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Gotcha ...

Posted by Jay J on August 11th, 2000 09:12 AM
In reply to Partitiion walls by Dave on August 11th, 2000 08:41 AM [Go to top of thread]


No, you were clear. I just ended up rambling on there. Thanks for your understanding though ...

About the value of the home. When it comes to selling a house, the potential buyer is gonna see 'The Sheet'. You know, the piece of paper that says how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets and so on you have in the house. I've NEVER heard of anyone taking the County's Recorded Information and using in IN PLACE OF 'the sheet'. As you realize, they won't jive. Besides, if you had 4 bedrooms and eventually have 3, you have 3 bedrooms - case closed. I wouldn't even mention that the house had 4 bedrooms. Just for grins, the way I found out my house had 3 bedrooms was when we removed a 'threshold' in a bedroom doorway! Under the threshold was a 'gap of about 3-1/2" of wood, hence, a base-plate 2x4 was once there! The house has hardwood floors on the 2nd floor and I/we 'figured' that the reason the threshold was there was because, maybe, the previous owners cut too much wood 'off' the bottom of the door when they were installing it. We were wrong.

Our house came with an addition (as a Family Room.) I actually asked for a copy of the permit from the Sellers. They said there wasn't one. So, like you, I wondered if the addition was 'ok' or 'safe' and whatever. We had a home inspection by an ASHI-Approved Home Inspector. We told him we have no 'proof' that the addition was built w/a permit. He assured us it was just fine. (He was a former General Contractor and very familiar with homes.) We trusted him. THEN, when the Sellers went into agreement w/us, the house was inspected by my Township. Lo and behold, it failed because there was an 'open wall' where you went up the stairs. They said that someone could accidentally fall though this opening (onto the foyer below) and get hurt. They were right! So, we had, at that moment, one choice - to get the opening 'filled'.

The Seller wanted to install a cheap handrail and banister and post system in the opening. We liked the idea but we KNEW that they wouldn't install something that we liked. (It wasn't our house yet.) And we weren't gonna pay for it to have it done the way we wanted because this was all happening BEFORE closing. (I would have paid for it only if WE owned it.) So, we made a suggestion to the Township. We'll indemnify them from any liability if they forgave 'infraction'. We put the indemnification in writing and we got the house with the 'opening' still there! Since then, we installed a nice, oak handrail set. (I don't know quite why I'm telling you this but for some reason I think it's related, but for the moment, it escapes me.)

I have ANOTHER story to tell. We use to have an 8' x 10' shed. It was all rotted and such and in need of replacement. I bought a 12' x 14' shed which required a permit because we weren't replacing the old shed w/another 8' x 10' one. AND, they said it had to be 35' from the property line! The shed at 35' would have have put it smack in the middle of my yard! So, I asked the lady at the Township what my options were. She told me this (and would deny she did): "You can put in the new shed but if any of your neighbors complain, 1) you may have to remove it, and/or 2) pay a fine. Or, if everyone eventually agrees that you can keep it, you'll have to pay the Permit Fee."

IN short, if you want to be safe and not have a worry, see if you need a permit. If you do, keep a copy of it. Then, tell the county what you did. If I were you, but I'm not, but if I were, I'd forget the permit and forget the county, and let market-value take its course.

Hopefully, I've rambled on enough in answering your question. If not, I'll start a new, nasty habit, and let someone else take a crack at it. (grins) :) My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J

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