In Wisconsin...finished lower levels are HUGE...it is what we do....it is what buyers want...man caves, workshops, play rooms. If you have an exposed lower level...it is a whole extra level of living...with those people who count "square feet" ...able to include bedrooms, baths, kitchens, rec rooms, theatre rooms, as additional living space...egress windows and patio doors to the outside make so "un-basement' and so "lower level."
Homeowners get creative with this level...relocating buyers especially from areas that do not have basements are thrilled with all the extra living area finished lower levels provide. One of the things that we are extremely particular
about is permits.David and our home inspector have eagle eyes when it comes to spotting clues for work that may be hiding behind the drywall....the plumbing, electrical...that may have done without a permit...and by someone "handy" and not licensed in any particular trade of aware of the code compliance that the area requires.
Having finished a home inspection...the signs were everywhere...wiring not being properly secured....hot and cold water reversed in the wet bar....the water heater controls inaccessible because they faced the wall....and so the amendment began to address these things...if permits were not pulled and these things corrected....the Buyers were out of the transaction.
"Overreaction of the Year !" cried the listing agent..."Lots of Wisconsin basements are finished without permits !" (I could hear my Father saying..."If everyone else jumps in the Lake are you going to jump too ?") Because it's "common practice" doesn't make it right.
Having seen what lies behind the drywall...plumbing tied with twine...wiring that resembled a creative puzzle of some sort....we are very careful when it comes to permit. If there is a fire....a leak...is the insurance company going to cover these incidents when the construction was not done properly ? Hmmmm...
There are remedies for everything...overlooking and ignoring them in our practice is not one of them.
If you or anyone you know, is looking to Sell or Buy a home in southeastern Wisconsin...permit Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates at Keller Williams to interview for the position of listing or buying agent...you will be glad you did.