Let me anser your questions:
Q: What is meant by sold as is?
A: You are buying the home in itsâ€™ current condition and will not be asking the seller to make any repairs or improvements of any kind for any reason.
Q: Does that mean you can't put an offer subject to conditions?
A: Every offer is subject to your conditions â€“ in this case, your conditions would include the following:
* Full inspections by licensed inspectors
* Review of the Mold Abatement Report and Clean Air Cert
* Inspection by licensed contractors to get estimates of the required repairs
If, after reviewing all the paperwork, you are totally satisfied that this property works for you, then you remove your Inspection Contingency. Be aware, however, that the bank is likely going to give you a maximum of 10 days to get this contingency removed. It will be very difficult to get everything done in this period of time. For this reason, this property is being targeted at contractors or investors (cash offers only) who can rapidly assess the condition of the building and know right away whether or not it will be a good investment. The bank selling the property does not want to take a chance that the condition of the property and subsequent comments by an appraiser will scuttle the deal by a lenderâ€™s refusal to fund until repairs have been made.
Q: How much does it cost to get your own Air quality reports.
A: $150 to $1,000 â€“ however, of the report is by a licensed and certified mold abatement company, you can accept the current report and findings with confidence and avoid the extra expense.
Q: Any rough estimates to get this house fixed up?
A: No Realtor in this venue is going to try to give you an answer â€“ Iâ€™m also a licensed general contractor, yet I would need to personally tour the building before even I could give estimates. The best solution, if you are interested, is to tie up the property and then act quickly to get estimates from the various professionals who might actually be doing the work. If the estimates are too high, cancel the contract before the contingency time frames expire.
Q: Is it priced right or below market to ignite interest.
A: Yes â€“ it is a property that will appeal to a limited number of individuals. It has been priced to get their attention for a quick sale in as-is condition. This is the type of property contractors and investors look for, and Iâ€™m predicting it will not last on the market very long.
Q: What could be the downside of buying this home for cash?
A: If you do your homework and determine that this property â€œpencilsâ€ for you, there is no downside to paying cash. Itâ€™s how contractors and investors do it all the time. In fact, the are tons of benefits, including a quick and painless close of escrow.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) providing market price/activity/trend direction is a must before any offer.
My biggest concern would be whether the mold issue has been completely addressed, and whether the issue was remediated by certified specialists. Mold is definitely something you want corrected right the first time! Environmental testing will vary depending on size of the home and type (air or direct contact), but budgeting about $100 per sample is in the ballpark (cheap insurance in my opinion). I work exclusively with one Property Inspector that mixes the classical property inspection with environmental testing.
There are both benefits and disadvantages to buying with cash given the downward trend of RE prices, but this is really an analysis that should be made with the consultation of a tax professional. It maybe better to finance the purchase until the market recovers and then payoff the loan. Let's face it, in this market, Real Estate equity is being eroded.
As is means no repairs paid by the seller. You will still have the opportunity to do your inspections.
Cost of 'air' report; contact A-1 Certified Environmental Services 888-217-2719.
I can do comps to let you know the recent sales.
Paying cash for a home; no real downside (quick close,...) you can refi at a later date if needed.
Brian Ripp, CRS, GRI
Real Estate Market Weekly Update Webcast: http://realtytimes.com/REUv/BrianRipp
Realtor since 1985