Housing here on Long Island tends to be 50-70 years old. Plenty of additions have been made in that time. Permitting issues abound. Unfortunately, there is always a delay in the transaction and lots of headaches for everyone involved. It's become a part of life. No one worried about these things, way back when, but try selling your home now without them.
Everyone who does some sort of work on their home has this question come up and it must be answered too. It cannot be ignored. You either decide YES or NO. I have done both in my lifetime. Many things cross into the mind of someone who approaches this subject. Let's look at a few yeses and no's
Why you would pull a permit:
1. Code is there for a reason. It protects and supports the welfare of the job and the existing structure. It maintains the bar or integrity of the work.
2. It's required per the I-codes (International building codes or residential codes)
3. Come time to sell or refinance, the lender wants to see their investment protected. The seller will want top dollar. Permitted work sends Go Go Go signals
4. Appraisers have an eye for this stuff and can see it or not...
5. The city keeps records
6. Can be costly to correct and fines are doubled too if you don't pull one and should have
7. If there is a fire, and it is due to non-permitted work, insurance companies have a loop hole
8. Code enforcement looks for outwards signs and loves finding this stuff. New roof connected to an old one is a dead give-away. Plus neighbors do turn other neighbors in for many reasons
Why you would not pull a permit:
1. It holds up the job of wanting something done right here and now.
2. Too expensive. Saves money right there and then to just do it no one the wiser either
3. The inspector might find other things wrong with the property while inspecting the new work
4. The city system of getting a permit is too complicated and costly. In other words, not inviting!
5. Too Lazy
6. The person you are using is not licensed
8. May lead to further requirements and then there is a record of you did or did not complete work
9. Cannot meet code requirements
This subject is one where if not handled wisely, can backfire and if handled properly can pay-off. However, only the homeowner will know what should be done and why in the end. Grandfather stories help mitigate issues meaning this is the way it was when I got it.
Find your piece (peace too) on this subject
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Graduate REALTOR Institute
Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore
Specializing in Lifecycle Real Estate Transitions
©Jill Sackler 2010