Home Buying in Cerritos>Question Details

Scott Kao, Home Buyer in Cerritos, CA

Should I make an offer if the estimated sq. ft. is way different from county record?

Asked by Scott Kao, Cerritos, CA Sat Jan 11, 2014

I am looking at a house that claims to be 2200 sq. ft. However, according to county record, it's only 1300 sq. ft.

The reason, according to the listing agent, is that the 2nd floor was an expansion with permit. The house is indeed much larger than 1300 sq. ft, but felt less than 2200. I will definitely check the permit to see if it's valid. If not, I will just walk away.

My questions are:
1. If the county record is 1300 sq. ft, will this affect the appraisal result, thus affect the total loan amount determined by the bank? or will the appraisal based on the actual sq. ft. determined by appraiser?
2. Will I have a problem resell this house in the future if I choose to?
3. What were the possible reasons the previous owner didn't want to report the expansion to county office? Should I be concerned?

Thanks.

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Answers

6
What you should do is talk to your real estate agent and have them look into it. It is probably just an error or new construction. They will be able to get to the bottom of it.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079
http://www.TheMortgageOutlet.com

408-352-5147
AGreer@TheMortgageOutlet.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
Hi Scott,

"1. If the county record is 1300 sq. ft, will this affect the appraisal result, thus affect the total loan amount determined by the bank? or will the appraisal based on the actual sq. ft. determined by appraiser? "

The Appraisal will be based on the as-built square footage. However, typically, Appraisers are not allowed to provide value on unpermitted work.


"2. Will I have a problem resell this house in the future if I choose to?"

There's no reason to suggest this above; non-permitted work notwithstanding, that is.


"3. What were the possible reasons the previous owner didn't want to report the expansion to county office? Should I be concerned?"

Typically, when a City permit is signed off the County sends a questionnaire requesting info on the project to determine a new property tax base. In my experience, many Owners have higher priorities and/or do not want to go through the time and cost of the process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
In Orange County, property tax records that Realtors use have not been updated since 1993. This is due to the County not releasing updated records to the Realtors databases. The County has the updated records, but does not release them to the Realtors databases. This situation is common, especially in homes that were added-onto or constructed after 1993. For example, a home that was originally a 2bed, 1bath will still show as a 2bed, 1bath in our database, even if its currently a 3bed, 2bath.

Your Realtor and Title Company should be aware of this, and advise of you of the County discrepancies.

Your Realtor should also advise you that its always the BUYERS responsibility to complete the Due Diligence and verify the square footage of the home, the permits, condition, etc-
The loan amount will be based on the current appraisal amount as determined by your appraiser.

Best advice is to complete your due diligence, and make sure your title company, mortgage company, and Realtor are all on the same page with the current condition of the property!

Nicole Fedorchek, Realtor
Tarbell, Realtors
714-914-5097
realtornicolef@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
1. The appraisal will be based on the home as it appears when the appraiser inspects the home.
2. Probably.....You're concerned, others in the future may also be concerned.
3. The omission could be intentional or unintentional; and if you still have concerns, consult with an attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
If the home's taxes are based on square footage and the proper permits were made there is a benefit to the owner that the taxes may no be as high as they could be. One would think that there would be a connect between the permit office and the taxation office so that changes and updates would be reflected in the taxes.

Consider taking your own measurements and basing your decision on those numbers. As far as concerns for the future, regardless of what the tax records say, the present square footage(whatever it is) will always be there.

I would have to believe that taking the necessary permit action should be considered enough action to have the county connect the dots.....we however know this to not be the case. I'm presently working with the same scenario on a transaction. The difference between this one and ours is that we are using the county tax numbers as the official numbers that are posted on the MLS and publicizing there is a difference between this information and the actual square footage.

Good luck with your decision.

Bill
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
The amount of sq ft is always considered in an appraisal evaluation. Your resale potential will be affected just as it is being affected now as it is currently listed. Be concerned about whether or not the work was done by permit. But before you get excited about anything, call your Realtor and they can reach out to their Title Representative and obtain any applications and permits filed with the city and go from there.

Let me know if you need anything.

Alex Montelongo/Broker
Coldwell Banker Star Realty
562-810-73887 Cell
BRE Lic #01456982
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 20, 2014
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