Can You Sell A Condemned House In California?

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can you sell a condemned house in California

The majority of people believe that condemned homes are ones that are too far gone and will be torn down. Although this is often the case, there are California condemned homes that can actually be saved; however, the process won’t be easy.

The laws in your area will determine whether or not you can sell a condemned home. However, if the house is fixed up and passes the local authorities’ re-inspection, a sale is usually possible. You would only be able to sell the land it sits on if the condemned house cannot be sold as a structure due to the impossibility of repairs.

Selling a Condemned House in California

There’s too much to learn about condemned houses, from why they are tagged as such and how you go about selling them. If you’re intrigued to know more, stay with us until the end!

If a local government agency decides that a house is unsafe for habitation, it is deemed condemned. This indicates that residing on the California property is forbidden due to code violations. If the contractors disregard building codes, new homes may also be condemned. 

A house is sealed off and marked with a warning sign by the authorities when it is declared to be condemned. Generally speaking, a house that has been declared condemned can only be deemed habitable if it has been renovated, rehabilitated, and cleared by government inspections.

What is a Condemned House in California

For all their appearance, condemned homes aren’t a lost cause. The grounds why the house was first declared uninhabitable may still apply in order to remove it from condemned status.

California homes may become condemned for a few different reasons. Although local laws differ,
condemnation often occurs when:

  • The property has been abandoned for more than 180 days.
  • The house is really dirty. There may be issues with black mold, infestations, or other sanitary issues.
  • Living in the residence is risky due to certain hazards.
  • The house suffers structural issues as a result of deterioration. Damage from storms, floods, and fires may also be to blame for this.
  • The house does not have enough amenities, including water, sewage, and electricity.
  • The home has been used to create drugs and toxins.
What are Grounds For House Condemnation In California

Keep in mind that there is more than one reason why a house is classified as condemned. They usually have numerous risks that have developed over time.

However, a home may be condemned by the local government if it is to be used for public projects like schools, airports, or highways. Eminent domain authority has the potential to cause this.

If the homeowner is subject to eminent domain, they will be paid. Owners usually experience headaches throughout this process, though.

Depending on a number of variables, including the reason for the condemnation, local laws, court proceedings, etc., the process of condemning a house may take many weeks or months.

In most cases, the California owner would be informed that the home does not comply with a particular health and safety code. It’s possible to notify the neighborhood that the property is condemned and that the owner must make repairs.

If the owner failed to make corrections, there would be a legal hearing where the house may face condemnation.

Once a home is designated as condemned, the owner is once more granted 30 to 60 days to complete any outstanding repairs and modifications, ask the local government to come out and examine, and submit fresh permission applications.

Due to time constraints and the high expense of repairs, most homeowners wish to sell their condemned house at this point to investors and cash buyers.

Officially, the house would be declared uninhabitable if the local government’s requirements weren’t fulfilled. There’s no way I could sell it now.

When a house is declared unfit for habitation or condemned by the authorities, all of its occupants are requested to vacate it right away. The residence is marked as uninhabitable with signs placed on the condemned property to notify the neighbors of this fact.

The government frequently turns off the utilities in the California residence to make sure no one lives there while it is condemned. In the interim, the house is demolished if it is truly dangerous and has already become too unsafe.

This is also the case when the house is seized using eminent domain. The house is demolished to facilitate the construction of a public project.

What Happens When a House is Deemed Uninhabitable California

A house is condemned for no other reason than that it is unfit for habitation. Therefore, you cannot usually dwell in a home that has been condemned. However, depending on the area and whether you’ve tried to fix the property, this may change.

It is advised that you speak with a California lawyer to learn about your rights in the event that your home is condemned. If you would still like to live in the house, you can also have a direct conversation with the responsible government entity for clarity.

Can You Still Live in a Condemned Home in California

Additionally, there are instances where unwanted guests like trespassers, vandals, or squatters inhabit the condemned property. Since the house is empty, it may not be possible to resist doing this even though it is prohibited by local government regulations.

If you don’t want this to happen, you must decide whether to sell your house or make repairs immediately.

Depending on where you live, you may still sell your condemned house. There are actually two ways to sell a house that has been condemned by the authorities.

The first step is to sell after making all the adjustments requested by the authorities. This implies that in order to have the house in acceptable shape, you would have to undertake the necessary modifications and repairs.

Following repairs, you would have to request an inspection from the appropriate authorities. Once they say it’s safe to occupy, you can start marketing the house like any other property.

Can You Sell a Condemned House in California

However, keep in mind that it can be difficult to obtain a mortgage for a California condemned home, thus it may be difficult to find a retail buyer.

Selling the house exactly as it is is your other choice when selling a condemned home. If the house is beyond repair, this is advised. The buyer technically pays for the land the property is on when you sell it as-is, not the house building because the latter is no longer valuable. 

These home buyers who buy condemned properties as-is could then demolish the house and build another.

It is an entirely different situation for properties that were condemned by eminent domain. This will prevent the homeowner from selling the house because the government will own it as public property. 

The good thing, though, is that the government will provide compensation. This is what we call a pro-tanto award

The government will furnish you with a written offer for the condemned property in consideration of its appraised value.

If you believe the house is worth more, you can turn down their offer, get the market value of the California property assessed, and submit the assessment to the relevant government agency. Usually, this will end up in court.

If the process of condemnation by eminent domain seems daunting, seek legal counsel.

You can still be able to obtain the maximum money out of the condemned house if all that is needed for it to be deemed usable again is some minor repairs or upgrades. In California, move-in ready real estate is preferred by buyers.

