Buying a home is a monumental moment in anyone's life. It's the culmination of months, or even years, of searching, planning, and decision-making. As you approach the final stages of the home buying process, one critical step remains: the final walkthrough. This is your last chance to ensure that the property meets your expectations and is in the condition you agreed upon with the seller. To help you make the most out of this crucial step, we've compiled a list of the top 5 things to look for when doing a final walkthrough of a home you're buying.
1.Confirm Repairs and Agreement Compliance – Your initial purchase agreement likely included stipulations for repairs or improvements to be made by the seller before the closing date. During the final walkthrough, it's essential to verify that these commitments have been met. Pay close attention to:
Structural and Safety Repairs: Check for any structural issues, such as a leaky roof, foundation cracks, or electrical problems. Ensure that these have been addressed as per the agreement.
Appliance Functionality: Test all appliances included in the sale, such as the stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, and HVAC system. Ensure they are in working order.
Plumbing and Fixtures: Run faucets, flush toilets, and check for leaks under sinks. Confirm that all fixtures and plumbing issues have been fixed.
Cosmetic Details: Inspect any cosmetic repairs, such as repainting, new flooring, or updated fixtures. Ensure the quality meets your expectations.
Landscaping: If the yard was part of the agreement, check the landscaping, irrigation systems, and any outdoor improvements.
2.Plumbing and Electrical Systems – The plumbing and electrical systems are the lifeblood of a home. Any issues in these areas can lead to costly repairs down the line. During the final walkthrough:
Check Outlets and Switches: Test all outlets and light switches in each room. Ensure they work correctly and without any flickering or unusual sounds.
Inspect Plumbing Fixtures: Run water in sinks, showers, and bathtubs to check for water pressure and drainage issues. Look for signs of leaks or water damage.
Sump Pump and Water Heater: If applicable, inspect the sump pump and water heater to ensure they are functioning correctly.
Circuit Breaker Box: Examine the circuit breaker box to confirm that it's labeled correctly and that there are no tripped circuits.
3.Windows, Doors, and Locks – Windows, doors, and locks play a crucial role in both the security and energy efficiency of your new home. During the final walkthrough:
Windows and Doors: Open and close all windows and doors to check for smooth operation. Look for any cracks or broken seals in windows that may affect insulation.
Locks and Keys: Test all locks and keys to ensure they work properly. This includes exterior doors, windows with locks, and any other entry points.
Weather Stripping: Check the condition of weather stripping around doors and windows to ensure a proper seal, which can help with energy efficiency.
4.Pest and Mold Inspection – Pest infestations and mold can be hidden issues that may not be immediately apparent. During your final walkthrough:
Look for Signs of Pests: Inspect corners, baseboards, and hidden areas for signs of pest infestations, such as droppings, chewed wires, or nests.
Check for Mold: Look for signs of mold or mildew in damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and around plumbing fixtures. Mold can be a health hazard and expensive to remediate.
5.Utilities and Major Systems – To ensure a smooth transition into your new home, take note of utility connections and major systems:
Utilities: Confirm that all utilities (electricity, gas, water, sewage) are turned on and functioning properly. Verify the start date for any utility bills.
Heating and Cooling: Test the heating and cooling systems to ensure they are operational and that the temperature control is working as expected.
Appliance Manuals and Warranties: Request the manuals and warranties for appliances and systems from the seller.
The final walkthrough is your opportunity to ensure that the property you're about to call home meets your expectations and the terms of your purchase agreement. By carefully inspecting repairs, plumbing, electrical systems, windows, doors, locks, pest and mold issues, and utilities, you can avoid surprises and potential costly repairs in the future. Don't rush this step; take your time to thoroughly evaluate the property. If you notice any issues during the final walkthrough, address them with your real estate agent and the seller before proceeding with the closing. With due diligence, you can ensure a smooth and satisfying transition into your new home.
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