Home Inspection Tips for As-Is Properties

Buying an as-is property can be a risky but rewarding investment. You must inspect thoroughly and prepare to make informed decisions.

I will provide an education on the following:

  • Key areas to inspect in an as-is home.
  • Specific advice on conducting and preparing for inspections.
  • Typical problems, potential costs, and buyer rights regarding as-is purchases.

There are several things to know before buying a house as-is. Maximum Real Estate Exposure sums it up nicely. This excellent resource shows significant effort in educating the public.

Let’s examine how you can effectively inspect an as-is property.

Key areas to inspect in an as-is home

  1. Foundation and structure
    • Look for cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors: Small cracks may indicate settling, but large cracks can signal severe structural issues.
    • Check for uneven floors and doors that don’t close properly: These signs often suggest foundation problems or significant settling.
    • Inspect the basement for signs of water damage or mold: Water intrusion can weaken the foundation and create mold, which poses health risks.
  2. Roof and attic
    • Examine the roof for missing or damaged shingles: Missing shingles can lead to leaks and water damage inside the home.
    • Look for leaks, mold, and proper insulation in the attic: Ensure the attic is dry and well-insulated to prevent heat loss and water damage.
    • Ensure the gutters are in good condition and free of debris: Properly functioning gutters prevent water damage to the roof and foundation.
  3. Plumbing
    • Check for leaks under sinks and around toilets: Leaks can cause significant water damage and mold growth.
    • Inspect the water heater for age and signs of corrosion. A failing water heater can cause water damage and inefficient heating.
    • Test water pressure and drainage in all faucets and showers: Low or slow drainage can indicate plumbing issues or blockages.
  4. Electrical system
    • Look for outdated wiring and circuit breakers: Old wiring can be a fire hazard and may not meet current electrical codes.
    • Test all outlets and light switches for proper function: Ensure the electrical system works correctly and safely.
    • Check for exposed wires and other potential hazards: Exposed cables are dangerous and must be addressed immediately.
  5. HVAC system
    • Inspect the furnace, air conditioning unit, and ductwork: Look for wear and tear signs and ensure they function correctly.
    • Check filters and vents for cleanliness: Dirty filters and vents reduce efficiency and can affect air quality.
    • Test the thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly: An inaccurate thermostat can lead to inefficient heating and cooling.
  6. Exterior
    • Examine the siding, windows, and doors for damage: Damaged siding and windows allow water and pests into the home.
    • Check for proper sealing and caulking around windows and doors: Good sealing prevents drafts and water damage.
    • Look for cracks in the driveway and walkways: Cracks can be a tripping hazard and may indicate shifting ground or foundation issues.

Preparing for inspections

  1. Gather necessary tools
    • Bring a flashlight, notepad, and camera: Documenting findings is crucial for making informed decisions.
    • Wear comfortable clothing and protective gear: Proper attire allows for thorough and safe inspections.
  2. Review property disclosures
  3. Create a checklist
    • List all areas and systems to inspect: A checklist ensures you cover all critical aspects of the home.
    • Prioritize the most critical components, such as structure and plumbing. Focus on major systems that can have significant repair costs.
  4. Schedule multiple visits
    • Visit the property at different times of day: Different lighting conditions can reveal issues that may not be visible during a single visit.
    • Inspect under varying weather conditions: Rain, snow, and heat can affect the home differently and reveal hidden problems.

Typical problems found in as-is properties and their potential costs

  1. Foundation issues
    • Cost: $5,000 to $50,000+
    • Severe cracks or shifting require extensive repair: Foundation repairs are costly but necessary to ensure the home’s structural integrity.
  2. Roof damage
    • Cost: $5,000 to $10,000+
    • Replacement of shingles or entire roofs can be expensive: A damaged roof can lead to significant water damage inside the home.
  3. Plumbing leaks
    • Cost: $1,000 to $10,000+
    • Leaks can lead to mold and extensive water damage. Plumbing repairs can be expensive and disruptive, especially if walls or floors need to be opened.
  4. Electrical problems
    • Cost: $1,500 to $10,000+
    • Rewiring and panel upgrades are costly but necessary: Electrical issues pose a significant fire hazard and must be addressed.
  5. HVAC replacement
    • Cost: $3,000 to $7,000+
    • Replacing old systems ensures efficient heating and cooling: Inefficient HVAC systems can lead to high energy bills and uncomfortable living conditions.

Disclosure laws and buyer rights

  1. Seller’s obligations
  2. Buyer’s right to inspect
    • Buyers have the right to a thorough inspection: Inspections are critical for uncovering hidden issues.
    • Use findings to negotiate the price or back out from the deal: Inspection reports provide negotiation leverage and protect your investment.
  3. Negotiation leverage
    • Use the inspection report to request repairs or price reductions: An inspection report can justify price reductions or necessary repairs before purchase.

Recommendations for hiring inspectors, real estate agents and attorneys

  1. Hiring inspectors
    • Choose certified and experienced home inspectors: Certification ensures the inspector meets industry standards.
    • Read reviews and ask for references: Reviews and references provide insights into the inspector’s reliability and thoroughness.
    • Ensure they provide a detailed report: A comprehensive report is crucial for making informed decisions about the property.
  2. Selecting real estate agents
    • Work with agents experienced in as-is property transactions: Specialized agents understand the unique challenges of as-is purchases.
    • Look for solid negotiation skills and market knowledge: A good agent can help you get the best deal and navigate the complexities of as-is transactions.
  3. Consulting attorneys
    • Hire an attorney specializing in real estate: A real estate attorney can provide valuable legal advice and ensure all contracts are in order.
    • Ensure they review all contracts and disclosure documents: Legal review protects your interests and ensures compliance with all laws and regulations.


Inspecting an as-is property requires diligence and attention to detail.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top