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How Do Appraisers Handle Additions With No Permits?


Non-permitted additions or additions added to a home without proper permits can become a headache for the buyer as well austin home appraisers.  Will lenders turn it down because there are different factors that make it difficult?  There are non-permitted additions that do receive financing but only if the appraiser is highly qualified and is able to write a positive report as to why.

What Are Non-Permitted Additions?

In most cases, building permits are required, for almost all construction or remodeling projects, to ensure the structure is safe.  Therefore, non-permitted additions are those made to a home without the required permits for the projects.

There are some common exceptions to this requirement including driveways, window replacements, floor coverings, certain roof repairs and replacements or a detached storage shed.  If you are planning to have construction performed on your home, consult with your city building office, review the building codes and determine if a permit is required.

The Quality of the Work Done:

The quality can play a huge role in whether buyers will pay more or less for additions that were performed without a permit.  Does the particular construction have a substantial benefits?  Does it add or detract from the overall atmosphere of the house?  Is it a welcomed addition around the neighborhood or not?  How would they rate the workmanship that has been performed, is it worth a higher value? Buyers might even be interested in what it would cost to get that area permitted.

Where The Appraiser Stands:

A lot depends on the actual addition.  If it’s something pretty minor that was added without a permit, it probably will not have the appraiser jumping up and down and waving flags.  Something pretty minor could be something like a covered patio.

On the other hand, if it’s a significant change in the property, it could deter buyers. If the addition has added a significant change in the size of the home, or too much of a change, this could become a large marketability issue for the next buyer getting a loan for the house.

Getting A Loan Can Be Tough:

There are lenders who will not loan on non-permitted revamps – period!  Appraiser should avoid and not include this area within the square footage of the home.  Some lenders will loan on a non-permitted addition but ask the appraiser to determine the impact value due to the lack of permits. Actually what the lender is looking for is an appraiser to make positive comments regarding the additional upgrade.  An appraiser is not licensed to make statements to that effect, but the lender will still try to get some sort of statement anyway.

Upgraders Beware:

If you are considering doing work on your home without researching and getting the proper permits, you could end up with a loan and appraisal headache. Not having proper permits is a really quick way to kill any future selling deals or create a marketability nightmare for your property.

Keep in mind, if you do work on your home without permits or you know a previous owner did, you must (by law) divulge this information to potential buyers.  This is done on a State Specific Disclosure Statement which asks the seller to report any known legal issues or non-permitted construction done on the property.

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Austin neighborhoods we appraise

We provide real estate appraisals and related services to the following cities, towns and communities across the Austin metro area. We cover a large portion of Central Texas - if you don't see your area below, please call to confirm with one of our friendly staff.


Anderson Mill | Bee Cave | Briafclif | Brushy Creek | Buda | Cedar Park | Creedmoor | Del Valle | Elgin | Georgetown | Hays | Hutto | Jollyville |
Jonestown | Kyle | Lago Vista | Lakeway | Leander | Manor | Mustang Ridge | Pflugerville | Point Venture | Rollingwood | Round Rock |
San Leanna | Shady Hollow | Sunset Valley | Webberville | Wells Branch | West Lake Hills

what customers like you say about our
Austin Property appraisal services

We stand behind our work and our customers have nothing but great things to say. Here are a few examples:

Real Estate Appraisals Austin
Based on 45 reviews
Ed came out on short notice to measure a new home I was in the process of purchasing. He was professional and honest in his work. I found him online and it was not through my lender. I wanted an independent appraiser since the lender was connected to my builder. Definitely will use him again if I ever needed to. I was a first time home buyer and he was fair to me and helpful. Thank Ed!
Jennifer Nguyen
Jennifer Nguyen
The realtor that came out was very professional and thorough. I would recommend this service.
Nancy Crow
Nancy Crow
This company is contracted to my mortgage company for market appraisals to remove PMI. They contacted me right away and had the whole thing turned around in less than a week. Appreciate the speed and the quality of the service and would definitely recommend.
Jeanna Kozak
Jeanna Kozak
I was able to schedule an appraisal just two days after contacting the company. Likely this was a fluke, but it worked well for me! Our appraiser was a bit late, but that was the fault of the previous appointment. Once he arrived, he listened to everything we pointed out. Our appraisal was fair for our neighborhood we thought and the report arrived about 8 days after the appointment. We are happy and will recommend Real Estate Appraisals Austin to any others we know.
Leah L
Leah L
We used Real Estate Appraisals Austin and found them to be very professional, accommodating and efficient. Their work product was thorough and very well presented. We would definitely recommend them and would use them again.
Calvin Porter
Calvin Porter
I recently had a rental appraisal of my property. The appraiser showed up on time and did a thorough analysis. The report took a week, but it was very thorough. I am very happy with the appraiser and the report.
Karthik Manamcheri
Karthik Manamcheri
We recently used Real Estate Appraisals Austin to appraise a property we have owned over 15 years and have had multiple offers to sell. Michelle was very helpful and professional in coordinating with our property manager. She responds very quickly to calls or emails. Edward did a thorough appraisal and took the time to call and discuss details. I definitely would recommend this company to anyone considering an appraisal in Austin. The price was very reasonable, I felt, for the value we received.
Lorrie Coles
Lorrie Coles