Jump to content

Unpermitted remodel bumping our hcad value

Recommended Posts

We bought our first home last year, and approximately 3 months later found out all of the remodel work was un-permitted and mostly completed by the previous owner's husband.  (Using youtube as a guide, she told me.)  Our issue is that HCAD is valuing our home approximately 1/8 more than what we paid.  From what I understand of real estate laws, we must either redo the renovations to code with permits or disclose the un-permitted work to any future buyers.  How can I fight the HCAD appraisal?  Also is the previous owner/ real estate agent liable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The previous owner won't be liable for the increase in HCAD value. Failing to disclose unpermitted work might create liability under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and seems to violate the disclosure provisions of section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code, I am not a lawyer, so that's just my opinion. Talk to an attorney, since TDTPA suits carry triple damages and attorney fees if you win.


You can try showing HCAD your closing statment to get teh value changed to what you paid. That's worked for me a couple of times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unpermitted interior work happens all the time.

The fact that it's unpermitted has zero bearing on your HCAD value.


I'm in the same boat. Home purchased last fall. Had minor cosmetic renovations. HCAD value went up.


Yours went up because as a new owner, you don't instantly have the homestead exemption and therefore arent protected by the 10% cap.

This is how HCAD course corrects.  The cap artificially keeps values down, and when a home changes hands, that's the only time HCAD can bump it to where they should be.


If it had been permitted.. then HCAD would have an even stronger case for bumping your value up since you will have handed them on paper what that value change is.  Least with unpermitted changes, you can attempt to appeal.


EDIT: I assumed this was interior work.. and therefore mostly finish-related..  then re-read your opening post and see that I may be wrong.      Was this all interior or did they add on a wing or something

Edited by Highway6
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you buy a house in Texas you're buying it as is, no matter what the listing says. Every house in this city has had work done that wasn't permitted. For example, buy a new light switch at Home Depot? Technically you're supposed to hire an electrician to install it and have them file a permit with the city.

Edited by brian0123
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any renovations would make a house go up in value, but HCAD covers Harris County, not just Houston, so that includes houses in unincorporated areas.


The real question is if it's sound or not, as there's all sorts of questionable remodels/expansions.


One of the stories I remember reading about locally was a house that had an extra bedroom attached to it. Unfortunately, the house bordered a creek, and guess what got consistently flooded every time? Eventually, one of the later owners had enough of it and replaced it with a covered porch.


My brother lived in an apartment in Tennessee where the basement of a house had been converted to apartments (the work had been done by one person, his widow still lived in the floor above). The apartment had a kitchenette but the wiring was kind of iffy.


I lived in a rental house for a while, but the house had an extra room built onto it at some point in the past (aerial photographs showed that it was there since at least the late 1970s, if I recall correctly), and it had practically no insulation (even after improvements, it still sucked), so it was sweltering hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter (the rest of the house wasn't all that much better).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...