should I buy a house with an illegal residence on the property


By billyjoebob   Follow   Sun, 6 Jan 2013, 10:34am   523 views   9 comments
In Arlington VA 22202   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

There's a house in my neighborhood with this profile:

Two properties:

The main house: 2 bedrooms and bath upstairs, living and dining room and kitchen and bath downstairs. Basement used to be some sort of small metalworking shop, zoned for commercial (or used to be), on big road/intersection. Corner lot. Appears to have no big structural problems, but what do I know.

The "shed": illegally zoned bachelor pad in the back, bath/kitchen/bedroom, hooked up to utilities and in good shape.

The house is about 100 years old and the owner died, now it's an estate sale. The inside is really horrendous - I'm not saying it has the stench of death, but it's bad. The downstairs bathroom has no door and was expanded to fit a morbidly obese resident. Like I said, it makes your skin crawl. But the owner used to run the shop and probably maintained the house in good shape - that's what I'm hoping (he built the shed in the back).

So here's my question. With some small changes to the main house (add a door to the bathroom, remove all the crap of deceased, open the windows and let some light in) I think I could get $1200/month in rent, easy (it's a nice neighborhood in NOVA). That would cover the mortgage payments, roughly. Then I would live in the shed in the back for free, or taxes+expenses.

So does this sound like a plan? Or will I run into big problems/repairs/zoning problems? I can post the link, but I don't want to give too much away.

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  1. billyjoebob


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    1   10:39am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I should mention that the chances of getting the shed legally zoned are pretty small. If there were good odds, the property would have been gobbled up by now.

  2. JFP


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    2   10:41am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Unless you can afford it without living in the shed, I wouldn't touch it. If you rented it, and then someone (like the tenant) reported you living in the illegal shed, and you got kicked out, you would be in trouble.

  3. Raw


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    3   10:50am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Rule of thumb I use.....Always buy in a quality area. Quality areas in the long run will outperform the rest, and give you less headaches.

  4. billyjoebob


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    4   11:10am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  5. billyjoebob


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    5   11:11am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Appears to be under contract.

  6. elliemae


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    6   11:57am Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    I believe that you would either be required to bring the shed to code or destroy it. Depends upon the zoning requirements.

    That's my experience - from Vegas, tho.

  7. New Renter


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    7   4:36pm Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    billyjoebob says

    http://www.redfin.com/VA/Arlington/1747-S-Glebe-Rd-22204/home/11271146#public-records

    billyjoebob says

    I should mention that the chances of getting the shed legally zoned are pretty small. If there were good odds, the property would have been gobbled up by now.

    Does this help solve the mystery?

    Sold AS IS. Three level 1904 house is in worse condition inside than it looks from outside. Located on a corner lot near busy Glebe & Walter Reed Roads. Clutter & old furniture stored inside. Dated kitchen & bathrooms. Upper level rooms have water damaged ceilings. Window a/c units. Narrow stairs access to walk out basement. Basement needs work. Large newer shed is an annexe that is a one bedroom house. Large tree in middle of fenced backyard. Shows poorly.

    Haroon Malik, Redfin Associate Agent

  8. CaptainShuddup


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    8   1:00pm Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    Located on a corner lot near busy Glebe & Walter Reed Roads. Clutter & old furniture stored inside. Dated kitchen & bathrooms.

    Sounds like a honey hole.

  9. HEY YOU


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    9   2:48pm Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    How many time have we all done things & then ask ourselves: What the hell was I thinking?

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