When and how, will you know whether or not drain tile was installed, or was installed properly? Who will be doing the inspections of your new house? A representative chosen by the new house builder?
Ask the builder's representative how many times houseowners have had to file a lawsuit against the builder in an attempt to get warranty issues resolved and how were the warranty issues resolved? Why are there unresolved issues? Be willing to wait for an answer. Then verify the answer you receive independently.
Also, ask for a copy of the Limited Warranty Agreement including all Exhibits and read them. Mainly, get the warranty documents. Do this before any money changes hands. This will show you the position you will be in should problems arise.
Ensure that your new house builder pays THEIR SHARE of YOUR first year's realestate property taxes.
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 which was legitimately the responsibility of the new house builder, and as a result of the new house builder's overt, covert, or subtle act of ignoring a valid new house warranty claim? [subtle form of theft?]
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 to be 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. Some may claim economies of scale, cost cutting, inadequate quality control, etc., have the predictable results of shoddy/defective construction, which others may view/claim as, "accidents."
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 NAHB Residential Construction Performance Guidelines book [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 (1/09: neighbor had 200+ sq. ft of basement floor replaced, at his expense.), 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 may speak volumes about the risks involved in the purchase of a new house.