Author Topic: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit  (Read 1424 times)

BiggerFishToFI

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I've owned this house for ~6 years but live in a different state now and am planning to list it for sale in the next few weeks.

About 5 years ago my father-in-law and I built a cover over the patio complete with shingles, two LED lights etc. I believe we did a decent job WRT 2x4 spacing etc. but at the time did not look up local building codes or apply for a permit. The house has since been painted and it looks professional / like it is part of the house.

Looking at it now the city code does require a permit for anything that attaches to the house, and I'm stressing hard about being so naive back then and not paying $30 for a permit.

What are my options here?

bacchi

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2018, 09:51:42 AM »
Personally, if you're not 100% certain that you did a safe job, I'd have someone out to look at it. Can you see the joists? Can you look at the wiring? If you use a receptacle tester, is everything clear?

Hiring a home inspector would be useful and would also tell you about anything else that you need to have fixed for buyers.

Another Reader

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2018, 09:59:06 AM »
Disclose the issue or pull the permit and get the cover inspected and signed off.

Chris22

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 01:51:50 PM »
Who is going to know it was un-permitted, and how?
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Another Reader

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 01:54:02 PM »
Who is going to know it was un-permitted, and how?

Permit search and/or property inspection.  Inspector will ask for permits for any additions or changes to the property. 

Chris22

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 02:18:34 PM »
Who is going to know it was un-permitted, and how?

Permit search and/or property inspection.  Inspector will ask for permits for any additions or changes to the property.

Changes from what to what?  OP has owned it for 6 years.  "I dunno, it was like that when I bought it".  Who's going to prove him wrong? 

If it was a major addition, sure, but for a backyard patio cover?  No one is going to care, unless the inspector determines it is unsafe or about to fall down.
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Fishindude

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 02:31:44 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it if you built it right.  Sell the place "as is".

Miss Piggy

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2018, 03:55:57 PM »
Who is going to know it was un-permitted, and how?

Permit search and/or property inspection.  Inspector will ask for permits for any additions or changes to the property.

Changes from what to what?  OP has owned it for 6 years.  "I dunno, it was like that when I bought it".  Who's going to prove him wrong? 

If it was a major addition, sure, but for a backyard patio cover?  No one is going to care, unless the inspector determines it is unsafe or about to fall down.

It's pretty easy for the city to know that something was done. For starters, any agent can pull up the previous listing when the house was on the market. That will include photos.

Jrr85

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2018, 04:01:45 PM »
I've owned this house for ~6 years but live in a different state now and am planning to list it for sale in the next few weeks.

About 5 years ago my father-in-law and I built a cover over the patio complete with shingles, two LED lights etc. I believe we did a decent job WRT 2x4 spacing etc. but at the time did not look up local building codes or apply for a permit. The house has since been painted and it looks professional / like it is part of the house.

Looking at it now the city code does require a permit for anything that attaches to the house, and I'm stressing hard about being so naive back then and not paying $30 for a permit.

What are my options here?

Probably depends on your jurisdiction.  In my jurisdiction, I wouldn't worry anything about it.  Highly unlikely that anybody will question whether it was permitted or not.  if it was included in the sq. footage and it was done in the last say ten years, that'd be different. 

Dicey

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2018, 04:05:21 PM »
Sheesh. Call the City and ask what the process is to get a permit after the fact. Happens all the time.
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Car Jack

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 07:33:49 AM »

pdxvandal

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 05:12:16 PM »
Just put it in your disclosures that the work was done professionally (or adhering to code), but not permitted. I sold a house this year with a completely unpermitted bathroom and finished basement that was done 10 years prior. The only thing I was worried about was the appraisal, which could have deemed it as unpermitted space and therefore half the square footage, but it came back just fine. For a patio cover, I don't think that would affect your appraisal much.

Another Reader

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 06:45:01 AM »
Just put it in your disclosures that the work was done professionally (or adhering to code), but not permitted. I sold a house this year with a completely unpermitted bathroom and finished basement that was done 10 years prior. The only thing I was worried about was the appraisal, which could have deemed it as unpermitted space and therefore half the square footage, but it came back just fine. For a patio cover, I don't think that would affect your appraisal much.

That's something you should never do.  You are warranting that the work was done to code.  The buyer may have a City inspector tell them it's not and to tear it down.  You would be liable for your statement.

