Whenever a transaction closes where I represented the Hawaii Home Buyer I make sure and let them know that whenever they decide to do anything to the home (i.e. addition, electrical, plumbing, walls and so forth) to make sure they have licensed contractors doing the job!
Because when you try and sell your home later on you don't want problems arising!
(EDIT): As one example: With VA loans they are particularly strict about additions with no permits and major electrical work done by Joe the Handyman.
They are meticulous when appraising the home and look at EVERYTHING in and out of the home. The loan will depend on the VA appraisal and the Notice of Value from VA.
So best you just be safe ....rather than sorry later on and follow my suggestions:
- Electrical- Use a licensed electrician and save all invoices
- Plumbing - Use a licensed plumber and save all invoices
- Additions & Alterations (patio, lanai, extra room etc.) Use a licensed contractor and keep all paperwork. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUILDING PERMITS TO DO SO!
- Walls/Fences - Licensed contractor and save all work invoices etc. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BUILDING PERMITS!
- Replacing anything within an association - Check to make sure that if you are in an Association that you check out your Design Rules etc. and get permission in writing from the Association and/or AOAO and save all slips!
- Roof - Licensed contractor and save all warranties and invoices.
- Mold - Use a mold remediation company who knows what they're doing and make sure and save all invoices and work done.
It really is important when it comes time to sell your home and there are never ending problems:
- The buyer backs out because YOU didn't do things properly
- Then VA does not guaranty the loan because of those "minor" additions YOU didn't do the right way
- The lender doesn't approve the loan so kiss the sale goodbye.
Now, in the case of too little too late.....well, if you're a seller and you didn't have good representation during the buying process (and you didn't know that something wasn't permitted) then you have a few alternatives for those additions that weren't permitted.
- Get an "after the fact" building permit. Get a plan drawing done by a professional draft person (or architect) and submit it with your application for a permit to the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting
- Get an "after the fact" approval with your "after the fact" building permit with your Association.
- ....and if it's NOT PERMITTABLE...then you gotta tear it down.
- Hope and wish that someone else will put in an offer and that their loan company accepts the "As Is" Home with no building permit for the addition.
© 2008 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog. All rights reserved.