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New here! Question about a house I am selling..

Liesag83

Registered User
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
1
Location
New Jersey.
Hi all. I’m a realtor in New Jersey; I’m getting ready to list a ranch for sale. My questions are below.
1. She turned the garage into a room (no permits)

2. She installed a bathroom in basement(no permits)

3. She moved the stair case in the basement. (No permits)

I’ve dealt with her township before and they are one of the worst..... she is insisting on obtaining permits for the stairs and now my contractor is telling me we need an architect to come in. Two told me sell as is it may not be an issue.
What should I do? Sell as is? Will the township even know the stairs were moved? Any advice will be appreciated.
 

jar546

Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
Joined
Oct 16, 2009
Messages
8,277
Location
Palm Beach County Florida
Now that you have the knowledge of what was done and some of it structural that involve egress, under most real estate laws, you are required to have the seller disclose this information. If it is a single family home that is a ranch and the work was prescriptive (within the scope of the code as written) I don't see why you would need an architect, however, you really need a solid contractor to make things right. You also increased the interior finished floor space and are potentially setting up the new buyer for an unexpected tax increase if/when a new assessment takes place. All of that work being done without permits creates a lot of liability for you and the present owner and must be corrected before it is listed for sale. In addition to your state real estate laws, read your realtor ethics again. Either walk away from this listing or do what is right.
 

cda

Sawhorse 123
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
19,955
Location
Basement
Welcome. Sounds like owner has a mess

Does the city do any inspections pre sale??

How is it listed on the tax records??

Does it show the garage as a bedroom??

Being Jersey are there any disclosure laws as in do you have to say there is I unpermitted work??

The ahj would be the one to ask who can submit plans for wor
 

Mark K

Platinum Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Messages
1,808
Talk to a real estate attorney.

My vote is to disclose the issues and sell the property. Unless there is a statute requiring the building be brought into compliance at time of sale the building code does not constrain the sale.
 

e hilton

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
1,589
Location
Virginia
My vote is to disclose the issues and sell the property.
Caveat emptor. Let the buyers agent advise the buyer of the potential issues they are facing. Maybe reduce the selling price to offset the corrections.
 

ICE

Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
9,520
Location
California concrete jungle
I have heard the lament, "we bought it this way" many dozens of times. There is so much bootlegged construction that there are few houses that have a clean permit record. It is the buyers due diligence that should tell all that there is to know about the property. That and they are getting a close up look at it. The converted garage and basement bathroom will be perceived as a plus and as long as the stairs aren't awful there would not be much trouble selling the property here is SoCal. It is one step closer to the dream house that they were searching for.

Years, or sometimes days, later when they piss off a neighbor/coworker/ex spouse....well that’s when the buyers remorse sets in.

I recall a man that couldn't keep his eyes away from the next door neighbors daughter....he got to tear down a master bedroom and bath.

I was tasked with investigating a converted garage. The workmanship was great. There was wood paneled walls, a ceiling fan, fireplace and a slider to the back yard. The occupant was there... because she was always there. A little old lady knitting a shawl. Unfortunately the property had no room for another garage or even a carport so it had to be converted back to a garage. The man asked how long he had to get it done. I was concered about the elderly lady so I said three months. The man became upset and stated that he wanted a two week deadline. The little old lady was his mother in law.
 
Last edited:

Rick18071

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
2,891
Location
Poconos/eastern PA
I sounds like it's not the fault of the township that your contractor is telling you you need an architect to come in. The framing may have not been built to code so a architect would be needed to design it. The drywall may need to come off to inspect.
 

ADAguy

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Messages
5,662
Location
California
Question of your ethics, you are aware of the issues, you have a duty to inform the owner of their duty to disclose, if a buyer hires a competent home inspector the cat will be out of the bag at which point it becomes a negotiation point.
 

No Soup for you

Registered User
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
31
Location
New York
You have alot going on in addition to the ethics issue...... or maybe just the lack of YOUR ethics :)

- The garage made into a room ? if a bedroom in a house w/septic , might need health dept approval. Then does it meet code?
including energy etc... also needs a permit. Some jurisdictions require that a residence is to have a garage in order to keep on street parking to a minimum.

- Bathroom in basement? needs a licensed plumber where I work and needs a permit. Also electric was obviously done w/o a permit

- Moved the staircase? ,structural work was involved,

I would require stamped drawings from a design professional for all work involved.
Licensed plumber
Licensed electrician
If necessary I would have the design professional sign off on any structural work that cannot be verified by the Building Dept.

Sounds like a typical day at work for me..... :)
 

Pcinspector1

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
3,564
Location
MID WEST
The way houses are selling over list price, I would get an estimate of the repairs that would make it code worthy and list it high enough to recoup the repairs. I wouldn't let a few code violations scare me from the listing.

Does Jersey allow to sell as is?

Does the property owner have to disclose this stuff to the buyer? You got your radon vent, smoke detectors and GFCI's?

1. She turned the garage into a room (no permits) Option, put it back the way it was, how bad could it be? garage door header still there, contractor can bid to put it back.

2. She installed a bathroom in basement(no permits) Pay the penalty, find out what you have to do to get it approved?

3. She moved the stair case in the basement. (No permits) Again, contractor bid to put it back, or permit and inspections.
 

north star

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
4,060
@ ~ @ ~ @

** Liesag83 **, ...Welcome to The Building Codes Forum ! :)


Hopefully, you will come back on here and let us know

how things turned out.

@ ~ @ ~ @
 
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