Purchasing a vacant home in Macomb County MI? Pick up the phone and call the city building department.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center

One of the cities in my area has a wonderful online service in which you can find out the current taxes,
utility bills (water and sewer) and also check to see if there are any permits that have been pulled for
repairs or renovations.

In the case of vacant homes (foreclosures, REO's, etc.) there is also one more check that you as a purchaser
need to do:  Pick up the phone and call the city and find out if a certificate of occupancy is needed prior
to moving in to the home and if an inspection is needed by the building department.

A buyer client and I are in the middle of a "counter offer" purchase on a bank owned home, and one of the
things that I asked her to do was to call the city building department and find out if this home needed to
have an inspection prior to her being able to move in to it.   As it turns out, this home was red-tagged (although the tag was not readily visible when we viewed the home) and does need to be inspected by the building department.

It will cost the buyer $200 for the city building inspector to come out and look at the home, as well as additional fees if permits need to be pulled for any city mandated repairs.   Most small repairs can be done by the potential home owner, but those needing more expensive work (electrical, plumbing, heating & cooling, etc) will require additional inspections and permits.

Please don't assume that just because there isn't a notation on a city / township online service about an inspection being required that this is truthful.  Data does "fall through the cracks" and entries are sometimes not made in a timely fashion.

                                                Pick up the phone and call.  

For those wondering why I don't make the call myself for my buyer clients:  Third party translations can sometimes fall short of accuracy.  I want my buyer clients to hear for themselves what the city / township building department has to say.  They can also ask specific questions while they are talking to the representative while those questions are fresh in their minds.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Home Buying
Michigan Macomb County
purchasing a foreclosure in macomb county mi
city building inspections for vacant homes in macomb county mi

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Kris, I know many people waive inspections when they can but I think buyers should insist on one.  You truly never know what you might find and don't want to get in over your head.  I'm sure your readers will appreciate this information.

Oct 28, 2009 11:41 PM #1
Mike Mitchell
Real Living Kee Realty - Saint Clair Shores, MI

Hi Kris - I'm pretty sure I know which cities are doing this - Lol. I understand why they are doing this, but I disagree with it also. I've had some listings tagged that were not neglected, simply vacant. Frustrating!

Oct 29, 2009 12:25 AM #2
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

When you have bank owned properties they seldom will pay for this type of inspection or repair so buyers need to be protected.

Oct 29, 2009 03:50 PM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Kris,

Excellent advice! Carole is right, I'm sure your readers will appreciate this information.

Nov 02, 2009 06:49 AM #4
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Carole,   If a buyer wants to waive a personal home inspection I make sure they sign off on it.  The city inspections they can't "waive".  People need to make those phone calls to find out if it is mandatory in the city in which they are purchasing.  Thanks Carole :-)

Mike,   It is frustrating.  I've seen sellers who have moved out to relocate for jobs, but have hired people to take care of their homes in their abscence.  You're right, just because it is vacant doesn't mean it is a hazard or neglected.

Terry & Bonnie,  I haven't seen one bank/asset manager yet that will pay for these.  If I come across one I'll shout their names from the rooftops!  :-)

Dorie,  I hope this reaches many potential home buyers in our area, it's so important not to be blindsided by it.

Nov 02, 2009 09:34 PM #5
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Kris Wales

Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information