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Old 03-21-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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I would bet hardly anyone checks permits on houses they're about to buy. It has never crossed my mind before but doesn't seem like a bad idea.

It seems like alot of DIY work probably goes on in houses that isn't ever permitted. I recently did some fairly simple electrical wiring in mine. Had a couple of those old school lights with pull chains that had broken off so I installed light switches rather than replace with another pull chain light. I didn't think about it until later that technically I may need a permit/inspection. After researching I believe I do since it involved running new wiring. I'm sure some homeowners tackle far more extensive projects and don't bother.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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Airjay, I'm glad that turned out well for you! One of my children rented a house with some friends and the owner was going to have a fairly major renovation done while they were living there that would have been both very inconvenient and somewhat risky. They argued that work should be done after their lease was up but the owner was insistent and had the contractors start the job. However they won the argument when I checked and found that no permits had been issued and if the work continued, this would be reported to the county. So the owner ceased and desisted . (If that hadn't worked I would have also investigated the contractors' licenses.)
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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I don't think the seller has obtained permit for the finished basement. I haven't closed the home yet.
It has passed Home inspection contingency.

What are my options now?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:27 AM
 
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We've had work done at our house and the contractors told us that they would do the inspections (we still have the paperwork indicating that). I'm almost positive that everything was inspected properly but is there any way to double check that?
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
1,077 posts, read 1,427,128 times
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You can search for all permits issued with respect to an address in Fairfax County here: Permit Status

Looks like the online records go back to 1985.

LuvVA - you might get some more responses if you start a new thread. I don't think it is impossible to get permits for work previously done, although it may involve some opening of walls and will certainly involve some inspections by the county. Of course, the risk would be if they find work done that isn't up to code - then, I think you could be looking at having to correct the problems which could potentially get costly. Whether a house with unpermitted work is a problem for you probably just depends on your comfort level. I imagine most homes of any age, at some point, have had unpermitted work performed. In some cases, like a basement, it is more significant, in others, it may be something much smaller like minor plumbing or electrical modifications. When we bought our house last year, I never even thought to check on the status of past permits issued with respect to the property, and I don't think most home buyers do. Our basement is finished and if it hadn't been permitted, I don't think that would have stopped us from buying the home as long as the inspection didn't turn up anything that looked like it was improperly done. But, I have heard others assert that any unpermitted work could be a potential insurance problem and that they wouldn't take any risks with any unpermitted work. So, I think it just depends on your comfort level.

Last edited by airjay75; 06-17-2014 at 07:10 AM..
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:57 AM
 
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Thanks airjay75.

Anybody knows how to find out if the finished basement was done by original builder or it was finished later on with some contractors? Does the Fairfax county property tax website show that? When I checked the website, I found the following:

Basement FULL
Basement Rec Room Size (sq.ft) 560
Basement Type Daylight/English
# Basement Bedrooms/Dens 1

This basement has a walk-out, it has a big double door, has an egress window.

Also the full bath number shown in this website includes the full bath in the basement.

Does it mean the basement was originally finished by the builder since I don't see any permit for basement?

Anyone knows if the basement was finished by the builder, would there be a separate permit for the basement? When I checked for this house, I didn't find any permit for the basement.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:18 AM
 
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How long ago was the basement finished? I think in the older houses work done before a certain date doesn't have to be up to current code anyway. Are you talking 5 years ago, 25 years ago, 45 years ago?
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
How long ago was the basement finished? I think in the older houses work done before a certain date doesn't have to be up to current code anyway. Are you talking 5 years ago, 25 years ago, 45 years ago?
House was built 23 years ago but I am not sure when was the basement finished.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:43 AM
 
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We bought our house 17 years ago and the carpeting in our basement was old when we bought it. So our basement was finished a long time ago and I'm almost 100% positive that the builder was the one that finished it.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:29 PM
 
529 posts, read 541,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
We bought our house 17 years ago and the carpeting in our basement was old when we bought it. So our basement was finished a long time ago and I'm almost 100% positive that the builder was the one that finished it.
Thanks.

This is what I want to hear.

I am not sure I understood you correctly. On what basis you are saying this?
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