You donâ€™t NEED a copy of the permit. What I suspect theyâ€™ve done is not illegal (it would be if they were selling it as a â€œtotal gut renovationâ€ or â€œnew constructionâ€ but it doesnâ€™t sound like they are). But it does seem like they might have taken some shortcuts. Unless theyâ€™ve done something that is illegal (like building the exterior porch over the property setback line) it shouldnâ€™t pose a problem to you down the road.
More than likely this should be a fine property (especially for Cambridge, Cambridge used to have rent control and some properties got dilapidated because of it), but if thereâ€™s something that a home inspector wouldnâ€™t be able to tell about, cause he/she canâ€™t see it, theres a chance the owner didnâ€™t do it. I use the example of insulation, which they might not have redone (but they didnâ€™t have to either if theyâ€™re not selling it as a â€œtotal gut renovationâ€). For the insulation example, thereâ€™s nothing dangerous to you because of it, but your heating bulls might be a little higher because of it.
With all due respect, the seller probably is a little annoyed, however a reasonable person should understand your anxieties if they know youâ€™re a first time home buyer. Has that been told to the seller?
I read on a little bit to understand that the property is no longer on the market after your offer. This is a good thing, it means you donâ€™t have anyone else competing for the same property. Her comment that she wants to wait for the summer is a valid point, however she should have said Spring Market (not summer). Properties typically sell for more in the spring, because there are more buyers.
HERES THE IMPORTANT THINGS:
Every news story that comes on the news about a bad economy, and a bad housing market, is not falling upon deaf ears to the seller. As much as they put forth their tough negotiating front, they are nervous about the market. They donâ€™t know whatâ€™s going to happen in the near future. They are fishing for buyers and it looks like youâ€™re the only one theyâ€™ve caught, they donâ€™t want you to get away. AND your pretty much the listing agents last hope, she has no guarantees that the seller is going to relist with her come summertime. Most likely the agent wants the property sold no matter what here, and you and your agent need to feed her reasons that the seller should sell to you right now.
If your buyers agent says things like
- My buyer is Ready willing and able, and those buyers are getting harder and harder to find with mortgage companies tightening up their underwriting.
- With the economy possibly slipping into recession do you really think that youâ€™ll be able to sell this house for more than my offer in the short term?
- Is the seller confident enough that the offer sheâ€™ll get in the summer will be high enough to make up for the additional overhead itâ€™s going to cost to wait until then?
The sellers agent will use the same points when talking to the seller. And while those points may make you nervous to hear too, you should be planning on owning for at least 3 years (hopefully more), I donâ€™t suspect that youâ€™ll have the same issues when youâ€™re ready to sell.
Also keep in mind itâ€™s only because this is a slow market that theyâ€™re even still listening to you, if you brought up these concerns in 2000 they would have laughed at you, and you would have never heard from them againâ€¦