Unpermitted Additions in DC

2 Replies

I'm considering buying a house in DC that's roughly 1000 square feet, but 400 of those are unpermitted.  Does anyone have any experience or stories they can share about trying to get permits for an unpermitted addition in DC?

I know there are a thousand variables, but I'm interested to know how easy/hard the process was and if there are any general tips.


There can be lots of "red tape" in getting a permit.   It does differ from area to area.    

1.   Go down to the permits department in downtown in your area

2.  Explain to them the situation.   

3.  They will likely come out and have someone evaluate.   

4.  get them to evaluate the process.  Chances are they will hold up the sale

Or, do this.   

5.  Take it out on price

If you go down to permits department and explain to them the situation, get an estimate of fees and restoration, get it written.  

Use this as a negociation tactic in buying the house.    Sounds like a cash deal.   

Thanks, Gerald. It's definitely a cash deal.  Unfortunately, it came on the market Friday and offers are due tonight.  Fortunately, I have an easy decision.  After seeing the property and how low-quality the addition is, I realized the it's not salvageable and needs to be torn down regardless.

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