You might have a discussion with your insurance carrier. As I understand it, if you made modifications to the home that weren't permitted and then something happens (ie. fire) your insurance carrier may not pay out. The problem is how to get the information from the insurance carrier without tipping them off that the home has had some non-permitted work done to it. Good luck.
All in all, I guess I'll plan not to get the permit at this time. I don't want to pay the extra property tax when I'm renting it out while the tenants don't care.
Thanks everyone again.
We do need permits for room addition in Marin and my assumption that it's true in Sunnyvale also.
No, tenants won't care about the permits, they will like 3 BRs more than 2BRs.
Good suggestion about safety issues for none-permitted job. My reasons would not be because I am worried about being sued, my reasons for doing it would be because it is a safety issue.
How would you feel if somebody getting hurt, being sued or not?
I have had clients with this very issue. In Sacramento County, their experiences have been pretty positive. Obtaining the permits was a simple over-the-counter process. In both instances, interior walls were rearranged (no additional square footage) in a similar fashion to what you described, so no formal plans were required. They both submitted hand sketched drawings on gridded paper. Both instances, they had inspectors out and some minor modifications were required (both electrical - arc-fault receptacles were required in bedrooms, some 3-way switching was incorrect, etc). Both passed inspection with little hoopla.
I would suggest you go speak with your local building departments. Research costs and procedures associated with obtaining your permits. Perhaps seek counsel from a general contractor who may be able to advise you in what ways you can bring your remodel up to code if it is not already.
I am by no means stating that the previous answers are incorrect, but I think it depends 100% on the location of the situation and the local codes, regulations, and requirements. maybe you guys that already answered are from the same area and have a knowledge of local codes, but around here it is not required to pull a permit for many things.
I might also be incorrect on this thought, but in the event a private appraiser comes through and appraises the homewith the new bedroom count, the value can be proven at a higher price and in the fire example below it could certainly be rebuilt (to its new appraised value) in the event the current homeowner adjusted the insurance coverage to the new appraised value.
My suggestion would be AGAINST attempting to pull a permit after the work is completed. If you sell, I would suggest havign your home pre-inspected (in particular electrical and plumbing that you might have changed) to make sure that any work that you did on your own is not a safety concern that could lead to you getting sued in the future.
I would also suggest full disclosure regarding the fact that no permit was pulled for the work. As long as you can get an appraiser to verify increased value, licensed contractors to state the work is done properly and is not a safety hazard, and you inform the new buyers of all of the preceeding information, you probably will be ok...
Just my opinion -
I wish you had written us BEFORE you did the work.
Building permits are filed and recorded. That means there is no official record of your home having three bedrooms. So assessors give the change NO VALUE.
If there was a fire, and the home was rebuilt, it would be rebuilt as a two bedroom.
Getting a building permit retroactively is not easy. Particularly because the work is probably not to code, so you'd have to re-do everything.
Patti is right. A room without permit can not be noted as such on the listing. In you case, if the house is listed, the agent can only write how many permitted rooms you have (2), instead of 3 bedrooms..
Whe you have to sell your house, they can either ask you to take that dividing wall down (assuming that's the case), or you will have to go and get the permit to that portion of the house with penalty. That's why it's always good to get permit when you do major work to the house.
As far as retroactively permitting? Again, it is up to the particular jurisdiction. They may be as simple as charging you 2 x the original permit fee- or for more stringent areas, since they don't know what was done structurally, etc. they can make you open up walls, etc. to see how the work was completed- effectively possibly costing you to undo and re-do work already completed, and then you don't know if it will pass the inspection at that time.
You are always much better to do the permits at the time work is completed,rather than later on!