The clients I am currently working with are scrambling to buy a house before leaving the country for a year. Their time-line is tight and they are trying to see everything that comes close to their list of desired needs, wants and options lists. They have found a few homes that were recently remodeled and looked fabulous.
There was one problem. The homeowners did, or had the work done, without permits. Being a contractor, it only takes a few minutes in a home to know if the work done was inspected by a local inspection agency. The first one these clients found had nearly everything they wanted. But, it was remodeled without permits and some of the work would not pass inspection. The VA said no to financing it. The work could be reconciled with the county, but the owners were not willing to have the county inside their home.
The second one, I knew immediately that it had been done without permits. There were enough electrical issues that showed poor trade-craft that I knew an inspector had never been in the house, and I was right. Take that one off the list. Of the six on our list, 50% would not qualify for their financing based on how the remodeling was done.
Before you take a client out to see a remodeled home, it might be worth a minute to ask the listing agent if the work was done under a local permit with a final inspection. The first house had a electrical issue that was a dead giveaway, and it would have been nice to know that before traveling forty minutes one way to learn that. Lenders are only trying to protect their investment and your buyers should have that same desire.