Where readers ask and we try to answer.
Any colleagues care to answer this one? It’s a bit of a doozy.
Hello. [We] live in a wonderful 3 bedroom house and recently started looking to buy a slightly larger house. As part of this process we started investigating the sale of our current property and ran into a surprise. We’re hoping that someone can give us some advice.
We bought the property 6 years ago and have done significant renovations to the house (all with permit). When we bought the house the structure was clearly that of a single family home and the renovations we’ve done have maintained the same general footprint (moved a couple walls, but nothing outrageous).
As we got more serious about selling the place we pull up the old disclosure packets from 6 years ago and noticed to our surprise the that property is designated as a “two family dwelling.” This completely caught us by surprise and we’re trying to determine how big an issue this is.
As we discussed this issue with friends we’ve been told two distinct things.
The first camp suggests that many San Francisco homes find themselves in this situation today and that most home buyers will have little or no trouble buying a home like this and most lenders will have no trouble handing out a loan in a situation like this. They will both focus on the fact that it is a nice house, in a desirable location with good fundamentals.
The second camp suggests that San Francisco is getting more strict about conversion of two family dwellings to one family dwellings and as a result lenders may be worried and buyers may be worried (though most buyers I’ve talked to have no real sense of this issue).
Thoughts on whether to simply put the house on the market as is or whether we should first wrestle with the planning department to reclassify this as a one family dwelling?
I should add that the footprint of the house and the neighbors (some who have lived there for 30+ years) indicate that this has always been a single family dwelling and never had two entrances…
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Without knowing all the details, I’d have to agree with “the first camp”. This is not uncommon. Just make sure you disclose everything you just told us.
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