What Classifies a Sanibel House as Unlivable?
Since the large impact of Hurricane Ian in the fall of 2022, there are still many structures and homes being put back together. As such, some properties may still be deemed unlivable on Sanibel Island. What classifies a home as unlivable?
Classifications of unlivable houses
Not currently hooked up to utilities
One of the most common and quick classifications of an unlivable home is that the home does not have basic utilities. This includes the common basic necessities of items like electricity, plumbing, and heat. Without these items, a home is unsafe and very hard to live in and as such is deemed unlivable or not suitable or safe to inhabit.
A home that has air quality that is not safe to breathe because of various pollutants is also deemed unlivable. This could be things like pollution from asbestos, the discovery of unsafe mold, and several other toxins that would cause anyone to become ill by breathing in the toxins in the air.
If the main structure that holds the home together is no longer functioning at a capacity to hold the home together then the home is not safe to live in. Sometimes a home may look perfectly normal but an issue like a large crack in the foundation or a wall removed without the proper structural upgrades. Anything that could lead to the home falling in.
This one is not necessarily because of the condition of the home. If the government has a construction project that would run through a home's property boundaries and they deem it important for the progress of the community they can invoke eminent domain and deem the home on the property unlivable. This government has a right to take control of a property even if the landowner does not want to sell it as long as they can prove it is for the greater good.
Who Classifies a Home Unlivable?
A home must be classified as unlivable (condemned) by a governing authority. A condemnation means the home is not fit for living in but it does not mean that the home is a lost cause. The property may be salvageable depending on what caused the classification in the first place. Classifying a home as unlivable is a process that could take weeks to years.
For a home to be livable again it will need to be inspected by a government-appointed inspector after the necessary work has been completed to make the home safe again.
Selling an Unlivable Property
Some Sanibel Island homeowners may decide that their unlivable home is too much for them to take on the repairs and restorations. If you have an unlivable property on Sanibel you will not be able to sell the home as a structure. You can sell the land with the understanding that the home is not safe to inhabit and the purchasing party understands their need to remodel or demolish the home. This can be a bit more difficult to find a buyer, but Sanibel property is highly desirable even if it is land with an unlivable home. The right professional help can always help get real estate sold.
Buying an Unlivable Home
If you are looking to buy an ideal piece of land on Sanibel to build your own dream island home or are looking to purchase a cheaper property, buying an unlivable home might be worth the consideration. If you are hoping to build your own dream home, land on the island is limited and this could be the way to find the optimal location for building that custom dream home. You may be up for the challenge of restoring a very unique property at a steal of a deal. If this is you you want to make sure you have a contractor advise you on if the home is worth restoring and how much it would ultimately cost.
You may have to find a different means of securing a mortgage loan for the property. A traditional home loan can be tough to secure for a property that is seen as a higher purchase risk. Purchasing a property with an unlivable structure on it will require a trustworthy agent to help walk you through the process. The due diligence and lender requirements are going to be a little different and having someone working with you in your best interests to make sure you are making a sound investment is crucial.
If you are searching for a home in Sanibel or are getting ready to sell a home please contact me. I am highly knowledgeable in Sanibel real estate and am here to help you with any Sanibel Island Real estate needs. It can be a challenge navigating the real estate market currently and I am here to help.