There is nothing wrong with buying a home in “as-is” condition, but you should still hire a competent home inspector to perform an inspection. Why?
First, you don’t know what “as-is” is on any particular home. Walking through the home can give you a general idea of the homes condition, but you won’t obtain the same detailed information that you would receive from a thorough home inspection. Home Inspectors are trained to look for things you are not likely to notice. For example, a Home Inspector must follow 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. Having a detailed Home Inspection report on the home will give you a better idea of what “as-is” really means.
Second, Sellers are required to provide you with a written disclosure on the condition of the property in most states. However, sellers usually provide little information when it comes to the condition of the home, and few even lie. A home inspector can find evidence that a seller is attempting to conceal conditions of the home, which could be a sign that you don’t want to buy a home from a seller like that.
Third, having a home inspection on a home you do end up buying in “as-is” condition could save you down the road. If a defect is later discovered a Home Inspector can review the seller’s disclosure and testify what the seller knew or should have known about the home. The inspector may find evidence that the seller made misrepresentations or concealed relevant information. A seller can still be held liable for misrepresentation or concealment of a home that they sell in “as-is” condition.
A home purchase is the largest investment you are likely to make, and the cost of a home inspection is a small amount to pay in comparison.