Get a referral to an independent home inspector from the local real estate commission in your area or from your real estate agent when purchasing a property. Real estate boards and agents keep lists of certified home inspectors on hand for buyers and prospective buyers. A trained, certified home inspector displays expert knowledge in construction and property codes for the areas he serves, uncovering potential issues upon inspection. The cost to hire the inspector ranges from $300 to $500 in most areas.
Review the information from the home inspector. Inspectors email reports to a client 24 to 48 hours after completion of the home inspection, if not sooner. In the report, there is a section specific to building code violations found by the inspector.
Contact the city building inspector with the address of the property. The building inspector's office will confirm whether cited violations have any assessed fees requiring payment. If the violation in your report has not been assessed a penalty, you are in the clear when it comes to fees; however, you must make corrections to the violations yourself or negotiate repairs with the seller of the property.