Code Violations Can Prolong Home-Buying or -Selling Process

Going through the buying or selling process can be a stressful experience, however, bringing in a home inspector to thoroughly evaluate the home and check for any code violations should be at the top of the list, no matter what side of the transaction you’re on.

Not only is a quality home inspector well-versed in all local codes dealing with electrical, plumbing, building/structural, and more, they can also help sellers understand any code violations that may be present before they place their home on the market.

In many instances, code violations have a way of popping up on paperwork. When the city records a code violation, a fee is assigned to the property, but because the violations don’t appear as a lien on a title search, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a sanction has been assessed that will delay closing.

According to Code Violation Services Inc., violations can include the presence of garbage in the yard, maintenance issues, overgrown lawns, non-sanctioned improvements, safety issues or other dangerous items needing repair.

In addition, all bedrooms must have an operating window with 30 square inches of clearance for fire escape, and they must be equipped with a heating system. In fact, if a home is listed with four bedrooms, and one room does not meet both of these requirements, it cannot be considered a bedroom.

Electrical issues that are often problematic include electrical junctions not enclosed in a junction box, a lack of GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens or reverse-polarity on outlets. While all of these repairs are inexpensive, taking the time to repair them can keep the transaction moving smoothly.

Also, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required in most areas, and not having them—or the proper kind—will be considered a violation.

Plumbing issues are also very common, and violations can include everything from dripping faucets to loose toilets to improper drainage.

When it comes to structural problems, which can be more expensive to fix, ignoring them can either prolong the sale of your home or even cause the sale to fall through altogether. Violations in this area include rotten wood trim around windows and doors, or rotten or delaminating siding. Rotting window and door trim is often caused by missing flashing on roofs or above windows. This can also lead to roof leaks.

If you’ve finished your basement or added a sunroom to your home in the time you’ve spent living there and never got the proper permits, that will need to be taken care of before any sale can go through.

Some problems may be grandfathered into a home, such as a wooden deck that’s nailed instead of bolted, as required by code. Although you may be able to sell the home in this condition, it’s still a safety hazard and the inspector will point it out to the buyer.

Don’t hurt your sale because of code violations that can be easily fixed. Get an inspector, make the changes and enjoy the comfort it brings when the closing comes to fruition.

For more information about code violations, contact our office today.



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