|Before you close the deal on your new home, you should perform a walk through inspection. This is not much different from inspecting anything you might buy. You smell and squeeze fruit at the grocery, you walk around a new car in the dealership lot to look for blemishes in the finish, so why not go over your new home with a fine-toothed comb to see if you are getting what you bargained for?
The biggest problem is that many people underestimate the amount of time an inspection such as this might take. It can and should take hours, depending upon the size of the home and the number of appliances, doors, and other mechanical things that must be checked to see if they work properly.
Rushing through a walk through inspection can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The written report that results from the inspection represents an extremely important benchmark. Not only does the report indicate things that are defective or not completed, but it also should state all of the things that are in perfect or good condition at the time of the inspection. Don't forget that this walk through inspection is one of several. You will probably do another one six months after you have been living in the house, and a final one just before your one-year anniversary.
The signature of the builder or his representative as well as your signature will stifle or stop any and all arguments at a later date. Neither party will be able to say, "Well, that crack in the floor was there before you moved in." Can you imagine trying to prove whether or not a foundation wall was cracked, or a floor didn't squeak during the initial walk through inspection?
Do not underestimate the power of a thorough inspection report, especially if defects start to happen after you have moved in to the new home. Imagine, if the first report showed the foundation to be crack-free at the first walk through before your move-in day. Then six months later, you have three cracks in the foundation and one year later, one of these cracks is one-half inch wide. Your written, signed reports clearly show a defect that is getting worse by the day.
Final walk-throughs are not a home inspection. It's not a time to begin negotiations with the seller to do repairs, nor is it a contingency. A final walk-through is an inspection performed anywhere from a few hours to five days before closing, and its primary purpose is to make certain that the property is in the condition you agreed to buy -- that agreed-upon repairs, if any, were made and nothing has gone wrong with the home since you last looked at it.
Buyers are often pressed for time as the day draws near for closing, which means buyers can be tempted to pass on the final walk-through. It is never a good idea to forget the final walk-through.
Call RKM Field Inspections for residential and commercial property inspections from our building inspectors serving Bridgeton, St. Louis, St. Charles, Missouri.
Let's call these clients Angie and Carl. They were a few days away from closing on an adorable California bungalow. This house was owned by a local sportswriter who had been transferred to Phoenix, and the owner left shortly after putting the home on the market. The home inspection went smoothly, and the home inspector did not note any items that required immediate attention. In fact, there was nothing about this situation that was cause for alarm.
The day Angie and Carl arrived for the final walk-through, they were advised to turn on all the lights, run water and make sure the stove worked, all those sorts of logical precautions, but these buyers were engrossed in other spur-of-the-moment distractions and "new home" excitement. Instead of listening to their agent's advice, they were discussing their sofa placement and which window treatments they should buy for the living room. Although it is not within my scope to perform a final walk-through for clients, it was apparent that the buyers had no interest and would likely, if given the chance, have waived the final walk-through. I could hear them in the back yard talking about how far the present decking could extend before striking the fence as I wandered around the house turning on lights, and then I hit the handle on the toilet. All of a sudden Angie screamed. I dashed into the back yard in time to witness a geyser -- water gushing from the ground! And it smelled.
If I hadn't depressed the flushing mechanism on the toilet, we would never have had subsequently discovered that the sewer line had tree roots growing in it. The following day we received an estimate of $5,000 to fix it. Since we were a few days away from closing, we had time to withhold that money from the seller's proceeds and order the work completed.
Many buyers perform a walk through or pre-settlement inspection prior to the settlement date To review the property"s condition.
Call our building inspectors at (855) 553-4070 or e-mail us
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