Can You Sell a House with Code Violations?

Selling your beautiful house in Columbus, OH can be an emotional rollercoaster, which becomes even more arduous when burdened with ancillary issues. Code violations are a common problem that can hinder, or even halt, the selling process. However, this does not imply that you can never sell your house so long as it has violations. There are several alternatives you can choose from to sell your property, even without rectifying those violations.

Certain federal rules obligate a home inspection before putting a house up for sale to reveal any lurking code violations on the property. Discovering violations through those inspections is common these days and should not be considered a code-blue situation. The market offers many ways to sell a house  or property with code violations quickly and easily.

If you find yourself in a home with violations, keep reading to learn more about your selling options and let go of your property at a reasonable price with minimal stress.

What Are Home Code Violations?

Home codes are specific rules set by the government to ensure safe living standards and to protect public health and safety. All residential building owners must abide by these building codes to maintain sound and secure living surroundings for themselves as well as their neighbors. Failing to stick to these standards is what leads to home code violations.

Since home codes are revised on a regular cadence, it isn’t always easy to stay up to code. Newly-built homes are constructed with guidance from a local home inspector, so they are typically up-to-date unless there is serious negligence by the construction crew. Most violations arise in homes that have been occupied for a long time, sometimes decades. DIY fixes, renovations, and other alterations can lead to changes in the core construction that ultimately wind up resulting in code violations.

Some Common House Code Violations

Every city jurisdiction has its own individual code violations per the local conditions. Areas in your house that don’t comply with these local codes, such as an electrical or plumbing issue, illegal dwellings, etc., are considered violations. Home inspectors do a thorough home inspection to disclose code violations in that place. Individuals who fail to adhere by the codes receive a violation notice with correction orders.

Many DIY repairs and other non-professionally upgraded or installed elements can cause home code violation. While some of them can be fixed as the homeowner, others will likely require professional assistance.

Some of the most common code violations include the following:

  • Missing expansion tank for water heater – these are vessels that protect from leakage caused by expansion and pressure of hot water heaters.
  • Plumbing issue – this includes inappropriately located exhaust fan vents, water dripping or leaking taps, and other plumbing related housing codes.
  • Improper placement of smoke alarms – as per the common code violations applicable all over the country, smoke alarms must be placed on each level of the house and outside every bedroom.
  • Handrails without ‘returns’ – handrails are required to be turned into the wall to avoid dangerous, open ends trapping sleeves or straps.
  • Defective or missing ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) – Every outlet must be equipped with a circuit breaker to cut off current in case of a ground fault.
  • Incorrect electrical fittings – Amateur electrical work can cause long-term damage and a safety hazard. These can be temporarily hidden but are easily disclosed in random inspections.
  • Overloaded electrical panel – overloading panels can cause fire hazards that can be dangerous for people.
  • Inadequate protection of electrical outlets and circuits – this also highlights several safety issues as it can lead to dangerous consequences, including injuries.
  • Poorly installed and old Polybutylene piping – using flexible, cheap, and non-freeze-resistant plastic tubing installed from 1978-1995 can easily swell and crack, causing flooding.
  • Improper windows – cracks in windows or windows that don’t close or aren’t sealed properly.
  • Faulty or missing deck flashing – According to the code violation, deck flashing should not have any leakage. So, it should extend between the deck ledger board and the house to keep it stable.
  • Renovations without a permit – any addition to a room or basement redevelopment without proper permits can cause zoning and other building code violations.
  • Disposing of Asbestos – It is mandatory to attain the required permit before removing asbestos from your house and implying proper measures to dispose of the remains.
  • Roof pitches – One of the recent code violations is roof pitches with less slope. If your house roof isn’t steep enough, it is mandatory to cover it with metal, rubber, or thermoplastic polyolefin roofing.
  • Egress window – Any basement bedroom must have egress windows at least 24 inches in length and 20 inches in width to be considered a bedroom.
  • Illegal fence height – Although not a very serious code violation, it is still an offense not to abide by the fence height regulations.
  • Pest infestation – Another common code violation is pest infestation, making houses difficult to sell. Pests cause multiple safety and health problems, all of which can pose severe code violations.
  • Messy yard – In most locations, it is also a code violation to let trash pile up in your yard. A beautiful property in an established neighborhood must be kept clean to maintain its value.

