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Local Articles in Harrisburg

Hoping remodels boost resale value? Do this, not that

The type of home renovation you do can affect how much you get back in added resale value. Here are some of the best and worst returns on your investment.

couple stares out apartment window at street
Real Estate Agents, Appraisals - Real Estate, Mortgage Companies, Apartments, Home Inspection, Moving

Is home ownership still the ultimate American dream?

Brick exterior.
Real Estate Agents, Appraisals - Real Estate, Home Inspection

You’re ready to put your house on the market, and you’ve decided to go it alone.

house with large driveway
Real Estate Agents, Appraisals - Real Estate, Mortgage Companies

As prime real estate season approaches, and you ready your house for the market, you might be tempted to forgo hiring a Realtor and represent the listing yourself. After all, how hard can it be to sell your own home?

Angie's List
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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Angie's Answers

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Yes, but you won't like what will probably happen (this is a worst case scenario, hopefully you will avoid most):

The purpose for a building permit is to ensure meeting the minimum standards for construction practices and minimum safety standards.  A contractor who works without a permit, does so because they know they are not in compliance (and to save money at your expense).  They knew they should have had inspections and permits for their work.  Who ever built the addition should be reported to both the building official as well as the Better Business Bureau.  It is ultimately the homeowner who is responsible for ensuring the proper permits have been applied for, though.

So when you apply for your permit, you will be pretending as if the work is not completed (you do not hide this fact, you just have to follow the correct process as if it hadn't been built).  Your first stop will be with zoning; can you even add an addition, do you have the proper clearances from the side, front and rear property lines.  If it is a bedroom, does the septic system (perk test) support an additional bedroom.  If your building already meets or exceeds the amount of building allowed on the site or if you do not have the clearances required from the property line, your addition may be required to be removed.  There are appeal processes and variance requests you can try before tearing down the addition (Get an architect).

If your zoning review is fine, next you go to permitting.  Here you will submit plans (drawings) of what was built.  If you do not have these plans, consider hiring an Architect to generate As-Built drawings for this use.  Hopefully the plan review comes back with no changes, or you will alread know your addition is not in compliance and may face rebuilding.  Depending on the type of construction, your zoning and your local building requirements, you will be required to have inspections of your foundation / footings, the framing, the electrical, mechancial and HVAC systems, etc. affected by the work. 

This may require digging the ground back up so the inspector can confirm foundation depth, size and draingage requirements.  The interior wall finishes (gypsum board, panelling, etc) may have to be removed in some or all areas so the framing and electrical can be inspected (If one area fails, be prepared to pull all areas down).  At each inspection, if the work is found to be lacking, then you will have to correct the work before getting permission to use the room.  If there is an electrical or safety violation found, it is possible the Building Official could declare the entire property inhabitable until the offenses are corrected (IE you are homeless until it is fixed).

As you can see, you have to hope beyond belief that the builder constructed everything correctly and that the building officials will work with you to minimize the amount of deconstruction necessary to inspect the work.

Also, you will be charged all the fees associated with plan review and permitting, and you will be charged for each inspection visit (as your builder would have been charged initially had they followed the law).

As for value, here is the real concern:  If your home burns down or faces some similar disaster, your home owners insurance will balk at paying; they will blame the illegal construction as the cause.  As for the value of your building, not having a permit will make any buyer have a difficult time getting their own insurance, thus harder to sell.  The room itself will add value to your property, if it isn't a hazard (IE permitted). 

Also, taxes are based upon assessments, which use the land records.  Building without a permit, can be seen by local officials as an attempt to avoid paying property taxes, since the land records do not show the addition.  Until the official tax records reflect an accurate statement of your building, you may face fines, tax fees and other costs associated with the improvement depending upon how long it has been there unreported.

You may wish to contact a local, licensed Architect who works with the local building department.  They will know the personel, know which forms you need to fill out first and how to protect you from an overzealous Building Official (there are exceptions and options within the Code that the Building Official may forget or ignore that an Architect can request be used to prevent tear down or damage).  Next time you go to build get the Architect first to protect yourself from what this construction firm did to you.

