Here's What Buyers Need to Know About Building Permits

As a home buyer, one of the most frustrating things that can happen during your search is discovering that an otherwise perfect property contains unpermitted work. You might be tempted to simply ignore this issue, but doing so could set you up for even more problems down the road. Without the proper building permits, your local government can impose fines, prevent you from selling the home in the future, and even force you to tear down the unpermitted structures. Luckily, you can avoid these issues entirely by performing your due diligence on any home before signing the purchase agreement. Keep reading to learn what buyers need to know about building permits.

Some of you might be wondering, "what exactly IS a building permit?" Essentially, a building permit represents official authorization from the local government for a home owner to perform major remodeling or construction on their property. These permits are mandatory, as they allow the government to ensure that all new structures are built according to the proper safety and zoning standards for that area. Unfortunately, home owners will often perform work without first receiving a permit, as the permitting process can be expensive and inconvenient.

So, how can you protect yourself from buying a home with unpermitted work? First of all, sellers are supposed to list any unpermitted work as part of the property disclosure, but this isn't always the case in real life. Additionally, the appraiser and/or home inspector will sometimes be able to identify structures that aren't permitted or up to code during their walk-throughs of the home. If you want to be extra careful, you can check with your local government before purchasing the home to make sure that any additions were done with the proper permits.

If you are a home owner in Mahoning County who wants to learn more about obtaining the proper permits for your improvement projects, then head over to and click on the appropriate links. The cost of a permit depends on the type of structure being worked on (patio, deck, basement, etc.) and the square footage affected.

Buyers can read more about protecting themselves from buying a home with unpermitted work by clicking here.