Every buyer has the right to do an inspection on a home. Most will use a licensed home inspector to go through and touch and twiddle with every moving part, test all the functions of all the things… you see where I’m going with this.

However, one of my biggest pet peeves is the “up to code” question.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very important aspects of a home that create safety issues. I’m not talking about that.  My issue is that I know how often codes change. I’m married to a general contractor, I pick the brains of those out there doing things, I talk to home inspectors, I do research and take classes, all to better my knowledge in my field. Part of that is knowing what kinds of things will fly and what won’t… from a lending stand point.

Here’s the simple answer. No home is “to code”. None, zip, zouch.

When a home is built, it is required to have a permit for the build. During that build, a home is inspected at several points, to ensure that it is built to code for safety and structural reasons.  They will make sure that the footings are right, the plumbing and electrical is right. They’ll make sure that the framing, the roofing, the ‘all the things’ are ‘right’. Until a home is done, RIGHT… it is not giving a certificate of occupancy.  Until that certificate is received, it is uninhabitable.  NONE.

Now that the new owner has it’s certificate of occupancy, you can almost bet that a code changed, and the home is now ‘out of code’.  In the construction world, we see laws and codes change so frequently, it’s honestly hard to keep up.

Your home will not need to ‘pass inspection’ in order to close. It needs to pass the appraisal. But that’s another story all together.

So, what do you do when the home is built in 1950, and the sellers never did anything to bring it ‘up to code’? You have 2 options… Either you buy a home with a lengthy to-do list… or you move on.

Sellers are likely willing to make minor repairs when they have a solid buyer willing to pay their acceptable price for a home, but lets be real… they’re not remodeling the home for you.  Be prepared to do things like replace outlets, anti-syphons, or self closing doors. Some sellers will do these things, but you should be prepared to take it on if it’s important to you.

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