Most home improvement projects with the exception of painting and flooring installation require a permit. Even small updates like installing a new water heater, or putting up a fence will require permitting. It might seem like pointless bureaucracy at work, but permits are put in place to ensure that laws concerning land use, zoning, and construction are followed ensuring safety for everyone involved. Because of this, permits are taken quite seriously, and when a project isn’t permitted, you could be headed for trouble when it comes time to sell.
Why a House Has Unpermitted Work
There are many reasons why a house ends up having work done without permits.
Construction permits can be expensive and add a sizeable amount to any project budget.
The Wrong Permits Were Pulled
Having the wrong permits is just as bad as not having a permit.
Previous Homeowners Skipped This Process
Having unpermitted work done might not even be due to any fault of your own. If you unknowingly bought a house from a previous owner who didn’t disclose the work, unfortunately, you’re now responsible for the work.
Four Expensive Consequences of Selling a House with Unpermitted Work
Selling a house can already be an exhausting and emotionally draining experience. Pile onto that, any additions or work done on a property without permits which can cause even bigger headaches::
You May be Forced to Rebuild Projects
In some cases, property inspectors will force homeowners to retroactively go through the permit process for completed projects. Depending on the work done, this could mean completely dismantling the work and then hiring expensive contractors to rebuild it up to code.
You May Owe Back Taxes or Penalties
If the city discovers a difference in square footage, you could end up owing back taxes that were due to the municipality.
Buyers Could be Forced to Pay the Full Loan
Mortgage companies can require an immediate loan repayment if the buyer knowingly buys a home with an unpermitted addition.
You Could End Up in a No-Win Selling Situation
Failing to disclose unpermitted work or fix it prior to the sale, could result in serious legal or financial liability for the seller. However, once the work is disclosed buyers will frequently lower their offer, or back out of the sale entirely.
Two Options for Selling a House With Unpermitted Work
As a homeowner with unpermitted work, your options for selling boil down to just two:
- Get the permits and redo any work so that it meets the current codes
- Sell as-is
Getting permits is a gamble. You may be able to get through the permitting process and inspections inexpensively if your work was minor, and if you happen to get a sympathetic administrator. However, things could just as easily go against you and you could be forced to pay penalties along with having to redo the work all over again.
You can avoid the additional time and expense of the permitting and inspection process by selling your house to a cash buyer like us. Unlike most retail buyers, we are able to take on unpermitted work and navigate the treacherous waters of the permitting process including paying additional back taxes, and penalties.
Let us help you get rid of the headache of having a house with an unpermitted addition. We will buy your house for cash and close on your timeline.