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The importance of housing permits

Skirting laws can create big headache when it comes time to sell

How would you feel if you bought a house that was advertised as a having four bedrooms, three baths with a large recreation room and later discovered that technically it had only three legitimate bedrooms, two bathrooms and a basement? This scenario is not far fetched. In neighborhoods with older homes, it's common for properties to undergo several improvements over the years – and sometimes without the blessing of the local building department. It's easy to understand why a homeowner would decide to bypass the permit process. There are fees attached to building permits and time involved in waiting for building inspectors to show up. But, skirting permits can create a big headache if you ever intend to sell your home. For instance, in most cases the buyer of your home will have to get a mortgage to close the sale. This means that the property is likely to be scrutinized by a property appraiser sent by the lender to confirm that the buyer isn't overpaying. Most appraisers look at ...

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