Why Get a Home Inspection If You’re Buying “As Is”?

Some sellers – often, those working without an agent – want to sell their home “as is” so they don’t have to invest money fixing it up or take on any potential liability for defects.  There is nothing wrong with buying a home “as is,” particularly if you can buy it at a favorable price, but if you are considering buying an “as is” home, you should still hire a competent home inspector to perform an inspection.  There are several reasons for this.

First, you don’t know what “as is” is. Sure, you can walk through the home and get an idea of its general condition.  You may even spot some defects or items in obvious need of repair.  But you won’t obtain the same detailed information you will receive if you hire a home inspector.  Home inspectors are trained to look for things you are not likely to notice.  InterNACHI inspectors, for example, must follow InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice and check the roof, exterior, interior, foundation, basement, fireplace, attic, insulation, ventilation, doors, windows, heating system, cooling system, plumbing system, and electrical system for certain defects.  Armed with a home inspector’s detailed report, you will have a better idea of what “as is” means regarding that home, which means you’ll be in a better position to know whether you want to buy it.  You may also be able to use information from the home inspection to negotiate a lower price.

Second, many states require the seller to provide you with written a disclosure about the condition of the property.  Sellers often provide little information, and a few even lie.  A home inspection can provide the missing information. If an inspector finds evidence that a seller concealed information or lied to you, that may be a sign that you don’t want to buy a home from that seller.

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Finally, if you buy a home “as is” without hiring a home inspector and then later discover a defect, all is not lost.  A home inspector may be able to review the seller’s disclosure and testify as to what the seller knew or should have known about.  The inspector may find evidence that the seller made misrepresentations or concealed relevant information from you.  Even the seller of an “as is” home may be held liable for misrepresentation or concealment.

But the better choice, obviously, is to hire a home inspector first.  Remember:  The cost of a home inspection is a pittance compared to the price of the home.  Be an informed consumer, especially when buying an “as is” home, and hire an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®.

by Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., InterNACHI General Counsel, and
Nick Gromicko, InterNACHI Founder

The Home Can Be A Dangerous Place

Home Inspections and Safety Issues
There are many systems and pieces of equipment in a home that can cause injury or even death if not respected and maintained. These items include mechanical appliances such as garage doors, combustible equipment such as gas furnaces and fireplaces, pressurized equipment such as water heaters, electrical equipment, trip and fall hazards such as improper stairways, safety glass, firewalls, and many more.

Some safety items can be very serious. A improperly installed TPR (temperature and pressure relief) valve or TPR drain line on a water heater could result in the water heater exploding. Faulty electrical wiring or electrical grounding could result in electrocution or fire. Others items such as the picket spacing on a railing may be of less concern if the home owner has no children living or visiting the home.

Some safety items may not have been known issues or required by building standards when the home was built. Other items such as asbestos or lead may have been installed without any knowledge of the safety issues. Improvements in home construction, upgrades in building standards, innovative new equipment and just plain experience in the housing construction has resulted in home safety constantly changing and improving.

Your home inspection may reference some of these safety items and make recommendations for maintenance, further evaluation, repair or upgrades. Many of these recommendations are just that, recommendations. Older homes are not required to upgrade to newer building standards. It is a home owner’s decision on whether to upgrade and what safety upgrades they choose to implement. Keep in mind that safety items are concerns. There is a risk involved in not implementing repairs or upgrades. No home can be 100% safe but, ultimately, each individual must determine the amount of risk they are willing to assume for themselves and their family.

Atlas Chalet Shingles..What’s The Big Deal?

A lot has a been said on Atlas Chalet shingles since its discontinuation 2010. As recent as

2015  some insurance companies have begun canceling policies and denying claims. This has sparked a lot of conversation and concern over the Atlas Chalet shingle.

History

Manufactured by the Atlas Roofing Corporation from the late 90’s until the around 2012. They were the go-to shingle for many homebuilders looking to save some money.  From 2000 until they were discontinued in 2010, thousands of homes in and around Atlanta had them installed.

They were an economical alternative to architectural shingles and were very appealing to the untrained eye, however after a short period of time homeowners began to noticed a high rate of granule loss, unfortunately the Atlas Chalet line is susceptible to water penetration which leads to premature blistering, cracking, and excessive loss of granular surface.

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The Issue

The problem is, your insurance company is not allowed to repair your roof with a product that is not of like kind and quality. Since the Atlas Chalet had been discontinued there are no replacements available leaving the only alternative is to replace the entire roof. Many insurance companies are not willing to cover a roof that can not be repaired.

Where does this leave the seller?

Heres what it means to the seller and real estate agent and why we have added it to our Top 5 “Deal Killers” List. A typical 10 day due diligence for a Home buyer is not a lot of time to hire an inspector, schedule a date and get the report in a timely manner to review.

As inspectors we have seen countless deals go down the drain because of last minute issues that require time and research to make a good decision. Unfortunately faced with a major issue many home buyers will just walk away. Just the mere mention of Atlas Chalet Shingles can send the savvy home buyer packing. 

Atlas Chalet Shingles should never kill the deal!

What you don’t see on the News or in Blogs is that there are Insurance companies that will insure Atlas Chalet roofs. Their are also many reputable roofing companies that are trained to help the buyer or seller through this process, but knowing a head of time is the key!

Thats why we are always encouraging sellers and their agents to consider having a “Pre Certified Move In Inspection,” Its the same inspection we do for the buyer, which is equally as  important for the seller.  The time to find out there is a major issues is upfront. It will not only give the seller peace of mind, it can save the deal!