Very true, I always look at permits it helps give a preview of what to expect… Having said that, always expect the unexpected. :wink:

Why would a pissed off seller concern you? How is whatever bullshi t the current owner has done your concern when looking out for you clients. I told a guy today about substandard s h i t I observed today on a wind mit because he is my client. Possible leaking roof substandard loose pigtailed and tape electrical connections in the attic etc… I told him free because he is my client and I saw it. The person selling it is not my concern and even if they were I would NOT help them hide crap. Not at all saying you would. I am just wondering why you said what you did about a seller?

Funny this is when talking to client that only paid $70 for a bare bones wind mit he seemed so appreciative to the info I gave him and said he wish he met me before the guy he had do the home inspection I asked him what he paid and he said $250 It was a 3 or 4 bedroom with office likely 1 mill and I told him well I would not have touched it for less than $700 for a written report and he said rightfully so I got what I paid for. He is real interested in my walk and talks for his future investments :slight_smile: He felt the info I gave him free with his $70 mit was worth more than all the info the guy who gave him a pretty but useless written report provided him.

Mike , there’s a big difference from what I stated and “helping an owner hide something” as you mention. I never said that’s what I do. What I don’t do is worry if there was or wasn’t a permit pulled for an addition, closed in garage, or any other work requiring permits. Why should I?

Observing shoddy workmanship as you’ve mentioned is obviously something that needs to be of concern to me. What purpose is served “digging” for an enclosed garage permit by you or me? I don’t perform code enforcement inspections. Do you? I observe what’s infront of me and report on that. I believe that’s what you do as well.

If I suspect (and I say suspect because no one knows for certain) that something such as a garage was enclosed without permits, Some of those were granfathered in many moons ago. know what I tell my client? “Perform your due diligence” and either have your Title Company properly do their job and check or call the City, County, Township yourself and ask for a permit search on what you suspect is a illegal structure. Why, because it’s none of my business. I’m there to inspect the property before me. Not there to search for proper permitting. Unless of course it’s a wind mit or 4 point or roof cert. Because those are asked of me on the form I need to fill out.

It matters not to me what if a homeowner is attempting to hide the fact a garage was enclosed without permits or a walkway or patio out back was poured without permits or a fence was erected without permits. Why should I care? Is the fence showing signs of neglect, needing repairs, falling apart? Then I report on that period. At that point what difference does it make to me or my client whether it was permitted? It needs repair or replace. And if my client wants to know if any of the systems I am not directly reporting on such as in a wind mit or 4 point, were permitted or not, then he or she can pick up the phone and call. Besides the fact that I am there to perform an inspection and report on the condition of the property, anything else whether it’s haunted, someone was shot or mutilated or “the garage was enclosed without a permit” is simply none of my concern.


I guess that is how we are different. Not saying one is bad or one is good just we are different. I treat my clients as if I would treat family or a friend except I charge them for whatever I can. If I see something I think would benefit them and I like them I tell them as if they were family or friend. Those who are not my clients feelings are none of my concern. I try to help my clients as best as i can when I can if I think they are straight shooters or basically not jerks.

I also feel the freebies I have thrown them although not my intention at the time has strengthened my relationship and trust with MY clients and sometimes leads to future good paying jobs.

Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

Basically I do the same Mike. Say I’m searching “online” for a roof permit for a wind mitigation report I’m working on, and I come across work that was done and does not appear to be finalized or has an open permit, I let my client know. What I don’t do is go out of my way to place a call to the building department and inquire about such and such a permit. The only exception again is roof, electric, plumbing, shutters because those directly impact my work on their wind mit or 4 point. But anything else is basically irrelevant to me as I am not the municipal inspector and am not paid to ensure proper permits were pulled for this and that. That’s where their closing agent or title company or Realtor needs to to step in.


Sounds good enough to me :slight_smile: I do not do any of their research for them without charging them additionally. I just VERIFY what they provide on wind mits and 4 points. If they want me to do their research for them I charge extra. the platinum wind mit service coming soon :slight_smile: all inclusive :slight_smile:

That sounds like a star studded red carpet wind mitigation service Mike…lol
Good for you!


If you do not have a website to find the permit information you need, make friends at city hall. The girls got tired of me calling, so now I just send an email and usually get a reply by the time the inspection is done. Any inspector not trying to obtain permit history is not doing their due diligence as others have stated.

I even made a form that I can email them. Davie and Coral Springs, coral springs has a form on their website, require it.

If I see an addition and already know that it isn’t permitted, I make sure my client gets it addressed.
Way back when, I did an inspection for a friend of Jackie Johnson, the weather girl for our local tv station.
There was a 20 x 50 addition at the rear of the property that wasn’t permitted. Put it in the report and told them what might happen.

What did happen was they had a house-warming party and parked on the neighbors lawn. Apparently, it must of upset him.The next day, a code enforcement official showed up questioning my client about the addition. They ended up tearing it down…

Whenever a Realtor starts in with the permits don’t matter spiel, I tell that story. At the end, I tell my clients I don’t want that to happen to you.

Yes I do the same Eric. What I don’t do is go digging for them. My “due diligence” is to report on the condition of the home I’m inspecting. Not, worrying about whether the back porch was permitted. That’s what they pay code enforcement to do not me.

But yes, if I suspect something is wrong, or simply see an enclosed or added area, I always advise my client to perform “their due diligence” and contact the City or County building department for information on permitting.


I will check permits for roof application date for a wind mitigation. I also check on a 4-Point for electrical, plumbing and HVAC updates. As far as enclose porches and other stuff outside my area I let the title company and homeowner figure that one out. But I can see some peoples point. Its all about CYA now.:smiley:

CHARGE THEM when you do their research FOR THEM. So many out there are leaving so much on the table :frowning:

Tell them they can provide it to save money or you will do it for a fee.

It works for me.

I really wonder why I bother trying to tell everyone this stuff as it sure does not help me and I get no credit for helping others but hey I guess it is just in my nature.