Excitement and Stress….
You will face many emotions during the process of purchasing a home, especially if it’s your first home.
From the time you start looking, till the day of closing, you have over come many emotions as you have completed the steps to reaching the closing table.
After the long progress, many buyers tend to skip what I feel is a very important part to purchasing a home.
You may be thinking what is that? I did everything for my mortgage, a home inspection, checked zoning, and so on….however, many aren’t thinking of the final step before going to the settlement table. A final walk thou.
You might be thinking, why do I need this, I did a home inspection and everything was fine.
Take the time with your agent to do a final walk thou, and take your time. I recommend using a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything.
During the final walk thou, make sure you check the range and that all burners are working including the oven, the dishwasher if the property has one. Start a load and let it run while you are going through the home. Make sure you check any other appliances that might be staying with the home as part of the contract.
Take the time and check the light switches and outlet’s to ensure they are working. You can take small night light with you to test the outlet if you don’t have a tester.
Check the heating and central air (if the home has central air). Depending on the time of the year you might not be able to test the system due to temperatures being to cold for central air, or to warm to get the heater to turn on. This can be difficult if the home is vacant and closed up.
Check all faucets, and make sure there is hot and cold water. Also when you have the water running, make sure you check for any leaks. When you get to the bathrooms, I always advise running the sink, tub or shower, and while they are running flush the toilet to make sure the water pressure doesn’t’ drop to much.
If there is a garage with an automatic opener, make sure you check that the safety feature is working if a safety eye has been installed. If one hasn’t been installed you might want to consider installing one shortly after you move in. This is very important especially if you have kids.
If there are are other major items, like in-ground pools, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, etc. you will want to check. You might even want to hire an expert to come along with you one last time to the final walk thou.
Also if the property has a septic system, and is not hooked to a public system make sure you walk the area where the septic is and the drain field to make sure there isn’t any excessive moisture and the grounds not soggy.
Other things to consider looking for at a final walk thou would be the walls to make sure the paint wasn’t chipped or holes were put in the wall by accident while the owners were moving their belongs out.
Also check to make sure all items are there that were promised in the contract, refrigerator, curtain rods and fixtures (not the curtains but the fixtures), ceiling fans, bathroom fixtures (towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc).
As well as checking for items that are to remain with the property as part of the contract, make sure the previous owners didn’t leave unwanted items and trash for you to dispose of. The property should be broom swept at the time.
I always recommend doing the work thou, no more then 2 days before closing. There is always a chance of bad weather that could damage a property.
As you are doing your final walk thou, like I mentioned I recommend using a checklist, but also take photo’s of anything that might be of question to you. This will give your agent the opportunity to negotiate a credit or have money held in escrow while the seller’s repair any item that might have gone wrong.
Even if you are purchasing a short sale or foreclosure, still do a walk thou and make sure all times are there that were promised. Even though you are purchasing it “AS IS” don’t let seller’s take what is part of the contract and short your investment.
As you can see the importance of a walk thou. This is your final chance to ensure the property is the way it was when you wrote the contract and all items are present and functioning.
Take 30 minutes before signing for a 30 year commitment.