Any risk in buying a house with finished basement without permit -Please advise

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Hi,
I am in house hunting for the last one month and found a suitable house recently. I am thinking of buying it. When I went to to get the survey map from the city governmemnt, I learned that they don't have a record of basement finished. The previous owner who actually completed the basement didn't get the permit for it. The basement has 2 bedrooms, one bathroom and a large family room with fire place. Is there any risk involved in buying this house?
You comments greatly appreciated.
Thanks Basha
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I'd check with the city. If the owner didn't get a permit - the finished basement may not be up to city codes, i.e. city may require egress windows for finished basements, etc.
Better to be safe than sorry...
My 2c,
Matty
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Basha snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com said...

The main risk is that if they built right up to the foundation you will not be able to inspect it's soundness. That really has nothing to do with having or not having a permit, but that would be my concern. Any decent home inspector can tell you whether the job itself is sound or not.
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That does THAT mean? Pat
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said...

The soundness of the foundation. If you can't see the walls you won't see any potential problems. Nobody cares about the soundness of a basement wall. It's not holding anything up so if it looks plumb, it's good.
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Doesn't the basement wall hold up some of the house?
Steve
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said...

I'm talking about what is basically just a partition wall that you put up when you finish a basement.
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But you said 'soundness of the foundation'.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said...

Yes - that's what you're trying to check, but you can't because there's a wall covering it. The soundness of the wall doesn't mean anything since it's not holding anything up.
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The writer didn't have a basement built; he just "finished" it. Pat
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said...

Please learn to quote the article to which you are responding.
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Tlle me what I did wrong. Pat
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On 13 Nov 2003 22:53:59 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Patscga) wrote:

Yer not including any of the header of the message to which yer responding, Pat.
The above is a LITTLE better...but you need to include even more of the message that yer trying to answer.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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I find it boring to have to read the same post over and over in its entirety and assumed others did, too.

Pat
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said... and assumed others did, too.

That's not the issue. Most people have a reader that only shows unread messages, so if they already read the message to which you were responding in a previous session they will not see what in the hell you are talking about without looking back through old articles.
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On 14 Nov 2003 15:58:45 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Patscga) wrote:

Where did anyone say 'entirety'?
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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Aside from the points made by others, no bank/mortgage company will touch a property which does not have a Certificate of Occupancy on an extension, or in this case, a finished area. Ask the current owner if he/she is willing to do the legwork to get the C of O and pay the fines. It can get very expensive and time consuming. If he/she won't, walk away.
--
C.J.

Pull my pud to reply
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That's not true at all. I sold a house last year with a basement that I did off the books. I also know many people that have done the same thing and had no problem. It is quite a common occurrence, legal or not.
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

It depends on the town. Our town requires that an inspection be done by their building inspector and a CCO, Certificate of Continued Occupany, be issued before a house is sold. They are looking for any open permits or work done without a permit. They recomend you make an application for the CCO a month before closing so you have time to rectify any problems before closing.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comremove said...

Our town requires the same thing, but they said nothing. I would bet good money that more than half of DIY basements are done off of the books.
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