Making the decision to purchase a new home can come with a lot of great perks. Higher energy efficiency standards, less maintenance and fewer repairs are all examples of some of the many benefits that go along with purchasing new. But even though you’ve decided to buy a new home, there is one last step before closing that you’ll need to take very seriously . . . the final walk-through.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advises homebuyers to pay close attention during the pre-settlement walk-through. It’s your responsibility to make sure your expectations have been met and that the builder has taken care of any needed changes or repairs. Here is a simple checklist from the NAHB website to give you a better idea of what to look out for.
•Does the ground around the foundation slope away from the house?
•Make sure the water does not pond in swales. To check, water the areas with a hose, if possible.
•Are there signs of erosion?
•Is the shrubbery placed at least 2-3 feet from the foundation?
•If the house has a basement, are the basement window wells clean and graveled?
Roof and Gutters
•Are the shingles flat and tight?
•Is the flashing securely in place?
•Do the gutters, downspouts and splash blocks direct water away from the house?
•Are the windows and doors sealed and protected by weather stripping?
•Are the trim and fittings tight? Are there any cracks?
•Does the paint cover the surface and trim smoothly?
•Has landscaping been installed according to the terms of your contract?
Doors and Windows
•Are all doors and windows sealed?
•Do they open and close easily?
•Is the glass properly in place? Is any loose or cracked?
•Is the painting satisfactory in all rooms, closets and stairways?
•Did the painters miss any spots?
•Are the trim and molding in place?
•Is the carpet tight? Do the seams match?
•Are there any ridges or seam gaps in vinyl tile or linoleum?
•Are wooden floors properly finished?
Appliances, Fixtures, Surfaces, Etc.
•Do all of the appliances operate properly?
•Are all of the appliances the model and color you ordered?
•Check all faucets and plumbing fixtures, including toilets and showers, to make sure they operate properly.
•Check all electrical fixtures and outlets. Bring a hair dryer to test the outlets.
•Do the heating, cooling and water heating units operate properly? Test them to make sure.
•If the home has a fireplace, do the draft and damper work?
•Are there any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns on any surfaces, including cabinets and countertops?
•Test the doorbell. Also test the intercom system, garage door opener and any other optional items.
Basement and Attic
•Are there indications of dampness or leaks?
•Is there significant cracking in the floors or foundation walls?
•Are there any obvious defects in exposed components, such as floor joists, I-beams, support columns, insulation, heating ducts, plumbing, electrical, etc.?
Certificate of Occupancy
•Has your local municipality signed off on your house?
Another advantage to buying new is most new home builders offer really great warranty programs, but they don’t cover everything. So be sure to check with your builder and make sure you’re covered. To print out your own checklist, click here.