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Old 01-06-2010, 12:13 PM
 
9 posts, read 50,269 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey guys -

I was in the process of buying my first house when the seller refused to get a CO for the back porch. he basically told me to take it or leave it. I walked away but I feel a bit guilty because it was the perfect house.

Did i do something foolish? Should I just have taken the risk and bought the house anyway?

thanks for the input,
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:24 PM
 
3,630 posts, read 6,285,574 times
Reputation: 2526
Quote:
Originally Posted by knick71 View Post
Hey guys -

I was in the process of buying my first house when the seller refused to get a CO for the back porch. he basically told me to take it or leave it. I walked away but I feel a bit guilty because it was the perfect house.

Did i do something foolish? Should I just have taken the risk and bought the house anyway?

thanks for the input,
No, you didn't do anything foolish. You have a time limit to get that CO and CO's require a lot of money and time. Now that is if they approve of the changes. If they don't, they can make you take it down which can get into even more money. I for one would do the same as you, walk away. But some are willing to do it. So its up to you.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Suffolk County
806 posts, read 2,309,389 times
Reputation: 243
I work for real estate attorneys and they handled my recent closing transaction on my house. The house I purchased did not have a CO for my basement bathroom, my front porch or my side screened in patio. We did work out however that the homeowner's would get a CO for the front porch. They were willing to do this for us, as well as get a CO for the sreened in patio. So, we had a separate contract drawn up which each of us signed on the date of closing which states they are going to get a CO for the front porch. I have yet to hear anything and the closing was 2 months ago. We did however escrow $3500 for anything that needs to be changed, etc. They have until April to get the CO. If they havent' done so by that time, I believe we either get to keep their money or can extend the time period; I'm not really sure as we haven't gotten to that point. We felt the CO for the bathroom was not an issue as nobody can see it and the bank did not say one word about it. As for the screened in patio, where I reside, I have property which is owned by the town and the side that I have the screened porch is on that side and it is my understanding that nothing is to be built on that side so we decided to not have the homeowner get a CO for the screened in patio as I don't want to raise any unnecessary awareness to it. My attorney also advised me about not getting the CO for that.

I'd say if the homeowner you are dealing with isn't will to get the CO even after you've closed (as long as you make sure your attorney draws up a special contract for this), I'd say walk. Also, I'm kind of regretting not doing the CO for the basement bathroom b/c I just found out that there's no access to my cesspool trap b/c it is blocked by the tiled wall...which means, I need to cut an access point in the tile somehow. More $$$. I know most people probably will disagree with what I did. I'd say speak with your attorney and see what they advise you to do. I would be unhappy if the homeowner wasn't willing to get a CO for anything on the outside...even after you've closed. Good luck with whatever your decision is.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:34 PM
 
153 posts, read 491,716 times
Reputation: 35
I don't think you did anything wrong. My lawyer absolutely 100% said "the seller has to get the CO's or else we're walking). Most banks won't even let the sale go through without a CO on certain things.

Plus I hear you can get back taxed pretty badly if you file for a CO after the structure was built.

Either way, sleep easy you did the right thing.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:26 PM
 
231 posts, read 759,195 times
Reputation: 110
I have a similar question - a house we are looking at converted a two car garage into a one car and made the other side an office/bedroom. They left up the double garage doors on the ouside of teh house. They never got a CO. I asked the RE about it - he said the owner will not get a CO or convert it back to a two car garage - we are responsible for it. How would we handle this situation? I was under the impression that banks now won't let sales go through if all the CO's aren't in order. How are we supposed to do anything with it before we even own the house?
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Georgia
2,415 posts, read 5,627,625 times
Reputation: 542
To the OP,
If the owner is adamant that they will not get a CO, it could be because a) they do not want to go thru' the time consuming process or b) something they know is not according to code or c) Both (a) and (b) above....
So its up to you to decide, I have seen people purchase houses with pending CO's.... if I were you, I would walk if the owner does not want to get the CO before closing.... sometimes the bank will dictate the terms in which case there is no option, but your attorney needs to be totally involved to evaluate the CO part of the transaction.

Another tip is to avoid closing with a pending CO.... unless you can get enough escrow from the sellers, and be prepared for the worst outcome (like tearing down the structure apart)....
Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:49 PM
 
432 posts, read 1,117,067 times
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another option is, though not really "legal" but done all the time nevertheless, if the survey company would leave the room/structure out of the report, and then everyone can just go on...
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,417 posts, read 26,331,105 times
Reputation: 7212
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmax View Post
I have a similar question - a house we are looking at converted a two car garage into a one car and made the other side an office/bedroom. They left up the double garage doors on the ouside of teh house. They never got a CO. I asked the RE about it - he said the owner will not get a CO or convert it back to a two car garage - we are responsible for it. How would we handle this situation? I was under the impression that banks now won't let sales go through if all the CO's aren't in order. How are we supposed to do anything with it before we even own the house?
Walk away. Fast.

That garage scenario sounds like something rigged together that will NEVER get a CO and that may be why the real estate agent is trying to con you into accepting it. Telling you that YOU are responsible for it is an outright lie.

Getting a house that is for sale up to code is the SELLER'S responsibility, not the BUYER'S. You asked "How are we supposed to do anything with it before we even own the house?" The answer is: obviously you can't.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
16,417 posts, read 26,331,105 times
Reputation: 7212
Quote:
Originally Posted by brassbin View Post
another option is, though not really "legal" but done all the time nevertheless, if the survey company would leave the room/structure out of the report, and then everyone can just go on...
Why should a survey company lie? If they are caught not doing their job properly their whole business could be affected. Look at the process servers who never delivered the legal papers they were paid to deliver but pretended they did ... they eventually got caught and got in big trouble.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:11 PM
 
432 posts, read 1,117,067 times
Reputation: 91
the same way a buyer agent doesn't tell you everything that's bad about a house, even though they have a fiduciary duty(TomMosers's term) to you, there are degrees to which efforts can be made

a buyer agent doesn't have to go out of her/his way to find out about everything there is to know about a house, a survey company would does its best put up a report
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