Home Buying in 92114>Question Details

travel31511, Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

how can flippers get away with not correcting code violations before they put the house back on the market to sell??

Asked by travel31511, Seattle, WA Wed Nov 14, 2012

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You won't get very far and you certainly won't have a long career as a flipper if you do that. Correcting code violations is part of the cost of business as a flipper. When you sell the property, you'll have to either disclose or correct the code violation. There's a cost either way. Correcting the code violation will likely be less expensive than the lower offered prices from scared buyers.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
Rewired houses need permits? I am looking to purchase a brand new remodeled home where the wiring has been rewired through out but the seller is lagging on if the permits were pulled and the city approved them up to code. Is there something fishy going on?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 25, 2015
Got one better........ "flipper" buys a home from a bank in early 2015. "Flipper" does some roof repair (not permitted) and cosmetic interior work. While doing some of the work, a complaint is filed, inspector shows up and cites him for "non-permitted work".
"Flipper" put the home on the market in July 2015 and "flipper" is also the realtor.
We put an offer and go to contract. Three weeks before closing the complaint is still open and three 15 year old expired permits pop up. It's two days before closing and he was only able to get rid of the complaint but not the expired permits.
My question to them was: How can you put a house on the market that nobody can buy because of the permit issues? You're a "flipper" and a realtor........ shouldn't you have known this?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 19, 2015
They must not be pulling building permits when they do the remodeling. Once an inspector comes into the house he has the right to inspect anything in plain sight and act on any possible building code violation. Unfortunately, once you buy the house you inherit all the Building Code Violations. You should always to a full Building Permit search at the records department prior to purchasing a home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
Homes are sold every day that are not up to code.
Homes are sold as is.
You are not buying a shiny new home with a builder warranty.
you are buying a flip.
Hopefully you know better and just because you like it you understand,...
that paint and chaulk covers a lot.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 18, 2012
It depends on what code violations you are talking about. If they did work that required permits then the building department will most likely require them to bring the home up to current code. If the work was simple paper and paint or new cabinets and appliances then they do not have to bring the home up to current code. Your inspector should tell you if the home is up to current code or if the improvements meet the code that was in effect at the time the home was built.
One of the main reasons to have a professional inspector check out the home is to find code and health and safety violations. If there are some then you can ask the seller to make the repairs. If they decline then they have to disclose the items to future buyers since they have been informed of the violations. The Realtor, now knowing these violations, must also disclose them to any future buyers. If they do not then they are most likely liable for the costs to cure.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
Hector is a man of few words....

Homes sell every day in non-flip circumstances with code violations. The perspective that Flippers are "getting away" with something with their remodels due to code violations is not particularly accurate. As a general statement, there is nothing wrong, illegal, or unethical about selling a house that is not up to current building code. Besides, the flippers will say they didn't know about the code violations in the first place.

With that said, I always look at a flipped home with concern. I see them (yes, I am stereotyping here) as lipstick on a pig. Flippers are looking to create margin between what they paid, and what they can sell a home for. I have seen many instances in which corners were cut, workmanship was below standard, and new paint and carpet was used to cover larger issues that go undisclosed. Which brings up a larger issue - like banks and REOs, a Flipper has never lived in the home and their level of disclosure is minimal. So, the history of the house is lost in many if not all flip situations, which creates the potential for some post-escrow surprises on the part of the buyer.

So, really, Hector is right - it goes back to his two words - to minimize those surprises, a buyer needs to exercise proper due diligence. A good home inspector will find those code violations and other issues that then can be addressed through a request for repairs from the buyer to the seller. The key is finding out about the issues before you actually own them. Know in buying a flipped house, there is a increased chance that behind the pretty kitchen, stainless appliances and travertine laden bathrooms is the bones of a house that was likely neglected for an extended period of time.

CA DRE 01775528
NMLS 980076
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
Many flippers don't bother with permits because of the time it takes, so you never really know if the work was done to code. Regular sellers do work on their homes all the time without permits. The work can be done without permits and still be to code though. To answer your question, it's not against the law to sell a home that's not up to code, so that's where your due diligence comes in. If you find a home with work not done to code, go on to the next one. A good inspection will uncover some of it, but they don't inspect behind walls. So, unless all the work was done by licensed contractors, and permits pulled where required, you can never be sure, you can just do your best to get the information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
They must be doing work with inspectors that are looking the other way or are inept. Or they are doing work without permits.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
2 words: Due dilligence

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
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