U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-05-2008, 09:41 AM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,440,604 times
Reputation: 238

Advertisements

OK, I've posted along some similiar lines but my question today is a little different.

I've made an offer on a house that was listed as three bedroom but my property research has found that is a 2 bedroom with an unpermitted addition. There are several permitting problems with the 3rd bedroom, including no closet doors, no egress in case of fire, no fire sprinklers in this room only (fire sprinklers were a condition of permittting the house), and the septic system is a two bedroom design and would have to be redesigned for three bedrooms. If you recall, this bedroom was located in the unfinished basement that is only accessible by external stairs, so it is not useful for a family bedroom.

The sellers are unhappy that my offer was so low. I based it low becuase it was a 2 bedroom house rather than a 3 bedroom house.

My question is how do I convince the sellers that it is a two bedroom house and I have to price accordingly? They seem to think I'm writing off the 3rd bedroom based on personal preference (dislike of location) while I see the numerous permit issues to be a big problem and potentially big and expensive headache. I could easily be looking at $5000+ for redesign/reconstruction of the system sytem alone! The sellers are probably not the sharpest tacks in the box and don't want to see these facts the way they are.

Any ideas on how you would best convince sellers their house is not worth what they would like it to be?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-05-2008, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,564,925 times
Reputation: 876
While I don't know how our local building department discovered the unpermitted interior work, several years ago a property was on the market. The property disclosure stated that the purchaser would be required to permit the demo and reconstruction of the un-permitted work. The property eventually sold for well under the original asking price.

I don't know how your area's building department works, but if your so inclined the building department could be your friend.

Last edited by FLBob; 09-05-2008 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: typo
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2008, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,983 posts, read 36,867,331 times
Reputation: 15501
I would also get some quotes on the septic. There was a property like that last year out here, and I talked with the septic folks out here. They were clear that the land could not support a septic for a 3 bedroom home. Which is why the 3rd bedroom became an "office."

Last edited by Silverfall; 09-05-2008 at 11:00 AM.. Reason: hit enter too soon.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2008, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 20,828,427 times
Reputation: 6430
My home has an unpermitted addition to it. When the assessor came out to reassess the property when we bought it, he just made a note of it and took new pictures.

It hasn't been a problem up to now, and I'd have to disclose it when I sell (It wasn't disclosed to me when we bought it, but I wouldn't have changed anything in my offer if it was), but the building agency where the property where this is located may have a different take on it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2008, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,067 posts, read 78,789,278 times
Reputation: 27668
In some states a bedroom is defined with having a closet. If there's no closet then it's not a bedroom. I consider this a loophole and one which would raise a flag to me.

Septic systems are designed by the number of bedrooms/bathrooms. A 2 bedroom might have a 500gal tank and 1 lateral where a 3 bedroom might have a 1000gal tank and 2 laterals.

Can the electric handle the load ? If it was a garage conversion then maybe A/C and additional outlets were put in.

Not saying any of the above applies to your situation in your state..but they are things to be careful of when looking at "unpermitted" changes.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2008, 12:37 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,440,604 times
Reputation: 238
The closet doors is the real estate agent's definition of a bedroom but frankly a relatively easy remodel to do. I don't want to remodel a house but could be done.

Septic systems in Washington are defined by the number of occupants, which is related to the number of bedrooms. In Washington, they don't care how many bathrooms are in a house when designing septic systems. Because of our stringent county requirements, it may be expensive or impossible to add bedrooms on. The septic system right now is a sand filter design with 1000 gallon tank but I would need to discuss with designer to see how hard it is to add more bedrooms onto design.

Fire sprinklers are a concern. There access road to the property doesn't meet fire department standards, hence, fire sprinklers are required.

I would have to look at existance of outlets and lights switches to determine if properly wired. Also, I have not looked to see if room is heated or insulated.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2008, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,958 posts, read 20,828,427 times
Reputation: 6430
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtrees View Post

Septic systems in Washington are defined by the number of occupants, which is related to the number of bedrooms. In Washington, they don't care how many bathrooms are in a house when designing septic systems. Because of our stringent county requirements, it may be expensive or impossible to add bedrooms on. The septic system right now is a sand filter design with 1000 gallon tank but I would need to discuss with designer to see how hard it is to add more bedrooms onto design.
If you have a sand filter system, you're already at the top end of what the ground will hold. Sand filter systems are for places where the ground is barely able to hold the effluent in the first place. The chances that you would be able to expand one are very close to nil, but a qualified waste treatment engineer is the only one who is going to be able to make that judgment.

The reason the one "bedroom" doesn't have a closet door is because adding the "closet" makes it another bedroom in many jurisdictions.

3 bedroom homes need to have a 1200 gallon tank in my neck of the woods and the leach field needs to be 85' long for each bedroom. while it may be physically possible to add leach line length to an existing system, Adding tank capacity is almost as expensive as building a new system.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2008, 03:57 PM
 
8 posts, read 29,278 times
Reputation: 13
Default It has to do with resale value more than anything

I have designed over 500 conventional, LPP, Sand Filter, and mound systems. Sand Filter systems are just another form of treatment technology. Actually, sand filters are the top of the line treatment systems for single family homes, in my opinion.

What it really comes down to is the value of the home. If it is permitted as a two bedroom septic system, then it is a two bedroom home...end of story. A property owner, or real estate agent cannot sell it as anything more than that. (Unless a connection to public sewer is available.)

Now, most septic systems have conservatism in the design. Most systems assume two people per bedroom living in the home, and 65 to 75 gallons per day per person (130 to 150 gallons/BR/day). So, unless you plan to have more than 4 people in the home, the daily flow is not the issue. Look at your current water bills, figure the gallons per month, divide it by 30 days, and you will have an idea of what you currently use. You will likely find that you don't average more than 30 to 35 gallons per day per person living in your home.

If you love the house, and never intend to sell the property, then the system is likely adequate for your use.

Resale of the property is where you will lose. If the owners will not relent to the two BR price, it may be best to walk.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2008, 05:58 PM
 
1,949 posts, read 5,638,282 times
Reputation: 1288
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Septic systems are designed by the number of bedrooms/bathrooms.

Not all septic systems are designed based on bathrooms. Our septic systems are based on bedrooms only which has to do with occupancy of the house. They base it on 2 people per bedroom. So a two bedroom house would be a 4 person house occupancy. A 3 bedroom house would be a 6 person occupancy and so on. The house could have 5 bathrooms and that would have nothing to do with it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2008, 10:54 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 2,440,604 times
Reputation: 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamitrail View Post
Not all septic systems are designed based on bathrooms. Our septic systems are based on bedrooms only which has to do with occupancy of the house. They base it on 2 people per bedroom. So a two bedroom house would be a 4 person house occupancy. A 3 bedroom house would be a 6 person occupancy and so on. The house could have 5 bathrooms and that would have nothing to do with it.
Correct. Almost every jurisdiction I know (I don't know every one - I'm sure there are some that break the rules) design septic systems around bedrooms, not bathrooms.

One sort of exception is Maricopa County, Arizona where they base septic size on a combination of bedrooms and fixtures. But bedrooms is still the dominate factor and fixtures is the minor factor.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:30 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top