You just found your perfect home in New Jersey. Your bid has been accepted by the seller and you have just finished your three-day attorney review. The homeowner purchased the home two years ago and stated in the disclosure that the previous homeowner had made several additions, alterations and upgrades to the property.
Now it’s time for the home inspection. When purchasing a home with upgrades/additions/alterations, hiring the most experienced inspector is a must. Licensed home inspectors who are also licensed New Jersey building inspectors will be able to determine what work has been performed correctly or unprofessionally without permits.
During the inspection, the home inspector notes in his/her report, there are several concerns regarding additions/alterations/upgrades which may not be permitted. What’s your next step? I recommend to all my clients to take a trip to the local township building department and do an open records request. The building department will provide you a list of all work permitted and has had its final approval, work permitted but has not had its final township inspection or work performed without permits.
The open records request, on the home you are purchasing, identifies several additions/alterations/upgrades made without permits. This is where a good real estate attorney can help navigate who is responsible for applying for the missing permits.
I cannot stress enough the importance of building permits, whether you are hiring a contractor on your own home or the home you are buying.