Good luck!
?

     If you are having a friendly divorce you might want to know what doing the repairs would add to the sale price. I think your best bet would actually be to talk to a realtor as to what they think the difference would be. Then get a couple of estimates from a local contractor or contractors.

     Being in a divorce situation I would think sell as is and move on as quickly as you can. Renovation of a home can be a stress on a good marraige and it would probably be worse if in divorce proceedings.

 

Good luck Don

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Hi,

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Property Appraisers in Harrisburg

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

ABSOLUTE REAL ESTATE

307 LEADERS HEIGHTS RD
York

ACCESS REALTY SVC

381 CROOKED HILL RD
Hummelstown

AGRARIAN ASSOCIATES

327 Cumberland St
Lebanon

APEX APPRAISALS

200 W 1ST ST
Boiling Springs

APEX VALUATION SVC

6340 DERRY ST
Harrisburg

APPRAISAL SERVICES LLC

222 LAMPETER RD
Lancaster

APPRAISAL SERVICES OF YORK

955 KENDALE RD
Red Lion

APPRAISAL SOLUTIONS

16 SAN JUAN DR
Mechanicsburg

APPRAISALS LTD

156 Fountain Dr
York

Asper Insurance Agency,LLC

526 Greenbriar Road
York

ASSOCIATED APPRAISERS

2591 LIST RD
Red Lion

Atlantic Appraisal Services

PO Box 328
New Cumberland

AYTAN DOVE CO

206 GROSS AVE
Dover

BEST APPRAISAL GROUP

40 W HANOVER ST
Spring Grove

BROWN APPRAISERS-REALTORS

2211 E MARKET ST
York

BRYANT L AGNEW

2024 Oreville Rd
Lancaster

CAMPISI APPRAISAL SVC

2592 BROOKMAR DR
York

CAPITAL REGION APPRAISAL

3604 BONNYBROOK RD
Harrisburg

CAUCHON APPRAISALS INC

257 W Market St # 1
York

CHESTNUT APPRAISAL & REAL EST

582 S KRALLTOWN RD
Wellsville

CLAY REALTY GROUP INC

203 WALNUT ST
Lebanon

CONNOR GROUP APPRAISERS

3330 DERRY ST
Harrisburg

D & K Appraisals LLC

New Cumberland

D'AMORE APPRAISALS

3 CLEARVIEW RD
Dillsburg

DAYLOR GROUP INC

119 ASTER DR
Harrisburg

DIVERSIFIED APPRAISAL SVC

35 E HIGH ST
Carlisle

DON PAUL SHEARER INC

416 N FRONT ST
Lemoyne

DUGAN APPRAISAL SVC

22 S MARKET ST
Mechanicsburg

DYNAMIC APPRAISALS LANCASTER

1860 CHARTER LN
Lancaster

eFuneral

5000 Euclid Ave Ste 310

ENSMINGER AUCTIONEERS

3557 ELMERTON AVE
Harrisburg

ERIC N TRENT APPRAISAL SVC

2755 IRONSTONE HILL RD
York

Exit Realty Capital Area

500 N Progress Ave
Harrisburg

F N SHAFFER & CO

43 S MAIN ST
Red Lion

FARMER APPRAISALS

142 AMSTERDAM RD
Lancaster

FORRESTER & CO REAL ESTATE

359 E MARKET ST
York

FREEMAN REAL ESTATE

4076 MARKET ST
Camp Hill

General Contractors

3485 N. 3rd St.
Harrisburg

GEORGE C CLAUSER REAL ESTATE

718 N FRONT ST
