Renovating, remodeling or adding on to your home creates features you and your family can enjoy, and invariably adds value to your property. Everyone can appreciate a chef’s kitchen or a sunroom, and when the time comes to sell, buyers will too. If you’re planning to take on a major home project, it’s important to make sure appropriate permits are drawn, to avoid problems down the line.
According to a recent Asheville Citizen Times article, Buncombe County may have missed out on about $450,000 in tax revenue because of an estimated $96 million in unreported home improvements in 2021. As a result, the county has started taking a closer look at the issue. For example, officials are examining Multiple Listing Services sales data to see if they match what’s on property tax cards, and if they discover huge discrepancies that might point to value-adding, unpermitted work, they will reassess and possibly raise property taxes, or apply back taxes. In fact, according to the Citizen Times article, Buncombe County’s tax assessor says those who don’t take out necessary permits for renovations could be “liable for up to six years of back taxes.”
A disincentive to buyers
In addition to tax compliance, another reason to be vigilant about permitting work done to your home is that when you go to list your home, unpermitted work can detract from the sale price. Buyers will want renovations and remodeling work to be permitted; otherwise, it may fall on them to bring the work up to compliance.
Since there are no federal or state standards, local municipalities issue permits based on city ordinances. For instance, Asheville City doesn’t require residential permits for construction, alterations, repairs or replacements that will cost $15,000 or less in any single-family residence, unless the work involves:
- the addition, repair or replacement of load-bearing structures
- the addition (excluding same size and capacity) or change in the design of plumbing
- the addition, replacement or change in the design of heating, air conditioning, or electrical wiring, devices, appliances or equipment
- the addition (excluding replacement of like grade of fire resistance) of roofing
Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a contractor and subcontractors, each trade is required to be permitted. The best way to learn which residential property work your city or county requires to be permitted is to contact the permitting division or visit them online.
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