I'm currently working on buying a house out in rural eastern North Carolina, USA. The house has a finished attic, which apparently was never permitted or inspected. Because of this, my appraisal has come in way below the agreed upon price (since about 25% of the square footage of the house can't be counted since it wasn't permitted), and the bank won't approve the loan.
The buyer is refusing to reduce the price of the house, but claims they'll get the space permitted after-the-fact in the next 2 days. That sounds ridiculous to me, because my experience is usually that such things take quite a long time, and also that a permitted project requires a rough-in inspection to verify plumbing and electrical and whatnot before the drywall goes up. I've heard of inspectors requiring people to open up drywall so they can verify electrical was done properly during an after-the-fact permitting process.
But it gets worse - the ceiling in the attic bathroom is 6.6ft, according to the appraisal. The ceiling in the rest of the attic is 6.9 feet. Based on my understanding of NC building codes, the minimum ceiling height is 7ft. So I'm not even sure this can be permitted.
My questions for somebody more experienced are these:
- Does it actually seem reasonable that this attic is going to get permitted properly and above-board in the next few days? My instinct is that there's no way it's going to happen, or if it does, that something improper will have happened or corners will have been cut.
- If you're aware of NC building codes, am I understanding the ceiling issue correctly? Can this even be permitted with less than 7 foot ceilings?