Many people buy a home because they’re tired of being told what to do. They don’t want landlords poking their nose in and asking why they’re using nails to hang stuff on the walls. They don’t want the people who live downstairs complaining about their footsteps, or they don’t want to listen to the people upstairs who seem to believe in rearranging all of their furniture every Monday at midnight. Owning your own home means you have way fewer hassles to deal with, but it doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with your house 100 percent of the time.
Unless you truly live in the middle of nowhere, you’re still going to have to deal with city codes and zoning laws. Codes cover things like what makes a house habitable or uninhabitable, as yourrentalpeople.com explains (if a room is too small or too dangerous for people to live in, for example, that would be a code violation). Zoning covers what kinds of property can exist where. For instance, you can’t just decide to start running a daycare out of your living room one day. You’ll need both a daycare license and approval from the city.
You may have seen terms like ingress, egress, and regress without really knowing what they mean. Despite how they may sound, they are not types of geese you can find at your local municipal park. Ingress is how you enter a property and egress is how you leave it. To regress is to return to a property. City codes will generally require you to have a reasonable amount of safe entry and exit points. That’s especially important in case of a fire. If you have a back door that you can’t open, then that’s one less way for you to get to safety in case there’s a grease fire in the kitchen.
The presence of things like asbestos and lead can also make a house unsafe for humans. You should get qualified contractors to survey your house for dangerous substances before you buy it. If you have already bought a house and didn’t get it checked, there’s no time like the present. Licensed and accredited contractors will know exactly what kind of permitting and documentation they need before they can do any abatement work if, for example, they find a big patch of mold hidden somewhere in your basement. It’s not an area where you want to cut corners. The price you pay for qualified help is worth it and then some. For most of us, things like mold are too big to tackle on our own.
If your house floods, that’s an obvious safety concern as well, but what happens once the flooding stops? You need someone with a lot of expertise in water damage to come to the house and help you clean up the mess. Prompt home restoration efforts will go a long way towards preventing any future issues. Good companies will even test for mold and contaminants as part of the restoration process. You also don’t want your home to smell like a wet dog for the next decade, so there are ways to remove that unpleasant post-flood odor as well.