August 23, 2018
This is it. You are about to walk into your new home as the owner. Whether you are a first home buyer or a seasoned property investor, it’s still a challenge to cover all the essentials of a new home final inspection. No pressure, but even one small misstep could leave you with costly repairs, which you could have brought up with your seller or builder for a more efficient fix.
When you look closely during your final home inspection, you might also find a good reason to back out of the purchase altogether. This doesn’t happen very often but it’s still smart to do that eleventh-hour check to make sure you are still buying the home you saw when you first viewed the property. It is, after all, your right legally. Take advantage of it and feel more confident with your purchase.
To help make sure you have checked everything, use this final inspection checklist.
Before you go through your new property with a fine-toothed comb, you’ll have professional inspectors take care of the big stuff.
- Building inspection to check for structural issues, damage, or outdated fixtures or features that need to be replaced.
- Pest inspection to ensure there are no insects or vermin already inhabiting your new home. Also, ask your inspector to let you know of the potential for pest issues in the future based on location and materials used in the home’s construction.
- Swimming pool inspection for the pool, pool fencing, and the surrounding area, if your property has a pool. This is something that has to be done regularly anyway for safety reasons.
- Surveyor’s report to identify your property’s boundaries so you know exactly where your land ends.
Before settlement, you need to do a comprehensive final – and very thorough check. Take someone with you to make sure you leave no stone unturned.
Here are all the potential issues you should check for:
Water pressure and drainage. Go through and flush all the toilets and run all the taps, including the shower and bath, to check for leaks, low pressure, or poor drainage.
Windows and doors. Hold your hands around the edges of the windows and doors to check for draughts. Are there any west-facing windows that may heat up your interior quickly? Also, open and close all windows and flyscreens to make sure all the windows function properly.
Flooring. Take your shoes off and walk on all the floors, checking for bumps, warping, or uneven spots. These could be the sign of a problem. Check how the carpets feel – plush or worn? Look around the edges where the flooring meets the walls – are any mistakes or messes being cleverly covered?
Electric check. As you go through the house checking the taps, you can also check the electricity. Turn each switch on and off to make sure it works. Also, bring in a small device like a small fan or your phone charger to test each outlet. If the outlet works, it will turn on the fan or start charging your phone immediately.
Cupboards. Open and close all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom. Check for any issues as well as strange odours that could signal poor ventilation or mould growth.
Walls and paint. Often, homes are given a fresh coat of paint before going on the market. Take a look at the paint job, paying particular attention to corners, borders, and window frames. If there are any mistakes, you can ask for them to be corrected.
Outdoors. Walk around the outdoors looking for any aesthetic issues that need to be addressed like siding that’s falling apart. Your building inspector should have spotted major issues but it’s still a good idea to do a final check in the outdoor living space.
If you go through your final inspection checklist and realise there are a few issues with your new house, you still have time to do something about it. Usually, a seller will offer to fix factors that your building inspector brings up as the house has to pass inspection before you can buy it. If they can’t or won’t fix the issues, you’ll have to decide if it is still worth it to purchase the home as you’ll have to pay for the repairs. You can also ask for them to lower the price.
For hiccups that come up in your personal inspection, you can talk to your realtor about approaching the seller and seeing what they can do. If they are really interested in selling you the home, they may offer to address your concerns. On the other hand, in a competitive market, you may be left with the burden, especially if it is something cosmetic like chipped paint or old carpeting. You can discuss your options with your realtor, who will have a good idea of the best route to take.
If you purchased a home off the plan or are moving into a new construction your architect designed, you can talk to your builder about fixing any problems you notice. It’s a lot easier to take care of things before you move in, and before your builder will be ready to move on to their other projects.
And, if everything looks good, congratulations! Now you can go ahead and collect your keys to officially move in.
Written by Refinancing.com.au
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