Dear Barry, The home I'm planning to buy has a bizarre history. It was built about five years ago but was never completed. The owner fired the contractor and obtained a temporary occupancy permit that allowed him to live in the house while completing the work. The property was later foreclosed by the mortgage company and is now being sold by a trustee. The house has still not been approved by the city, and I'm told that there are many code violations. If I buy this home and more violations are found, who will be responsible for repairs? --Lisa Dear Lisa, The last thing you should do is to buy this home without knowing the full scope of noncompliance and what amount of time and money will be required to make it fully habitable. First, you should consult the local building department to learn as much as possible, from their perspective, what will be needed to bring the home into legal compliance. If possible, have a municipal inspector meet you at the site for a walkthrough e...
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