When it comes to selling real estate, the condition of a property plays a vital role in its marketability.
But what should you do if you find yourself in possession of a condemned property in California? Properties like this typically exist in poor conditions, which can make them a challenge to sell. There are also a lot of legal implications involved with such a property.
However, there is no need to worry, for selling a condemned property in California is not as impossible as it may seem initially. Therefore, to make it easier for you, we will discuss the different aspects of selling a condemned California house in this guide. And by the end of it, you will be able to navigate this process swimmingly.
So, read on!
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What Is a Condemned House California?
In simple terms, a condemned property is one that is deemed unsafe to live in. Usually, a property is condemned when it violates several safety codes. As a result, it can pose a serious risk to any inhabitant that tries to reside there.
So, if your house is deemed unsafe for human habitation by the relevant local regulatory bodies, then it will be considered a condemned house. When that happens, the local authorities will put up several warning signs around it to prevent other people from entering the house.
In most cases, houses that have become old or dilapidated are tagged as condemned. However, newly built houses can be marked as condemned too. Such situations generally arise when construction contractors do not follow the mandatory building guidelines and codes. If the newly constructed building shows signs of structural weaknesses because of that, the local government agency will brand it as a condemned house.
When Does a California House Become Condemned?
When a California house reaches a condemned status, there can be multiple reasons behind it. While the actual grounds for house condemnation may vary from one place to another, the overall idea behind the condemnation process is the same everywhere.
In any case, below are some of the most common general reasons that can cause a house to be considered condemned.
If the house has been abandoned for several days, months, or even years, then it will become condemned. The duration of abandonment may often vary based on location. According to recent data, there are nearly 16 million homes that are lying empty and abandoned in the United States at present.
B. Hygiene Issues
In many cases, the presence of hygiene issues may lead to the California house being condemned. For instance, if your home suffers from frequent pest infestations or significant black mold growths, it may be deemed unsanitary by local authorities. Eventually, it will be marked as condemned to prevent any major hygiene issues from occurring.
This is one of the most common reasons why houses reach a condemned status. If the California home has suffered structural damage due to hazards like floods, fires, or storms, it will be marked as condemned. Likewise, if a house has deteriorated due to age and general wear, it will be condemned as well.
D. Bad Construction
It goes without saying that a poorly constructed home will definitely be unsafe to live in. The house may show signs of structural weaknesses at several points, making it vulnerable to collapse.
Similarly, the utility systems like plumbing and electrical frameworks may be poorly installed or configured during construction. All of these reasons will ultimately lead to the condemnation of the house.
E. Illegal Usage
If the property has been used for manufacturing illegal drugs and toxins, it will definitely be condemned. Such activities are strictly forbidden, and if the local authorities find evidence of such activities, they may take legal action against the property owner in addition to condemning the California house.
What Happens When A House Becomes Condemned California?
Usually, the process of condemning a house takes some time. But once the condemnation process is complete, the inhabitants are instructed to vacate the property as quickly as possible.
After that, the local government body puts up warning signs around the property to let everyone in the neighborhood know about its condemned status. These warning signs are also intended to keep squatters and trespassers away from the property.
The government subsequently shuts down all the utilities like water supply and electricity. This acts as a strong deterrent for any trespasser or squatter that might be thinking of residing in the empty property.
In case the California property has become too dilapidated or damaged, the government will demolish it completely to prevent any hazards or untoward incidents from occurring. A similar approach is taken if the house is seized and condemned to facilitate a public construction project, like a road or a public building.
However, the latter is a slightly different situation than a regular condemnation since the government will need to exercise eminent domain authority to proceed. If a home is condemned using eminent domain, the government will need to compensate the owner accordingly.
Can Condemned Houses Be Sold California?
Obviously, getting a condemned branding can be a real shock for California property owners. This is especially true if the property is being used as a residence. After all, having to move out of a home that you have lived in for a long time can be quite disheartening. But on the bright side, it is better than having to live in unsafe conditions that pose a life risk.
Of course, you can still sell your condemned California home to make some money from it. So, the answer to the above question is – yes; owners can sell their condemned houses if they wish. However, the ability to sell condemned properties depends entirely on the local regulations of the region.
Here, you should know that houses seized and condemned by eminent domain cannot be sold at all. That is because the ownership of such a property is transferred to the government. In other words, once the government exercises eminent domain to condemn a building, it becomes public property that cannot be sold by the owner.
Fortunately, the government will need to provide fair compensation to the owner in that scenario, which means that they can get some value out of the property. Such a system of compensation is known as the pro-tanto award.
In any case, there are two ways by which you can sell a condemned house that has been seized without using eminent domain. These methods are:
- Selling the property as-is
- Selling the property after making renovations and corrections
The sections below have discussed how you can go about selling your condemned property using the above options.
Selling A Condemned House As Is California
If the condemned building has suffered noticeable damage or deterioration, then you will not be able to renovate it in a timely or affordable manner. In this situation, you will have no other option than to sell the house as is.
When condemned homes are sold as is, the buyers only pay for the land on which the building stands instead of the building itself. Given the poor condition of the property, it will have little to no value on the market anyway. That is why it is ignored completely when the home is sold through this method.
What Is The Process For Selling A Condemned House As Is in California?
The selling process that is followed in this option is incredibly simple, as we have discussed below.
Step 1: Gather All The Relevant Documents
Before you can sell your condemned property in California, you will need to gather all the relevant property documents beforehand. These documents include the notice of condemnation, land and property details, blueprints, or any other important documentation related to the property.
