Buying a newly renovated house

I am putting in an offer on a recently renovated house and I am not sure the sellers got permits. Is there a way to protect myself in the contract?

Buying a newly renovated house is always an adventure. What do you ask for and what don’t you ask for in a seller’s market with very little inventory? Well, I asked around to a couple of attorneys that specifically handle construction cases and the following language is what they suggested to add into the offer:

“Notwithstanding anything in this agreement to the contrary, this agreement is contingent upon the Seller’s providing evidence that all construction, rehabilitation or renovation work done by Seller (whether themselves, or through any one or more contractors or subcontractors) complies with all applicable local law including (without limitation) any permitting or inspection requirement under the applicable building code. If sufficient evidence is not received by ____, then Buyer (in its sole and absolute discretion) can declare this agreement null and void.”

Of course, there are ways to check for permits, but this language helps to put the onus on the seller. 

Other considerations you may want to check into with your seller is what work is covered under warranty and make sure you get a written warranty from the seller; as well as a list of subcontractors that worked on the house and any warranties they offer for their work.  

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