Can You Sell A House With Code Violations?

Have you ever thought about your house potentially violating any codes? You may have recently replaced an air conditioning unit, added a backyard deck, etc. It may be possible that the new additions to your home may be in violation of building codes or HOA in your town, city, or county. Although it may not be something you have thought about before, selling your house with code violations can be more problematic than you think.


Is Your House Is Up to Code?

To determine this, unfortunately most city municipalities have a set of building codes that you have to abide by. These codes they use are to help with safety and help prevent damage or health issues. This is ultimately a way to look out for occupants of homes, apartments buildings, and any other residence. Theses specific rules however, vary depending on the municipality, structure, and type of work done.

If you own a new home, there’s a good chance that it is already up to code. New home builders often have local inspectors watching over them and making sure the work they’re doing meets the codes of the city, county, etc. As you alter, change, or add on to the residence the code violations might be coming with that. That could be a problem if and when it comes to selling your home. So, in case you are wondering if and how you can sell your home with all of these issues, there are a few solutions to prevent this before selling your home.


Bring Your House Up to Code

The best way to make sure that your house is up to date with code violations is to hire a general inspector to take a look at your house and see any potential code violations, if you have any.Most times, inspectors aren’t looking specifically for code violations but they will look for any hazardous electrical wires, piping leaks, and anything else that may turn into a problem. The truth is that it’s unlikely anyone can keep you from selling a house with certain code violations.Most mortgage companies will have an inspector take a look and if they see too many code violations they may not want to loan on the house.


Sell the Home with Violations with Value Cash Offers

Technically, you could sell the home as-is on the open market as long as there are no clear code violations that presents any danger to the home. If you decide to sell the home as-is with any potential code violates the buyer will take on that responsibility.

The buyer is going to want contingencies and credits for the work they know they’ll have to do and that’s coming directly out of the sale price. To avoid the headache with negotiations going back and forth with the seller, you can call us here at Value Cash Offers and we will help you sell your home!

How To Choose The Right Size of Home For You

If you are in the market for a new home, size and location are of the utmost importance.  An abundance of space is tempting yet it will hike your property tax bill.  A large home also requires that much more maintenance to boot.  Too little space will make you feel cramped and make it difficult to start a family or even welcome a pet.  Here’s a quick look at how to choose a home with just the right amount of space.


Mind the Size of Square Footage

Home size is measured in square feet.  If you are a single home buyer without a family or partner, space is not that important.  However, there is always the potential that you will add a significant other and/or a pet to the home in due time.  The average home stretches across 2,687 square feet.  An individual home buyer will be comfortable with less than this amount of space.  However, if you err on the side of going too small with your new home, it might prove difficult to sell the house when the time comes to upgrade to something larger.  The average couple can enjoy a high-quality of life in a home with as little as 1,250 square feet.  The key is to find the right balance between space, resale value and property taxes.

A family consisting of three or more people will likely require a 3-bedroom home.  The typical 3-bedroom home has around 1,300 square feet to 1,600 square feet of space.  If you plan on adding to your family, look for a home with more than 2,000 square feet of space to ensure your growing family has enough room to play and enjoy at least a modicum of privacy.  Those who are planning on adding spacious niceties such as a home gym or home theater will require 3,000 square feet or more.


The Pros and Cons of Spacious Homes

It is awfully tempting to choose a home that is larger than what is currently necessary in terms of space and luxuries.  Do not give into this temptation until you have considered the downsides to a large home.  For one, the hike in square feet will bump up your property taxes that much more.  Additional space will also cost more to cool and heat.  Though it is certainly nice to use the extra rooms in a large home for storage, it is comparably cheaper to opt for a smaller home and pay for storage at a nearby facility.

If you were to poll those who moved into homes larger than necessary, most would testify they love their abundance of space.  However, these same homeowners enjoying their spacious digs are also quick to complain the extra room minimizes social interaction amongst family members.  A home of just the right size forces family members to cross paths and communicate at a fairly high frequency.


How to Choose the Perfect Size: Count the Bedrooms

Those in the housing industry swear by the mantra of “location, location, location.”  However, location is only one piece to the real estate puzzle.  Home size is just as important as its position on the map.  In general, there should be enough dining room and living room space to accommodate two times as many people as there are bedrooms in the home.  The bedroom count really is the main determinant of total square footage.  If possible, allot some space for family members and guests to interact away from the living room and kitchen to make the house feel like a true home.  A home with such “away” spaces for people to congregate in small groups makes the property that much more enjoyable for everyone.

