Recently, Founder and President Benjamin Sens gave a presentation at the 136th Street property in South West Miami.
My name is Ben from boss construction group, I handle open permits and code violations. So what does that mean for agents? usually open. I mean, this house it was beautiful co two years ago, we spoke to the owner. What does this mean for agents, I don’t want things to get in the way of. I don’t want to open permits, code violations, liens, anything getting in the way of your closing, or your sellers or getting your deal done. So I used to be a city inspector and code officer. And I’m here to provide you guys with with a resource. And I’m, I’m here to provide you guys and Carlos is here with Atlantic building inspections. He’s also here to provide you with a solution with a solution. So we’ll talk about the solution after I present and will roughly go about 25 minutes, is that okay? So a long time ago, when I started out in City Inspector, I saw a lot of agents in the building department agents trying to handle open permits, code violations expired permits, whatever you want to call it. With the county with the city, the process is the same. It’s very time consuming. And when you invite the city on the property, sometimes they find more issues. So a lot of times I found agents trying to facilitate these things themselves. I got my general contractor license after being a city inspector and knowing the process. And a lot of times what I do is I you know, I make recommendations for agents or people selling their property. For example, we have a lot of things called non conforming uses, especially an older housing stock. what that might mean is a garage that you cannot convert or cannot legalize, someone built a bedroom in there. It might mean like I was in Broward and Southwestern inches that you have someone built an unpermitted structure on a three acre property. It didn’t meet finished floor elevation It didn’t meet the zoning requirements and setback for the town. So these, there’s some things we can’t permit. And I want to tell you that right away, and I want to tell you that before you go under contract, or before a buyer’s agent goes to the city and ask them, Hey, is this permitted use or Is this okay? every property probably, except for about this one has skeletons in their closet. So what I mean by that is there’s some things that haven’t been permitted unless it’s a new construction from the ground up. So an existing land use condition and existing zoning matter, something. So what I’m here to do is be a resource for the agents and help resolve those issues. I work mostly with sellers, agents and title companies usually bring me to the property owners, whether it’s residential, commercial, I’ve done industrial deals, commercial realtors, which we were talking about that they’ve done. A lot of what I’ve done several times over and 10 times over, a lot of times residential property owners, they’re caught off guard. Why are they caught off guard because service America did a water heater in the house, or when they’re out of business right now. They can’t they need to renew the permit. They can find them. Even if the contractor is still in business. Good luck getting them out. So a lot of times we have 1015 days before closing. If the agents not proactive, that’s when they usually get the lien search the title company. I want agents to pull lean searches or use the solution that Carlos is going to bring to you later in the presentation. proactively, which we can find out about open expired permits, code violations, liens, prior to the lien search, and we’re here to offer that resource to you as the agents as well. So there’s open permits, there’s expired
permits a lot of residential agents and Residential Property owners don’t know until they get that lien search. You could have them fill out a seller’s disclosure. A lot of times they don’t know. They don’t know if the roofer called the final. They don’t know if the roofer called any inspections. All they know is that they paid the roofer. So every solution is different. So when agents call me they’ll say hey, Ben, you know, I have an open roofing permit. And we’re and then I say that and then I first thing I do is I have the records. I go to the city, I see what inspections were missed, what the deficiencies are in the property. Also, if there are any deficiencies on the property, for example, any unpermitted work, because we can close properties with open and expired permits. I do it all the time. I tell agents Look, I was in sunny isles the other day for an open flooring permit. I don’t know if there was soundproofing. They didn’t have any inspections guided $30,000 in renovations of the unit without permits. So obviously I can’t call the city to close out the flooring permit. My recommendation to the agent was I said, Hey, call it a 7500 or $10,000 credit to the buyer, explain them the situation and explain to them why we can’t close the flooring permit in single, so I’m here to give you the best advice I’m not looking to. I’m not your general contractor who’s looking to perform work. It’s always a hardship situation for the seller. So that’s what I’m here to provide two agents. The first first time seller doesn’t know what to do with it or property owner it becomes a hardship situation. They asked the agent to get involved. Or they say hey, you know they go after an agent’s commission. That’s not right. My whole family’s agents, you guys don’t belong, getting your commission reduced, causing exposure and liability to the cellar by facilitating this process. So I understood why agents were always doing that. Why agents were in the city and the building department. I spoke to a couple brokers about it and it’s a liability to the brokerage. I mean, you guys trying to close open permits and code violations. One thing leads to another. Similar to when you open a real estate office and you do remodeling the city wants a business tax receipt. So always remember what the city and the county and the municipality, it’s very time consuming. And one thing always triggers another. Some just through my experience, I am able to tell the seller, every single deficiency that will come up during the inspection when we try and close it out. I don’t want surprises and I don’t want to be strung along. There are other permit processing company. I spoke with a guy Gary bismack over North Miami. Gary tells me three years ago that they were looking for duplexes that were three plexes or four plexes so they were looking for units that weren’t supposed to be there and multifamily or they were looking for Huge renovations done without permits. Now they’re looking for hot water heaters. Now they’re looking for air conditioners. So, again, this came into play around 2009 eight or nine when I was working in Miami Gardens when investors were coming in flipping homes and the residents and the business owners were getting pissed off. They were buying homes with severe problems. It’s very important before the re occupancy inspection that you know we take a look at the property before we invite the city on the property.
