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A New Home Search

After several years of diligently saving money, I’m nearly ready to purchase my first home. Because I’ve been thinking about buying a home for so long, I know exactly what I want my house to look like. I desire a place that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I also need a quiet space to set up my home office in. I want a massive, walk-in closet in my master bedroom. My master bathroom needs to have double vanities, a tiled, walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. On this blog, I hope you will discover how to set priorities during your new home search. Enjoy!


A New Home Search

Dangers Of Buying A Home With An Illegal Addition

Elli Jokela

You can buy a house with an illegal addition, for example, if you are buying it on an as-is basis, but it isn't advisable. Here are some of the consequences you may suffer if you make such a move:

You May Be Buying a Dangerous Property

If a house addition has been illegally constructed, then how sure are you that the plumbing, electrical system and heating systems were properly constructed? Unfortunately, malfunctions in those parts of the house can cause injuries or serious damage to your house. For example, an electrical fault in the additional part of the house can burn down your house.

You May Be Forced To Make Upgrades

If the code-enforcement authorities realize that your house isn't built up to code, they may force you to make the changes so that your house adheres to all the legal requirements. It won't matter that you weren't the one who made the illegal additions; buying the house makes you solely responsible for everything in the property. Also, you won't have any legal rights to go back to the original owner to claim damages as long as they disclosed the illegal additions during the sale.

You May Be Forced To Pay Back Taxes

Buying a house with illegal additions can also make you lose money in the form of back taxes. This may happen if the illegal additions increased the property's square footage, which wasn't reported to the authorities. In such a case, the previous owners would have been paying taxes on a false (lower) square footage. When the authorities realize the deceit and recalculate the back taxes, it will be you (the new owner of the property) and not the previous owner who will be on the hook for them. 

Home Insurance Coverage May Not Apply to the Additions

Buying such a property may even put you in a bad position with your home insurance company. In fact, your insurance carrier will be within its rights to refuse damage to that part of the property. This is especially true if the illegal additions made your house more dangerous than it should have been or contributed in any way to the damage. For example, you may be left holding the bill if an illegal wall collapses and damages the original wall of the house.

Every time you want to buy a renovated property, you need to confirm that the renovations were properly handled. A real estate services professional can easily help you with the confirmations.