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Most homeowners are blissfully unaware as to whether or not the home is technically up to code. This is especially true for those who own older homes and for those who have done major renovations. If you’re living somewhere without any intention of selling it, code violations may not matter, so long as your home is safe. When it comes to buying or selling a property with code violations, there are some things you need to know.

Residential home and building codes exist throughout the US and are aimed at protecting people’s health and well-being. Building codes cover everything from how your plumbing is set up to the type of insulation packed in your walls. This is particularly true for homes under construction, which will receive multiple inspections during the course of their development and prior to anyone legally being able to reside in them.  The strictness of building codes varies by city. Their specifics, however, are generally available at your local town/city/village hall.

Is Your Home Up To Code?

New homes must be built up-to-code and undergo a number of inspections along the way. This includes passing a final inspection by the city and obtaining a certificate of occupancy. Code-compliance often times goes awry after people move in. They will complete renovations and make changes to their homes without getting the necessary permits or inspections, and the result is a home that becomes a liability to potential purchasers. Like we mentioned, minor code violations may not matter to those who have no intention of selling their home, but if you’re looking to move, or sell, that’s when homes that aren’t up to code can become a problem.

Why Home Inspections Are Important

If you’re considering buying a home, it’s important to arrange for an inspection prior to buying the home. Because if a problem is found during the inspection, the problem is still the sellers’. If, however, you purchase a home without first having a professional inspection done and some problems arise, then those problems become your problems.

As you might expect, these sort of “hidden” home problems are particularly common in foreclosed homes and ones that aren’t particularly well cared for. Sometimes you can find a home for very cheap simply because it has some tarnish on the old veneer, and this can be a great way to save money. But, usually, it is safer to assume that if a home is uncared for on the outside, then it probably has some more serious issues on the inside. These can include things like fungus, poorly laid plumbing, and other potentially costly problems. This is why it’s so important to have your home inspected by a professional.

If in the case that you don’t want to risk missing out on purchasing a home by “dragging your feet” waiting on inspections, then you should tell the homebuyer that you’ll take the home, but that your purchase is contingent upon the home’s passing of an inspection. Any reasonable seller will agree to this sort of compromise. If they don’t, it’s probably a good indicator that you need to turn around and walk away.

There you have it, everything you need to know about buying or selling a property with code violations. If you live in South Florida and need a real estate lawyer, contact The Law Offices Of Patrick L. Cordero at (305) 445-4855 for a free, no-obligation consultation.