Here are the basics of what you may be looking at:
1. No permit usually = No appraised value for the square footage of the non-permitted space. In other words, appraisers are trained to ignore the square footage of the rooms without the permit.
2. So while you can market the home as a 3 BR with a den, the tax record will show a 2 BR and you will have to explain when you go to sell. Happens all the time.
3. Getting permits after the fact usually involve some demolition and reconstruction. If there is electrical or plumbing involved, the inspector will want to see it which would mean taking down the drywall and possibly ceiling drywall as well. If there have been changes in the building code or if something does not pass, you will have to get a contractor in to make the changes to satisfy the inspector. If there was structural work, they will want to see everything involved to make sure the building is 100% safe.
4. Get a detailed list of the work done from the seller and when it was done, you could go to the City Inspection Department and ask them to look at it and what it would take to get the permits.
We are speaking from personal experience, do the homework up front and save $$$ and potential headaches down the road.
We hope this helps,
Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Serving Greater San Diego
Ask the appraiser if the rooms were counted.
If possible, ask the seller, in writing, to provide ALL info: pictures of construction, contractor's names and numbers who worked on the job, receipts, etc.
Visit the city planning division who has jurisdiction, find out if any red flags currently exist on the property, you may be facing monetary citations $500+ within the first month of living there if there are. Just tell them you are looking at buying the place, (bring the APN# with you) they should be very helpful.
Contrary to some of the inforamtion provided here, the city may visit you because a neighbor complains or an aerial photo doesn't match up. Yes they take aerial photos every few years, overlay them with previous aerial photos, and if the foot print of the home has changed, they might be visiting you.
I cannot stress the importance of determining the extent of this issue prior to closing escrow, tearing down a structure is not cheap, especially if rooms are in an area of the lot which is not easily accesible to vehicle traffic. Besides, after the tear down, you presumably would be rebuilding an exterior wall where the rooms once connected.
All of that being said, you can prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I know homes which have been standing for years with plenty of unpermitted additions. Just make sure you are willling to assume the risk, and make sure the return for that risk (i.e. the purchase price) works for you! Hope it helps!
Anthony Carnevale, San Diego Real Estate Pro Lic.#01735083
Coldwell Banker, Nautilus Real Estate
Something I ran into a couple months ago, worth checking now might save you a huge headache later. Good luck!
You shouldn't have a problem unless someone from the city comes in the home and notices the two extra rooms. Because this is highly unlikely you should be ok. However, going through the process of getting the rooms permitted will invite the city in and this can open a huge can of worms for you.
Once the city inspector enters your home not only will he force you to get the rooms permitted (which could mean tearing them down and re-doing them), but if they notice anything else in the home isn't permitted they can force you to fix that as well.
I think it is fine to buy the home without the permits, just make sure you are not paying for the added square footage. And please be weary of inviting the city in.
Christa Borellini #01761296
I've had neighbors report a couple of non-permitted walls that were erected in the garage to separate the spece. The only reason they saw the walls was because they were curious about the open house and took a look. They reported it to the city and the city made the seller tear them down before allowing him to sell.
Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO, HAFA, and Short Sale Specialist)
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
800-975-7481 x 111
License # 01341483
Find Your Dream Home:
The taxes on the home will more than likey increase due to the increased property value.
Best of luck!