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The Dangers of Buying 'As Is': Why You Should Have a Home Inspection

What you see is what you get with homes for sale “as is.” While sellers generally list these properties at a discounted price, it’s up to you as the buyer to know what you’re getting. Since the seller isn’t willing or able to improve the property, it’s your responsibility to identify possible problems before signing any paperwork.

If you’re considering buying a home “as is,” it’s time to schedule a home inspection from a reputable professional. You need to make sure the prospective property is up to code and won’t drain your savings. Comparing homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound can help you learn more about protecting your assets.

Whether you’re a frequent home flipper or a first-time buyer, eventually you’ll run across a listing that pulls you in with its reasonable price and its “as is” label. Foreclosed, bank-owned homes often come with an “as is” tag. How can you figure out if this property is a true bargain or an expensive bust waiting to happen? Everything may look fine on the surface, but only a professional-grade inspection can clue you into the true condition of the house.

As Time reports, a quality inspection that lives up to the standards of the American Society of Home Inspectors should cost around $500 and take two to three hours, depending on the specifics of the house. The inspection should cover the house from top to bottom, and include major systems like heating, plumbing, septic, and electrical.

A proper inspection will provide you with a detailed assessment of the condition of the property. Whether it turns up a huge structural red flag, a roof with lots of wear and tear, faulty plumbing, or small-scale issues, you will then have the power make an informed decision. If you’ve already made an offer and put down a deposit, you should be able to pull out of the deal if the contract includes a home inspection contingency, according to the experts at Realtor.com. Or, you can use the results of the inspection as a bargaining chip for negotiating a lower price, since you’ll have to pay for any repairs to the home once you own it.

Keep an eye out for hidden water damage. It can be hard to detect but can cause massive long-term problems. It’s a good idea to specifically ask your inspector about potential water damage to the walls or basement, and to check if there are any lurking mold issues. Cara Ameer, a broker associate at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Inc., recommends finding an inspector with the most modern tools, including a camera with infrared technology to detect latent moisture. It’s worthwhile to vet potential inspectors and ask them about their services so you have the greatest chance of getting a comprehensive look at the health of the house.

When you’re considering buying a house “as is,” the responsibility of repairs and upgrades is on you. A thorough inspection from a licensed professional can help you make a smart decision that pays off in the long run. Compare homeowners insurance quotes with CoverHound and keep your property protected through its many stages.

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Insurance shopping simplified

Review personalized quotes, select coverages, and buy online - Everything insurance, all-in-one-place.

Insurance shopping simplified

Review personalized quotes, select coverages, and buy online - Everything insurance, all-in-one-place.
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