The excitement and nervous feelings are all coming together as you embark on the final journey in getting your new house. Just when you think you are finally ready to sign the papers, get the keys, and move in, you still have one more important job to do to finalize the process – the walk-thru.
The walk-thru is nothing like the home inspection because you aren’t going through for the first time. This is more or less the final dress rehearsal before signing the papers. This is when you double-check on things and, if nothing else, make yourself comfortable and proud to be calling this your new home.
However, there are things that you want to keep your eyes open for when you are preparing for the final walk-thru so that you can put yourself at ease and enjoy your first day in the new house. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are preparing for your final walk-thru on your new home:
- Make sure that you do not do the walk-thru more than 24 hours before the closing on the house. If time permits on the day of closing, I would do any final walk-thru’s that morning, or just prior to going to the closing. That way nothing could have happened without you knowing before you sign on the dotted line.
- When you get to the walk-thru, make sure you have everything that you jotted down before that you asked (and that previous home owner agreed) to fix. This isn’t the time to be lazy – make sure that you follow through on everything that was agreed upon before going to the closing. That way you aren’t caught off-guard when you get to the house right after signing all of the papers.
- At the walk-thru, make sure to check around the outside of the house as well to see that nothing has been damaged by a thunderstorm or a wind storm since you previously looked at the house. This is particularly important for the siding on the house and on the roof. If there was a strong storm, you also want to check the attic to make sure of any leaks or damages that may have been cause throughout those storms as well.
- When you are at the walk-thru, make sure all of the fixtures and appliances in the house are the same as when you last saw them. This includes the major items like the toilets and lighting, as well as something as small as a shower head or a sink faucet. Regardless, make sure that they didn’t break anything or try to replace them, causing a possible leak under the sink or a busted breaker for the lighting.
- Make sure that you check that the house is in good shape after the previous owner moved out. This means that you probably saw the house with furniture in it, so you weren’t able to see the walls and carpet. Make sure that there are no holes in the walls or no huge stains/rips in the carpet. This sounds petty, but it is something that will cost you in the long run.
- Along those same lines, make sure that the house is in good enough shape to move in. You don’t want to be wasting time cleaning the floors and scrubbing down the bathroom sinks when you are so excited and pumped to move in. All of the floors should be swept and all of the countertops cleaned off.
- When doing the final walk-thru, check that all of the major appliances that were agreed upon are not only still in the house, but also functional. It doesn’t hurt to test how cold the freezer is or test to make sure that oven/stove work. Something small, but it can end up being a big problem if you don’t follow-up on it.
- Take a quick look in all of the storage areas to make sure that the previous owner isn’t leaving behind old junk that you will just have to toss out anyway. It is their responsibility to get rid of garbage and any potential hazardous materials when leaving the house.
About the Author: Doug Chapman is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a stay-at-home dad blog. He specializes in diapers and Sippy cups by day, but is a successful real estate investor by night.