Considering buying house in Berkeley with 2nd story added and lots of remodeling done w/o any permits.

Asked by Raissaslerner, Oakland, CA Fri Jul 15, 2011

Asking price does not reflect these facts, not disclosed by seller. How much to discount off what might be the market price WITH permits, to account for the risk of the work having to be ripped out, redone, plans resubmitted, post hoc permitting obtained, or any or all of the above?? City of Berkeley permitting dept said somethign for sure would need to be done about it, but hard to tell what or how much cost.

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Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Jul 15, 2011
Also keep in mind if you are getting mortgage financing to buy the property, the appraiser can only give value to permitted square footage. However lenders are OK with doing loans on houses with non-permitted additions, as long as the work was done in a "workmanlike manner". But as mentioned, the appraiser can't give you value for the non-permitted square footage.
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Sergio Herna…, , Naples, FL
Fri Jul 15, 2011
With the number of properties presently available for sale all over the country, why would you want to get involved with something like this?
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jul 15, 2011
The could be a real PANDORA's BOX:
It is possible that AFTER you buy it, the City will require you a tear it all out and start all over again.
Believe it or not.
You are probably going to have ask a City Planning Inspector to look at it BEFORE your Inspection Contingency expires. Then you can walk-away from it based on that Contingency.

As far as Pricing, what I would do is have your Realtor do Comp's only on Refurbished/Upgraded and complete Houses: Then, knowing what the house will be worth when you're done, you can subtact when you will need to do and arrive at a buying price.

You sound like you know what you're doing, but please get a Buyer's Agent to help you.

Good luck and may God bless
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Bill & Elijah…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Fri Jul 15, 2011
This question would be best answered by your realtor who should know the situation. There are too many variables for me to give an intelligent response.
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Mary Canavan, Agent, Berkeley, CA
Fri Jul 15, 2011
This sounds like a situation that is too complicated to be answered simply in an email. You need your experienced agent, home inspector, pest inspector, a structural engineer to help assess if the work seems done to code. Without the homeowner's cooperation in this situation, it is very difficult to accurately evaluate your risk.

Mary Canavan, Broker
Thornwall Properties, Inc
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