My question involves real estate located in the State of: California, City of Los Angeles.
I recently purchased an old house. realtor set us up with home inspectors who really seemed to be ok with most everything on their check lists. after purchasing the house and hiring various trades to give us quotes on updating things we came to find out all sorts of problems, in the plumbing, the roof, the electrical, structural, etc. there was even an illegal attic renovation, but we knew that it wasn't legal and purchased with the plan to renovate the attic into a master bath closet area and legalize that space. turns out much more of the house isn't legal, and that the square footage we were sold isn't accurate.
BACK STORY: did A LOT of digging to get this info but prior to 1970 a rear addition was added illegally, in 1974 a pool with permit pulled was installed and the city inspector during the various permit inspection points for the pool missed the rear addition every time, but randomly after the pool was complete and permit signed off the county assessors office was notified and they sent out their assessor to adjust accordingly because of the new pool and this assessor did NOT miss the illegal addition to the house, however instead of reporting it to the city the assessor just re measured the original home sq footage reducing it from 1,680 to 1,440 and then added 451 square feet for the illegal addition into the tax assessment, which then became the square footage used to sell the house every time it has been sold after that. at some point after that a second story bedroom, staircase, and bathroom was also illegal put in, and a first story bathroom was enlarged (none of it permitted).
it was very hard for us to tell based on all the drawings we were provided by our realtor with the original house being built in 1928 and drawings say 1,640 sq ft. however we were told that the upstairs must be included based off the square footage assessment and our appraisers assessment of 1,891!! Now we are finding out there is structural issues with the 2nd story (its missing load bearing walls and sagging) we have had multiple contractors back out as we are trying to bring the house up to code. we are NOT trying to flip the house we love it and want to live in it however we have been in it for almost 5 months and still scared to move into the upstairs or do any renovations based off this discovery.
can any one advise what path we should take? we can't sell the house at the 1891 sq ft we purchased it at because we know that isn't true. and if we wanted to get out of this house and sell it to someone at the legal square footage we would lose about $70,000. The other odd thing is the house has been bought and sold at least 3 times before us and since 1974 and every time its been appraised at 1891 sq ft and taxed according to that, so for 45 years it has been taxed, appraised, and sold incorrectly. thoughts?