JJ and I encourage beginning investors to stay clear of properties that have city violations, especially those that have multiple violations (which in this town is 99.99% of those in violations). Why? Trying to clear city violations with city officials and inspectors is like trying to rid a dog of fleas with tweezers! It is darn near impossible and it will take you forever. For every violation you fix, when the city inspector comes out to inspect, often times they will clear the one violation, only to turn around on you and find 2 to 3 more things to cite violations on.
The funny thing is that they never send the same inspector out there each and every time, with each of their own opinions and their code of strictness to the city ordinance. Investors often find that the situation becomes a very long and expensive drawn out process with no end in sight. In the end the investor will end up most likely doubling to tripling their original rehabbing expenses and thus losing money on their investment property from day one.
Most often the investor who is caring enough to rehab the property correctly will most often be harassed over each and every little detail as compared to citing the property next door to the investor that has peeling paint, boarded up windows, trash piled up in the yard and on the front porch, and the the smell of marijuana smoke coming from it in which the owner of that property has no violations on nor will ever be working on the property within the next year or two. Why is that?
City officials can smell the money in which they figure the investor who is working on the property. You become an extremely easy target for them to line the city’s coffers compared to the landlord or investor that has not done a single thing to improve the property next door to yours.
So, if you want to save yourself a lot of time and money, not to mention a ton of headaches and work stoppage between visits, then we highly recommend the investor to run as if a tornado was moving through town from those properties with a violation or more.
Crissy and JJ