Difference Between Grandfathered And Unpermitted Work
The difference between “grandfathered” and “unpermitted” work is the former is considered legal but the latter is out of code compliance. In some instances, even work deemed to be grandfathered runs afoul of new building codes. Unpermitted work, however, is just that and the situation needs to be rectified or the home cannot be insured, causing a home loan to be denied. In either case, there’s at least some cause for concern, because of possible safety issues.
<h2>Difference between Grandfathered and Unpermitted Work</h2>
Whether you're relocating to the area or are <a href="http://www.mysarasotahomes.com/blog/post/2259/Signs-It-s-Time-to-Buy-A-Bigger-Home">convinced it's time to buy a bigger home</a>, such circumstances could spell trouble. The term "grandfathered" simply means the work is acceptable, done to previous code standards and no further action is needed. But "unpermitted" work has nothing to do with the quality. Rather, being done without proper inspection and permitting. Even if the work is high quality, if done without a permit, it's not code compliant.
<blockquote>a home inspector will not tear into walls and ceilings to inspect wiring and other work, even if the house was never properly inspected after apparent illegal additions were built. That's not what inspectors do. When hired by you, a home inspector would work for you exclusively. His or her job would be to examine the physical elements of the home for flaws and stability. They often can't spot unpermitted construction unless it's overtly shoddy. And if they do identify some, they won't rat you out to the code-compliance people. --<a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/buyer-beware-work-done-without-permits.aspx" target="_blank">Bnkrate.com</a></blockquote>
Like other <a href="http://www.mysarasotahomes.com/blog/post/2249/5-Biggest-Home-Remodeling-Mistakes">common home remodeling mistakes</a>, unpermitted work could easily be costly to remedy. Depending on the situation, the work might require an inspection for issue of a permit. It could require some changes to bring it into compliance for issue of a permit. It's even a possibility it be completely removed or redone. As mentioned, even work previously given a grandfather exception could now or in the near future be out of code compliance. Regardless of the circumstances, buyers should beware.
<h3>How to Deal with Unpermitted Work</h3>
Dealing with unpermitted work will present at least some problems. These could be minor or major, depending on the particulars of the situation. If you are a seller and discover work done without a permit through a pre-listing inspection, it's best to address and right it before you put the home on the market for sale. Don't try to sell the home once you know the house contains work without a permit because you must disclose this under Florida law. If you're a buyer and such work is found through a home inspection or by other means, there are some ways to deal with unpermitted work:
<li><strong>Request the seller to remedy the situation.</strong> Of course, your first go-to option is to request the seller deal with it and bring it up-to code compliance. Understand the seller will likely be reluctant to do this because of the time it takes and costs incurred. However, you are able to remind the seller and his or her listing agent it must be disclosed to other potential buyers under Florida's real estate disclosure laws to provide incentive.</li>
<li><strong>Learn if it is able to be deemed grandfathered.</strong> It's possible the work could earn grandfather status. The last update of the Sunshine State's building code occurred in 2004. So, it might qualify; that is, if it was done to previous code standards.</li>
<li><strong>Accept the house as-is and bring it into compliance.</strong> If it's a small issue and you really want to go through with the purchase, you could use the information as leverage. Negotiate a lower selling price to cover the cost of bringing it into compliance. But remember, if you choose this option, you'll have to go through with the sale. What's more, you won't be able to legally sell the home until the work is properly dealt with.</li>
<li><strong>Use the purchase contract contingency clause.</strong> There's plenty of homes in the area and it's also possible to simply exercise your contractual contingency. You can walk away from the transaction clean, with your earnest money deposit. Then, check back periodically while you continue your house hunt to see if the seller has rectified the situation.</li>
<li><strong>Speak with a professional real estate attorney.</strong> There is always a real possibility the home inspection doesn't uncover the work and/or the seller does not disclose it. Since you've closed on the house and are moved-in, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney right away. You need to be informed of your legal options and how to proceed to deal with it.</li>
If you are in the market to buy a home and want to find the right property with the most items on your wish list, <a href="http://www.mysarasotahomes.com/contact">contact us today</a>. We'll find all the homes with the most of your criteria as possible here in sunny Sarasota.