Profile picture for moldit

Buying remodel without permits in Richmond

I have been looking into buying a home in NE Richmond. A lot of the houses we have seen have additions and remodels that have not obtained permits. Has anyone experienced issues when buying a house in Richmond with remodels not having permits?

We have heard a lot of bad stories about places in Berkeley and El Cerrito where buyers or sellers have had to take apart the remodels, obtain permits, and then redo the work with permits. Has anyone heard of this or know of how strict Richmond is with this.
  • January 08 - Richmond
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
It puts a potential liability on your shoulders. 

When you make a purchase offer, include the request that all permits be closed out (or permits be pulled and closed retroactively) as part of the conditions.   We did so about 20 miles south of you when we purchased, the seller had to put about $10,000 into the process.

  • January 09
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Profile picture for moldit
Thanks for the input. It's seems like every house we have looked at in Richmond has unpermitted work done. Ideally I would like to obtain permits for the work, but I'm worried about buying, doing the right thing, and just wasting a lot of money to tear up the work that made the house more desirable in the first place. The work all seem legitimate (the home owner was a contractor). I even had my contractor friend agree that everything looks great and appears up to code. I called the city and it seem like I might be able to get legalize the rooms and obtain permits, but it still seems risky.
  • January 09
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Hello...to answer your question specifically...in richmond..there are a lot of properties with add on without permits..and in my 15 years..i have not seen anyone being asked to tear anything down. However..in berkeley and el cerrito..i have seen it happen quite a few times. I agree with the other agent..purchasing anything without permitted additions is a gamble.
  • January 09
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
I think it is always a gamble when you have unpermitted additions on property no matter where it is located. The problems often start when the new owner goes to get a permit for a new project and the inspector notices the previous work and finds it was not permitted and possibly not built to code. it's a gamble.


tim
  • January 09
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