How To Know If You Are Paying Too Much For Property Taxes

Home ownership is expensive. It is something that often causes sticker shock for first-time homeowners. Between regular maintenance and property taxes, the living costs can get a lot higher than they were expecting. However, do you know for sure if you are paying the right amount in property taxes? This article will help you figure out if you can cut down how much you owe the town or city you live in real estate taxes.



1.Check your property’s assessing card.

There is very little you can do about the city’s tax rate, but your property’s assessment is something you should check. Property assessment cards are public, so you should easily be able to access the description that the town or city has of your property, either by looking it up online or by visiting the town assessor’s office directly.

You would be surprised by own many mistakes are commonly made on these reports: some common errors include the square footage of the house, how many bedrooms and bathrooms are included, the condition of the house, etc.


Properties assessment are rarely reviewed if they are in adverse condition: for example, you might have purchased your property as a foreclosure or as an estate sale, and the shape of the house is not as good as it was when it was assessed for the last time.



2. Research the market

The assessed value property taxes are based on is often calculated based on market value. If you recently purchased your property for significantly less money than what it is assessed for, you might be paying too much in property taxes.

If you suspect that your property is overvalued, don’t hesitate to research neighboring properties similar to your own in terms of age, condition, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. and see what they are assessed for or recently sold for. Find at least 4 or 5 comparable properties to make your argument.


If you are confident and if the savings you would make on your property taxes justify the cost, don’t hesitate to hire an independent appraiser whose report would make a strong argument in your favor.



3. Investigate which tax exemption you might be qualifying for

You might be pleasantly surprised and find out that you qualify for some property tax breaks, whether it is a tax exemption or a tax credit that you may have to pay back eventually.


Common property taxes exemptions and credits include:

  • Seniors, especially those on a fixed or limited income
  • Service members and veteran
  • People with a disability

However, you might also qualify for a property tax exemption or credit if you are a first-time homeowner or if your property is located on a large piece of land under the homesteading exemptions.


Like all tax related subjects, these exemptions vary by state, localities, and your situation so contact a tax professional, a tax advisor or your local tax authority to find out what you might qualify for.



4. Appeal for a tax abatement

You can appeal for a tax abatement within specific dates depending on the town your property is located.

Before appealing for an abatement, you must be very confident that you will qualify for one. If the tax assessor finds that your property is under-assessed, if you recently made improvements such as additional square footage or a new deck, for example, you would be at risk to see your property taxes increase instead of going down.


Don’t hesitate to walk with the tax assessor to indicate any adverse conditions, like a noisy highway or a nearby factory.


What Kind of Homes To Buy in 2019

If you’re planning to buy a home in 2019, there’s a lot you need to know. This past year has seen growing competition in the housing market as there are fewer homes on the market compared to the growing number of buyers. Mortgage rates are also on the rise at their highest levels since 2011, and this is intimidating to many potential home buyers. 

Luckily, home prices are expected to slow down their rate of growth in the next year. This gives many new buyers some room to breathe while they look for a fit for their budget. The next generation of homebuyers, Millennials, account for 45% of homebuyers and that percentage is only expected to grow. With a new generation comes new trends in the real estate market. 

With all of these stats and predictions about 2019, what kinds of homes should you be looking for this year? Here are the best types of homes to buy if you’re looking to make a purchase in 2019.


Booming Markets

First, the easiest way to identify a good investment in a home is to look at the market. Some real estate markets are experiencing major booms right now, and these are only expected to grow in 2019. Where do we see the biggest growth? Here are the top cities to look out for:


Phoenix, Arizona – Increasingly affordable with 1.6% annual population growth each year

Atlanta, Georgia – Another affordable location with 3% population growth

Mundelein, Illinois – A Moderately affordable city with over 3% population growth


Of course, it’s not always possible to move long distances, but it might be worth considering one of these locations if you’re looking for an investment property or a great home deal. Within these cities above, you can find everything you need to secure a home you love that will gain value over time. Now is the time to make a purchase while the market is still hot but not too competitive. 


New Constructions

Since March 2018, the average price for new construction homes has been on a steady decline. In fact, it’s decreased by over 7 percent in the past year. That means the time is now to make a purchase on a new construction home. 