Disclose it was built without a permit and accept a discount on your price or get the permit.  Like Dicey said, this happens all the time.

cchrissyy

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 11:59:27 AM »
in my area, this would not be a big deal at all. you would just include in the disclosures something like "outdoor porch covering built in 2012 without permits"

Chris22

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2018, 10:10:27 AM »
in my area, this would not be a big deal at all. you would just include in the disclosures something like "outdoor porch covering built in 2012 without permits"

Why disclose it at all? 

We bought a house and had our own private inspector come in, and he verified what was to code, what was an issue, etc, but even with extensive work done to the house (kitchen and bath remodel) at no time did anyone talk about going back to determine if permits were pulled, etc.  And this is in the hyper-regulatory state of IL. 

Just keep your mouth shut and it won't be an issue.  Good chance the buyer doesn't want to know if its unpermitted either, they don't want to have the potential for a hassle. 
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Slow2FIRE

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 08:18:25 PM »
in my area, this would not be a big deal at all. you would just include in the disclosures something like "outdoor porch covering built in 2012 without permits"

Why disclose it at all? 

We bought a house and had our own private inspector come in, and he verified what was to code, what was an issue, etc, but even with extensive work done to the house (kitchen and bath remodel) at no time did anyone talk about going back to determine if permits were pulled, etc.  And this is in the hyper-regulatory state of IL. 

Just keep your mouth shut and it won't be an issue.  Good chance the buyer doesn't want to know if its unpermitted either, they don't want to have the potential for a hassle.

If that part fails on a house I buy and I then find out it was unpermitted work that was not disclosed, you can bet your ass I'd be pursuing a lawsuit.

Papa bear

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Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2018, 10:43:46 PM »
I think every single house I've bought has had multiple non permitted "improvements".  None were disclosed. 

Don't worry about this.

And the bob vila article... 1987. Really


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Dicey

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2018, 12:50:17 AM »
What could possibly go wrong?

https://www.apnews.com/1c8accf667c1e3966a10fe027fccef9f
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iris lily

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2018, 06:32:53 PM »
My friends have been fixing up their 5,000 sq  ft house for decades. 90% of it without permits.

The tax records show they have 2 bathrooms. They actually have 7 bathroom, 5 addd in recent years.

They just sold it, but i spections and etc are taking place now. Wonder if they will have problems? Gosh, I think.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 07:03:27 PM by iris lily »

wbranch

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 06:49:22 PM »
in my area, this would not be a big deal at all. you would just include in the disclosures something like "outdoor porch covering built in 2012 without permits"

Why disclose it at all? 

We bought a house and had our own private inspector come in, and he verified what was to code, what was an issue, etc, but even with extensive work done to the house (kitchen and bath remodel) at no time did anyone talk about going back to determine if permits were pulled, etc.  And this is in the hyper-regulatory state of IL. 

Just keep your mouth shut and it won't be an issue.  Good chance the buyer doesn't want to know if its unpermitted either, they don't want to have the potential for a hassle.

In many states it is a question on the sellers disclosure checklist.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 07:49:49 PM »
This probably doesn't have much to respond to the op, but it's my permit story (and I like telling it)
22 years ago we wanted to add a 25' x 25' deck, with a gazebo corner.
They gave us a price, we gave them $5000 to start, the rest to be paid when they were finished.

We told the guy that came out, a salesman, we did not want it attached to the house - we wanted it free standing, we wanted the posts (not sure if that is what they are called) to have concrete is each hole, and we wanted a black roof on the gazebo.

A week before they were to start, I called the county office and asked if a permit had been pulled. No. So I called them and was told "You don't need a permit out there."  (B...sh.t, us farmers ain't stupid) So I told the guy I needed a drawing to apply for the permit, so he drew one, and THH and I went and got the permit. It was maybe 30 miles closer for us, they were not used to working in our county, so we didnít mind.

They get out here on the scheduled day and right away there was a knock on the back door. The guy asks "I'm just going to attach this to the house, ok?
No.       
So it's freestanding.
They had unloaded the stuff they were going to use, and we saw WHITE shingles. We just went and got black.
Things are going well, THH has to work, and I notice as the deck was being built, there was no concrete in the holes. I was alone, so I said nothing. I did not want trouble while I was there alone. When the workers left, I went out and took pictures of the holes, shoving a 3 foot piece of rebar down to show there was no concrete.

