Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Cary Li, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

Seller disclosed some w/o permit items but did not disclose that they had received an compliance order?

Asked by Cary Li, San Jose, CA Fri Aug 7, 2009

Home purchased: May2009
3 weeks ago, city inspector was at my door with an MARCH Inspection Report (signed old owner) & Compliance order with violations: 1) converted garage w/bathroom & support members removed w/o permit 2) Patio cover in setback area 3) door added at back of garage 4) window changed to glass door w/o permit 5) patio cover w/ electrical w/o permit
Seller's disclosure:
Alterations/additions w/o permit/ not in compliance w/ code checked YES (listed items: garage convertion, patio cover, 2 storage)
Violations of setback NO
Notices of abatement/citations NO

I had plans to get permit for the property but I wasn't aware that the house had a compliance order and the extra violations issue with electrical/setback/door. This will force me to spend 30k to order to fix all violations with LIMITed time. I don't have the budget all at once. I brought the house not expecting that I would be obligated to make a 30k fix right away. What can I do? feel cheated on price.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Cary,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. My recommendation would be to contact an attorney that specializes in Real Estate Law first thing Monday. Disclosure laws in California are simple. You must disclose all known Material Facts regarding a home when you sell the property. A partial disclosure by the seller(s) will not cut it. A buyers responsibilty to complete their Due Diligence on a prospective property does not take away a sellers responsibility to disclose all known material facts. A good rule of thumb that I always give my clients is WHEN IN DOUBT, DISCLOSE! Best of luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 8, 2009
I have a great real estate attorney that you can call. Just contact me and I'll send it to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 8, 2009

You knew about the unpermitted modifications and didn't regard the risks. A simple permit search would have revealed outstanding permits. I just recently talked to a lady in a similar situation. Her neighbors were not friendly and reported her illegal modifications to code enforcement. That could have happened to you as well.

I am truly sorry for your predicament. The seller made prudent disclosures and the California Real Estate forms are a large pile of "Buyer Beware."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 7, 2009
The real estate agent who wrote your offer and represented you throughout the transaction when you purchased this property should have given you a complete file of everything that you signed and everything that was disclosed to you by the seller. I recommend that you take your file to a real estate attorney for advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 7, 2009
Hi Cary Li,
This is a really unfortunate situation for you. Based on the info that you have provided, I do not think the issue can be settled by any opinions you get on this site. My advice is to talk to a qualified real estate attorney as soon as possible to determine your recourse. Best of luck to you.
The lesson for all other buyers out there is to investigate all issues to their satisfaction during the property contingency phase prior to completing the purchase. They should also be sure to work with a competent Realtor to get complete disclosure and satisfactory advice.

Take care and good luck,

Web Reference: http://www.rolandbarcos.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 7, 2009
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