Buyers often assume that if a house is new there’s no need to inspect it. What could possibly be wrong with a brand-new house? You’d be surprised.

Following the 1991 firestorm that destroyed thousands of homes in the hills above Oakland, Calif., contractors from around the country moved into the area to take advantage of rebuilding opportunities. The planning department was overwhelmed. Inspectors rushed from one job to another.

Problems that showed up mere years after these new homes were completed were often due to faulty installation of windows and doors, improperly flashed decks over finished living areas, and lack of proper ventilation.

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