When shopping for Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia, check all foundations and building permit status. Foundations and building permit status are two very important aspects to consider when purchasing your new home in Alexandria, VA.
Make sure to hire a real estate home inspector, who has a proven track record with foundation inspections and building permit research.
In my 30+ years of construction, I have inspected numerous homes with foundation problems. New homeowners, after taking up residence, often discover signs of building settlement. Building settlement is usually a result of foundation problems. Some of these foundation problems are a result of the previous owner, masking over serious foundation issues. Foundation repairs can cost thousands of dollars. Knowing the signs of foundation problems can avoid, a poor real estate purchasing decision. Focused foundation inspections can improve results with your new home purchase.
Problems Soil Areas:
- Alexandria, VA
- Arlington, VA.
- Fairfax County
- Prince William County
- Loudoun County
Check with your local building departments for additional information. Extensive soil mapping reports and drawings exist. This information is available to the public. Soil mapping reports will identify the problem soils areas. Identification of the problem soils areas, can provide information for your new home purchase for the Alexandria, Virginia. Real Estate purchases in Alexandria demand additional scrutiny and attention.
Foundation Repairs & Warning Signs
- Exterior Cracks
- Interior Drywall Cracks
- Doors and Windows Out of Square
- Brick Separation from Exterior Framing
- Rotten Wood – Pier & Beams
- Sagging, Bouncing & Uneven Floors
- Floor & Wall Tile Cracks
- Concrete Slab Separation & Cracking
- Nails Pops Out of Drywall
- Walls Separation from the House
Your professional home inspector, should be knowledgeable and experienced. An experienced home inspector for the Alexandria, Va area needs to provide expertise in foundation repairs and permit status research.
- How many years of dedicated home inspection experience.
- Review types of qualifications and experience.
- Scrutinized sample inspection reports.
What Is an Open Permit?
An open permit typically means no final inspection has been completed for permitted work.
Permits are often an overlooked in real estate transactions. When performing your real estate due diligence, building permit status is a must. Failure to identify an open building permit can have expensive consequences.
Homeowner’s are often required to secure a building permits for construction work. The local municipality will grant a building permit for work as described on the permit. As the work progresses certain inspections may be required. With the completion of the work, a final inspection is performed by the local building department. At the time of final inspection, the government official will provide their final approval. Final approval, results in a closed permit.
There are several reasons why a permit may remain open. Open permits can be a result of not starting or completing the described work. Permit issuance is attached to the property address. Failure to abide by building code compliance responsibility will be transferred to the new property owner.
Building permits typically have expiration dates. Adherence to the building code expiration date is important. Some municipalities treat expired permits differently. With many municipalities you (the property owner) may required to reactivate the existing permit or secure a new building permit. The side effects can be expensive.
Active Permit & Compliance
With your building permit now active, you can now get started. Based on the open permit violation, your true nightmare may begin. From the removal of all non compliance work and revision of all work, the costs can be extreme.
Building Code Violation
Building code violations can result in the imposition of a fines. The imposed fines can be a one time fee or even daily fines for non compliance.
Building Code Revisions
With constant building code upgrades, the local government may demand you complete all work to the current building code standards. This means all non finalized and inspected work may need to be revised, to current building code compliance. This can mean a huge expense. The removal of materials for access and inspection, could mean thousands of dollars in unexpected expenditures.
The issuance of all permits often require periodic and final inspections. Make sure to comply with the building code officials. Make sure your Real Estate home inspections include open permit and non permitted research investigation.
You can see how any open permit can be a real headache. With necessary permit compliance, you face additional expenses, as the new property owner. These additional and unforeseen expenses can mean thousands of dollars.
Open Permit Search
Contact the local building permit office for additional information. The permit office, will have a record of all permit activity. As a reminder, the purchaser will have to address all open permits and non compliance issues with ownership of the new home and property.
Non Permitted Work
You, the new homeowner, do not want to pay for non permitted work. As you can see, this can be an expensive proposition. With the inflated home costs and repairs costs for code compliance, this is a terrible outcome.
Why are building permits required for construction?
Building permit issuance, provide protection to the property owner (code compliance) and record all improvements to the associated address.
Can a homeowner pull their own permits?
In many jurisdictions, the homeowner can pull permits for improvements to their property.
What happens if you get caught building without a permit?
Fines may be assessed to the property and property owner.
What happens if you renovate without a permit?
Work completed without a permit can risk the future sale of your home. Home renovations and improvements without permits should not be listed on the property description.
Can I sell a home with non permitted work?
This often happens and provides expensive and agonizing repairs and costs.
What is the penalty for remodeling without a permit?
The property owner is susceptible to costly fines.
How do I know if someone pulled my permit?
Often times you will see a building permit placard placed in the window. If you have doubts, contact your local building department.
Always Obtain A Permit
Check with your local building department for code compliance and details.
No Permit Discovery
Stop All Work
In and around 2007, I had dealings with a new residential home owner. The homeowner had recently purchased a single home in the Alexandria, Virginia area (Route 1 Corridor Fairfax County Jurisdiction). This home had a finished basement with a bedroom and new bath. The new homeowner had secured a permit for some new work, at her home. With periodic inspections of the permitted work, the inspector noticed the work in the basement. A quick search at the inspector’s office indicated all basement work had been completed without a permit. With this new discovery, the inspector halted all construction work.
The homeowner was obligated to secure new building permits for the basement remodeling project. This resulted in new and additional home improvement costs. Moving forward the work required a near and complete demolition of all non permitted existing work. The new bathroom (non permitted) plumbing had to be redone. All tile, framing and paint work needed to be redone. The removal and replacement of all basement remodeling work added up to an excess of $50,000.00 dollars. With $50,000.00 added to the full retail price of the home, this new home purchase had a disastrous financial and emotional result. Had the homeowner or the real estate agent checked for building permit updates and status, this situation could have been avoided.