Lemoyne

GOOD'S APPRAISAL SVC

1172 CIRCLE VIEW DR
New Holland

HORNING APPRAISAL SVC

4788 TWIN VALLEY RD
Morgantown

INDEPENDENT APPRAISAL SVC

1689 CROWN AVE
Lancaster

INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL CO

202 NORTH ST
Harrisburg

J A URBAN APPRAISALS

PO BOX 1360
Lebanon

J D MATHEWS REAL ESTATE APPRS

2211 E MARKET ST
York

JACK D TAYLOR APPRAISALS

191 CACTUS HILL RD
Carlisle

JACK GAUGHEN REALTOR

5050 LINGLETOWN RD
Mechanicsburg

JACK GAUGHEN REALTOR ERA

19 N BALTIMORE ST
Camp Hill

JANKOWSKI APPRAISAL SVC

1525 OREGON PIKE
Lancaster

JOSEPH MC GRAW INC

1800 CORTLAND RD
Harrisburg

LANGENDIJK APPRAISALS

34 RIVERVIEW DR
Enola

M J MC CLEARY

2591 LIST RD
Red Lion

MARK HECKMAN REAL ESTATE

1309 BRIDGE ST
New Cumberland

MASTER APPRAISERS

1735 N GEORGE ST
York

MICHAEL J SHEAFFER APPRAISAL

245 BALTIMORE ST
Hanover

MID-ATLANTIC APPRAISALS

30 S QUEEN ST
York

NESS ASSOC

889 WILLOW RIDGE DR
York

NOONE & ASSOC

57 E MARKET ST
York

NOONE & ASSOC INC

3 CROSSGATE DR
Mechanicsburg

One Call Does It All

2625 N 6th St
Harrisburg

P SCOTT ARCHIBALD

5955 LINGLESTOWN RD
Harrisburg

PARKE ASSOCIATES INC

2 Woods Dr
New Providence

PENN REALTY INC

ROUTE 117 & PINCH RD
Mount Gretna

PERFORMANCE PLUS APPRAISAL GRP

18 URBAN DR
Lancaster

PICKELL ELWOOD REALTY

105 Fawn Hl
Millersville

RAUCH APPRAISALS

1055 Alden Way
Lebanon

RISSER APPRAISALS LTD

12 S BROAD ST
Lititz

ROBERT E WALSH REAL ESTATE

1899 LITITZ PIKE
Lancaster

ROBERT R JONES & ASSOC

7800 ALLENTOWN BLVD
Harrisburg

ROGER L BARTELS RLTR-APPRAISAL

257 E MARKET ST
York

ROLAND JOHNSON APPRAISAL SVC

6620 SOMERSET ST
Harrisburg

S L KING APPRAISALS

950 Pine Grove Rd
Hanover

S R SNEERINGER APPRAISAL SVC

243 DILLER RD
Hanover

SERVICE FIRST REALTY INC GMAC

51 W MIDDLE ST
Gettysburg

SFL Valuation Services, Inc.

3330 Fairchild Gardens Dr., #33621

SHULL APPRAISALS INC

10 River Road
Duncannon

SMART APPRAISAL SERVICES

115 N FRANKLIN ST
Lancaster

SNYDER APPRAISAL ASSOC LLC

313 PRIMROSE LN
Mountville

T S WEAVER REAL ESTATE

43 PARMER DR
Halifax

THOMAS F ROYER APPRAISAL SVC

206 CRESCENT AVE
Ephrata

TY C EBY REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL

104 CEDAR AVE
Hershey

ULRICH APPRAISAL LLC

2938 COLUMBIA AVE
Lancaster

Vital Abstract LLC

2088 US Hwy 130 North

WALTERS APPRAISAL SVC

601 N FRONT ST
Harrisburg

WEINSTEIN REALTY ADVISORS

15 N CHERRY LN
York

WILLIAM A BIGHAM INC APPRAISAL

121 BUFORD AVE
Gettysburg

WOLFE & WALL APPRAISAL

450 MURRY HILL DR
Lancaster

York County Mobile Homes Inc.

2777 Myers rd.
Spring Grove

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