Ask for Proof of Permits!

Rehabbed and renovated houses often times look very neat and clean.  Updated bathrooms and kitchens, upgraded flooring, and new windows and siding can do a lot to improve the appearance of a house.  The major mechanical systems in the house such as roof, structural foundations, HVAC, plumbing, and electric are sometimes also upgraded.  And while these are the types of things we inspect during the course of home inspections, one thing we cannot inspect or determine is whether or not permits were obtained by the sellers for the renovations.  A house that had work don without permits can have hidden defects opr improper installations that cannot be revealed or seen during the course of a standard home inspection.  When buying any house where significant renovations or rehabbing has taken place, be sure to ask the sellers for proof that the work was done with permits.  Many local townships retain these records and may be able to tell you if permits were obtained.