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

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said...

Likewise, houses with a CO and neglect can be much worse off than one that was added onto by and good DIY-er. Inspect, inspect, inspect.
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Have the house inspected for local and state codes. I'm sure there are many homes that finish the basement without permits. You want to be sure the house is safe to live in.
On 12 Nov 2003 11:14:15 -0800, Basha snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Basha) wrote:

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Many houses have additions that were added without permits in order to avoid an increase in property tax. Not only do owners do it but construction companies do, too, to accommodate their customers. Legally, it makes no difference whatsoever to the owner of the property. Speaking from experience, the tax department doesn't care, either.
Pat
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who are you kidding?
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@hotmail.com said...

More importantly, who are you talking to?
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I'm not trying to kid anybody. I'm a real estate broker in Atlanta, GA. I also am a home owner. I also have neighbors who finished basements themselves and never had inspections and the houses sold several times after that. I also have had contractors who have told me they would forego the inspections in order to save me me from having my property taxes raised. I also have reported one of these contractors and was told by the County inspection office that people do that all the time and there's nothing they can do about it. Pat
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On 13 Nov 2003 12:54:53 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Patscga) wrote:

Good point. I'd prefer to have my house (or one to buy) inspected for safety reasons, but not by a government official.
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Actually, I was referring to the guy that stated that the tax man dont care if you dont pay taxes on the finished basement. For some reason, my newsreader didnt reply with his message.
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wrote:

This time, either.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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On 12 Nov 2003 11:14:15 -0800, Basha snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Basha) wrote:

I believe there is. Neither you nor a home inspector can see through the walls. If the electrical wasn't permitted and inspected, how can you know whether or not it was properly done. Same thing with plumbing and gas. As to the bedroom, is there legal egress, and if there is and an enlarged window was installed, was it done correctly or was the structure compromised?.
I'm a contractor and I've seen enough unpermitted work (usually done by homeowners) that is poor practice and even unsafe to scare me off.
My wife and I are currently househunting ... when I come across one with an unpermitted finished basement, I value the basement development at minus three thousand dollars (the cost of tearing it out).
Ken
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said...

I'm a DIYer and I've seen enough work by contractors that is poor practice and even unsafe. I have to live in the house so I trust my work much more than some guy who knows the aisles at Home Depot and has a sign on his truck.

So you don't even give it a chance. It's possible that the job is actually better than anything you might do.
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The point that you seem to have completely missed is that the work was done without permits or inspections - regardless of how good the homeowner may be at doing the work the fact remains that if they didn't do it in accordance with codes that were current at the time and then have it inspected and it passed, you are left with relying on any faith you have in the unknown homeowner ability not to cross the wires or connect the gas lines to the water lines!
The other point that was developed as the thread went along was the fact that features that were potentially hazardous to the health and safety of the occupants may have been ignored by the homeowner, i.e. proper egress from the area that was finished.

It can have a chance if at least it could be proved that it was not necessarily better, but at least that it was in conformance with the established standards and codes - no permits = no inspections leave you with a mystery!
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net said...

If you can't determine those kinds of issues yourself you should be renting.

Egress is a bunch of crap. Sure, it's a safety issue if you're going to use the room as a basement, but you either take it as an accepted risk or you don't live in the room. I lived in a basement with no egress for many years growing up at a time when more than 3/4 of the basements in my neighborhood were finished with nothing but a set of stairs going to the main floor and many of those had kids living in them. Just because we are an overly regulatory society does not mean that you have to have a friggin' big window in a basement to use it as a bedroom.
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wrote:

Exactly. You cannot legally claim a space is a bedroom unless it meets egress requirements. You won't be able to claim the room as a bedroom when you sell the property. I don't think this stops too many people from using these as bedrooms. Nor should it. I certainly agree about the overly regulatory society. I'm still trying to figure out how we all survived during the "dark ages" when people actually had to think for themselves, and take calculated risks. It's a wonder that we all survived. Sure am glad I have someone else do that thinking for me. I feel much safer...................NOT Dave
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Well, at least we are combatting Darwinism by perpetuating the lives of the stupid. If we didn't the Democrats would have nobody to vote for them.
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I don't think egress has anything to do with it at all. It just hasta meet 'common sense' requirements.
I have a room with a toilet in it, a bathtub, and a shower and sink. I don't think I could pawn this off as a bedroom.
And I have many rooms without a toilet in them. These can't be considered any kind of bathroom.
But I have several rooms that I can list as either bedroom, sun room, rec room, etc.
I have another small room...where we usually hang coats...that has a window...but is too small to put in any kind of a bed. I don't think I could ever pawn that off as a bedroom.
There is no 'legally' involved...that I'm aware of.

A listing can designate pretty much whatever you want. Its simply advertising.
The only minor problem would be if you sell the house without the buyer seeing the house...and a description is grossly exaggerated...and that description led the buyer to make his offer. And example would be a 3'x3' 'half bath' without any plumbing.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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did you ever consider that everyone didn't survive?
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote in (Basha) wrote:

It depends on the area. You'll have to ask (probably the local building/inspection office) what's necessary, and what it would take to remedy the situation.
When my FIL went to the city (small town in Texas) and asked what he needed to do to put an addition on his house, the guy gave him a funny look and said, "Go build it!" In other words, no permits or inspections were require d(only for septic, which he wasn't doing).
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On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 22:06:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

How in the world can you check to see if there was a permit for every aspect of the construction?
Sure...you can check in the OTHER direction...match a permit to the construction. But how would you go about matching a facet of construction against a permit?...or lack of a permit? lol
And how would you even know what the standard was at the time of construction/remodeling?...if a permit was even NECESSARY back then?
Have a nice week...
Trent
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!
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wrote:

Our city keeps records.

In the case of plumbing, electrical and gas, the inspection tag is affixed.

Duh ...

Ken
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