Your first home is most likely the stepping stone for your next home, so you want to do it right and set yourself up financially to move up to your next home. In this 8-part series, How to Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Budget, you’ll learn how to find a home that is the right fit for your lifestyle, needs, and, most importantly, your budget. It takes you through every step and shows you how to avoid buyer’s remorse.
For this last week, we examine what it means to deal with an “as is” home and if it’s something you should pursue.
You’ve probably seen listings stating a home is sold “As-Is.” Does that mean it’s a dump and not worth visiting?
It can be hard to tell since there can be vast differences in the conditions of “as is” homes.
These homes can sometimes be a good deal budget-wise, especially if it gets you into a neighborhood you’ve been eyeing. However, some “as is” homes come with more troublesome issues that could cost you more in the long run.
If you offer for such a home, you need to take specific steps to protect yourself.
Understand What “As Is” Means
Basically, “as is” means the buyer will purchase the home from the seller in its current condition no matter what since the seller has no intentions to do any repairs to the property before they sell it.
The home could be in pristine condition, or it could be a significant “fixer-upper.” Smoke detectors are the only thing legally that need to be working correctly!
Know What’s Expected from Sellers
Every jurisdiction has different laws regarding “as is” homes, and every home and every seller has its own story. You’ll need to be more of a detective if you want a complete picture of an “as is” home.
If sellers know of something but don’t disclose it, that is considered fraud, and the sellers would be liable. Sometimes it is difficult to prove if sellers were aware of any defects or questionable conditions.
That’s why it is crucial to get any disclosures in writing to protect you in the long run from fraudulent information.
You want to know as much about this home as possible, especially any water-damage history. Be proactive and ask about any repair history. Did the seller have water damage at one time and make repairs, which now aren’t apparent to the buyer or the inspector?
Take cautious steps if the seller is a nonoccupant. Suppose the property was owned by someone who didn’t live in the home recently—whether it was a landlord who had been renting out the property, an estate selling for a deceased family member, or even a bank in a foreclosure sale. In that case, they can’t disclose something they didn’t know about. So be more vigilant since there could be more wrong with the property than what has been disclosed.
How to Protect Yourself
Take additional steps to ensure you understand the actual condition of a home, both apparent and “hidden.” That way, you’ll have a better idea of negotiating and budgeting for this home.
Make sure you get a qualified inspector. If you included a home inspection contingency in your offer (which you always should), you have a window of time to get the house inspected.
You can get a thorough idea of the home’s condition. Does it have a leaky roof, any water damage, serious foundation issues, and pest or termite history?
The results will help you decide whether you will continue with the transaction or not. You can walk away if you aren’t comfortable with buying the home.
Get bids from contractors. If necessary repairs are to be made, contact contractors during this contingency period to better estimate future costs.
These estimates could help you bring down the home price at the negotiating table.
Take It, Or Leave It
Overall, an “as is” home could be a good deal if you take the proper steps to protect yourself. It could be the “perfect” home for you as long as you do your due diligence on your part and have a comprehensive inspection by a professional.
You’ll also want to completely understand what you’re getting yourself into if it is a home that will need lots of work. Honestly, ask yourself if you will have the time, the commitment, the patience, and the budget for undertaking any significant repairs and making it more livable to your standards.
But remember that you can “take it or leave it,” and that’s the beauty of it. If you’re not comfortable, then you can always walk away if you’ve included the right contingencies in your offer with the seller.
I hope you have enjoyed this How to Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Budget series. Here’s a recap and link to the previous articles:
· 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Step Foot in an Open House Before you do anything else, you must evaluate your wants and needs for a home with some self-analysis.
· Are You a House or Location Person? Buyers tend to lean one way or the other, and by knowing this, you can streamline your home search either way.
· The 3 Steps Most Buyers Skip When Buying a Home You don’t want to mess up one of the most significant financial decisions of your life, so don’t forget to do these three things.
· The “Backwards” But Right Way to Finance Your First Home Our way of financing a home will lead you to the right home for your budget.
· How to Get Everything You Want in a Home Here’s how you can learn to balance your budget, location, and criteria so that you do get the “perfect” home for you.
· What YOU Need to Know About Buying for Schools Every first-time buyer needs to decide if “good schools” are on their criteria list or not. Here’s how.
If you are thinking about buying a home over the next few weeks, months, or even a year or two from now, I’d love to help you find the perfect home for you and your budget. I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted in a home, and I’d love to help you find it without blowing your budget.
Email me, and let’s see what’s possible and how close we can get you to your own perfect home sweet home.
I'm Tehane, a local realtor, helping locals buy, sell, and stay local. Schedule a conversation, and let's talk about your current situation and where you want to be.. Then, let's create a plan to get you there. Every journey begins with the first step!
BHGRE Advantage Realty
4211 Waialae Avenue, Box 9050
Honolulu, HI. 96816
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