Really Looking at Property

Double Check the Double Check

by Denise Benrahou

I worked as a Housing Inspector for over five years and I prosecuted Code Ordinance Violations for over ten years. Inspecting a property to purchase is a magical experience which can turn into a nightmare if the purchaser is looking only at the cosmetics, not the nuts and bolts. There are several things I learned from my experience I think might be helpful to everyone:

  1. Look at the foundation, the electrical system, the roof, the heating system, the plumbing system, and any sign of infestations.
  2. If work has been done to change the structure of the property such as a deck or enclosed porch, ask to see the zoning permit which allows this structural change.
  3. If any work has been done, other than painting or carpeting, find out if electrical, building, plumbing, or any other permits are required to do this work. Check with your local agency, not the realtor or the owner, to see if permits were required and were taken out. If permits were needed but not taken out, you need to find out if all that is required is a permit or much more.

Good Luck

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