Newsflash: Buying home with unpermitted full finished basement?

So. After a rough week of the home we were under contract for underappraising by 39k and the seller refusing to budge, my SO and I are back on the hunt.We’re looking for a small 2-3 bedroom home under 270k in Central NJ. There is a great little 2br house that has come on the market while we were tied up with the other house. It has a fully finished basement with half bath that the current owners had professionally installed, but the selling agent disclosed that they did not have permits for the work.Now in this town we’re purchasing in, we found out during our previous failed contract that a certificate of occupancy is NOT REQUIRED. Which was a surprise. Only a smoke certificate is needed. So my realtor is saying that basically the worst that could happen for us if we purchase is the house gets reassessed for property taxes (which is what the previous owners were avoiding) and we get stuck with a 500-700 a year higher bill. Since we purchased the home with the work completed and would have proof, we wouldn’t be liable.Is there something I’m missing here? Then why would anyone bother with permits in this town? Are there other worst case scenarios here my realtor is missing?



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