You’ve already completed all of the legwork. You searched real estate listings looking for the perfect home. You secured a reputable real estate agent to represent you. And, you finally fount the exact home that you were looking for. You made an offer. It was negotiated and accepted. And, now you are waiting for the paperwork to be completed.
The final step before you close on your new home will be for you to do a thorough walk-through. This is your last chance to make sure that the house is in good condition before you are the official owner and responsible for everything. If you notice something is wrong during your inspection, you should be able to negotiate the repair costs against the sellers profit. Here are some valuable tips for completing a successful walk-through of your new home.
1. Take your time.
This isn’t something you want to rush. This is your last chance to find out if the sellers are hiding, or don’t know about, something that could potentially cost you a lot of money as soon as you move in. Take your time and thoroughly look over everything.
2. Talk to the seller.
If the house is still occupied, ask the seller any questions that you may have about the property. They may be very forthcoming about any issues that they have had in the past. They can also let you know when any recent repairs for anything were made. You could even get some contact information in case you have any questions about the house in the future.
3. Check the structure.
- Walls and ceilings: Take a good, hard look at the walls and ceilings inside the home. You may not have notices cracks or water stains when you first looked at the house. If you see cracks that are significant in size, it could indicate foundation issues. Water stains could be caused by a leaky roof.
- Exterior damage: Check the exterior of the home just as thoroughly, looking for any defects that could indicate a weak foundation or other issues.
- Doors and windows: Take the time to open and close every door and window in the entire house. All houses will settle, but if it settles too much, the doors and windows won’t operate smoothly. There could also be other issues causing them to stick like moisture or insect damage.
As you are walking from room to room, check every light switch to make sure it works. It also a good idea to check all of the outlets as well. Not only do you want to make sure that the lights work, you want to note if there is any blinking which could indicate poor wiring. If there is an electric garage door opener, make sure that it is working as it should. Wile you are in the kitchen, check out the operation of the garbage disposal as well as the exhaust fans to make sure they are in good condition.
Test every tap in all of the sinks, tubs, and showers in the house and look for any leaks. You could also take note of any hidden water damage you might find while looking inside the cabinets. Also, flush every toilet to make certain there aren’t any clogging or gurgling issues.
Any appliances that are part of the purchase should be checked to make sure that they are in good operating condition. A simple test of each one could save you a great deal of expensive heartache later.
7. Test the HVAC.
The heating or cooling system is one of the most expensive things in the home to repair or replace. Regardless of what time of year it is, you will want to make sure that they both are running efficiently. You could also take a look at the filter that is in the furnace and ask the seller how often they have had it serviced for regular maintenance. They may have records that you are able to get with warranty information.
If there’s a basement, take some time to look at everything that is down there. Water heaters, well pumps, and sump pumps are some of the common things found in basements. You’re really just looking to see if there are any water leaks. You could also note if there seems to be any water damage anywhere that may have been caused in the past. And, if you find damage and are concerned about mold, you are well within your rights to ask about how the water damage was repaired.
The house should be clean. Even though you will clean it before you move in, the seller should still be leaving it in pristine condition. If the house is empty when you inspect it, you can easily see the condition it was left in. If the sellers are still in the process of moving out when you do your walk-through, and you aren’t certain that they will leave the house clean, you can request to do another inspection after they have vacated before closing on the home.
If you are in the process of researching your options for mortgages in Washington DC, or the surrounding areas, give the Busch Team a call at First Savings Mortgage. Our dedicated mortgage brokers have over twenty years of experience and are able to process, underwrite, and close your loan, all at the local level.
Whether it’s your first mortgage, a refinance, or a new home purchase, our group of professionals will be able to assist you with the best mortgage to fit your particular needs. If you’re a first-time home buyer, we are also on the list of approved brokers for the DC Open Doors lenders program and can easily guide through your home buying process.