Buying a home with non-permitted bathroom

6 Replies

I'm in the process of purchasing my first home (will be my primary residence for 1 year or 2. Later to become a rental property.) The house was listed as a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom but was disclosed on the MLS listing that the 2nd bathroom was extended but was done so without permits. Both me and my realtor were unaware of this fact until just yesterday. We've already done the home inspection and appraisal and apparently the appraisers didn't realize it was not permitted either. I'm wondering the risk (if any) in moving forward with this purchase. My realtor is assuring me that it is fine and shouldn't effect me in any negative way, but I'm skeptical. Any help would be awesome!

I would not take the advice of the realtor in this instance. Instead go to the building permit counter at your municipality and ask them, bring a drawing ( you can make the drawing yourself-does not have to be exact) and take a picture. If it is only an extension it may be OK.  You could run into trouble when you sell. Alternatively have your realtor get 10k off the selling price due to no permit and forget about it.

My realtor said they won't lower the price. He's also told me that I should look at it like I'm getting a free bathroom.... But I don't see how I'm getting a free bathroom. It's not permitted, but is listed as a 2 bed 2 bath so it's not like I'm getting a discount. The bathroom was extended for a shower and was built into the existing square footage so my Realtor said it wouldn't change the price of the home at all. 

I'm concerned that it could affect my insurance coverage, or how I am able to list it for sale later if I wanted to do so. But it's listed as a 2 bathroom now, I just don't understand. 

How much more does a 2 bedroom 2 bath than a 2 bedroom 1 bath command in your market?   Maybe not much, I think that is what the relator may be telling you but check it out.     You may need to deal with permitting for resale.

I just did some comparing and I guess the price would be about the same for 2 bed/1 bath. Would we have to deal with permitting though for resale if the current sellers don't have to? I mean, obviously they're selling as is and they don't have a permit and are getting market value for the house as if it were a 2 bathroom. I guess now my concern is insurance coverage if something were to happen.

Ok so you said that   2/1 and 2/2 price are about the same so are you paying extra for a non-permitted bathroom? For resale if you want to see what it takes to get it permitted contact your building department but unless/until  you are committed to do the permitting work you might want to ask more generic questions.  Maybe ask if there is unpermitted work in a house I am considering how would I go about bringing it into compliance.   For insurance I am not sure if it matters.   For me I would make sure the outlets were GFCi

Alexandra,

The main Insurance issue will be, What will happen if there is damage to that bathroom or because of that bathroom (leak).  You need to have your agent give you in writing what the Insurance company will do.  

The overall Building limit may be lower than needed if the 2nd bath is not included in the calculations.  That would impact your payout in a total loss.

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