buying a home with a new garage and no permit -- need help fast please

What should I do about a house I'm getting ready to buy that has a new garage but the owner never got a permit for it?
Long story short - 44 year old home with new 3 year old garage in back. Looks OK as far as being away from easements and property boundaries. My home inspector didn't notice anything unsafe, but he's not a building or code inspector. Entire garage electric is fed off of a GFI circuit on from the deck. Seller said that he remembers getting a permit but can't locate the copy. Multiple calls to local gov't offices indicate that no permit was ever obtained. We can only assume that one was never issued nor was the building ever inspected.
I have two main concerns. Safety and resale.
Safety. It may be possible that the garage was not built properly and is unsafe or may fall apart after some time (or some other issue). I don't really know how to address this without getting a building inspector to check it out (more on that later).
Resale. When we sell the house later on we may be faced with similar issues. My brother-in-law and his wife had to get permits for their finished basement when they sold their home nine years ago. They were the fifth owner of the home, and it was the second owner who finished the basement. It was quite a hassle.
My potential solutions are:
1. - getting someone in the home or garage building business to come out and check out the garage. They should be able to look at it and see if it's built properly and have an opinion about it complying with local building codes.
2. - get a proper permit and inspection. Problem, and I know this sounds screwey, but I can't. I've been told that only the homeowner can do this. AND, the homeowner has to sign an affidavit stating that he won't sell the home for one year. Sounds crazy and illogical I know. It was explained that the rule was put into place because of some sleazy rehabbers doing poor work and then flipping properties. I'm going to confirm that Monday
I could apply for a permit and inspection after I close on the property. But, what if there is some serious problem that will cost many dollars to fix? Yeah, I can go back to the sellers. But, I'd rather resolve all that now while I'm still in control.
So, what suggestions can you offer?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Hi, Worst case, you wll be required to tear down the garage. So purchase offer must be accordingly. That's what I think. Tony
Mail Ias wrote:

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Check the tax records and see if the garage in on them. If it is, it is a good bet it is OK. If not, check with the county and local authorities before you buy. This could be a very expensive error if you buy.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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If i built without a permit i could be made to tear it down. do some research
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Hi, Also if it burns down, insurance won't cover it. Tony
mark Ransley wrote:

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a variance may be in order here. If it were me, the offer would be original price minus garage appraisal. otherwise make the seller pull a permit and sign off on it or have the seller pay the fines that are due for NOT pulling a permit.
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Depending on where you live and whether or not there is a mortgage company involved in the sale, a certificate of occupancy might be required before you can complete the closing. Where I live, if the town where the property is located requires a certificate of occupancy with any change of ownership, the mortgage company won't issue the mortgage without it. In that case, the seller would have to get one. Since you already made multiple calls to local government offices about this, it's not likely that anyone there will issue the certificate without addressing the garage issue.
Hopefully, you have an attorney representing you who reviewed the sales contract before you signed it. It's really a legal issue at this point, and what happens next depends on exactly how your contract is worded and what the laws are in your area. Sometimes it is possible to complete the closing by having the seller put up money to be held in escrow by the title company until certain issues are resolved. Most likely, the seller is going to have to figure this issue out with the local officials before the closing. I think you'll find that the part about the homeowner not being able to sell the property for one year after getting the permit will be untrue.

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You bring up a good point. I would like to recommend that anyone buying a home get your own lawyer involved before you sign. Your lawyer is working for you. Both your real-estate agent and the seller's real-estate agent are really working for the seller. They are both paid only if you buy and the more you pay the more they get. So they both want to bargain for the highest possible price.
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