Home Selling in Warm Springs>Question Details

hippycritter, Real Estate Pro in 94539

Un-permitted sunroom now part of assessment

Asked by hippycritter, 94539 Thu May 17, 2012

The home I purchased back in 2005 had a extension built on top of a patio using the two existing walls and two new walls and a roof. Obviously not up to code and it was properly disclosed when I purchased and not counted in the square footage. I filed a form with the county assessor's office disputing their estimated value since they valued my home about $50,000 more than the approximate value as of 1/2011. Now I find out that since the assessor assigned to my house looked at a Google map (and saw the extra room) he states that the home value should include an extra 300 square feet, and keep the assessed value.

I see that it is a two-edged sword. Yes, my home is now worth more, but I also need to pay $750 more per year for the increased value

My questions are 1) If I chose to fight it, can I dispute their including an unpermitted space in assessed value 2)Will that increase show in the public record? 3) What do I put down when it is time to sell? old or new square footage?

Help the community by answering this question:


$750.per year more. Well, how long are you going to stay might matter.
But really, it the value goes up you win, but then you need to pay higher taxes.

1) yes, if you chose to fight you can dispute the space. However, you might not win.
2) yes, the new sq.ft. should show in the public record.
3) when you sell you will use the new sq.ft.

You might as well work on fixing the issue and not fighting it. Adding the sq.ft. will add to your bottom line in the future.

good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2012
It is always tricky when you, as buyer, agree to accept an unpermitted space as a part of your purchase. Now you own the space - and the issue. You may well face dealing with permitting this space when the time comes to sell. Though you were accepting of it, the next buyer may not be so inclinded. Contesting it with the town may expose the issue and beg correction as well.

Keep us posted on how this works out....

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2012
Here's the story of someone in the same boat. When he bought his house, the previous owner added on an extension -- without a permit

When it was time for him to sell, buyers wanted the extension to be permitted. He even got into contract. But the process of getting a contractor to design the plan, getting the city permit department to approve the plan, and getting the work done took longer than he wanted, and the buyers backed out.

Other buyers didn't want to buy a house with unpermitted work, especially since this was already known to the city.

So the seller took time off, got the permits, got the extension done correctly (ripped out the old, put in new according to code), submitted request to have the additional 240 sq ft recognized and had the public records changed.

When done, he put the property back on sale (minus some $$ for the cost of permits and construction), but also sold the property quickly and at over his last list price.

If you choose to fight the city's assessment -- you may be asked to
1) remove the extension since it was done without permits,
2) get a permit and pay fines for the extension, and have the work done according to code

And if you choose #2, when all is done, go back to county records and have them reflect the correct square footage on the public records. When it comes time to sell, you have the peace of mind (and pride) that the extension is permitted and that the square footage is legitimate. It could be your competitive advantage over other houses that may come up for sale in your area but do not have the extra space.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2012
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