Chicago, IL asked in Land Use & Zoning for Illinois

Q: Do we have enough information and assurance to close tomorrow? Or should we push the close and request more info?

We were supposed to close on a home last week but night before close we are informed that the title company pulled the zoning certificate from the city and the home is zoned as a 3-unit building, not a single family home. The seller who purchased the home 10 years ago has a cert. that says single-family home, so it was shock to her too. Despite the confusion as to why there are two different zoning certificates for the same property, our broker&attorney want to close anyway bc we can get it re-zoned later since it's apparently easy to do. However, their disclaimer is that they've never dealt with something like this before and cannot guarantee that it is as easy as they say. We spoke briefly with a zoning attorney over the phone but he was reluctant to advise us that it would be an easy re-zoning project because he does not have all the information regarding the property. He needs historical records & blueprints to make sure it was converted legally and with permits.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Steve McCann
Steve McCann
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: It is not in your best interest to assume re-zoning will be "easy to do." In fact, they usually aren't very easy at all, and can end up costing a tremendous amount of money. That being the case, I certainly would not close until you have more details and costs surrounding the re-zoning. I recommend consulting with other attorneys to get more clarity on the matter, as it is a fact specific determination that cannot possibly be answered comprehensively with the limited facts provided.

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