After months of watching your new home being built, it’s time for the “walk through” with your builder. This is your opportunity to make sure things are fixed before closing.
Here’s a walk through of the walk-through process.
Bring blue tape and a keen eye. If your builder is amenable, do an initial check of your new home about a week to 10 days before closing. This will give the builder a chance to make repairs before the final walk through the day before closing. Bring a roll of blue painters tape to mark defects, dings and missed paint on the walls, trim, flooring, windows and doors. The builder will have a crew come through and correct each spot. At the final walk through, you’ll be making sure the work was done to your satisfaction.
Learning the systems. The builder will give you a comprehensive tour of the house and all its components. You’ll be shown cut-off valves for water and gas. The builder will teach you how to operate the heating and air system, including when and where filters need to be changed. If there is a lawn irrigation system, you’ll be shown how to program it. You will also be given user manuals and contact information for all the vendors who supplied components for your home.
Do I need an inspector? Seriously consider hiring a professional home inspector before the walk through. For $300 to $400, the inspector provides another set of eyes to catch code violations that may have gone unnoticed by the builder and local government building inspectors. It’s best to get violations fixed now, at a builder’s expense, rather than you paying for the repairs down the road when you sell the home.
Don’t be shy about pointing out problem during the walk through. At this stage in the process, builders are generally cooperative about fixing defects. It’s their final step before closing and getting the home sold.