While you should approach any house being sold under this term with caution, buying a home as is doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a bad deal.
At its most basic, a home being sold as is typically means the seller is not interested in any sort of negotiation. This might be because the seller wants to move quickly or doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of making minor cosmetic repairs.
The real problem for buyers is when there’s more to the story — like a structural flaw with the home or hidden damage that can cost a small fortune to repair.
Here are six red flags to watch for if you’re considering a home being sold as is.
Cracks. Cracks can indicate a significant structural problem.
Cracks in a foundation are never a good thing. So if an as-is home on your list winds up proving worse for the wear at the foundation level, then it might be time to reconsider.
How to check it out: Have a licensed home inspector or experienced real estate agent do a walk-through with you to determine if an as-is home has any notable foundation issues. If there are, have a structural engineer create a damage report and then have several contractors bid on the repair. Once you know how much a repair will cost, reduce your offer by this amount to ensure you can get the house without overpaying.
Sketchy addition. Another structural problem you don’t want to ignore is a badly built addition.
“Homes with additions can typically have problems that are very expensive to resolve,” says real estate developer Bill Samuel. “Ask the seller if the home has any additions and if the addition was permitted. I’d also generally discourage inexperienced buyers from purchasing as-is homes with additions. ”
How to check it out: Work with a home inspector to check for any additions with flaws or shortcuts in the construction.
Roof damage. If you encounter an as-is home, you’ll want to make sure the reason isn’t a damaged roof.
“The cost of a roof replacement is estimated to be $ 8,000 plus, which is a high added cost on top of the home value, not to mention a major overhaul to the property,” says Joshua Blackburn, director of design and construction at Evolving Home. . “Be on the lookout for any visible damages on the roof of the house you are checking because this is a big red flag.”
How to check it out: Be sure to eyeball the roof (from a safe distance on the ground) for any looming signs of damage. Also, take a peek in the attic to check out the roof from within the house.
Flood zone property. You’ll want to be sure it is not in a flood zone since repairing past, or future, damage could be financially crippling.
Ask the sellers if the home has ever flooded before and if they can share details on the completed repairs.
How to check it out: Find out your home’s potential for damage with the Realtor.com flood risk rating. And work with your local insurance agent to determine the cost of insuring the house, as flood insurance is costly.
Mold. Like water damage, mold can be another nasty (and often hidden) element you won’t want to deal with in any property.
Mold is not only costly to remove, but it can also be a health hazard. As a result, most lenders will also want to steer clear of lending on a home that has a severe mold infestation.
How to check it out: Be wary of any mildew smells or discoloration in the home’s walls, ceiling, or floors. If you suspect mold, talk with your real estate agent about having a mold professional inspect the house.
Not allowing an inspection. All buyers have the right to know the condition of the home they’re buying.
“‘As is’ simply means no renegotiating the sales price, and that’s fine in a competitive… market. Buyers have a right to know the condition of the home they’re buying. And if sellers disagree, it tends to mean they’re. hiding something. ”
How to check it out: Unless you love the home, this red flag usually means you should walk away from the deal.
Realtor.com provided this report.