Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 5/17/2019

Buying a home without of permit for remodeling comes with a lot of risks. Searching for a home to buy can be an exciting undertaking, but there are numbers of factors to consider before purchasing a house. You should find out if the house has a permit for remodeling and if the home you are about to buy has had improvements, you need to know whether those improvements were permitted. 

Most times, homeowners end up with unpermitted renovations to save time and money. Your county building inspector has to ensure that all homes comply with the existing laws that pertain to home remodeling. They also have the authority to enforce the rules. What happens if you are buying a house without a remodeling permit? Here are some risks involved: 

You will not be aware of renovations 

One of the dangers of buying a property without a remodeling permit is that the buyer will not know about the past improvements that have been done. There are disparities in state laws when it comes to the amount of information a seller must disclose to the buyer. It is always better if a seller can still provide a buyer with all the necessary documentation. 

The Buyer will be responsible for fixing the problem 

If the code enforcement department in your locality discovers that you the buyer is working on remodeling without a permit, you are regarded as the current occupant of the home and will be responsible for the payments of penalties and licenses. This applies even if the occupant has just purchased the house and knew nothing about it. To fix the issue, you might be required to make minor changes or tear down some parts and rebuild. You might also be ordered to remove all the unpermitted remodeling. 

You may be asked to pay back taxes 

Owing some taxes is another risk associated with buying a house without renovation permit. If the taxing authority in your locality discover that remodeling took place without permission, the present occupant may be liable for paying back taxes due to the increased value of the home. Apart from paying back taxes, it could also attract penalties and interests which would cost you more than you initially planned for.

If the remodeling work is done without a permit, it may not be covered by your insurance. 

In most cases, unpermitted remodeling is not covered by insurance. Therefore, if anything happens to any unpermitted addition in the home, the claim will be denied by your insurance company which could set you back thousands of dollars in the future.

Make sure to speak with your real estate agent to confirm that you have all the necessary rights to remodel your new home to your taste without penalties.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/6/2017

While many homes are sold on the basis of emotional appeal or location, there are plenty of other factors which can help tip the scales in your direction. As a home seller, the more advantages and desirable features you can offer to potential buyers, the greater your chances of attracting multiple offers.

If your kitchen and bathrooms haven't been updated for decades, that could easily become a major stumbling block to attracting qualified buyers. Unless their plan is to remodel your kitchen after they buy your home (which is not likely), house hunters are generally not going to look kindly upon old laminate counter tops -- especially those with the ghastly colors from the sixties and seventies! The good news about making your outdated kitchen and home more marketable is that you have the option of resurfacing old countertops rather that completely replacing them.

Although it's generally a good idea to have professionals do this, you can cosmetically improve the appearance of your kitchen countertops by resurfacing them with granite sheets or tile. Resurfacing is also a relatively inexpensive way to help restore aging kitchen cabinets -- another aspect of your home that potential buyers are going to notice.

According to a recent study, quite a few buyers are drawn to features like stainless steel appliances, subway tiles, farmhouse sinks, Shaker cabinets, exposed brick, pendant lights, and quartz countertops. By the way, Quartz does offer some advantages over granite because it's more scratch resistant, maintenance free, and doesn't need to be sealed or polished.

Other features which attract home buyers include energy-efficient windows and appliances, sufficient insulation in attic and elsewhere (many older homes lack this), low-maintenance flooring (not carpeting), roofing that's been replaced within the past decade, finished or semi-finished basements, first-floor/separate laundry rooms, newer hot water heaters (extra points for tankless units), outdoor security lighting, fenced backyards, and dry basements. If you do have issues with excess moisture or leaks in your basement, it may be helpful to install a sump pump, a dehumidifier, French drains, or other dry basement remedies to address those issues before they're brought up by prospective buyers.

While there are certain aspects of your property that can not be changed, such as proximity to neighbors or the school district in which you're located, their are plenty of cost effective ways to improve the appearance and functionality of your home before you try to sell it. To identify problems before they become obstacles, some homeowners hire a property inspector to point out issues. That way, they're not blindsided by unexpected structural, mechanical, electrical, drainage, or energy conservation issues they might not be aware of. In addition to a reputable property inspector, a seasoned real estate agent can also be one of your best advisors when you're ready to put your home on the market.