Step 2: Get In Touch With A Real Estate Agent Or Advisor
The next step will be to get in touch with a qualified real estate agent or advisor. Such an individual will be able to advise you on the best course of action so that you can get the optimal market value for your property. After checking out the property and its documents, they can even refer you to prospective buyers to make the process simpler.
Step 3: Look For A Suitable Buyer
Once the above steps are taken care of, you will need to seek out the most suitable buyer for your property. You may need to talk to different people and agencies before finalizing a deal. Of course, if the advisor refers some buyers in the previous step, this process will become much simpler. And once you have found a suitable buyer, you can go ahead with the sale.
What Channels Can You Use To Sell Condemned Properties As Is California?
If you wish to sell your property as is, you may have a lot of trouble finding decent buyers. That’s because such a property requires significant investment, which simultaneously increases the risks for the buyer. Therefore, only a few people and agencies will agree to buy a condemned property as is, and these ones have been discussed below.
1. Real Estate Agents Or Realtors
Realtors or real estate agents are individuals involved with buying and selling properties. When you’re trying to sell a property as is, these agents can act as advisors, guiding you along every step of the way. As such, they can speed up the process and make it a lot more convenient.
That said, hiring a real estate agent to sell your condemned property isn’t free. On average, you will need to pay the realtor a commission of about 5% to 6% of the property’s value, which can be a pretty significant sum. This is the case even with a condemned property in California.
Luckily, since you are selling the property as is, you do not have to spend any cash on renovating the property. Thus, the commission payment to the realtor won’t affect your finances that much.
2. Real Estate Investors Or Cash Home Buyers
Real estate investors or cash buyers purchase the property from the owner directly. There are no agents involved, and these investors pay cash directly to the seller. Because of that, the property owner gets more control over the selling process. Most investors will give you a fair cash offer, which means that you don’t have to worry about being ripped off.
A typical real estate investor or cash buyer employs a team of experts who can fix and renovate a damaged property. They can even demolish properties that cannot be repaired.
After fixing the property, they can either keep it as a rental or sell it to another buyer. So, they essentially act as house flippers, where they purchase the damaged California property from the original owner, fix it, and eventually sell it to another party to make a profit.
Selling a Condemned California House After Renovations And Corrections
Before marking the property as condemned, the government authorities will send you a notice highlighting the issues and problems with your home. Following that, they will provide you with some time to fix these problems. If you feel that the property is not that damaged, and the renovations can be done feasibly, you can refurbish the home and then sell it.
What Is The Process For Selling a Condemned California House After Renovations?
Selling a condemned California house after renovations is a lengthier process than selling it as is. That’s because you need to address all the building code and safety violations first, which can take some time and money. Thankfully, the final value of your home will be much higher if you follow this process which we have discussed below.
Step 1: Gather Documents
The first step here is the same as the other method, wherein you have to gather all the relevant documents related to your property. Once that is done, you can start renovating and fixing your home.
Step 2: Address The Violations
In this step, you will need to address all the building code violations and safety issues present in your house. It is advisable to seek help from a qualified contractor, for they will be able to guide you on how to tackle each problem effectively.
If the safety concerns are relatively manageable, the contractor will be able to address them during this step. But if the house requires major renovations, you may need to spend more time and money to fix it.
Step 3: Deal With The Major Repairs
In this step, you will need to deal with the major issues and safety violations, if there are any. For example, if there is significant structural damage, it will need to be fixed promptly. Or if there are major issues with the household utility systems like electrical or plumbing, they will need to be resolved.
Besides, you might need to refurbish the old features as well, such as adding a fresh coat of paint, replacing the floor tiles, and so on. Doing that will increase the property value considerably.
Obviously, you will need to hire experts to deal with such problems. So, it will cost you money to undertake these repairs and renovations. On average, the entire process may cost you between $40,000 to $300,000.
Step 4: Sell The House
After the renovations are complete, you can get around to selling the house. For this step, you can seek help from a qualified real estate advisor, who can give you a better idea about the process and recommend prospective buyers. Once you are satisfied with a buyer, you can sell the property.
What Channels Can You Use To Sell Condemned Properties After Renovations?
The renovations improve the conditions of the condemned property, which consequently makes it easier to find buyers. On that note, here are some channels through which you can sell your property.
1. For Sale By Owner
Here, the owner sells the house directly to prospective homebuyers. In other words, there are no agents or third parties involved with the transaction. As such, it gives better control over the selling and buying process. On the flip side, you will need to handle all the marketing and negotiations on your own, which can get a bit tedious.
2. Real Estate Agents
If you wish to avoid the many hassles of the selling process, you can seek help from a qualified real estate agent. These agents will take care of everything on your behalf, making it a lot more convenient. But you will need to keep in mind their commissions, for that can easily eat into your profits if you aren’t careful.
3. California Home-Buying Companies
When you go looking, you will find numerous home-buying companies nowadays that specialize in condemned buildings. These companies operate quickly, which means that you do not have to wait very long to sell your property.
While it may seem a bit daunting at first, selling a condemned property in California is not impossible. As long as the property hasn’t been seized by eminent domain, you can sell it if you follow the guidelines and procedures properly.
Naturally, maintaining communication with buyers and agents is key, for it can make the selling process a lot more transparent. That, in turn, will help in building up trust, which plays a crucial role in the success of such transactions.
Also, do not forget to gather the relevant documents and proper permits beforehand, as that can prevent any unnecessary hurdles from popping up later on.
We at Priority Home Buyers can help you through a fast sale and get you the cash in hand and ability to move on, fast. We are available for a free consultation 24/7 by phone at 877-775-0988.
In any case, if you remain patient and level-headed, you’ll be able to sell your condemned house in California with relative ease :)