Code. The builder is made aware of it and suggests this is commonplace. He offers to make good on any damages resulting from the deficiency. The difficulty with this approach is that it allows him to disappear after the Tarion warranty expires. The seller ends up taking less and the buyer is left to deal with the aftermath.
How do we prevent situations like this? As mentioned previously, have a home inspection done at the time of delivery. Had this been done, the buyer could have forced the builder to retrofit the ice and water shield. Failing this, have a pre-listing home inspection done. When the deficiency comes to light, it allows the seller the opportunity to address it prior to marketing the home. Contrast this with the stress involved in a highly-charged negotiation at the 11th hour. Finally, let's hold home builders accountable. As you can see from this example, it's much easier to "talk the talk" than "walk the walk".