Let's Ask Katie - November 2023

Let’s Ask Katie
Expert Advice for all your Real Estate questions from Katie Machoskie
Hi Katie,
We’re converting a large linen closet into a hallway bathroom and my neighbor says I don’t need to get permits as long as I hire a licensed contractor. My husband is freaking out because we plan to sell in two years and says it could discourage some buyers. Is it really that big of a deal?  Lori and John, Newport Beach
Hi Lori and John,
I’m sure your neighbor means well, but they are misinformed. When you sell, you will be required to supply the buyer with a City of Newport Beach Residential Building Report and optional inspection by the
City. Below are three reasons why sellers should consider getting permits:
  1. Compliance with Building Codes: Obtaining permits ensures that the bathroom addition (or any work) meets local building codes and regulations. This is important for safety and structural integrity, and also ensures that plumbing, electrical and ventilation systems are all installed correctly. 
  2. Increased Buyer Confidence: When sellers provide evidence of permits and inspections, it gives potential buyers peace of mind. Buyers are more likely to feel confident in the quality of the work and may actually pay more for the house, knowing that the addition was done professionally and is compliant with building codes.
  3. Smooth Transaction Process:  Having permits can make the selling process smoother. Buyers and their agents often request written information about improvements and having permits readily available can give the buyer confidence to close. It also eliminates the risk of potential legal issues or complications caused by unpermitted work down the road.
Parting thought: It’s always best to consult with a local real estate professional and/or the building department to ensure the property is compliant with local codes and regulations.

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