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Watch out for these red flags when buying a home “as is”

Red Flag

When buying “as is,” you know not to expect a home in pristine condition. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore issues, especially when they involve structural flaws. Learn to spot them early on to avoid getting saddled with a money pit.

Here are some common red flags to watch out for when you’re looking at homes for sale in San Diego.

Red Flag

Foundation problems

Fine, little cracks on the steps or in the outer walls are usually insignificant. But what if they aren’t? It’s possible that the zigzagging cracks are an indication that the foundation is compromised. Other signs of structural issues: uneven floors, doors and windows that stick, leaning walls, and sagging roofs.

Red Flag

Pest or insect infestation

You should keep an eye out for signs of pests and insect infestation when checking out a home that’s being sold as is. Look for rodent droppings, small holes on floors and walls, nests, foul odors, moist or rotting wood, and chewed-up cables or indoor plants. Termites, powder post beetles, and carpenter ants are the most prevalent pests that need to be taken seriously.

Red Flag

Roof damage

Roof damage differs from normal wear and tear that happens over time. Wear and tear can still necessitate replacement or repairs, though they are less urgent than damage from a storm or strong winds. Regular roof wear might manifest as faded color, dark stains, or uneven shingles, as well as increasing energy costs due to degradation. Roof damage will typically show missing or cracked shingles, attic leaks, or broken flashing. Knowing the difference is very important, because actual roof damage is a costly repair project you can use to drive the sale price down.

Red Flag


When looking at homes for sale in San Diego, you should definitely be on the lookout for mold. Like water damage, mold is an unpleasant and often undetectable component of any property. Signs that mold is present include mildew odors or discoloration on the walls, ceiling, or floors of the house. If you think there may be mold in the home, discuss hiring a mold expert to evaluate it with your real estate agent.

Red Flag

Amateur workmanship and repairs

DIY repairs are a good thing. Until they’re not. When looking at homes, keep an eye out for frequent examples of shoddy workmanship in the areas of carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. Keep potential DIY projects in mind when inspecting houses, such as leaky faucets, toilets, and missing trim work. Many of these problems are not identified until the home has undergone a home inspection.

Buy “as is” with the help of a real estate agent

Purchasing a home “as is” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a bad deal, but you should proceed cautiously. If you’re looking to buy an as-is home in San Diego, look no further than Jacobo Realty Group.

At Jacobo Realty Group, we’ve been helping our clients buy and sell homes in San Diego for over 20 years. We’ll help you make a worthwhile real estate purchase or quickly sell your home at a good value. Call us today at 760.632.8900 or contact us here to learn more.

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