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Are 2 Kitchens Allowed? Garage Conversions? Friendly CPAs

Photo of large white kitchen. Lenders will usually lend against a property with two kitchens IF both kitchens have permits.

2 KITCHENS ARE USUALLY NOT ALLOWED

This question comes up often, so we thought we’d revisit it.

Lenders will usually lend against a property with two kitchens IF both kitchens have permits.

If one of the kitchens is not permitted (also known as unwarranted), lenders will usually not lend against the property, primarily because the extra kitchen represents a health and safety risk.

REMOVE THE STOVE

To eliminate the health and safety risk and satisfy most lenders, homeowners usually just need to remove the stove from the unpermitted kitchen, making it a “wet bar.”

This needs to be done before the appraiser visits the property, of course. Please note that stoves often get replaced after transactions close, as lenders have no way of knowing.

GARAGE CONVERSIONS

Lenders will also usually lend against properties with unpermitted garage conversions (into a bedroom, for example) if the appraiser notes that “the cost to convert it back to a garage is minimal.” Note that if the garage is converted into a full kitchen, however, the kitchen will need to be permitted to ensure no health and safety risks.

FRIENDLY CPAs

Our Closing Specialists often remind me how important friendly CPAs are for complex income situations, e.g., confusing stock options or self-employment situations.

Many CPAs are reluctant to provide letters or info of any type to lenders because of the increased liability after the 2008 meltdown.

Fortunately, some CPAs are more than willing to help, and this willingness often makes or breaks transactions. Borrowers with complex income situations need to ensure their CPA is willing to help.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167