The Final Walk Through: A Must Have Checklist to Ensure Your New Home is Move-in Ready
Negotiations wrapped up, all requisite inspections complete, there’s nothing left to do but move in, right? Not so fast…We understand that excitement can certainly get the better of you, but you want to make certain that everything is in order and in line with your expectations. After all, this is a huge investment. Purchasing a new home is probably going to be one of the biggest investments—if not the biggest investment—of your life.
Taking your time, thoroughly surveying and noting everything you see (or don’t see) is critical for ensuring a smooth and productive transaction for all. This final walk through is your last chance to inspect the product you are buying. At Landmark Homes we understand the value of taking your time and approaching this final stage very carefully. That is why we’ve compiled this checklist to help guide you through this crucial phase of your home buying process.
Always Bring Backup
Backup in this case comes in a few different forms. The primary reinforcement being your real estate agent, and secondly, a means of documentation. Generally, as we are of course in the glorious days of smartphones, we all have access to a camera; you might also want to grab a pen and paper in case you wish to take some notes or jot down questions you may wish to ask the seller and/or his/her agent later.
Making sure that your REALTOR® is on hand for this final walk through is a no-brainer. He/she provides an incredibly useful extra set of eyes and given their experience, can potentially identify issues that you may not see at first glance.
A House Has A lot of Moving Parts – Make Sure They All Work!
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Again, this is a lot of money we’re talking about here…You want to understand exactly what you’re getting for that money. Verify that all noted repairs have been addressed, and not just addressed, but done so in a satisfactory manner. For the repairs that have been performed, be sure to inquire about warranty info.
Beyond what should have been done, look to anything else that may need to be done. For instance, are all the windows and doors opening and closing as they should. Check for faulty latches or uncooperative locks. Replacing window and door hardware isn’t exactly a cheap fix.
What about the plumbing system…are bathrooms functioning properly? Flush the toilets, test the spigots, look for any glaring leaks. Go slow and keep your eyes (and ears) open. The professionals at Landmark Homes have been through this time and time again. The thing we hate to see most is when a brand new homeowner regrets not having taken more time with their inspection and is subsequently left feeling disillusioned about their purchase.
The electrical is another major component that you absolutely want to make sure is in perfect working order. Not only are electrical issues a major inconvenience, but they can also be a fire hazard. Check to see that all outlets are working. Flick the lights on and off. Test everything you possibly can. Same can be said with the HVAC system. Even if it’s freezing outside, blast the AC and make sure that it works.
And some of the things you may not think about…The doorbell, garage door openers, alarm system. Remember a house is a complex structure, you have this one last walk through to check as much of it as you can.
As much as you want to make sure that everything is in working order and that repairs have been taken care of accordingly, you also want to double check the contents. In your purchase agreement, there were more than likely various items stipulated as being included as part of the sale of the home. Check for those items! In addition, look to see that the builders have cleared out their belongings, along with lingering trash and construction debris that may have been left behind. This is your new property, you deserve to move into a clean home, a blank canvas waiting for your personal touches.
Mold, Mildew and Water Damage Oh My…
Something you definitely don’t want to come across after you’ve moved in, signs of mold and/or water damage need to be addressed immediately. Examine those spaces where there tends to be excessive moisture, to include: the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and basement. Make a note of anything you see and certainly take some pictures.
Explore the Outdoors
The landscape should look exactly as it did when you signed the purchase offer. Look for shrubs, flowers or other elements of the home’s exterior that have been perhaps dug up or somehow destroyed.
Should be Pest Free
No one wants to move into a new home only to find that they share their abode with termites, carpenter ants, or worse, tiny four-legged mammals. Checking for signs of infestation is absolutely essential. Not sure what to look for exactly…Google it, and we guarantee you will find example pictures galore.
At Landmark Homes, we pride ourselves on smooth transactions and happy customers. This is why we are so diligent when it comes to keeping our clients informed. The final walk through may not seem all that critical, but trust us, it is. Do your homework, take good notes and your home purchase will go that much better.