Good afternoon. My wife and I are new to real estate investing and have been actively looking for our first deal. I have some construction experience (but no expert) and on several of the houses we have looked at, I suspect a patio enclosure or addition has been added without a permit. Most do not have HVAC. Do you go to the city to verify a permit was pulled? Do you demo the addition/enclosure and take a hit on the square footage? Or just move on and rehab the enclosure?
Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge/experience. We look forward to getting more involved in the forums.
I believe most rehabbers move forward, keeping the addition. They figure it becomes someone else's problem once the house is sold.
Although likely true, I'm not sure such a broad generalization is helpful. I know many jurisdictions offer some leniency, in one way or another, to bring these types of spaces into compliance. In most cases you should be able to inquire about permit history with the planning department without drawing extra scrutiny. If there is already a complaint or long history, those situations you'd want to be more careful and strategic about your inquiry. It's of course a case-by-case decision, and a tough call to make. In many cases I'd argue that it makes sense to jump through the hoops especially if it involves an additional bedroom or bathroom.