Misiano Law Real Estate Purchases and Sales Tips: Certificate of Occupancy

Certificate of Occupancy

Many issues may arise when purchasing a home. And this is why you should obtain legal counsel in these matters.

If the home you are considering has additions such as a basement apartment, pool, deck, shed, and fencing, all these can be potential deal killers because you may apply for a mortgage and lock in a rate up to a certain date.  If you can’t close within the time set in your commitment, you will lose your rate of interest or even the commitment altogether.

So, what can hold up the closing?  A Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued by the Town Building Department after inspection of the contracted work, which would state the pool, additions, shed, etc. was built in compliance with the town building code.

The lender’s attorney will generally not allow the loan to close without proper C of O’s for the entire premises. Therefore, when bidding on a home, don’t be afraid to ask the seller to produce the C of O or multiples for later additions.  It may help you decide to pass on the home or continue with the sales process.

Some applications can be obtained relatively quickly, depending on the town, but some can delay the sale substantially – particularly additions added without any permit process.

When selling a home, the converse is true. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR C of O’s for all your additions!

James F. Misiano, P.C. has been representing home buyers and sellers for 38 years. He owned and managed a Title Abstract company for 12 years and is expertly familiar with title insurance issues – and with the solutions.  If you are buying or selling a home, call Misiano Law today for a free consultation.