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Old 02-23-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Illegal construction; How will building department react?


I'm bidding on a foreclosure in Berkeley, CA. It has an addition on the upper level (see attached picture) that looks illegal if only because of how it is supported, and a search of the permit history shows nothing for the last 20 years. A bank owns it now, and part of the disclosures is a requirement that the buyer meet with the building department before escrow closes to discuss any issues.

I'm wondering how they are likely to react. Demand it be torn down? Require that I get new permits and bring it up to code? Pay a fine? If I were to buy this place I would build an addition below the illegal construction, adding a foundation for it and the second story. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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Illegal construction; How will building department react?


There is absolutely no way to predict what they'll do, if anything. My advice would be don't bid until you have a definitive answer to the question. The only way to know for sure is to call them. Things like this aren't prescribed by the code, it is up to the authority having jurisdiction.

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Old 02-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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Illegal construction; How will building department react?


I dig the stairs, BTW.
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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Illegal construction; How will building department react?


I bought a house that was a short sale, bank agreed to let owners sell the house at a loss. Bank gets all the $$, doesn't have to go thru foreclosure & evicting them

I went the building Inspector & explained I was interested in buying the property & if there were any issues that I would need to take care of. I had to get rid of an abandoned fridge & move the shed out of the side yard. He did mention that the PO had tried to enclose the front porch & if I wanted to I would need a permit. They had already enclosed the former front porch (no permit) - he allowed that to stay. Other then that he was OK

Only the Inspector will know/decide what will have to be done
Anything else is just a guess
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Illegal construction; How will building department react?


having bought a few in past yrs, the cost's always included in my ' buy price ',,, if someone else wants it for more, God bless 'em,,, this is a business where everyone's entitled to make errors.

no habla ' bailout '
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