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What problem could arise from buying a home with a garage not legally zoned?

The garage has not been zoned for by the last owner or the last... but has been there for what looks like forever. The home is priced as if it had no garage compared to other properties in the area. Should we require the current owner to legally zone the garage or leave the matter alone?
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October 31 2012 - Pennsport-Whitman-Queen
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Answers (3)

There is no statute of limitations for building violations.  If the garage is against the law, the government can make you tear it down and/or pay a fine.
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November 28 2012
Are you talking about the garage not having a permit?  If that is the case, before you write the offer consult the assessor's department to see if they ever got a permit, if it is related to the zoning then the Zoning department.  either way the seller may be asked to tear it down or be fined.  Personally, I will ask the seller to deal with these issues prior to closing.
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November 27 2012
 How about a building permit for the garage? 
  This sounds like a potential can of worms. A garage is certainly a bonus but if you buy the house then find out the garage needs to be taken down that will be a bummer.  Is the garage in good shape or is it getting tired and in need of repair?  You might have problems if you need to fix it.
   I would be nervous about getting into this arrangement without having it squared away before you agree to purchase. The last thing you will want is to have to spend money in removing the garage. Do it now and negotiate the price to remove or zone to allow it to stay.   
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October 31 2012
 
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