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Old 01-15-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


I recently bought an old house that was in need of a LOT of work. I am generally in the never-pull-a-permit-camp but now need some advice or at least some input because of it...

I had an electrician change out my electric service and run some new lines. I had a contractor knock part of a couple walls. I had a plumber run a new gas line and move a laundry tub. I had a roofer replace all of my fascia... no permits, no inspections

Now I'm looking at having central air installed. In my city if you want to install the compressor on the side of the house (which makes the most sense for me by far), you need the city's "permission". I'm guessing I would be granted that permission but I'm pretty sure asking for it would mean that pulling a permit would be unavoidable.

Questions:
Does the inspector come in the house only after the work is performed for something like that? Or is there a pre-check to make sure certain things are correct before work can proceed?

Has anybody heard of an inspector noticing previous work that was not permitted and giving the homeowner hell about it? Is there really any way to prove that I, and not the previous owner, did the work?

What is the true connection between code inspectors and taxes? Will the inspector say "hey, nice new kitchen" then write a note to himself that says "increase taxable value by $10k because kitchen is really nice?" Or is the only item that will increase my taxes the work currently being inspected, in this case the addition of a/c?

Thanks in advance

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:56 PM   #2
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


Every inspector and municipality is different. However, I've never had a problem with an inspector getting nosy. Typically, they are backlogged with work, so they just want to inspect the work that you called them out to inspect and then they leave. Now, if they see ongoing work (work in progress) that wasn't on the plans, yes, they'll question you on it.

As far as taxes: Typically, the only time that taxes are considered is when you go to the planning office to apply for your permit. The planning office then sends your plans to the County Assessor for tax purposes. However, not all permits result in increased property taxes.

You are probably more paranoid than you need to be. And to appease the permit gods, I should probably remind you not to do unpermitted work in the future.

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:03 PM   #3
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


That all makes sense. I'm definitely going to have all permit-necessary work complete before allowing an inspector in the house. Going forward I can see maybe pulling permits on certain work. They are relatively cheap from what I've see on my city's website.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


I don't think you will find a HVAC who will work with out permits. He has way to much to lose.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


loftezy pretty much hit it on all counts.
1) Most inspectors are only there to inspect what is on their work-order, however it is always possible that you'll get a "sheriff" type that takes it upon himself to snoop around. Easiest way to avoid it is to simply do things on the "up and up" in the first place. ... As much as permits are about revenue, they are also about your safety and that of future homeowners... Not trying to be "preachy", that's just the way it is.
2) Typically the city will send an assessor out after the work is done, depending on the scope of the project. That is when you'll see a possible increase to your tax bill. That is also when it is more likely that a project that did not have permits like a deck, finished basement, or something of that sort may be noticed.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:30 PM   #6
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


If your doing something that needs a permit and you didnt get one, and it is something he will see during the course of his inspect, count on being caught. At least in my neck of the woods if you advertise your doing unpermitted work your going to get a red tag.

Two recent come to mind, did a roof on a garage that was not permitted, when he came out to inspect the roof sheathing he busted the HO for an unpermitted garage. The other was the same inspection type, but he walked into the back yard and saw in plain view through the glass sliders that work was being done. His instructions to me were, have the HO call me, I want access to the home.

Its a crap shoot, your taking a big chance if there is work he can see while conducting his inspection.

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Old 01-16-2013, 01:14 AM   #7
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfulton248 View Post
I recently bought an old house that was in need of a LOT of work. I am generally in the never-pull-a-permit-camp but now need some advice or at least some input because of it...

I had an electrician change out my electric service and run some new lines. I had a contractor knock part of a couple walls. I had a plumber run a new gas line and move a laundry tub. I had a roofer replace all of my fascia... no permits, no inspections

Now I'm looking at having central air installed. In my city if you want to install the compressor on the side of the house (which makes the most sense for me by far), you need the city's "permission". I'm guessing I would be granted that permission but I'm pretty sure asking for it would mean that pulling a permit would be unavoidable.

