One of the most important steps in the process of buying a home is the final walk-through. This is where the buyer can confirm the house is in the same condition he/she has agreed to buy it in. It’s also an opportunity to ensure that the agreed upon repairs, if any, were made as specified and nothing has gone wrong with the house since he/she last looked at it.¬†offers excellent info on this.

Sometimes, home buyers do not pay enough attention to the final walk-through because they’re too excited about finally closing on a home particularly if it has taken a while to find the right home for them. This may lead to small problems once the buyer takes ownership. On the contrary, the final walk through can raise both negative and positive emotions during this last part of the home selling process.

It is smart to take the walk-through seriously and think things through. Do not see it as just checking a box. During the walk through you should open all the faucets and inspect them for leaks. Ensure that the appliances work, turn heat or/and air conditioning on and off, flush the toilet and open every window to its fullest, then close it tight and check for air leaks.

Below are some tips for home buyers to help them complete an effective and smooth walk-through.

  1. Avoid a walk-through on the closing day / Tips for home buyers

A walk-through can lead to the discovery of repairs that have to be made, but that you did not know about before. If you do the walk through on the same day as the closing, you might not have enough time to have the problems resolved.

It isn’t uncommon for two walk-through’s to occur. The first walk-through identifies some problems for the buyer, and the second ensures those problems were addressed.

  1. Use your cell phone to check the outlets / Tips for home buyers

Plug a phone in and out of the electrical outlets so that you can ensure that the electricity works. You want to avoid moving in your belongings, only to realize that some of the outlets do not work.

  1. Have an eye for junk left behind by sellers / Tips for home buyers

Sometimes, sellers may be too caught up in moving to their new home that they may forget to remove their old household junk. You should take the time to check the attic, under the deck and garage. The sellers might just assume that you want to use their old paint cans or an old propane tank..

  1. Ask for keys, alarm codes, garage openers and manuals / Tips for home buyers

Before completing the final walk-through, be sure to ask for working keys to all the doors, garage openers, alarm codes, and any system or appliance manuals. It is also a good idea to ask the seller for copies of receipts for any promised repairs.

  1. Be emotionally prepared for a surprise / Tips for home buyers

Buyers normally fall in love with a house that is full of belongings, furniture and art. They see it as a welcoming home, and remember a warm feeling. Fast forward to the close of escrow and you are faced with an empty house, which can feel rather hollow and cold.

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Obtain credit reports from all three credit bureaus. They are Experian, Transunion and Equifax who each allow you to one obtain one free report per year. Make sure all the information is correct because one small mistake could cost you thousands of dollars with a higher interest rate. If there are mistakes dispute them on any and all reports they are present. Also a big tip to improve credit score quickly is to lower the balance to under 50% of total credit limit. For example owing $300 on a $500 card limit is far worse for you then owing $10,000 on a $25,000 card limit. First case 300/500 is 60% of total limit while 10,000/25,000= 40%. While you would owe far more money in second case it is far superior for your credit score then first case where your debt to limit is 60%.

Get Pre-approved – Once your credit reports are accurate and in the best light a pre-approval is a must. No one will accept an offer on any property unless you have solid financing especially during current economic times.
Down payment, in today’s economic times banks are far less likely to approve you for a loan with no down payment. You should have at least 3% down. If you don’t have one here is a quick way to get used to paying a mortgage and obtain a down payment. Set up a separate account and every month for 6 months put what your principle, interest, taxes and insurance would be if you had a mortgage. At the end of six months you would have around 3% of the loan value to put towards your house and gets you used to paying a mortgage every month. If you all ready have a down payment then use the money for an emergency fund encase anything happens the first year of home ownership.
Find a full-time real estate buyer’s agent. As a first time home buyer the process of buying a house can be daunting and a buyer’s agent who represents you can clearly explain the process and all the steps necessary to purchase a property. The sellers of property will have representation so why not you? Also the seller generally pays the buyers agency fee so there is no reason not to hire a buyer’s agent.
Research- Locations, schools, crime rates, neighborhoods, distance to work (commute), local amenities, inventory levels, recent sales, taxes, insurance rates, and so much more. A real estate professional can aid you with many of these areas.
Patience – Buying a home isn’t like going to the store and picking up a loaf of bread. A home is most likely your largest financial investment and proper guidance from a real estate professional who does this every day is a must.
Home Inspection – Never buy a home without a home inspection. A home inspection will cost you about $300-$400 which is minimal compared with the benefits of having a home inspection. A home inspection typically takes a couple hours and analyses a great deal more than the 15-30 minutes you probably spent seeing the home. Home inspection can save you from making a few hundred thousand dollar mistake by allowing you to walk away from a problem home. Home inspection can also help you in renegotiation terms based on new knowledge or issues that have been revealed during the inspection.

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