One reason for the lowering cost of new constructions might be that builders are trying to create a wider range of price points. While there’s certainly a focus on building more luxury rental properties and high-end homes, we’re also seeing a shift in price points that appeal to all buyers today. 

There are also a lot of advantages to a new construction like lowered energy costs, less risk of damage and repair, and more customization options. The verdict is that if you’ve been thinking about owning a new construction, now is the time to make a purchase. 


Second-City Suburban Homes

In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of a new term in the real estate industry known as “second-cities.” These are smaller U.S. cities that have experienced booms in their downtown that attract young adults, especially Millennials. Millennial adults are building their own communities both in and around second-cities, and these are the perfect homes to buy right now. 

More Americans are moving to suburban homes around these second-cities, and this population growth is fueling a growing housing market. Single-family homes in these newly popular cities are popping up everywhere, many of which are lower-cost DIY properties. If you’re up for the challenge, 2019 is the time to act. 

As you can see, a lot is shifting in the housing market in 2019. Trends of the past are slowly fading away as a new generation of home buyers enters the market. Thankfully, housing prices aren’t expected to rise as quickly as they have been in the past, and this means more room for growth across the industry. Are you ready to buy a house? 

How Does Home Foreclosure Work?

The world of home foreclosure can be confusing to those new to real estate. Buying a foreclosure is a great way to find a good deal, especially in competitive markets. Home prices are expected to rise 4.3% next year and 3.6% in 2020 which is twice as fast as the speed of inflation. 

Because of this competition, a lot of buyers are interested in foreclosed properties, but it’s not as simple as it seems at first glance. Foreclosed homes belong to the bank, and before this, they belonged to a homeowner who left the home either voluntarily or involuntarily. There are a lot of aspects to foreclosure to consider, from why the seller lost their home to the auction process. 



What Causes Foreclosure?

The first thing to understand is just how the seller went into foreclosure in the first place. Foreclosure is what happens when a homeowner no longer pays their mortgage. It’s a legal process in which the owner forfeits their rights to their property to the bank. 

When people think of foreclosure today, they likely picture the market crash of 2008. During this time, many homeowners walked away from their homes simply because the value dipped so low. Today, however, homes go into foreclosure for a number of reasons. While we refer to the owner of the home as the “homeowner,” it’s important to realize that this term is misleading. Because the homeowner has a mortgage, they’re actually a “borrower.” Most mortgages are considered “secured” loans, and that means the lender can recover a portion of the debt by seizing the property and reselling it. 



Foreclosure Process

The foreclosure process is lengthier than most buyers think. After the borrower fails to make timely payments on their mortgage for 3-6 months, they’re given public notice. This is technically called a Notice of Default (NOD) in many states. This notice lets the borrower know they’re in danger of losing their rights to the property. 


After the NOD from the lender, the borrower enters a period called pre-foreclosure. This can last up to 120 days, and this is when the borrower will attempt to find an arrangement with the lender. They might choose to pay the amount owed or opt for a short sale. A short sale is the sale of a home for an amount that is less than the unpaid mortgage. 


Many home investors actually prefer to purchase homes during the short sale before the foreclosure proceedings are final. However, if there’s no agreement reached between the lender and the borrower, the foreclosure continues into an auction. A foreclosure auction is also known as a Trustee Sale, and the home is auctioned off to the highest bidder for a cash payment. 


It’s important to note that besides needing to purchase auctioned properties in cash, buyers also must purchase them “as is.” This means there are no inspections allowed before making an offer. Because there’s no way to assess the property, it’s important to be aware of risks like structural or interior damage. 


Finally, if the home is not sold at the auction, the lender reclaims ownership. This is called a bank-owned property or REO (real estate owned). These home are then re-sold through a local real estate agent or through the open market. They might even be sold through a liquidation auction. 



Real Estate Foreclosures

While real estate foreclosures can be a reliable way to get a steep discount on a home purchase, it’s a complicated and often risky process. It’s in the buyers best interest to find a real estate agent who specializes in auctioned and foreclosed properties to help navigate these homes. 


After the auction process, banks often sell foreclosures in bulk. This means the lender will package several properties into one transaction and sell them all at once. This can offer an even more significant discount. The real picture of home foreclosure is often an ugly one, and it’s important to take this process seriously as a buyer.