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Old 11-05-2012, 08:56 PM   #16
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Permit concerns


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Not likly, the building inspectors have better things to do then read the paper to see who's selling a home and go inspect it.
In Detroit & Chicago they seem to not have a problem gigging people for stuff. Dearborn, MI is going even as far to state that if you have a tv antenna attached to the structure, or satellite antenna (DBS) attached, but not being used, it is now considered Obsolete, and has to be removed, or they will fine you for it.

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Old 11-06-2012, 10:26 AM   #17
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Hi all,

Almost 6 years ago, when I was 22, I bought my first home. It was a major fixer-upper. My brother-in-law, who rehabs houses for a living, insisted that he could help me with a DIY rehab. We gutted the place; new electric, plumbing, flooring, sheetrock, kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors, central air, etc. My issue now is that I would like to move to a bigger home in a better neighborhood for my growing family, but I am scared to sell it because we never pulled any permits. I just recently found out that my bro-in-law rarely pulls permits for his jobs. I am really upset at myself now for being so ignorant of this important step in the past. No I fear the worst, that there will be some big fine or tearing out process if I attempt to list the house for sale.

In your opinions, what is the worst that could happen and how likely am I to face such a penalty?

Thanks for your anticipated feedback
My suggestion for you is to consider heavily into the RENTAL business. So long as the housing market is not advantageous to sell, renting out your first home would make sense.

Moreover, if you rent, topics like permits don't come up but seldomly. Simply, the renters don't care.

Lastly, there are other pros to be a landlord.

Good luck
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #18
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In any municipality many of the building permits issued are for "as built" work. It often comes up when the homeowner applies for a permit for major construction such as an addition. Then the Building Dept. sees that there is a covered porch on the house that does not have a Certificate. Building Depts. are use to dealing with it, there is often a penalty where the permit fee is 2X or 3X the proposed construction fee. Where it will be a problem for selling the house is when the attorney's review the Certificates of Occupancy, Certificates of Compliance, and Electrical Certificates in that if the footprint of the home changed they will notice it and a slight chance that someone will notice that the electrical certificate does not match the actual devices installed in the home. Also the title company may determine something is not as it was, e.g. they search municipal records and see that the house no longer looks like the Assessor's photos from 1985.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 PM   #19
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I say all had good advice. It does depend on the inspector if he is asked. Unfortunately some inspectors are no better than DIYers. I saw a new house with spliced wires in the walls that passed inspection (found during remodeling). I believe all inspectors should have to pass a general contractors test before they can hold the position. Most are appointed around New England small towns. One other thing I was told by a police officer / code enforcement officer, is that without being a police officer building inspectors have no law enforcement authority. They cannot have the title of code enforcement. It would be good to know what the inspector is like and if he knows his job. Then even if the issue come up you know what you are dealing with.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #20
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When we sold our house a few months ago, one of the things our agent put in the seller disclosure was "There has been no unpermitted work performed on this house". I don't know if that was just our agent's idea, or just a law in my particular state, or what, but maybe you should ask your realtor.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by tylernt View Post
When we sold our house a few months ago, one of the things our agent put in the seller disclosure was "There has been no unpermitted work performed on this house". I don't know if that was just our agent's idea, or just a law in my particular state, or what, but maybe you should ask your realtor.
Wow, never heard of that one. Had that come up in any of my sales, I would've found a different realtor. Something like that is simply none of their business.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:39 PM   #22
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Wow, never heard of that one. Had that come up in any of my sales, I would've found a different realtor. Something like that is simply none of their business.
It was in the same batch of items on the disclosure form along with "there is no mold in the house" and "the roof does not leak" and so forth. I figured they were all disclosures required by law, but now that I think about it, it might have just been information requested for listing in MLS. Maybe I could have declined to answer, I dunno.

Either way, I don't recommend lying on a seller disclosure. Could come back to bite you in court.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Wow, never heard of that one. Had that come up in any of my sales, I would've found a different realtor. Something like that is simply none of their business.

Building permits are pulled so that the governing body has the opportunity to verify that the construction is installed per the designated building code.

If I am going to purchase a house, considering concealed items, I have every right to know whether the work installed satisfied code compliance for my own health, life, and safety.

The permitting process is there to protect people, both current owners and future.

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