It is always a really good idea to get ahead of the game when preparing your home for sale. Did you know that the home inspection period, called the Option Period here in the great state of Texas,
New Construction And Renovation Building Permits
by Nick Gromicko
What is a building permit?
A building permit is a permit required for new construction or renovations to existing structures. Local municipalities issue building permits for work that could affect the public’s health or safety, if improperly performed.
How is a building permit obtained?
In order to obtain a building permit, certain information must be given to the local building official. Intermediate and final inspections may need to be performed by their inspectors to verify that the work was performed in accordance with applicable building codes.
The burden of an unobtained permit is passed on to subsequent owners.
If, for instance, major alterations were made to a property without a permit, and the property was later bought and sold several times, the building official can force the current owner to obtain a permit and satisfy all code requirements. Previous owners are not held responsible for permits that were not obtained, and the current owner becomes solely responsible for compliance.
Small Violations Small violations usually are not detected by the local building department, as they are quite busy and don’t actively pry into peoples’ homes or buildings. Building owners often add electrical outlets and light fixtures, or convert a garage into an extra bedroom without a permit. Even if the building department discovered the violation, the owner can easily remove or change the alteration to its original condition. In most cases of small violations discovered by the building department, only a small fine or reprimand results.
Avoid permit issues by doing research.
Before purchasing a commercial property, check if any additions or alterations to the property were made after the original construction. You can be at risk if you do not check with the building department regarding past and current building activity.
When you hire an InterNACHI inspector to inspect a property prior to your purchase, you should ask them if there is any evidence of work that might not have been permitted properly. If you employ a real estate attorney, he can help you research records in the building department, or you can call or go to the building department yourself and ask them to look up permit activity and the status of final inspections for the address of the property you are interested in purchasing.
In summary, you should take seriously any evidence of large, undocumented building alterations before you purchase any commercial property.
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Herbert (Allen) Anderson is a Houston, Texas-based REALTOR® I Trusted Adviser with an immensity of experience and core understanding of how to deliver first class client service. • Master Certifi....