Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it’s important that you know what to do with an unpermitted space in a house.

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How do buyers and sellers deal with unpermitted spaces in houses?

If you’re a buyer and you find out that a home you’re interested in has a smaller square footage than what’s advertised, the first thing you need to do is find out where the difference is, or where that unpermitted space is.

In many instances, the culprit is an “Arizona room,” or an old patio that’s been enclosed and converted into another room that’s never been inspected by a home inspector. Other times, it can be a garage that’s been converted into another room. It can also be an addition to the house that was never permitted.

 

I can put you in touch with someone I know whose company helps people go through the permit process for existing structures.

 

In any case, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars bypassing the permitting and inspection process when making these changes or additions, but doing so can also cost them significantly when it’s time to sell the home. Even if everything’s up to code, once the appraiser discovers there are no permits for these spaces, they’ll have no choice but to evaluate the house based on its actual square footage. They’ll assign some value to the work that’s been done, but not the amount that they would have if the right permits had been pulled for it in the first place.

If you’re a seller in this situation, I can put you in touch with someone I know whose company helps people go through the permit process for existing structures, even if the work was done decades ago. This service will cost you, but it pales in comparison to the amount you’d add to your final sale price.

If you know work has been done on your home by its previous owner and you’re not sure it’s properly permitted or you have any other real estate needs go ahead and give me a call and I’d be happy to help you.

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