Home Buying in 13613>Question Details

Lisa, Home Buyer in New York

Our builder/seller misrepresented the square footage DRASTICALLY what can we do?

Asked by Lisa, New York Wed Oct 12, 2011

We bought our house a year ago from an individual who built it, lived in it for three years to get the tax benefits then sold it to us. They listed the home as 1470 sq. ft. on the building permits, got it zoned and assessed as such for tax purposes then when we bought the home, moved next door and are doing the same thing (this is the fourth time in the past decade they have done this and they have earned quite the reputation for being dishonest). When we received our tax bill, the taxes DOUBLED ($3000 to $6000 per year!) ~! When we went to the grievance hearing, we learned that our 20X24 living room was claimed to be an attic at the time of assessment then was finished out (carpeted and wallpapered, bar put in, etc.) after the assessment! Can we take any legal action in New York against them for misrepresenting and for not obtaining blueprints to build like they should have for a two story home?

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Since you are asking about any legal action, do consult with your attorney, he/she can best advise as to your options....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 12, 2011
Lisa there are a couple of points, the first it is the buyers responsibility to check these items before buying. you should have had a copy of a tax card and a plot plan where you could see what was listed as finished and was not. The second point is it is actually ok in most instances that a house is assessed and then something is finished or added and the but is...as long as there was a permit to complete the work. Buyer agents usually assist with such tasks as verifying what the seller states. At this point it is a legal issue you may want to pass by a layer to see if you have a case or not. good luck working things out
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 12, 2011
This is really a question for an attorney but my gut feeling is that as the buyer, you should have confirmed/verified the information with the assistance of your Realtor.

It is not unusual for taxes to change on new (re)construction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 12, 2011
For reference she is now claiming the house is 2400 square feet which is probably much more accurate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 12, 2011
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