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New Construction Walk-Through [What You Need to Know Before Moving In]
When you reach the home stretch of moving into your new custom home, nothing is more exciting than scheduling the final walk-through with your builder. Keep in mind the term “final” is used loosely in this scenario. Additional walk-throughs are always scheduled within the first year of home ownership to allow the builder to make any needed adjustments after the normal expansion and contraction of a new home have taken effect. The final walk-through before your actual move-in date is intended to demonstrate how each feature in your home works plus check for any corrections needed.
Before meeting the builder, pack a bag with essential items you may need for the walk-through. This includes any contracts, inspection reports, a camera, and a mobile phone with charger. Most importantly, a custom home walk-through checklist is an invaluable resource to confirm your builder has covered all the bases.
The Importance of a Custom Home Walk-Through
The final walk-through is designed to educate buyers on each component of the house. With your new custom home comes a stack of instruction manuals that many of us don’t have the time to read cover to cover. A homebuilder will give an overview of how to operate each home feature. The builder also provides maintenance guidelines to keep your house in tiptop shape. This is a critical step since warranties may require certain maintenance tasks performed for claim approval.
Discussing the final steps for home completion is another important part of the walk-through with your builder. Any items that still need to be completed should be worked out with the builder at this time. This helps you both plan ahead. For instance, if you move into your new home in the winter, any landscaping adjustments may not be scheduled until the coming spring.
Dos and Don’ts of a New Home Walk-Through
Make the most out of your final walk-through with the following tips:
- Practice punctuality. Builders have tight schedules and often have multiple appointments in a single day. Arrive on time for your scheduled walk-through.
- Come prepared. Write down any questions ahead of time and bring a pen and paper or tablet to jot down any notes. Take photos as needed.
- Discuss follow-up arrangements. You and your builder can make a plan for what items in the home still need to be addressed and discuss a timeframe for completion.
- Expect Adjustments. A custom homebuilder will return for adjustments three to six months after the final walk-through due to naturally occurring structural changes.
- …bring the entire family. Although children or extended family members are excited for the new home to be ready, you don’t want any distractions during the walk-through.
- …feel hurried. The right custom homebuilder will take the time to go over everything. Turn on each light switch, run water out of every faucet, and show you every valve.
- …bring your deep grievances such as “Why did I have to pay for the driveway again?” – “I think you didn’t explain how budgets worked well enough.” – “I wanted you to call us more often;” or spring an entirely new issue on your custom home builder. The final walk-through is not the time to deceive your homebuilder. Ideally, you have chosen the right custom homebuilder who has been upfront with costs and timing.
Working with a trusted homebuilder with good communication skills and the utmost level of professionalism will make the final walk-through a positive learning experience and only add to your excitement of finally moving into your beautiful custom home.