“You don’t need an inspection because you are buying an “AS IS” home.” We have heard this so many times from not only buyers of real estate but also, surprisingly, real estate agents. That is great, but have you asked yourself what the “As Is” really IS?! Not knowing the facts up front could COST YOU later.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you assume the risk of an “As Is” deal, priced too good to pass up.
- Is the roof nearing the end of its life? This will be a cost you should factor in to your upcoming expenses. Roof replacement will cost a minimum of $5,000 or more depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the roof.
- Is there polybutylene piping in the home? Polybutylene piping has caused significant damage and a class action lawsuit was filed regarding the product that was vastly used in homes built in the 80’s. Replacement of the piping may be necessary in order to obtain homeowners insurance and should be budgeted accordingly.
- Has the exterior siding or stucco been installed properly or are they suffering prematurely from moisture intrusion issues? Replacement of siding or stucco will be very costly. Knowing the issues present ahead of time will allow you to factor replacement costs into your budget.
- Has the remodeled bathroom or kitchen been completed correctly? Make sure there are no hazards present following a remodel. We have seen oven vents hoods installed improperly numerous times, an issue which could lead to leakage and other issues.
- Are there any structural deficiencies that you have not seen? Structural issues can be difficult to determine without an experienced inspector. Something that may seem small, could mean the integrity of the dwelling is compromised. Repair of structural issues can be very expensive.
- Have there been any repairs to the electrical, structural, plumbing or mechanical systems recently? Knowing about these repairs and knowing they were done correctly can save you time and money.
- Have there ever been any microbial issues with the home? Indoor air quality and mold are hot topics for home buyers. If you have severe allergies or a compromised immune system, knowing about these issues could be life saving.
- Was there a significant remodel completed? If so, there should be permits and inspections reports on file with the local building department.
- The questions outlined above are just a small example of conditions that can be ongoing, hidden or not disclosed. If you purchase a home without a proper inspection, you would assume these risks and have no recourse after closing. Don’t buy a money pit. Know before you close.
- You MUST know what the “AS IS” condition of any home is before you purchase. Without this knowledge, you could be facing thousands of dollars in repairs and/or remediation. These costs could far exceed the value of the home even after you factor in the “GREAT DEAL” you are getting on the home.
A good real estate agent will inform you of these risks and encourage an inspection on any property you are thinking of purchasing. Do not misinterpret what you are about to get into. Do not bypass the inspection because of the “As Is” contingency: you do not know if it really IS a deal yet!