How do I get info about code violations before I purchase a home in Phoenix?

Asked by Kirsten, Phoenix, AZ Sun Feb 9, 2014

I am extremely interested in a listing in Phoenix. The home is bank owned. The previous owners built onto the house and were operating a business out of it without the proper permits. The house itself is trashed, but the addition is beautiful. The listing says that the new owners may have to tear down part or all of the additions, but there is no info. I would never purchase this home if I have to tear down the additions. I need to know what the deal is prior to making an offer. How can I get this information? Is there a way to find out what we would need to do to be able to keep the additions? Thank you so much in advance.

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Katie Crissm…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Feb 10, 2014
Good Morning Kirsten,
Please go to this website, You can find out if the correct permits were issued and if the addition passed city inspections. If there were no permits or inspections, you can still ask that a city inspector come to the property and inspect it. I've found that calling the department is very helpful to get preliminary info, like whether there are any permits for the property, the permit type and if they were inspected. Good luck and if I can help further, I'm only a phone call away!
1 vote
Joseph Domino, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun Feb 9, 2014
If the home is within the City of Phoenix jurisdiction you can start by contacting the Planning & development people at:

The city has been known to allow "as built" permits IF the building can be inspected and meets all codes.

The biggest concern is how much time, effort and money do you want to put into a home that you do not own? You could spend significant effort to square away the issues and end up not buying the property. Worth the risk?
1 vote
please contact me if you are still interested in the property. I would need more information from you. look forward to hearing from you!
Flag Sun Feb 9, 2014
Thank you so much!
Flag Sun Feb 9, 2014
Maureen Thel…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Sun Feb 16, 2014
If the home is now bank owned, other liens on the property (including possible city violations, mechanics liens, tax liens, and other consensual or non-consensual lien) may or may not have been wiped out in the foreclosure process. The current condition of title will depend on many things, including when each lien was recorded and the lien priority. If you are working with a Realtor who is knowledgeable about title and finance issues, he or she can help you determine what the true situation may be. My background includes working through many such issues on both commercial and residential properties. Please contact me at if you would like to discuss this.
0 votes
Jennie Miller…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Mon Feb 10, 2014
You could contact the city directly to find out if there are any issues that you might be facing for code violations. I also have a document called a Buyer's Advisory that will give you a LOT of information to help you fully investigate the house before you agree to close on the home. There are timelines that surround your rights to inspect and investigate the home. Do you have an agent and have they provided you with this form?

Feel free to email or call me directly so I can provide you with this information.
0 votes
Doug McVinua, Agent, Gilbert, AZ
Sun Feb 9, 2014
My daughter is an agent in Phoenix and has dealt with this situation and learned how to navigate the process effectively. She could help you out with Inspectors, Contractors, engineers etc that might come into play.
0 votes
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