The following has nothing to do with PHM: Ask your builder if they are aware if any of their former customers have had to commit some type of fraud in the completion of a Residential Property Disclosure Statement, or to otherwise have to pay for remediation of a house problem that was legitimately the responsibility of the new house builder, and as a result of the new house builder's overt or subtle act of ignoring a valid new house warranty claim?
Ask the builder if they have a 'Standards of Construction' document. Some builders may now call this document, Performance Quality Standards. Some builders may call this document by another name, but its contents will be the same. Obtain this and read it. Pay particular attention to the term, 'standards of the industry' (the lower the 'standard of the industry', the easier it is to meet the standard; which allows for the acceptability of shoddy construction under the protective excuse of the 'industry standard'). This will give you an indication of the quality of your new house deemed acceptable by the corporate/public new house builder. Do not assume that your new house will be of the same quality as the builder's models. Some people may view this as being similar to 'bait & switch' practices within the retail industry.
An independent, pre-closing house inspection will not protect your interests regarding leaking windows (wind-driven rain is not considered to be a 'defect' according to the NAHB 'book' of construction defects[try proving what is, and what is not, wind-driven rain when your house has leaks]), a leaky roof, a faulty foundation, settling/heaving/shifting concrete flatwork, or other long term consequences of shoddy construction and other cost cutting measures.
Ask YOUR ATTORNEY to modify/delete the arbitration clause. If the builder is not willing to do this go elsewhere, or require that monies be escrowed to protect your interests. NOTHING in the documents you sign is designed to protect YOUR interests aside from the transfer of title. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will no longer purchase mortgages when the sale contract contains an arbitration clause. This should speak volumes about the risks involved in the purchase of a new house.
ENSURE THAT YOUR ATTORNEY, IF YOU HAVE REPRESENTATION REGARDING ANY ASPECT OF YOUR NEW HOUSE, IS NOT A SHILL FOR THE NEW HOUSE BUILDER. Ask the attorney if he has represented, or is currently representing, other clients in actions against the builder? Has he ever filed a lawsuit against the builder? Has he ever participated in an arbitration with the builder? Has he ever refused an arbitration with the builder? Has he ever offered his representation to the client pro bono (no charge), if his client agreed to accept the terms of the corporate/public new house builder's settlement offer (the reason being because the attorney "liked" the client)? Has he dropped a case because his client determined that the repairs required were beyond the realm of "cosmetic" as touted and advocated by the new house builder and stated a "full schedule" as the reason for dropping the client's case? Has he ever not collected on a final invoice for legal services rendered because of his CLIENT'S REFUSAL to pay (this may be an indication of the client's satisfaction with the legal services provided or the magnanimity of the attorney)? And, what were the circumstances and results of any of these actions and proceedings? Do not assume that your attorney or the builder will behave in an honorable manner. For further insight see kbhomesucks.com, Online Discussion, User Forum, page 3 Choosing An Attorney.
Review your closing documents for restrictions which may prevent you from publicly expressing your pleasure or displeasure with your new house purchase. For example: yard signs, petitions, picketing, Internet posting, letters to the editor, etc.; anything which may be an attempt to confine your experience and opinion to your househol