Can You Sell a House with Code Violations in Des Moines?

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Selling a House with Code Violations in Des Moines: Navigating the Challenges

Common Types of Code Violations in Des Moines

Des Moines has specific codes and regulations to ensure its residents' safety and well-being. Some of the most common code violations in the city include the following:

  • Building code violations - These may include issues with the structure of the building, such as a missing smoke detector, inadequate insulation, or improper permitting.
  • Zoning code violations - This may include illegal use of a property, such as operating a business from a residential property.
  • Health and safety code violations - This may include issues with the plumbing or electrical systems or hazardous materials like asbestos or lead paint.
  • Property maintenance code violations may include issues with the property's exterior, such as overgrown grass or broken windows.

What Are Code Violations?

Code violations refer to non-compliance with building codes, health and safety regulations, or zoning laws. Examples of code violations include:

  • Building without permits.
  • Unpermitted additions or alterations.
  • Failure to maintain safety equipment.
  • Zoning violations.

How Do Code Violations Affect the Sale of a Property?

Code violations can have a significant impact on the sale of a property. Depending on the severity of the violation, it can reduce the value of the property, make it difficult to sell, and even result in legal penalties. Additionally, many mortgage lenders will only approve a loan for a property without any code violations, making it very difficult for the owner to sell.

How to Address Code Violations Before Selling a House

The first step to selling a house with code violations is to address the violations. This can be done by hiring a professional inspector to assess the property and identify code violations. The inspector will provide a report that details the violations and the steps that need to be taken to resolve them.

Once you clearly understand the violations, you can work with a contractor to resolve them. This may involve obtaining the necessary permits, making repairs, and bringing the property into compliance with local building codes and regulations.

It's important to note that resolving code violations can take time and may be costly. However, it's important to invest the time and resources to resolve the violations, as this will help ensure that the property can be sold and the sale process can proceed smoothly.

The Benefits of Selling a House with Code Violations

Despite the challenges, there are several benefits to selling a house with code violations. One of the biggest benefits is that you can sell the property without incurring additional expenses, such as penalties or legal fees. Additionally, you can sell the property quickly and without any delays, which is especially important if facing financial difficulties.

Get A Cash Offer And Sell Quickly

If you want to sell your Des Moines home that may have code violations, quickly - without having to do any additional repairs or preparations, consider requesting a cash offer from DSM Real Estate Buyers today.

These Are Some of the Common DIY Construction Code Violations in Des Moines

As a homeowner, it can be tempting to tackle home improvement projects on your own to save money. However, it's essential to be aware of the building codes and regulations that must be followed to ensure the safety and livability of your home. Neglecting to adhere to these codes can lead to significant fines, unsafe living conditions, and even legal trouble.

Here, we'll discuss the top six DIY construction code violations and how to avoid them.

Plumbing Code Violations

Another common area of DIY construction code violations is plumbing. Improper plumbing installations can lead to leaks, water damage, and health hazards. To avoid plumbing code violations, keep these tips in mind:

  • Hire a licensed plumber for major plumbing projects.
  • Use approved plumbing materials that meet safety standards, such as pipes and fittings.
  • Follow local codes for installing plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, and showerheads.
  • Make sure your plumbing system is properly vented to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases

Improper Permitting

One of the most common code violations is failing to obtain the necessary permits for your home renovation project. Building codes vary from state to state, but in most cases, a permit is required for any major renovation or addition to your home.

To avoid this violation, research the permitting requirements in your area and obtain the necessary permits before beginning any work.

Dangerous Materials: Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used extensively in building materials for its fire-resistant properties. However, exposure to asbestos fibers can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

If you're renovating an older home, look for asbestos in insulation, floor tiles, and other building materials. If you suspect that your home may contain asbestos, it's essential to have it professionally removed by a certified contractor.

No Egress Window in Basement Bedroom

A basement bedroom must have a means of egress, such as a window, in case of an emergency. Failing to provide an egress window in a basement bedroom is a significant safety hazard and can result in fines and legal trouble.

To avoid this violation, check the building codes in your area and install an egress window in any basement bedrooms to ensure a safe escape route.

Venting Bathroom Fan Into Attic

Venting a bathroom fan into the attic can lead to moisture buildup, mold growth, and structural damage to your home. To avoid this violation, make sure to vent the bathroom fan to the outside of your home.

Bad Electrical Wiring

One of the most common DIY construction code violations involves electrical work. Improper wiring and faulty electrical installations can be a fire hazard and threaten the safety of those in the home. To ensure your electrical work meets code requirements, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Hire a licensed electrician for any major electrical work.
  • Use appropriate electrical materials, such as conduit and wire, that meet safety standards.
  • Install electrical devices, such as outlets and switches, by following local codes.
  • Label all electrical panels and circuit breakers to make it easy to identify the source of any problems.

DIY electrical work can be dangerous, and it's essential to follow the National Electric Code to ensure the safety of your home. Failing to install electrical systems correctly can lead to fires, shock hazards, and other dangerous situations.

To avoid this violation, it's best to leave electrical work to a licensed professional electrician.

No or Misplaced Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms play a critical role in ensuring the safety of your home in the event of a fire. Failing to install smoke alarms or installing them in the wrong location can result in fines and put your home and family at risk.

To avoid this violation, be sure to research the smoke alarm requirements in your area and install them in the proper locations, such as near bedrooms and on every level of your home.

By following these guidelines, you can avoid these common DIY construction code violations and ensure the safety and livability of your home. Don't take shortcuts when it comes to building codes and regulations - your family's safety is worth the extra effort.

Steps to Resolve Code Violations

The first step in resolving code violations is to contact the City of Des Moines to schedule an inspection. During the inspection, a code enforcement officer will identify any violations and provide you with a list of necessary repairs. Once you have the list of required repairs, you can either complete the repairs yourself or hire a contractor to do so.

It's important to remember that resolving code violations can take time, so starting the process as soon as possible is best to avoid delays in selling your property.


As a homeowner in Des Moines, it's important to understand the most common types of code violations and what steps you can take to resolve them before listing your property for sale. By resolving code violations, you can increase the value of your property, speed up the sale process, and avoid any penalties or fines.

If you're considering selling your property in Des Moines, contact the City of Des Moines to schedule an inspection and start the process of resolving any code violations. With the right approach, you can ensure a successful and stress-free sale.

The costs of code violations can get very expensive, and you may be responsible for fixing them before you sell your house. If you cannot afford these repairs or don't want to deal with them, please get in touch with DSM Real Estate Buyers - we have seen it all and can take the burden off your shoulders. We will schedule a visit and get you an offer right away.

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