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Old 07-08-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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I have a family friend who is selling a 30 year old condo located in a retirement commutiny in Howell Township, NJ. This is not a condo in a large multi level building, it is similar to a SFH with a garage and yard except it shares a wall with a similar unit next door.

Anyway, in addition to having an appraisal and inspection done by the prospective buyer, apparently the town did an isnpection as well and has decided not to issue a certificate of occupancy (CO) becasue it has a a problem with carpet being on the floor in the kitchen.

My question is this, why does a new CO need to be issued by the town for a 30 year old house? I thought a CO was issued at the time of initial constrcution and after that whenever the house was sold and bought down the road the CO transfered with the purchase. I know when I bought my 5 year old resale house in NC I did not have to go through any CO inspection process.

Is this something unique to NJ? IF so, what is the reason? In any case, why would the town not issue a CO becasue there is carpet on the floor in the kitchen instead of tile? Seems like the town/State of NJ make it very difficult for homeowners to actually sell their houses. The buyer is fine with the house as is, but now the town is holding up the sale becasue they don't approve of my friend's 95 year old grandmother's flooring choices from 30 years ago!

I hope my question makes sense. Any insight would be greatly appreciated
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:36 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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It is a New Jersey thing. Some areas require this and some do not.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:05 AM
 
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It's actually considered a "Certificate of Approval" or a "Certificate of Continued Occupancy"- not really a "Certificate of Occupancy", though most realtors call it a CO. It's typically done just to check some safety issues, not to do an overall inspection of the house.

We're selling our house right now, and the inspection will check to make sure there are smoke detectors on every floor, a CO detector outside the bedrooms, and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. They'll also check to see if there are any floor drains or sump pumps connected to the sanitary sewer.

I've never heard of an inspection being failed for something as odd as carpet in the kitchen. The only thing I can think of is that the fire inspector felt it was a fire hazard to have carpet so close to a stove (though I can't say I blame him).

Bob
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
It's actually considered a "Certificate of Approval" or a "Certificate of Continued Occupancy"- not really a "Certificate of Occupancy", though most realtors call it a CO. It's typically done just to check some safety issues, not to do an overall inspection of the house.

We're selling our house right now, and the inspection will check to make sure there are smoke detectors on every floor, a CO detector outside the bedrooms, and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. They'll also check to see if there are any floor drains or sump pumps connected to the sanitary sewer.

I've never heard of an inspection being failed for something as odd as carpet in the kitchen. The only thing I can think of is that the fire inspector felt it was a fire hazard to have carpet so close to a stove (though I can't say I blame him).

Bob
Thank you for that very helpful explanation Bob. Yes I agree it is odd to have carpet in the kitchen. I just find it disappointing that a home sale can be held up by the town in light of the fact that this was an “as-is” sale and the buyer was more than willing to move in. I understand the safety aspects of it, but I found it odd when the RE agent said my friend had to put a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. I know this makes good sense and everyone should have one in their kitchen, I just don’t see how it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure there is one there. That doesn’t seem to be a “part” of the house in my eyes. Anyway, thanks for the explanation. I sure am glad we don’t have to worry about these CO inspections for resales in NC. I am more than happy to hire my own inspector when it comes time, I just don’t like the idea of the town getting involved and slowing down the process.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:33 PM
 
Location: North Pittsburgh
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It is not just unique to NJ. We have Certificate of Occupancy here in PA as well. Local government wants to make sure the property has all the safety items that should be in a home like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, properly working furnaces etc. It's a safety issue.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PghREA View Post
It is not just unique to NJ. We have Certificate of Occupancy here in PA as well. Local government wants to make sure the property has all the safety items that should be in a home like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, properly working furnaces etc. It's a safety issue.
I find this fascinating. I wonder why some states require this while others leave it up to the potential buyer to hire a home inspector who would identify safety issues in addition to structural issues. I wonder how anybody does "as is" sales in places like PA and NJ in light of these CO inspections.

FWIW, I am not criticizing this practice. Just trying to get a better understanding of how and why some places require it.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:21 AM
 
4,891 posts, read 12,215,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
I find this fascinating. I wonder why some states require this while others leave it up to the potential buyer to hire a home inspector who would identify safety issues in addition to structural issues. I wonder how anybody does "as is" sales in places like PA and NJ in light of these CO inspections.

FWIW, I am not criticizing this practice. Just trying to get a better understanding of how and why some places require it.

Thanks for the input!
Some states/politicians LOVE to regulate everything! I don't believe it is legal to pump your own gas in NJ either is it?? God knows you need technical training to do that. People are blowing up every day here in MN.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:45 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Default Inspector finds

recently obtained a CO- Our issue was tip guard on the stove & the fire ext. was not big enough. He said it was all Safety issues....whatever- I just want this to be DONE !! My buyers have the worlds worst RE Attorney.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: 89121
413 posts, read 1,445,212 times
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I spent 30+ years doing CO research for title companies. Believe me when I tell you that its's the lender that wants to see the CO. If the home was constructed prior to the issuance of CO's, most banks will want a letter on Building Department letterhead stating that the structure predates. Of course the municipality will charge a fee for this. The secondary mortgage market wants nothing but squeaky-clean deals. The CO just makes the whole deal cleaner.
There were a few occasions during my investigtions that we uncovered illegal additions/decks built without the necessary municipal approvals. In these instances, the owner would have to file the necessary paperwork to legalize the deck/addition. On a few occasions, the owner would have to remove the structures because of various legal issues regarding zoning,setback and building code compliance.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Help! My house failed 2 weeks ago, fixed 2 issues. Inspector came back and now failed again for issues he "missed" on first go round! Is this legal? Can they keep coming back and finding new things? My closing was scheduled for next week!!!
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