This post was written after a hurricane had swept through the region, but it contains additional information about dealing with some red tags found on foreclosures too.
Currently building inspectors from across the state are making their way across the areas affected by the hurricane, trying to determine the amount of damage to the homes. This effort is being coordinated by the Texas Residential Construction Commission. The goal is to decide if a home is safe after being damaged by the storm.
A red tag is the sticker placed on a building to state that a problem has been found, which needs to be repaired. If the problem is on the exterior, like at the electrical panel (breaker box), it may be placed at the location of the problem, but it is likely that the tag could just be placed on the front of the home. The tag will contain information dealing with the date of the inspection, the inspector’s identification, and a brief comment on the problem. You are not allowed to remove this tag on your own.
What do you need to do once you have found a tag on your home?First, find out why it was issued by looking at the reason section. You may be able to do some work on your own, but I suggest that you find a contractor to work on the home. A qualified contractor can deal with the building department for all needed permits, arrange for a re-inspection to have the red tag removed, as well as making the repairs properly. Building departments can be hard to navigate for those unfamiliar with them, and you may not be aware of all of the permits which you may need. This can be a frustrating waste of time for many people, so let a contractor do his job in this regard. Additionally, the work should be done right and to code. If you are not qualified to do this work, it could be easy to make a major mistake.
What are some common red tags you will find on foreclosures? With an increasing number of foreclosures happening in certain neighborhoods, cities in the greater Houston area have adopted a tactic of using red tags to maintain quality levels of homes. One common reason for a red tag could be not cutting the grass and keeping the yard clean. Another frequent practice is the natural gas provider is examining the condition of appliances that use that fuel. If they find a problem, they will leave a red tag. This can be a great indicator of issues in furnaces for the air heating system. Yet these red tags do not necessarily indicate equipment failures or deficiencies. Water heaters are red tagged when they have no water in the tank. A heated empty tank could break. For most homeowners, you will not see a red tag on your home, unless you are having permitted work being done. If the building inspector finds a reason to red tag the work, then your contractor would be responsible for repairing his work to meet the proper standard.