Buying a new home can be extremely nerve-wracking. Once you think you’ve found your perfect place, you still need to get through the escrow period, which includes your home inspection, loan approval and other obstacles that can keep you from getting to the closing table. Many times a buyer is pre-qualified and even pre-approved for a loan, so their biggest concern is what can show up in a home inspection. It’s easy to worry about older homes or homes that have sat on the market for a year or more, but often times a buyer will forget that there can be code violations that show up in their new home. Three of the most popular categories for code violations are: electrical, plumbing and structural problems.

Electrical – Electrical code violations can not only be costly, but they can be dangerous to your family. Some of the most common electrical violations include too many wires plugged into one outlet or switch, a lack of GFCI outlets in bathrooms or kitchens or reverse-polarity on outlets, which is usually a lesser concern. Some can cause sparks or even fires, and other electrical problems are just a nuisance. If your inspection turns up any electrical code violations it’s extremely important that you have them fixed immediately.

Plumbing – Plumbing violations are extremely common, and unfortunately many homeowners don’t realize that you need a licensed contractor to perform certain plumbing on your home. Inspectors will easily find dripping faucets, loose toilets and improper drainage, but the real danger is in illegal gas lines and missing safety features. One of the worst parts of using an “illegal worker” is that they can vanish after performing the work, leaving the homeowner with the code violation to deal with on their own.

Structural – Building Code is extremely strict in most states and one of the easiest ways to violate code is to add structures to your home illegally. Roofs tend to present problems, since they are constantly rotting and wearing through the years. Even small additions can create problems for a homeowner, like steps and railing or even handicapped ramps. Bars on windows and doors can even present problems, if there aren’t proper emergency escape routes.

Regardless of the code violation your home inspector ran into, it’s extremely important that you have the Seller handle any issues before purchasing the home. Your Aurora Real Estate Agent will help walk you through the process, but you make want to ask for a City Code Enforcer to give their ‘ok’ before proceeding with the sale.

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