I’ll give you personal account that just happened to me. My wife and I put in an offer on a beautiful home with nearly an acre of river frontage in Rhododendron. Sounds good, right? It does but here is where it gets tricky. The detached shop is was built without a permit. The 720sf deck was built without a permit. The cesspool is substandard and 60 years old. Well, knowing these things we wanted to find out what we could do to retro-permit these structures. So, off to the county planning and zoning department with one of my agents who is the resident land use agent in my office. Our findings? The shop is over into the neighbors property by a few feet, the shed is completely in the neighbors property and because of the flood zone it is in, we can’t retro permit the structures because they would not let us build them in those spots today. Not a lot of other options for where they can go either. Hmm. Not looking good.
Okay, so we are still interested but need some time to process. Then came the homeowners insurance quote. Nearly $3,000 for the year ON TOP of the flood insurance of quote of $2,400/year. It seems the recent fires in the Colombia River Gorge caused insurance companies to reset their rates for the Mt Hood area. Ugh. I guess this is a good time to tell you to begin checking on what your insurance will cost as soon as you get into contract (heck, even before). These things can take time as well as make a huge difference in your monthly payment.
Bottom line – take the time to complete your due diligence within your inspection periods afford to you in your purchase and sale contract. Not only will you gain valuable insight into what the county know (or does not know) about your home, you will be able to unearth things that could easily help you to negotiate better terms for your sale.
Good luck in your house hunting!
Garett Chadney is a Principal Broker/Owner of The Broker Network, LLC – a boutique-style real estate brokerage with offices in Oregon and SW Washington. He can be reached at [email protected] or via his personal website.