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Are properties with code violations always a bad deal?

If a property in Kern County is a good price and in a good location, but has a code violation, should I disregard it?

Not necessarily. Do your research. First, find out what the code violation is for. You can do this by contacting the Kern County Planning Agency. They can tell you exactly what the violation is.

Next, find out what it will take to correct the violation. You can take a contractor to the property and have them compose an estimate to repair the violation. Many older buildings (usually found in older neighborhoods) have been remodeled or had unpermitted additions built. Depending on the extent and costs of the repair, the property still may be a good deal.

Much of your decision should be based on your reason for purchasing the property. Some properties are underpriced due to a violation, and for someone who is buying and selling, or looking to make a profit in commercial real estate, it is just a matter of weighing the repair costs against the potential profit that can be expected.

That being said, you should still be careful to have all the facts. A contractor may give you an estimate of what he or she believes will bring a property up to code, but the Planning Agency may have other ideas. Unpermitted additions to older buildings may appear to only need modifications to bring them up to code, but the Planning Agency has the option of requiring that the entire addition be removed. This is an option they utilize more often than not, leaving you to start from scratch. So be sure to take that into consideration and have your contractor give you estimates on both options.

Utilize the expertise of a real estate legal professional for sound advice. Don't automatically rule out a code violation property. You also may be able to offset future capital gains from your investment in modifications to the property.

Source: Trulia.com, "Should I buy a code violations property if I get good deal and good location?," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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