New construction homes are exciting and scary at the same time. The home must meet many requirements, including holding a Certificate of Occupancy. Yes, it’s another annoying step you must take, but it protects your interests.
Your local government must inspect the home. They ensure that the home meets all building codes. The local government sets those building codes to keep homes safe. Keep reading to learn about the inspection, certificate, and how it affects your loan.
Before a government official issues the CO, they must inspect the home. This differs from a home inspection on an existing home. This inspector ensures all work meets the local building code. A few areas they focus include:
- Adherence to the fire code
- Properly wired electrical work
- All safety requirements set by the city are met
- The builders had proper permits for all work
- Working chimney
- Working HVAC systems
- Working fire sprinkler systems
What if the Home Doesn’t Pass the Inspection?
It happens often. Homes don’t pass the inspection on the first attempt. This doesn’t mean you can’t close on the home yet. It depends on the depth of the violations. In some cases, inspectors provide a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.
Inspectors offer this option for minor issues that won’t affect your safety or the home’s livability. The inspector gives the builder a set amount of time to fix the issues, though. The reason for the temporary certificate will determine if your lender will close on the loan, though. In general, lenders want the CO before they will close on the loan. Lenders want you to move into a safe home that meets all city requirements.
Other Reasons You May Need a Certificate of Occupancy
Typically, city officials only require the CO when it’s a new construction home. However, if you are in any of the following circumstances, you may need one:
- An existing home with extreme renovations
- Building conversions
- Repaired homes after a fire or other natural disaster
The Certificate of Occupancy may seem like another obstacle when buying a home, but it’s meant to protect you. The CO ensures that the home is safe and sound. This doesn’t mean builders cut corners or don’t follow city rules, but builders are only human – they make mistakes too. The inspection ensures that all buildings meet the city code and are safe for living.