Questions:
Does the inspector come in the house only after the work is performed for something like that? Or is there a pre-check to make sure certain things are correct before work can proceed?

Has anybody heard of an inspector noticing previous work that was not permitted and giving the homeowner hell about it? Is there really any way to prove that I, and not the previous owner, did the work?

What is the true connection between code inspectors and taxes? Will the inspector say "hey, nice new kitchen" then write a note to himself that says "increase taxable value by $10k because kitchen is really nice?" Or is the only item that will increase my taxes the work currently being inspected, in this case the addition of a/c?

Thanks in advance
How about putting your location in your profile....so people can be warned to avoid buying your house......

How do we know the panel was installed correctly?

How do we know those walls you knocked out were not load bearing?

How do we know that gas line was run correctly?

How do we know the laundry tub was plumbed correctly?

What your telling us is a perfect example of why we have the permit process. Your house is the one I would not want to buy...

With that said, odds are you are doing it right...but....how do we know?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


Quote:
I had an electrician change out my electric service and run some new lines. I had a contractor knock part of a couple walls. I had a plumber run a new gas line and move a laundry tub. I had a roofer replace all of my fascia... no permits, no inspections
How would an inspector know any of those things were done? The only one I could kind off see is the walls, but will he really know what the plans for your house look like. I think you're worrying way too much. If they do catch anything you can play dumb and see what happens. I can see them catching a finished basement, but even that would call for the inspector to go back and check some things. I worked for my city for many years. City workers tend to be lazy and do the bare minimum. No offense to those that are different.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


When it comes to things like installing a new electric panel or running gas lines you should always get a permit for your own safety. I wouldn't worry about replacing fascia of course unless it was an unlicensed roofer with improper insurance and he fell on your property. At least the permit process would weed someone like that out. Just be very careful going forward.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfulton248 View Post
I recently bought an old house that was in need of a LOT of work. I am generally in the never-pull-a-permit-camp but now need some advice or at least some input because of it...

I had an electrician change out my electric service and run some new lines. I had a contractor knock part of a couple walls. I had a plumber run a new gas line and move a laundry tub. I had a roofer replace all of my fascia... no permits, no inspections

Now I'm looking at having central air installed. In my city if you want to install the compressor on the side of the house (which makes the most sense for me by far), you need the city's "permission". I'm guessing I would be granted that permission but I'm pretty sure asking for it would mean that pulling a permit would be unavoidable.

Questions:
Does the inspector come in the house only after the work is performed for something like that? Or is there a pre-check to make sure certain things are correct before work can proceed?

Has anybody heard of an inspector noticing previous work that was not permitted and giving the homeowner hell about it? Is there really any way to prove that I, and not the previous owner, did the work?

What is the true connection between code inspectors and taxes? Will the inspector say "hey, nice new kitchen" then write a note to himself that says "increase taxable value by $10k because kitchen is really nice?" Or is the only item that will increase my taxes the work currently being inspected, in this case the addition of a/c?

Thanks in advance
The simple awnser is all of this was done by the previous owner. I would not worry about it. you think the inspector has a photogaphic meamory on every house in the area? Do you know how many projects these guys look at?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


In my municipality, none of the work you mentioned would require a permit, except maybe the wall, and that would only require a permit if it was load bearing. Here, the electrical panel inspection is required by the power company, not the municipality. I wouldn't need a permit for the central air either. I agree with those who say that you're worrying too much.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
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Pulling permits -- getting caught on previous UN-permitted work and effect on taxes


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
How about putting your location in your profile....so people can be warned to avoid buying your house......
I can't refinance my current house unless I replace the roof. It is a wood shake roof that my neighbor said is about 8 years old, but the refinance company and the county say that it is the 1978 original. Now I am stuck at 6% unless I pay for a new 50 year roof(40 squares). Unless you're adding some serious square footage, your taxes probably won't go up.

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