Worst Case Scenario ("As Is" Home Purchase)

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This is a *very* long post, but would I appreciate it if the group regulars would soldier through it, because I need to make a decision but still have some time for weighing pros and cons.
I accidentally stumbled onto the prettiest, most unbelievably reasonable 3 room bungalow in an unfashionable and increasingly crime-ridden section of my region. The elderly bachelor brothers selling it live next door and have put a new roof on it, surrounded the entire property with chain-link fence, put in new wall-to-wall carpeting, and even put teeny-tiny new replacement windows in the foundation where old (and I suppose) rotted unopening "ventilation" panes used to be.
The home comes with new appliances included, a poured concrete basement--even with an old coal bin room newly painted. Although there are signs of water damage in the main floor ceiling I was able to detect through the new satin paint, the roof is definitely new.
The home is in a region that experienced a nationally-news-covered flood @ 35 years ago, so strong it wiped away homes much much larger than this. I assume the home was either entirely reconstructed on the original foundation or else rehabilitated in such a way that I noticed no mold whatsoever *in the subflooring.*
My problem: This is a privately-sold home, and because the brothers are asking such a low price for it, they have been inundated with offers to buy it. For some reason I don't understand, they agreed to show it to me but told me a "neighbor's son" was "ahead of me." They then said in a very ambiguous way (that I think has something to do with their age) that even though the kid hasn't come up with a mortgage, they still won't sell it to me...yet.
Last night the brother handling the sale phoned and said he's "sick and tired" of the kid and will "keep me informed" about what their lawyer tells them to do.
I have contacted them at cautious, non-impolite intervals the past two weeks and pressed them about when they're going to make a decision. What I'm worried about is their reaction if I request a home inspection (I'm assuming that as far as my pre-approved mortgage is concerned, the bank appraiser will pass the home with flying colors).
I have previous disastrous experience buying a home "As Is." The experience was BIBLICAL, robbed me of the best years of my life, *but* was responsible for me learning to (among other things) do my own plumbing, work with cement professionally, and install deadbolts in steel doors. In other words, I can do a heck of a lot of DIY stuff if necessary.
But I'm almost 50 and want this 3 room bungalow because I'm a lady getting tired of buying herself presents at Harbor Freight. (I just missed out on their special on chain-saw sharpeners!) Since most of the regulars on this group are guys, and guys are still strong at 50, I'll put it this way: how many of you would risk 35K on a property such as I've described if you had one hand tied behind your back?
IIRC, I contacted the local cops to investigate whether this might be a blighted property (murder scene, drug house, etc.), and the young policeman told me not only was the neighborhood one of the best in the little borough but that the Chief at one time lived across the street from this property.
Apologies again for making this so long, but I've gotten some good advice here over the years and would appreciate "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" answers.
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Get it inspected, who cares what your neighbors think its your money, you lost once im suprised anyone with past loss experiance would think otherwise. Whats the worst that can happen, well you already know.
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You already know what can go wrong with a house, so the list is endless and largely unknown. The problem with NOT having an inspection is that you're emotionally involved with the place. When buyers get that way, they tend not to notice things that are blatantly obvious. Don't ask how I know this. :-(
My home inspection took two hours. I'd find it hard to believe the seller would really take issue with that. If you think it'll spook him, though, explain this to your lawyer, banker, etc., and see if they can be present at the inspection so the subsequent paperwork can be done right before the guy's eyes. This way, he gets instant gratification.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Doug, T-H-A-N-K-S for the very needed dash of cold water in the face. You're right, you're right, you're right.
GOd bless, guys. It's a struggle, but I'm going to demand the inspection.
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I never understand why some sellers have a problem with an inspection, even when the house really is in great shape. And, while shopping for my mortgage, every lender said an inspection was an absolute requirement. No inspection, no loan.
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and
not
:-(
OMG, I take almost that amout of time for doing a HVAC inspection on a resale. What does the guy do, fly through the house?
I'd find it hard to believe the seller

at
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In many places a "General Purpose" home inspector isn't allowed to do very much to an HVAC system. (Gotta respect the unions)
They can check for obvious leaks and do pull a few panels to check fans etc. If you want the core or burn chamber checked, that's another inspector.
Brad
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Remember the 3 most important elements of a real estate purchase: location, location and location.
Why would you even consider buying in an "increasingly crime ridden" area? You'll be robbed, burgled, assaulted, raped, harassed, harassed, vandalized, etc., etc.
Walk away from the properly and save yourself a lot of heartache. It's a bad deal no matter what the price-- even if they gave it to you, take a pass.
Doc
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John H. Holliday wrote:

