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Old 10-12-2010, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
998 posts, read 3,485,200 times
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If the home was advertised as a 4 bedroom home, then it should reflect that in the septic permit. If it were me, I would ask the agent to ask the seller to a: add the necessary septic line for the 4th bedroom or ask for the $$ it will cost for the 4th line. The key here, is whatever you both agree to is fine. You will have to deal with it when you sell the home at a later date, so take care of it now if you are not happy with it. Sounds to me that the listing agent didn't pull the permit before advertising the property to verify.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
217 posts, read 253,597 times
Reputation: 92
You definitely want to remedy the situation before you buy the house. Whenever a house is not up to code, is lacking proper permits, violating zoning, etc., the city/county can come in at any time they find out about the violation and make you correct it. It can be corrected by Jane’s suggestion above or convert one of the bedrooms into a non usable bedroom (which I would not recommend). If they refuse to correct it, it becomes a material fact that they must disclose if they put the house back on the market.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,418 posts, read 18,013,149 times
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This is something I have seen many times before.

When the original homeowner had the home built, it didn't perk for a 4 bedroom and yet, the home has 4 bedrooms! They just list it as a 3 bedroom with office/bonus room and it gets passed.

A few years ago, this became an issue as MLS didn't want Agents listing homes as 4 bedrooms if the home only perked for a 3 bedroom. So, even though we KNOW there is 4 bedrooms, it was called something else.

So, is it a big deal? Only if you are going to advertise it as a 4 bedroom. Will it be a big deal when you sell it? It seems to be an issue with YOU so it will be an issue with the next buyer.

What you do is up to you and you have been given some suggestions so I won't repeat them. However, this isn't terribly unusual so no need to panic.

Vicki
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:35 AM
 
121 posts, read 193,885 times
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Default Update

Thanks for all your replies.

Here's an update:

The owners are willing to fix the problem; the county approved another line to be installed, and we went out there yesterday and noticed that 9 trees have been tagged by the septic guy for removal in order to dig the trench! We are very unhappy about this and have asked that nothing be done until we've had a chance to think/talk about this.

The trees that will be cut are thin and probably 40+ feet tall. Those don't concern us as much as the trees beside them that won't be cut--there are several mature trees that will get their root systems damaged on either one or both sides when the 110 foot long trench will be dug. All my research indicates that in 5-10 years those mature trees could die or fall on the house!

So, if we don't want the trees damaged, and there's no where else to put the extra line, we have to accept that the septic is for a three bedroom, and therefore turn one bedroom into an office.

The fact still remains that we are purchasing an advertised four bedroom house and will perhaps someday sell as a three bedroom with office.

We already have a contract for the "four bedroom" and the closing is in 2 weeks.

Any advice?

We do want the house; we have spent a lot of time looking, and we've invested a lot of time and money getting estimates for some remodeling and for landscaping. We love the space and we love the wooded yard.

However, it just seems like we are going to lose money if we ever sell it as having one less bedroom. There just seems to be no way to estimate any potential loss right now.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:51 AM
 
6,370 posts, read 10,456,897 times
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Have them credit you the value of the work needed to convert to a 4 bedroom septic system at closing. Then you can decide how to proceed. Offering a 3 bedroom price probably won't work because they are correcting the problem.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:09 AM
 
121 posts, read 193,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
Have them credit you the value of the work needed to convert to a 4 bedroom septic system at closing. Then you can decide how to proceed. Offering a 3 bedroom price probably won't work because they are correcting the problem.
That's the direction we've been headed in our thinking this morning. We do appreciate that they are willing to do the work, but we do not want to be forced to make the decision to either lose trees or change over a bedroom in such a rushed manner. We do want the house, and we want to make a wise decision.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,418 posts, read 18,013,149 times
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We price our homes by square footage. I don't think you'll lose any money over ADVERTISING a 3 bedroom and office versus a 4 bedroom home. It just doesn't work that way.

Like I said, I have seen this many times in our area. Most people "understand" that the "office" has a closet and therefore is really a bedroom.

As for how to "sell" it, when the time comes, I have seen others advertise as a 4 bedroom with a note in the "remarks" that says "home is permitted as a 3 bedroom with office".

Vicki
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:24 AM
 
121 posts, read 193,885 times
Reputation: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
We price our homes by square footage. I don't think you'll lose any money over ADVERTISING a 3 bedroom and office versus a 4 bedroom home. It just doesn't work that way.

Like I said, I have seen this many times in our area. Most people "understand" that the "office" has a closet and therefore is really a bedroom.

As for how to "sell" it, when the time comes, I have seen others advertise as a 4 bedroom with a note in the "remarks" that says "home is permitted as a 3 bedroom with office".

Vicki
Thanks for the information, Vicki. You present it as no big deal, but when we spoke with people at the permit office, they weren't so easy-going about it.
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:00 PM
 
503 posts, read 849,569 times
Reputation: 281
Have them credit you with the amount it would take to install the extra drain line and then don't do it if YOU don't need it and/or don't want to cut down the trees. If/when you need to re-sell, you can then forward the money on to the next owners or just go ahead and take care of it then--since you'll be leaving, the trees shouldn't matter then.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
217 posts, read 253,597 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by newgirlRaleigh View Post
Thanks for the information, Vicki. You present it as no big deal, but when we spoke with people at the permit office, they weren't so easy-going about it.
I hate to be on the negative side but what has been suggested by some where you can advertise it as a 4 bedroom even though the septic only supports 3 bedrooms is not allowed. This is a quote from the MLS compliance department - I'm sorry for the length but I can't post a link because to get to it would require a login.

"(g) The number of bedrooms in a property listing shall not exceed the occupancy level imposed by an onsite sewage system improvement permit.

Until now TMLS did not have a rule governing this issue. There are a number of listings in the MLS that reflect more bedrooms than the number allowed by the onsite sewage system improvement permit for the residence. Under this new rule, these listings are now in violation and must be corrected.

This rule change was prompted by four factors:
1. North Carolina state regulation prohibits the advertising of a residence as having more bedrooms than allowed per an onsite sewage system improvement permit."

Please read #1. It did not used to be that big of a deal but it certainly is now as evidenced by your perception of the permit department.

I also am of the opinion that while you may not lose money selling a 3 bedroom versus a 4 bedroom, the buyer pool will be smaller. A four bedroom home will appear in the search results of people looking for at least 3 bedrooms but a 3 bedroom home will not come up in the search results of people looking for at least 4 bedrooms – this decreases your potential pool of buyers.
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