3 things buyers should know about home additions

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DEAR BARRY: My son is buying his first home: an older house with an addition. Neither the seller nor the agent will say if the addition is permitted, but the agent assures him it was built to code. My son hired a home inspector who says the addition is not secured to the foundation. So now my son is wondering what to do next. What do you recommend? --Albert DEAR ALBERT: Your son may not be dealing with trustworthy people, and it's good that he discovered this before closing escrow. The main issues are: 1. Sellers who do not disclose a condition that would be of concern to a buyer, such as the permit status of an addition, may be acting unethically and in violation of state disclosure laws. 2. Agents who declare that an addition is "built to code" are claiming to be familiar with every aspect of the construction -- foundations, framing, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. They are also claiming to have a comprehensive knowledge of the building code, plumbing code, ...