Final Walk-Throughs With Your Home Builder

September 30, 2016

Final Walk-Throughs With Your Home Builder

What To Expect During Your Final Walk-Through/Inspection When Buying A New Home in San Diego.

In my previous experience I have performed hundreds of final walk-throughs with home buyers while working for the builder. I have seen punch lists that have zero or just a few items or punch lists that have pages of items that need completion. My goal when I was delivering homes was to examine and eliminate all apparent deficiencies prior to the walk-through. The last thing I wanted was an angry buyer that would postpone closing. As a buyer this is one of the most important meetings you will have with the builder and you will want to complete the punch list feeling good about your purchase.

A final walk-through is your opportunity to document in writing any deficiencies in your new home with the builder prior to closing and move-in. A good builder will have made many inspections prior to this point and developed their own punch lists to bring the home up to their standards before presenting the home to the buyer. Ideally a builder would like to achieve a “zero item punch list” but that is often a goal that is seldom achieved. Your walk-through will be scheduled with the builder prior to your closing. It is important that you do not waive this right and expect to make a list after you close and move-in. Sure there will be some items overlooked in the walk-through that may not be visible until you are living there. The problem that arises is sometimes the builder will say that the condition you noticed was caused by you during the move-in and you may end up fighting to have the problem remedied.

Your builder may combine the walk-through as your homeowner orientation. This is where they will describe all the features in the home and inform you how to operate them. Most of the builders will also supply you with a homeowner manual that contains all the warranties and operating instructions as well as other critical information regarding your home and neighborhood.

  • Confirm that all of your options and upgrades have been installed and completed the way you expected them. Be sure to have your options and upgrades lists with you at the walk-through.
  • Make certain that there are no major changes to the property since you last viewed it.
  • I’d advise you bring someone with you as an extra set of eyes. There is no reason why you cannot hire an independent Home Inspector to examine everything in much more detail and assist you in the walk-through
  • Check to see if any conditions you asked to be remedied during previous visits (if the homebuilder allowed it) have been completed. This could be a bad sign that they are not keeping up with their work.
  • Check everything in the house to confirm it is in satisfactory working condition. If not make sure that item is recorded on the punch list. At this time the home should have been cleaned and presentable. If not I would postpone the walk-through until it is clean. Here are some key points to look at:

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