Buying a House As-Is
If you’re in the market for a new home, then you may have come across some listings for homes that are being sold “as-is”. But what does that mean, and should you be concerned? Here’s the lowdown on what you can expect when you’re buying a house in as-is condition.
What “as-is” means
When someone sells their home as-is, it means that they do not want to complete any repairs before they close on the home. As a buyer, there are no guarantees that everything in the home will be in working condition. If you discover any problems with a home that you’ve purchased as-is, then you will be responsible for those repairs and the costs associated with them.
What “as-is” doesn’t mean
Just because a home is being as-is doesn’t mean it’s in terrible condition. You aren’t necessarily buying a home that needs major renovations to be livable. In many cases, the seller may simply not want to deal with minor issues or they may not have the money to make repairs. The sellers may also need to move quickly and can’t wait for contractors to finish repairs.
You should insist on a home inspection
If you’re thinking about buying a home that is listed as-is, then you should definitely get a home inspection. An inspection will uncover any issues in the home so that you will know what to expect. But what if your seller refuses an inspection? This could be a red flag. It could mean that they know there are major issues and they want to hide them in order to complete the sale.
Disclosures are still required
When you purchase an as-is home, you still have the right to seller disclosures. There are laws in every state that dictate what a seller must tell you about a home before selling. These regulations differ from state to state, but they can often include pest infestations, water damage, or mold problems. However, be aware that a seller must always disclose if there has ever been lead paint in the home as it is a federal regulation.
“As-is” might not mean the whole home
Sometimes, sellers may only specify some components of the home to be in as-is condition, not the entire home itself. Some common components that may be sold as-is include fireplaces, pools, garages, sheds, and major appliances. Find out exactly which elements of the home are being sold in as-is condition because you may be able to request repairs on those that are not.
You may have limited financing options
Not all lenders are willing to offer to finance a home sold in as-is condition. As a buyer, you need to understand what your options are. You may be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage, but you’ll need to shop around for a lender for your specific situation. Some lenders may only allow minor issues and many not finance a home in poor condition. Homes that are sold as-is usually do not qualify for mortgages backed by the federal government, such as FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans.
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