Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Brandon Westfall said he’s honestly appalled sometimes when he’s asked to inspect a new home.

“You find many situations where you say, ‘Wow,’” said Westfall, president of the Home Inspectors of Tennessee Association.

Westfall said the association is concerned about people bypassing home inspections in Nashville’s competitive housing market as a way to try and win a house in a multiple bidding scenario.

Realtor Christie Wilson said she’s had buyers want to bypass a home inspection and advises against it.

“Their mindset it, why do I need an inspection? It's new. It passed codes, so everything should be fine,” she said.

Westfall showed News4 Investigates photos of problems he’s discovered in new homes that had passed inspections by codes, including tape around a fireplace heating vent that could have caused a fire, showers that were built at the wrong angle so the water didn’t drain and shingles held together by tape instead of nails.

“It's very challenging (for codes) to catch all this. I don't blame the inspectors at all. I think the builders should be responsible,” he said.

In Tennessee, there’s an industry standard that builders provide a one-year warrant on new construction.

But Wilson said those warranties vary based on the builder of what will and won’t be covered.

Westfall said if buyers bypass a home inspection, they then call in home inspectors right before a warranty is up, and that’s when problems that could have been caught before are now even bigger disasters.

Westfall showed a picture of a house with standing water and mold that they discovered right before a warranty was about to expire, and it was unclear whether or not the warranty covered it.

“When a house has not been lived in, it's a recipe for disaster not to have an inspection,” Wilson said.

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