Here’s what you need to know about selling a condemned house on the real estate market:

How to Sell a Condemned House In California

Address the Violations

The government’s notice about the property’s state includes a list of all the code breaches the condemned residence was penalized for.

To restore the property’s habitability, you must address each infraction. That could entail clearing out an infestation, getting rid of black mold, organizing, etc.

Hiring a contractor can solve your issue if only a few locations need repair. A Certificate of Occupancy will be granted to you when the local authorities re-inspect the property.

After this, you can get in touch with someone buying a condemned home in California.

Deal With Major Repairs

Hiring a contractor may not be enough if the condemned house requires significant modifications, such as repairing structural damage, rather than just minor repairs.

To give an example, before you can sell your condemned home, you may need to employ an architect to create the designs. This can be expensive and may not be worthwhile if, even after repairs, the home’s market value is poor.

You would also have to submit a plan to the local authorities if the remodeling included electrical systems. Obtaining permits can be costly and labor-intensive.

When the plans have been approved and you were issued the necessary permits, you can then proceed to find people who can do the work. 

The local California authorities will conduct inspections during the renovation process to ensure adherence to the approved designs. Only then will you receive a Certificate of Occupancy and the green light to sell the condemned property and locate nearby buyers if they are?

Choose a Way to Sell the Condemned House

When you are ready to sell the condemned house, you can choose amongst three options on how to proceed.

For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

For Sale by Owner, or FSBO, refers to the independent, non-agency sale of a condemned home. Since you will be handling every aspect of the sale yourself, selling a condemned house on your own could prove to be an overwhelming process.

To provide an example, you would be responsible for setting the price and marketing the condemned property yourself, making sure the correct buyers see it and that it is taken off the market quickly.

Choose a Way to Sell the Condemned House in California

This is difficult because, usually, mortgage companies do not want to finance buying a condemned property.

Even if you succeeded in getting offers, you would still experience the most challenging part of selling a condemned house FSBO⁠— negotiating with homebuyers.

It is likely that buyers will submit noncompetitive offers if the California condemned property is not remodeled to the point where it resembles a regular property. In particular, if you are not familiar with real estate, it may be challenging to deal with them.

Real Estate Agents

There are real estate agents who are experts in selling condemned houses and they could make the process of selling your California property less work.

To begin with, a real estate agent can assist you in determining the fair market value of the condemned property. They are able to accomplish this while taking your renovation-related expenses into account.

They can also find the right buyers and shoulder the burden of negotiating for a fair sale price.

But keep in mind that it costs money to work with a real estate agent to sell your condemned home. A real estate agent may charge you up to 6% of the sale price on average.

This is a big amount of money, and since you still need to pay for the improvements, marketing, mortgage repayment, and closing charges, you can end up with little profit.

Cash Home Buyers/Real Estate Investors

A cash house buyer or real estate investor who can make an immediate cash payment is your best bet when selling a condemned property.

Like with traditional real estate, these cash buyers and investors will usually act quickly and make you a reasonable cash offer.

The majority of investors and cash buyers of foreclosed homes have a team they hire on a regular basis to fix homes. This implies that they will sell your house in its current state and, following repairs, will either sell it or continue to rent it out.

Should your California condemned property be too far gone to be classified as a structure, they can still buy your land with the intention of tearing down the house. Put otherwise, the land where the condemned property is located is what they are buying from you.

A cash home buyer is also ideal if you want to save on closing costs and commission fees. However, since they are your direct buyer, you don’t have to go the traditional route of marketing your condemned property.

Yes, if you are unable to afford the necessary repairs for your condemned home or if it is situated in a location with numerous potential hazards, you are free to abandon it and take no action. If you do this, the government will often have the authority to take your property.

The sole disadvantage of choosing this course of action over having the California condemned property restored, destroyed, or sold together with the land it is situated on is the possibility of it being occupied by squatters or other undesirables.

While most properties that are condemned are abandoned for a long period of time, it doesn’t mean that the two are entirely similar. Real estate that has been declared condemned is either being seized by the local government to make way for a public project, or it has been declared unlawful.

Meanwhile, California abandoned houses are homes that have been abandoned for a variety of reasons, such as a mortgage payment default issue brought on by late payments, the death of the owners, etc.

It’s essential to remember, though, that if a house is neglected and abandoned for an extended period of time, it may eventually break safety regulations and be declared a government-condemned property.

Homes that are condemned are not hopeless. California homeowners can still receive some value from them and sell them. The owner is pressed for time when deciding whether to sell a condemned house, though. 
When repairing a condemned house makes no financial sense and the process sounds stressful, that’s when it is suggested to sell to a cash home buyer.

We at JiT Home Buyers will buy your condemned home in its current condition, saving you money on any necessary repairs or upgrades. You won’t need to bring any cash to closing because we’ll take care of the closing expenses as well.
Fill out the form below or give us a call at (510) 473-5885 to get a cash offer on your condemned house!

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We Buy Houses AS-IS In California

We are a local real estate investment company in California that buys houses in any condition. We also buy mobile homes and condos in any condition. You can sell your house fast for cash regardless of the condition.

Our service area includes homes in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento and throughout California. Our goal is to serve homeowners with a simple solution when selling there house fast.

You can start the process to sell your house fast by calling us or filling in the online form. We will respond back to you the same day and present you with a fair cash offer for your house. If you accept our cash offer for your home, you can schedule a closing date and get cash for your house.

The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In California

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the JiT Home Buyers team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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