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Old 01-25-2013, 09:28 AM
624 posts, read 1,071,479 times
Reputation: 203


Hi All,

I'm from North Riverside, IL and some of the work done on my house was done without permits

Not all of the work, however. (For example, electrical was upgraded from 60A to 100A, fuse to circuit breaker panel, and new grounding rod, that was per the code, etc..)

However, the basement was finished and a whole new bath was added w/o permits. And I replaced kitchen appliances and cabinets without a permit. The work was done by my in-laws, who are contractors (though not licensed contractors, which is fine in IL).

I am thinking that I'll be selling my home "as is" and will disclose that some of the work was done w/o permts. I know that it's not uncommon, but I'd rather do things the right way from now on.

What are your recommendations for the next steps? I have not put the house on the market just yet.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:57 PM
28,455 posts, read 85,332,804 times
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In Illinois there is no state wide law that requires work to be done with permits. Most counties do have some sort of requirements for homes not inside incorporated cities / villages and most cities / villages require that alterations that include connections to public sewers / water supplies are done by licensed plumbers and/or inspected by the village /city.

Some cities / villages require that homes be inspected as part of the sales process.

It would be highly unusual for any real estate listing to state that work was done without permit / inspection and in places that require inspection as part of the sales process would be a certain deal killer. Further, in Illinois the use of the term "as-is" is NOT any indication of any specific status of quality OR LACK THEREIN. Sellers that list their homes through the MLS system of Chicago region are required to have a properly filed out property disclosure. The disclosure requires yes/no/does not apply answers to various issues (like basement flooding, problems with well, structal issues) BUT DOES NOT have questions regarding any "inspections" because there is no uniform standard for that.

If you do not have a relationship with a listing agent I would certainly ask potential listing agents about the impact of marketing a property as you describe. If you do have a listing agent you should be discussing the status of work done w/o permits on your situation and the specifics of village of North Riverside requirements for sales...
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:14 AM
936 posts, read 2,201,660 times
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As a real estate broker I'd definitely suggest to my clients that sort of information be disclosed after seeking advice from their attorney. Selling "as-is" isn't always a catch all for selling a property without disclosing things for which you know are wrong with a house. So even an as-is sale usually requires disclosure of material defects for which you are aware. Also, it's possible that improvements built without a permit still contribute towards the value of your house.

There's also the possibility of contacting whatever municipality governs your property to inquire about what the penalty might be for paying for things after the fact. That's something that you need advice from a competent attorney because you probably don't want to be subjected to any sort of destructive inspection if they insist on inspecting things behind drywall, for instance.

I've sold houses that I've rehabbed and repaired termite damage, and my attorney suggested that I still disclose the prior damage along with an explanation of what work was done on the house.

Many people do improvements without permits. It's all a matter of degree as to your liability in the future depending on how extensive the work was. I'd personally even pay the penalty or for sure disclose it to a buyer in order to eliminate any future liability.

Bottom line thought-- don't take my advice-- contact an attorney!
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:15 AM
17 posts, read 71,694 times
Reputation: 18
It all boils down to a pre sale BUILDING INSPECTION. The independent inspectors are paid to look for building faults, Electrical, Plumbing, Structural, ETC. After their inspection, they will list what they find wrong, or questionable, or thing that have to be corrected or should be corrected. Most home loans require these inspections prior to lending you money. If you are the seller, hire one of these inspectors to check out your house first, thus you know what has to be done in order to sell it. Price around 250 to 300. Check there qualifications first, as there are a lot of fly by night folks out there looking for that fast buck. Check your Realtor for qualified names.
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