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August 30, 2010


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The sellers asked to be present when I did the final walkthrough on my house--over 15 years ago.

Of course I was ignorant (it was the first house I ever bought), but what was my real estate agent thinking?!?

It was really weird trying to look for flaws in the house with this older couple dogging my steps and trying to "show" me how to use the dishwasher, etc.

It was a nice house, but I should have made the sellers haul away all the construction materials and junk they left in the garage, laundry room, crawl spaces, under the deck etc. It was really annoying to keep finding piles of 20 year old bathroom tiles and rug pieces stuffed behind cabinets and under the stairs and above rafters in the garage. I probably would have brought it up if I didn't have them following me around everywhere during the walkthrough. Ugh!

Sometimes in the euphoria of buying a house (particularly if you are a first time buyer), you don't go through the walk-through with a critical eye. That's why checklists like this are a great tool.

MC and Money By The Numbers make great points. Buying a house should be a financial transaction like any other. You wouldn't buy a 49¢ can of soda if it had a pinhole leak, so why buy a $200,000 house if it isn't practically perfect?

Remember that if the house isn't in perfect working order, the onus is on the seller to make things right before the sale closes. Once you're in escrow, you're screwed. Don't forget that the seller wants the deal to close every bit as much as you do, if not more so.

Good! Also, bring this list with you when you do the walk-through. When the seller and the seller's agent are hanging over your shoulder, it's hard to stay focused.

To the bathroom/kitchen issue, I'd add this (though you should've done this when your home inspector is there): turn on the showers. Let the water get warm. Then flush a toilet. If the water pressure drops drastically or the temp abruptly gets very hot or very cold, then the house may need to be replumbed...a pricey proposition.

I second "Flush the toilets". I did not do this (they looked fine to me) and upon moving in, I found out the toilet in the master bathroom did not work. So I was spending money on Day 1 of owning my condo on fixing the toilet. I think the checklist is great- it hard of to think of everything. Also might want to check to see if smoke detector is working. Plus turn on the showers- great idea. I thought I was missing a showerhead after I moved in. However, I just did not recognize the small European type showerhead design. It only looked like something was missing.

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