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In this case, Residential Code Violators = Motivated Sellers. Did you receive the memo from the local office of code enforcement? The goal of code enforcement personnel is to raise fines for property owners. How can we make the most of this situation to find more homes to buy? Property owners that have code violations on their properties are extremely motivated to sell.
A code violation is what? Housing must meet basic local criteria for suitability, cleanliness, and safety. A house that fails to satisfy these basic requirements will be marked as having a code violation by a housing inspector.
Finding vendors that are motivated is easy when looking for code infractions.
Code violations come in different severity levels. Condemnation of buildings is the most severe. A sizable red sign is often posted on the front door of a house that has been condemned. Look for houses that have been marked with a condemned sign similar to the one in this image when traveling around neighborhoods:
Homes may receive citations if they are deemed dangerous, accessible to the public, or have a seriously leaking roof. Minor issues like tall grass, an excessive amount of trash in the yard, or even an unregistered car idling in the driveway might be considered code violations.
Whatever the violation, it puts the homeowner in a difficult predicament. The homeowner will have to go before a judge and pay a fine if the code violation is not corrected.
Finding motivated sellers might be facilitated by looking for code problems on a property. You can frequently locate the owners and make a purchase offer to them. Most of the time, the property owners are simply unable to pay for the repairs required to keep the house in safe, functional shape, rather than purposely neglecting it.
How to Look for Code Infractions Going to the city or county authorities and asking for the list of code violators in your region is one option. Some communities have a list that they are happy to publish because it is public information. It might be rejected by several areas and claimed to be unavailable. In that situation, you must mention the Freedom of Information Act and seek the appropriate form. The localities are unable to refuse to give them to you since code violations are public data.
A federal statute known as the Freedom of Information Act was first passed by President Johnson in 1966. It is a quick and simple form to fill out, and it forces the community to provide the information you need.
Get to know the inspectors. Speak with the inspectors on the street to learn more about the code offenders in your city. If you happen to cross paths with an inspector on the street, you have a good chance of learning the true inside information on the code offenders. They can provide information on who they recently tagged and, at times, suggest ways to get in touch with the homeowners.
Drive by the properties and pick the ones that interest you after you have the list of code violations. Write or call the owner to make contact. The tax assessor's online records often contain the owner's name and postal address.
Another guerilla marketing strategy for real estate investors is marketing to code violators. In essence, it is a free supply of leads from motivated sellers. This strategy works excellently for wholesalers searching for homes to control as well as for investors looking for affordable rental properties to acquire with seller financing or flippers looking for homes that need work.