Code Violation in Columbus, Ohio

The city of Columbus regulates building codes in the area through Code Enforcement. The Code Enforcement officer ensures the safety of the people by implementing the city’s housing, zoning, sanitation, health, and safety codes. They are also responsible for protecting the unique characteristics of Columbus’ Historic Districts and Commission Areas.

Code violations can vary from minor issues, such as improper vent fittings, to major problems, like inadequate wiring or faulty electrical panels. Whether to fix it or sell your home as is to potential buyers depends on the gravity of the violation and your circumstances.

You must still get your home inspected to find code violations and then take the crucial decision. Many buyers or real estate agents can give you their expert advice to help you make a wise decision. This way, you can get an appropriate amount or genuine money for how much that property values after scrutinizing code violations.

Selling Alternatives

Selling a property with multiple or even a few code violations can be tricky if you don’t know the proper steps. Consulting a real estate agent can help make an informed decision. Most buyers are willing to pay adequate money for a property with code violations as is. However, other buyers look for a home inspected through proper procedures by the building department to get assurance for the asked price.

Here are a few selling alternatives through which you can still sell your house with or without the violations:

Fix the Code Violation Problems

A convenient option to get rid of code violations is to fix the problem yourself. Many issues mentioned above are non-expensive and easy to fix code violations. You can effortlessly repair or replace defective articles to bring your home up to code. This helps in clearing out the defects and also saves any further financial loss. Some components that you can easily fix or DIY repairs include:

  • Adjust a mounted smoke alarm
  • Replace electrical outlets
  • Use the GFCI tester to check GFCI outlets
  • You can also hire a professional to do minimal repairs that are affordable

Offer a Credit or Lower the Price

Sometimes it isn’t feasible to repair a home code violation because they can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to fix. In that case, you can offer buyers a repair credit or price reduction alternative. The National Association of Realtors data shows that 26% of the sellers provided tempting incentives to buyers in 2021.

It is easy to lure an interested buyer by offering repair credit or lowering the asking price. It is also beneficial for the seller as some defects can be costly and not worth repairing. So, selling a house at a lower price can actually save you from ending up in a bad financial situation. You can offer credit for

  • Roof issues
  • Water Heater
  • Electrical faults

Sell As-Is to a Cash Buyer

Arguably the most attractive option is to sell your code-violating home ‘as-is.’ People do this if they:

  • have insufficient funds to get it fixed
  • do not have enough time to get all the fixing and selling formalities done

There are many potential buyers or instant cash buyer realtors willing to buy your house at the right price, even with code violations. However, you may not be able to demand top dollar. Nonetheless, you can get a good deal with the right buyers, whether home builders, a genuine house flipper, startups, or rational real estate investor.

Offload Your Code Violations

No doubt, a property with a code violation, let alone multiple (which is often the case) is difficult to sell. You have to figure out the defects as per Columbus’ housing codes jurisdiction and find solutions to fix those code violations to bring it up to compliance with the law. However, knowing the right people and place in the city can ease your selling difficulties. If you are looking for options to sell your problem property, searching in the right direction can help.

A cash home buyer like Double Eagle Property Solutions is your go-to resource for selling with code violations. We buy all kinds of properties, regardless of size, location, and condition. With experience operating in the Columbus area of nearly 30 years, we ensure a smooth process to our clients. Our team will cover all the closing costs, formalities, and other paperwork to wrap up your sale quickly, usually in under 30 days.

Sell your house with code violations to Double Eagle Property Solutions with ease. We’d be happy to assess your property through a professional home assessment process and give you an all-cash offer with a competitive price that suits both of us.

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