illegal bathroom in backyard, granite gas grill

Asked by mila, New York, NY Sun Feb 1, 2009

i found a home that i really like and have an accepted offer. we are currently in contract and the seller has just disclosed that the bathroom he built on the outside of the house although it looks like its attached to the house is illegal. he refuses to take it down or give us a discount on the offer price. this makes me question what type of other additions he has made in the house without a permit. the entire house was gut renovated, including new roof. the agent also advertised the bathroom addition as a bonus. when i asked for a price reduction, there answer is always that there is a backup buyer. i am on the fence about this situaution. please advise. thank you

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Jolie Muss, , Upper West Side, New York, NY
Sun Feb 8, 2009
Is this home in New York? You must have an attorney to purchase a home in New York State.. you should always use your own attorney not the sellers! What does your attorney say?
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J R, , New York, NY
Mon Feb 2, 2009
this makes me question what type of other additions he has made in the house without a permit.
Being that you are in NY, I'm assuming you have an attorney involved in this transaction. You are in contract and your attorney hasn't pulled the c.o.s? He should (and so can you) go to the building department (I've done it over the phone, but if you go you can get copies) and ask if there are c.o.s for all the work done. If not, the bank may not give you a mortgage, and you will just have to make a decision whether or not you want to move ahead without having the owner remedy the situation. Depending on how extensive his non permit renovations were, you could be taking on a real headache. Find out what you're getting into first by checking out the c.o.s.
Just as a p.s., whenever I list a house I make sure I have copies of all the c.o.s at the time I list it, so that when we have an accepted offer I can send them to the buyer and seller's attorneys. I also call or visit the building department to make sure anything I see has a c.o. One of my clients is not in the process of getting a c.o. for a patio that has an open permit but never had a final inspection for a c.o. This could have held up the closing when we find a buyer. In my opinion, this is part of the job, and this agent should have done the same.
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Jerry Lorenz, Agent, Strongsville, OH
Mon Feb 2, 2009
First off you did not mention if there are any Real Estate Agents involved or not. If you have an agent you should work thought him. If there is only one agent and he works for the seller then you need to decide if you want the property enough to accept the situation of the illegal space. You could call the city building department and find out what is wrong with the bathroom and then determine how much the cost would be to repair. You may not want to deal with this after you find out the total cost. After you have done a little leg work then you may want to contact an attorney if you can not get the dispute resolved.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Feb 2, 2009

We are sorry about this difficulty.

We would recommend that you do two things immediately:

1. contact an attorney for their input on the situation

2. contact the city code enforcement department and explain your situation. It will be important to determine how the illegel renovations could impact you as the new owner, from their perspective.
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Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Mon Feb 2, 2009
My first advice is to speak with your attorney about the situation. He/she would be the best to advice you. However, if your bank gives you a loan with the bathroom there, then it is really up to you whether you are willing to go forward without getting a proper CO or CC for the bathroom. If the bathroom was built incorrectly or not up to code, you may have a hard time selling the property in the future. Again, I am not an attorney but this is my understanding from prior similar situations.
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