What does permits unknown and possible polybutane pipes mean?

Asked by R Nelson, 13314 Sun Mar 22, 2009

We have been looking on line for a home to retire in and the prices for Tuscon are now in our price range. But what do these phrases mean. Sounds like a red flag.

This question is about this property: http://www.trulia.com/property/1075678028-1580-W-Colonial-Ht…

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Connie Kult, , Tucson, AZ
Sun Mar 22, 2009

It is a great time to buy in Tucson. Prices are low, and so are interest rates.

For this particular property, there was a free standing shed built in the back yard, and also a covered patio. It is up to a buyer to investigate further to ensure that necessary permits were obtained for these items, to avoid any potential fines or penalties when they take over the property. If permits were required and obtained for these improvements, no problem. If permits were required and not obtained, and a buyer takes on the property without those issues being resolved up front, then they take on the potential problems that might arise.

Regarding the polybutylene plumbing disclaimer: Many homes built prior to 1995 had this type of plumbing and/or fittings installed, that sometimes have resulted in leaks and flooding damage to homes. It is unknown if this home contains polybutylene plumbing. Since it was built prior to 1986, if it is a concern to a buyer, they should have the plumbing inspected prior to purchasing the property.

It is wise of you to take notice, and ask questions. Having a good Buyer's Agent on your side who will help you to investigate the home that you are considering to purchase, is also a very good idea.

By the way, this home is currently listed as "Active Contingent", which means that there is currently an accepted offer on the property, and the buyer and seller are working through the process to move toward close of escrow, and completing the sale.

If I can help further, please don't hesitate to ask.

My Best,

Web Reference:  http://ahomewithcharm.com
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Mike & Stacy…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Sun Mar 22, 2009

This property has a detached workshop in the backyard. "Permits unknown" means it's unknown if permits were required or obtained when the structure was built.

"Possible polybutylene pipes" is referring to the fact that this home was built (in 1986) during an era when polybutylene pipes were used, and this house may contain them. Problems with leaks in polybutylene pipes lead to a class action lawsuit. Much more information on polybutylene piping is available on the internet.

This home just went under contract on Friday, March 20, 2009.

Best Regards,
Mike & Stacy Sump
Long Realty Foothills Office
0 votes
Michael Koch…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Sun Mar 22, 2009
Good morning,

Permits unknown mean that there are room additions or other modifications to the property that have no building permits issued. When permits are not pulled for these types of projects there are no inspections performed by county building inspectors so the quality of the work should be expertly inspected. In addition, there could be issues with homeowners insurance if a problem develops related to the addition.

Polybutylene pipes can certainly be an issue with homes. These are plumbing pipes that were used in the 1980's that developed problems and many homes had them burst and then required re-piping. I ownded a home with these pipes that burst and had to be re-piped. The main issues was with the fittings used. If copper fittings were used then the problems were reduced. There are also issues with Poly pipes used as the main supply line to homes. If there is a sudden surge of pressure in the area, these pipes have been known to burst as well. There was a large class action lawsuit against the manufacturer but the funds set aside to reimburse homeowners have expired. I hope this helps.

Mike Kochanski, CPA, ABR
Keller Williams Tucson Territory
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