Very simple things I could get things permitted. I had an agent who was trying to get a third or fourth bedroom permitted in a bathroom where I know the lady at the property appraiser’s office for Miami Dade. While she’s there she lets me use the appraisal to change the bed and bath count. What would you rather that or the city or the county Come on the property. So that was with a single family with a condo they are a townhome and Attach structure they have to come out to the property. So every single solution is different. Meaning that you call me with the lien search, you call me with the property address. And I’m able I’m able to help you or guide you with the right advice. So you can help your seller, especially, it’s nice to know about these deficiencies of properties before you list the property. That’s even better, because you go for sport and six months listing, marketing, putting all your time energy in the property to find out that when you list the property, you have structural deficiencies, which could have been found in a small home inspection, where you find open permits or code violations, which could have been found using a solution that Carlos is going to give you. I even have agents do a little white lie. I used to work in the city of Weston, which is a little further north. This Far West though, they call the city Hey, I’m a resident. Is there any open permit Missing code violations on the property. Why did they say their resident because when you go into any city residents work for the city works for residents and business owners. So again, you know, the last thing the city wants to see as an agent come in the building department. I’m ready for my commission. You guys got to close this right now. It doesn’t, it doesn’t work that way. And there’s a lot of frustration and the sellers always going through hardship. So again, you guys can call me if you need anything at all. What I recommend and I gave you all my contact information, what I recommend to you guys, if you want you can like my Facebook page. I put little one minute videos about real cool open houses that I’m going to issues that I’m having in North Miami with Gary bismack things going on in Miami Gardens, things going on in Pine Crest. And keep in mind, you know, one time in Palmetto Bay, I’ll be able to close out an open permit with an engine letter. And then the next year they say we don’t want an engineer’s letter for this type of permit. So the building official changes that people change on the property. That’s why I don’t have a one solution. But what I can tell you is for your seller property owner, there’s not going to be any surprises. I’m going to be able to identify all the deficiencies. I give a free consultation when you give me that permit number when you give me that address, a free consultation. If I feel like I can help you after I’ve pulled the records and find out why they failed inspection was it just no plans on permit? No plans and permit card on site. So the owner didn’t allow access to the city to final or were there actual deficiencies. When the city comes out or the county to do an inspection. They’re going to look at the deficiencies that were documented. I had a similar situation 7870 Flagler, which was a pretty interesting property where I had to close out some burglar alarm permits and In a shopping center because the buyer was seeking an SBA loan, the buyer was also one of the tenants in the shopping center. So this was off of Flagler in the 26. And three things happened during this commercial transaction. Number one, the tenant above put in a kitchenette without a permit. Am I a good one time, my good on time. The tenant above put in a kitchenette without permit, everything flooded while the property was under contract. Number two, the other tenant on the other side of the building who was buying the property, somehow invited inspector on the property and an attorney and started an ADA lawsuit against the property saying that his store wasn’t accessible and didn’t have means of egress under the federal Administrative Code for American Disabilities Act. That’s parking spot
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