If you’re like many people, you’ve seen homes listed for sale “as-is.” but what does that mean, and what should you watch for if you’re interested in buying one? This guide explains.
Don’t Buy an “As-Is” Home Until You Read This!
When you buy a home as-is, you’re agreeing to purchase the home in the condition it’s currently in. That means the seller isn’t offering to make any repairs, even if something is damaged or broken, and you’re purchasing the home with the understanding that it’s up to you to make an informed decision. When you buy a home listed this way, you typically still have the right to have a professional home inspector come in… but it’s up to you to decide whether to purchase the home after checking out the inspector’s report.
5 Things to Watch for in an As-Is Home
If a seller doesn’t allow an inspection, most REALTORs® would advise you to keep looking – even if you think the home is a great deal. There’s probably a reason that the seller doesn’t want you to hire a professional inspector!
With that in mind, check out these five potential issues and red flags you should watch for when you’re interested in an “as-is” home:
- The roof
- The foundation
- Major systems in the home (such as plumbing and electrical)
- Additions to the home
Here’s a closer look at each. And remember, though there may not be anything wrong with the home at all (some sellers sell as-is because the home is hopelessly outdated, not damaged), it’s worth checking out all these issues if you’re seriously considering purchasing a home that’s being sold as-is.
Potential Issue #1 in an As-Is Home: The Roof
A typical asphalt roof lasts between 20 and 30 years. Then, the materials begin to degrade and aren’t as able to protect the home as well as they once did. If a seller put the home on the market as-is, you may want to have a specialized roof inspection done – roofs are expensive, and if you buy a property that needs a roof replacement, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket.
Potential Issue #2 in an As-Is Home: The Foundation
Foundation issues aren’t that common, but they do exist. When a seller puts a home on the market as-is, it’s probably worth having the foundation inspected by a professional. Sometimes, foundation problems manifest inside the home, two period for example, windows and doors that don’t line up quite right, cracks in the walls and sloped floors can all indicate foundation problems. Like roofs, foundations are very expensive to fix. That means it’s probably in your best interest to know exactly what you’re getting into before you commit to a deal.
Potential Issue #3 in an As-Is Home: Major Systems in the Home
When you buy a home as-is, It’s a good idea to have all its major systems checked out. That includes plumbing, electrical and even the HVAC system. That’s because these are all expensive to fix, and if you don’t have a professional inspect them now, you could end up spending quite a bit of money making repairs shortly after you’ve sealed the deal.
Potential Issue #4 in an As-Is Home: Additions to the Home
Sometimes, when people add on to their homes, they don’t get the appropriate permits from the city or county. When you are making a purchase, you need to ensure that any additions were properly permitted. You also need to find out who performed the work to create the additions, because you need to know whether they’re up to code or may have construction issues.
Potential Issue #5 in an As-Is Home: Mold
Mold can be incredibly dangerous to your health, so it’s important to have a home checked for its presence. You can ask a seller if they know whether there’s mold growth in the home, you can look for it yourself or you can hire a professional to check things out for you. In any case, you should do your due diligence to determine whether there’s mold in any home you want to purchase.
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