Your closing day is here. You are days (if not hours) away from owning your dream apartment. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement, but don’t let that override taking a careful, final look at your new property.
Final walk-throughs should occur within 48 hours of closing. Below is a list of what to check and what to look out for:
1. Be sure all of the electrical outlets are in working order. (Bring something that is easy to plug in – ie. a night light or cell phone charger to test EACH outlet.)
2. Open all of the windows. Sometimes windows are missing springs and do not remain open on their own. Test the lock mechanisms as well.
3. Do the doors open and close properly?
4. Test the gas (or electric) for all appliances. Does the stovetop range light? Does the oven get hot? Microwave?
5. Run the dishwasher. It’s usually a smart idea to do this at the very beginning of your walk-through. This way, the dishwasher can run through majority of a short cycle by the time you are done. Open it mid-cycle to be sure water is spraying around the interior.
6. Open the refrigerator. Is it cold? Check the freezer. A good way to make sure a freezer is functioning is to check the ice drawer.
7. Turn on each faucet. How long does it take for the water to get hot? Does it drain okay? Do the same with showers.
8. Flush the toilets. Do they flush property? Any flooding?
9. Do air conditioners/HVAC units work – and do they blow cool air?
10. Turn lights on and off and check all dimmers. If anything is not in working order, be sure it is merely due to light bulb issues as opposed to electrical problems.
11. If a washer/dryer is included in your purchase, check to see it is working properly.
12. Ring the doorbell and do a check of the intercom system.
13. Is there anything glaringly different that was not apparent when you first saw the property? (Holes in the ceiling, cracked windows, floor-pieces missing or new floor scratches? Ceiling discoloration?)
14. Make sure that any items included in the contract/purchase are still in the apartment. (Furniture, appliances, window treatments, light fixtures, etc…)
15. Ask the owner for copies of existing warranties for all appliances.
16. Inspect carefully for any new signs of mold or water damage. Places to focus on may be in the bathroom, near the sink or around any washer/dryers.
The final walk-thru is the last time you’ll have to make sure everything is in order. It gets a bit more difficult to hold an owner accountable after you have closed. Take your time, and cover all of your bases as best you can.