Can You Sell a Home That Isn’t Up to Code?
If your home has seen its fair share of handyman work or DIY home improvement projects over the years, chances are you have some hidden residential building code violations. Even if those problems were caused by a previous owner, you could be on the hook to fix them.
So yes, you can sell a house with code violations. In this post we cover four common building violations and how you can sell a house that’s not up to code.
1. Improperly Vented Bathroom
The most common mistake plaguing DIY bathroom remodels has nothing to do with plumbing or tile. It’s improper venting. Some homeowners don’t go the necessary distance to route air all the way outside. Instead, they just vent a bathroom fan directly into the attic.
That’s a huge mistake. Pumping humid air into an enclosed space can promote the growth of mold, which can quickly lead to rotting wood. Left unchecked, it could cause major damage.
2. Insufficient Bedroom Windows
Almost any garage, basement or attic space can be converted into an extra bedroom, adding value to your home. But in order to be code compliant, that bedroom must have an egress window large enough for an adult to fit through.
Many municipalities require a window with a minimum size of 20 inches wide and 24 inches high. If your window is too small, that could be a costly code violation.
3. Not Having Up-to-Code Electric Work
When it comes to electrical work, there are countless reasons why your home might not be up to code. Common home wiring mistakes include:
- Wiring switches without a neutral wire.
- Installing the wrong cover on outdoor receptacles.
- Making an electric connection outside a junction box.
- Using insufficient electrical bonding.
- Choosing the wrong kind of circuit breaker.
- Not installing enough receptacles.
Some of these problems aren’t difficult for a qualified electrician to fix. Others may require tearing out walls or even rewiring your house.
4. Poorly Fastened Deck
Few home improvement projects are more satisfying than building a deck – or more horrifying than watching it fall apart. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association, the most common deck violations include:
- Attaching the deck with nails (which can pull out) instead of using bolts.
- Lack of flashing, which can cause the wood behind the beam to rot.
- Notched or improper railing attachments, which can break.
How to Sell Your House (Without Bringing It Up to Code)
If you don’t have the time or money to fix any home inspection code violations, you can still sell your house. Real estate investors such as HomeVestors will buy the property as-is, whether it’s up to code or not. That way, you don’t have to go to the trouble of getting the proper permits, hiring a contractor, and spending a truckload of money trying to get your home up to code. Instead, you can sell your house without having to fix anything.