Yeah, Doc, true, but I lost 3 kinds of equity big-time when I bought my very own Addams Family House in 1990: 1) financial, 2) sweat, and 3) good old-fashioned youth. I dislike the neighborhood but am in reduced straits in all three ways.
Maybe I should have phrased the question Would You Prefer Independent Living for Your Elderly Widowed Mom/Sis/Ex or A Federal Housing Warehouse? :)
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I vote for independent living, really good locks on the doors, glass block cellar windows, and a nice pump shotgun in the house. In addition to all that, our sleep patterns get weird as we get older. I *believe* intruders may be deterred by the pattern of lights going on and off with little or no discernible pattern. :-)
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It almost sounds like you want a place to be independant living but something with much repairs and hassle
Instead of a single family home, you may want to look into a condo or townhouse. (You may loose a little space, but the maintance cost should balance out with any association)
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She said she was pretty handy. I think that if you've done some home repairs successfully yourself, it puts you in a better position to hire people for future work. At least you know what you're talking about, and you can inquire about specific details and methods.
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Most any living arrangement is preferable to living in a crime ridden area.Take it from an ex cop who's interviewed far too many crime victims...
Doc
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Maybe you should look up "false dichotomy", and consider the implications as relevent to the current discussion.
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Sounds nice. For $35K? :-) I wonder where it is. I live in Pennsy.

You might ask the bank to ask for a separate home inspection...
Nick
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I happened to read this post out of curiosity. Thought I'd chime in here with a ridiculously basic thought. I assume you don't know these people from Adam. Since from the way you've put it, there appear to be mildly "fishy" elements, do you know for a fact that the "elderly bachelor brothers" are who they say they are and that they own the house?
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James wrote:

Thank you *very* much for bringing the clear title issue to mind. In fact, I'm going to the county courthouse this morning to investigate. Our local newspaper offers an incredible, privacy-invading database where you can enter any address and search to see what a property is assessed at for taxes, who owns it, etc.
When I first went to see the home, I used this as well as reverse look-ups to see if the names on all sites were the same. They were, but that still doesn't mean clear title. So MUCH thanks again.
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Oh, that's bullshit. Those databases have been around for years and as freely accessible books for decades before that. There's nothing 'privacy invading' about it. That some folks don't /know/ it's that freely available is a different matter.

When you settle on a house that's what title insurance is for. You generally can't buy real estate without a title search. Well, one can always do something stupid but most banks won't go along with it. Anyone can do a title search, just follow the paperwork trail at the county records office. But title insurance guards against you getting stuck with the bill in the event something turns out wrong.

it's a cheap house in a crappy neighborhood, right? Well, it's always a gamble. The fact that the Chief lived there in the past doesn't say much, other than "he got the hell out when the gettin' was good". It's all relative, if you're the brave sort that can deal with the various 'issues' the neighborhood presents then $35k might be a deal, assuming of course that's a reasonable figure for the immediate area. Talk with other residents, go by the area on a Saturday afternoon to find them. If they're not friendly to the idea, well, then do you want them as neighbors?
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Sale prices of comparable homes in the vicinity - a realtor can provide that info easily. The OP could get approximations of this info by visiting real estate web sites, to see what comparable homes are listing for in the area.
www.century21.com www.remax.com www.americaschoice.com
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'privacy
available
records
bill
I didn't have title insurance on my former house. We bought it and ended up refinancing it 4-5 times in 15 years. When we went to sell it the title search turned up a note from 2 owners before us(~18-20 years before). The closing attorney said to forget about it. We did.
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