If you’re looking to buy a new home, you may initially be thrilled to find that the current homeowners have made updates and upgrades. Perhaps they put in a new furnace and water heater or renovated the kitchen. Maybe it’s an older home that didn’t have a vent fan in the bathroom, so they put one in to bring it up to current codes.
You see this as a benefit, and they likely pitch it that way to you when you’re looking at the home. But could there be hidden issues? Were these renovations and updates made without a permit, meaning that codes may not really have been met. If so, there could be costly dangers lurking in those “upgraded” areas of the home.
Why skimp on getting the right permits?
There are cases where homeowners don’t know that they need permits for specific improvements, but these aren’t all that common. Most people understand that permits are required for anything but the most minor repairs.
Some of the reasons why people just don’t do it because it:
- Is a hassle
- Costs money
- Can delay the project
- Can change the scope of the project
Some may even be so brazen that they know they’ll simply ignore the building codes anyway and hope that no one will be the wiser. If they’re not going to get caught, why bother paying the government for a permit and then dealing with inspections?
This mindset can really cause some serious issues in a home, though. You need to be aware of this as you consider which property you really want to buy.