THH worked nights so he spent a lot of the next day in bed, while our deck was finished. They finished the whole thing.
The same worker knocked on the door and asked for the balance of what we owed. I told him I could not pay him until my husband inspected the deck, he had already left for his night shift. He will call tomorrow to arrange the payment.
Understand, I look very young for my age, will not be anything but nice to people if people are nice to me, but like I said, us farmers ain't stupid.

The next day THH calls and tells them we are very unhappy with the deck, and want someone to come out here and discuss it. The front doorbell rang and THH and I decided maybe just let me handle it. I open the door and the original salesman is there. I told him I had pictures of each hole, showing no concrete, and I needed them to rebuild the thing. I also reminded him the THEY ddraw the oicture for the permit. But I told him I needed 10,000 in escrow before they would even be allowed to touch it Ė I did not want them to tear it off and never come back, and keep our 5000. I told him when it was rebuilt, I wanted them to use NEW wood, as I had originally arranged for a deck and gazebo made out of new, not used, wood.
He said that it would cost more than the deck to go to court, so I told him my brother was a lawyer.

He said something I canít remember, and called me belligerent.  I really donít think thatís the B word he wanted to use.

So we thought, maybe theyíre not done with us yet, so I called my brother in law, who lives in the same county, another 10 miles deeper in farm country. He and my sister arranged for this same company to come out and give them a quote, they got a visit from the same salesman!  He came with a brochure of their products, and it specifically said they use concrete in the holes. Plus the guy told them they ALWAYS put concrete in the holes for stability, and down below the frost line to guard against the movement of freezing and thawing.

We have never heard from that deck company again.
We buy permits for everything that requires a permit. In fact, when THH put in the leach field, the guy from the county who came to look at it commented that he had never seen one where the job was exactly to code like ours!
When we added on, I remember the county guy coming and telling THH something that needed to be reinforced. Without a permit, we never would have known and itís where the old house is hooked to the addition, it could have cause trouble.

calimom

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 09:13:07 PM »
A couple of weekends ago I went to an open house for a property that advertised an unwarranted second unit. It was attached to a carport (no idea if that was permitted or not) and it was very nice! OK foundation, electrical and plumbing all in place. People were swarming all around asking each other what the projected rent might be, what it could bring on airbnb. Oddly, it was in far better shape than the main, presumably permitted 3/2 house from the 1960s which for the most part had not been updated since. Obviously the ADU would come into some play with inspections and mortgage approvals, but it didn't seem to be stopping anyone.I'm sure there were offers. It's hard to think a bank would give a patio cover much of a second thought.

Krolik

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2018, 01:33:03 PM »
We bought a house that had a patio covered, unpermitted. The seller didn't disclose, the property inspector brought it to our attention. We didn't care much but used it to negotiate the price. The seller (investor) didn't want to deal with it and gave us a discount. We didn't do anything with the patio, still use it as is, which is great since it is protected from rain.
I would stay quiet. If the buyer's inspector brings it up, then offer a small discount. I doubt it will be a deal breaker. If people like the house they won't care. It is a patio, not additional room or garage.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 01:35:15 PM by Krolik »
Born and raised in Poland. Living in US. Planning to retire somewhere.

Dicey

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Re: Selling Home with Patio Cover that was built without permit
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2018, 09:17:23 AM »
One  of my forum pet peeves is when people start a thread and then disappear without follow-up. Maybe @BiggerFishToFI actually has bigger fish to fry.

But since someone else might be following along with a degree of interest, here are a couple thoughts in response to @Krolik and others who have made similar suggestions.

When selling a house for top dollar, it is important not to give buyers any toeholds from which to dig into your price. Fixing the problem is almost always cheaper than negotiating. For you, it's a known, minor problem. For the buyer, it's a larger unknown, and possible harbinger of other issues. They're going to want more money to assuage their fears. Why give money away unnecessarily? It's kinda like trading in a car. Trading in is easier, but you can almost always get more if you make the effort and sell it yourself.

The biggest problem with patio covers, particularly unpermitted ones, is that the easiest way to attach them can create points of entry for pests, particularly termites. Doing it properly involves more steps. Fixing an infestation when it's discovered years later will likely cost more than any discount that was received at purchase.
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