You found the perfect house, completed the home inspections, dealt with the financial requirements and signed all the paperwork. All that is left before taking final possession of your new dream house is the final walk-through. While it may be tempting to run through it quickly, in excitement and anticipation to get into your house. It is too important of a step to take lightly or miss all together. Prepare a check-list and pay attention to these important items when you complete the final walk-through.
Make sure Everything is in Working Order
From lights to faucets to built-in kitchen appliances. Turn on everything within the house to make sure it is properly functioning. Ensure there is power to all of the lights and systems such as the heating and air conditioning, and do not forget the hot water heater and sump pump. Verify that all of the toilets flush, and run water into the sinks, checking underneath for any leaky pipes. Do not forget the garage if there is one, to make sure the doors open and close.
Verify all Repairs are Completed
If part of the settlement was for certain repairs to be completed or certain renovations to be done in the home, ensure that these have been done as per the contractual agreements. When you complete the final walk-through, you should take your contract with you so that you have a reference point for the expected condition of the property. During the home inspection, you may have found issues with the property which you specified to have remedied. It is important to ensure this meets the required standards before you take the final possession of your new home.
Visit all of the Rooms through-out the Home
In the time since you have visited the house and the previous owners have moved out, there is a lot that could go wrong in any of the rooms or areas of the home. As an example: there may be water that has started to build up in the basement. A window may have gotten broken in a recent weather event or during the seller moving out. Failure to find any of these issues before you occupy the premises means they become your responsibility and your fault. Not that of the seller!
Do not forget the Exterior
If possible, visit the roof and check to make sure there are no missing shingles, visible holes, or water damage. If the home comes with a chimney, check to make sure that it is sealed. The gutters and drainage system should be clear, so if necessary, pour water through the gutters and ensure that the water flows out. You can also verify roof integrity by going into the attic of the home. Check for any water spots in the ceiling or insulation that is falling out. While many of these may be a non-issue being aware of them is extremely important.
The Final Walk-through is your Personal Home Inspection
Just like you should not neglect the importance of a home inspection, you also should not neglect the importance of a final walk-through of your future property. This is your personal home inspection and the failure to address issues or problems with the home before the seller vacates could leave you with big problems. The last thing you need is unwanted bills before you even take possession!