You Know what "as is" means, But what does it mean in regards to the property your buying. Some people think that because it's "as is" there's no point in getting a home inspection. Not true. As is does not mean you don't have the right to be informed. A Home inspections plays a key role in determining exactly how "as is" can impact your purchase. We're seeing more and more bank foreclosures, short sales, etc. and typically these are sold strictly "as is". Meaning the title holder of the property plans to do nothing in repairs or upgrades. It's what I call the Sergeant Schultz Syndrome. Remember the chubby gestapo guard on Hogan's Hero's who coined the phrase " I - Know - Nothing! "? It was his way of claiming ignorance and shun responsibility. A bank would prefer to remain ignorant of property conditions because they just don't care and don't want to know. They just want to dump the property from their inventory without a whole lot of complications.
So how can a home inspection help? Well you at least need to know what "as is" is. A home inspection put into true perspective what your true cost may be in a property. maybe it needs a roof or furnace. That's fine as long as those cost don't increase the price over market value. Then maybe it's not such a good deal and you can elect to pass on the purchase. Conversely the bank may concede to a price reduction so you can cover these cost. Moreover, I've seen times when a bank will relent and decide to fix certain items because they realize a buyer in hand is better than two in the bush and they now realize form the inspection discoveries that there are things about the property that need to be fixed if they are going to sell it to anyone at all.
A good inspection will also lead you to obtain more specific expertise on suspected problems and associated repairs. Fore example, may you just learned that you have old iron pipes buried in the concrete slab and the bathroom drains are backing up. A good home inspector will disclose this and recommend further invasive inspection by a plumber who will run a camera through those pipes and find that they are collapsed from internal corrosion and it will cost $8,000 to repair. You can either walk away or you can present these findings to the bank and negotiate repair cost.
Final word. It's very important that you hire a competent, thorough inspector who will generate a detailed comprehensive report. A professionally prepared report will give you the leverage you need in showing the bank that there are legitimate, bon-fode issues that need to be addressed. The bottom line...If they stick to their guns about selling "as is", then you can walk away at least knowing that "as is" turned out not to be a sound purchase.
Remember BUYER BEWARE