“I was looking at a home that had one of those California Rooms built without a permit. Is there a downside to buying a home with an unpermitted addition?”
(A California room is typically a patio style room with many windows. FYI, in Florida they call these Florida Rooms!)
Three possible issues come to mind:
- Have your home inspector look at it closely to determine if it was built correctly and is safe.
- Check with your insurance agent to be sure it’s covered.
- The city can make you tear it off entirely if you don’t bring it to code and get a permit. The city generally only finds out if your neighbor reports you or you do other work requiring a permit and the inspector sees it.
That being said, if it’s a patio cover or room or something simple that doesn’t impact the home’s value much, I wouldn’t worry… provided your home inspector says it’s safely and solidly constructed.