BY MARILYN KENNEDY MELIA, CTW FEATURES
Buyers don’t see a home as it is, but envision what it could be.
And, that vision is usually rosy, with excited imaginings of how furniture will fit or how much room there will be to entertain.
That’s why it’s highly recommended that buyers — especially first-timers — attend the home inspection, to glean a more mundane, but utterly practical view.
Besides, after making an offer, it’s the buyer who hires a professional to uncover any serious flaws that must be addressed before closing.
Many purchasers don’t accompany the inspector through his basement to roof inspection — which can last two hours or more — but instead arrive at the end for a review, says Michael Casey, a certified Pauma Valley, California inspector.
Nearly all buyers do arrive at the end of the inspection, says Kathryn Bishop, agent with Keller Williams, Studio City, California.
Ironically, it’s buyers who are already homeowners and who feel ill-equipped in the art of home maintenance who ask to trek along the entire inspection, says Bishop. “This is a major learning experience for any home buyer, but especially for first-time buyers,” says Kathy Dames, owner of RE/MAX Ultimate Professionals, Plainfield, Illinois.
“They will learn about all the components of a home — electrical system, foundation, roof, plumbing and its fixtures and heating.”
By listening to the narrative by the inspector as he goes through the home, “there may be some tips mentioned specific to the house,” adds Casey.
Don’t expect an inspector to make predictions on when home systems and appliances need to be replaced, however, just descriptions of current conditions. For example, shares Casey, “We would say the furnace’s expected service life is about 30 years, but may be reduced due to lack of maintenance, and recommend that it be serviced.”