3 Red Flags When Buying a Home As-Is

Financially and logistically, buying a home has always been a challenge (and, in all likelihood, always will be).

That's become even more true amid the property-buying fever that's taken hold of the nation. More and more, homebuyers are expressing a willingness to buy properties as they are, sometimes sight unseen, because of a scarcity in available options.

So what gives? Is it worth it to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home that might need a lot of love, but sits in the neighborhood that you're interested in? A home that, it stands to reason, might not satisfy your basic set of needs? That might be missing a few vital components upon closer inspection?

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide how much risk you're willing to endure. But if you're open to buying a house as-is without an inspection, then be sure to check out this handy checklist of obvious warning signs. It will help you identify potential red flags so you can be sure you're making a sound financial investment.

The house is near a major road

If you're right on a busy road, or even proximal to one, there could be a lot of headache coming your way.

Noise, exhaust fumes, debris and litter. That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to living on or near a bustling thoroughfare. Do a quick search online and see where the address is located just to be sure you're not, you know, living on the side of an interstate or something.

The house has been "flipped"

For those of you who might not be familiar, "flipping" takes place when a developer purchases property not for themselves, but in order to renovate it (more often than not in a low-cost, shoddy manner) and then put it back on the market again so they can turn a profit.

If you find yourself dealing with a slippery "flipper" (and, no, we're not referring to the delightful porpoise who lent its name to a 1996 box office hit!), do yourself a favor and hightail it out of there.

You'd much rather be dealing with a homeowner or their agent, who can speak to the long-term issues of the property with a greater degree of knowledge.

There are major roof issues

According to Forbes, the national average cost of a roof replacement is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000. Sometimes it's even more.

Bearing that in mind, if there is visible damage to the roof, or if the homeowner/real estate agent hedges when you bring up whether the roof has been replaced recently, this should give you pause.

While it’s not a dealbreaker if they respond in the negative, you do want to keep in mind that (on top of the exorbitant fees you’ll be shelling out to purchase the home in the first place), you’re likely going to have to invest in a roof repair project pretty soon.

Feeling energized about your home-buying adventure? We thought you might be.

Stay vigilant if you're planning to purchase a home as-is, but if you're not, always, always invest in a home inspection to be sure you're getting your money's worth. Best of luck, and happy house hunting to you and yours!