Oct 17, 2007
When we bought our house a couple years ago, the people who had owned it before us had finished the basement themselves without getting the permits from the township. That's apparently not uncommon in New Jersey, in fact one time I saw a bumper sticker that said "If only it was as hard to get on welfare as it is to get a building permit."
So we didn't really think anything of it. You have to be sort of careful that someone from the township doesn't come in and see that it's all finished because it will cause your taxes to go up. As far as they know we only have 2 bedrooms and one bath. Our house doesn't look like it would have a full finished basement that walks out into the backyard from the front, it's an unassuming 1950's ranch.
Anyway, yesterday I was minding my own business, eating lunch and catching up on "What Not To Wear" (since the internet was down yesterday so I wasn't online) when the door bell rang. There was this little guy standing there with a ID card hanging from his shirt.
"Electrical Inspector," he says.
"Um, ok, hi," I say.
"Electrical Inspector, from XXX Township," he says.
I say, "Ok, so what do you need to do?"
"You guys did the work on the basement? I'm here to inspect it."
Now my heart is in my throat. I'm wondering, how could they possibly know that like 3 years or more ago someone did some work on the basement!?! So I say, "We didn't do any work on the basement." Which, technically, isn't a lie because we didn't actually do the work... um, yeah.
"You didn't? Is this 12 Wrong Street?" he asks.
"Nope, next block up."