Home renovations and improvements are a great way to add value to a home, from finished basements to brand-new decks. But if those improvements were made without a permit, you, as a buyer, could be on the hook for resolving them.
If there is unpermitted work on your desired property, here’s what you should know:
Get The Home Inspected Before You Buy
As with every property you purchase, inspect it by a professional, third-party inspector. They will make sure that the home is up to code.
If the seller flipped the home, verify that the contractor used to flip the home is licensed and had the correct permits to make the home improvements.
Ask The Seller To Fix The Problem
If you’re set on going through with the home purchase, you can ask the seller to fix the problem. Many sellers will work with you to resolve the problem if that means fewer problems. If the home is being sold as-is, you may be out of luck, and it may be best to move on.
If The Work Is Discovered After Purchase….
If you discover the unpermitted work after you purchase the property, you can be on the hook for it. This includes fees, the possibility of being made to remove the renovation or addition, and a tax assessment.
You may be able to sue the previous owner for not disclosing the work if an agreement cannot be reached. Work with a lawyer to make your case.
Work With The Professionals At Merchant Of Homes
No matter what type of home you’re buying, have a professional real estate agent at your side. An agent will know the area, advocate for you, and have valuable connections to find the right third-party services you need.