Home Buying in Staten Island>Question Details

Geo0171, Other/Just Looking in Staten Island, NY

Buying a home without a C of O Is it a smart to even get involved in such a home? Agent tells all renovations were done to code, just needs some tlc.

Asked by Geo0171, Staten Island, NY Tue Aug 2, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


This is a broad question. Homes build prior to 1939 in NYC boroughs did not receive Certificates of Occupancy, as such were not issued back then. So, if the house in question was build before that year, the lack of CofO shouldn't be an issue. On the other hand, if the house is built after 1939, then it should have the CofO. Also, if the current owner did extensive changes (i.e. added a 2nd floor) to the house that was built prior to 1939 then it needs a CofO. Finally, I came across a number of cases where the NYC Building Dept. has voided a CofO on a building that had fines for unauthorized construction, change in use, etc. Those cases require that all violations be cured, and fines paid, before requesting with the DOB to reissue the CofO.

Chris Burdzy
Lic. RE Broker
Leader Properties Inc.
Web Reference: http://www.718forsale.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 11, 2011
How would the AGENT know that "all renovations were done to code"?
Was he there?
Did he do the work?
If you rely on his information, will he pay for the repairs?
You know what they say about RED FLAGS?

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
You need to know if a Cof O is required.

The statement of "buying a home without a C of O" could mean a few things, as in you are responsible and you have to pay for it, what is necessary to get the C of O could cost a lot of money..

You could step into a money pit.

Some more due diligence on the area and the requirements are necessary.. That Realtor should have a little more inforamtion reagrding this other that it needs some TLC..

John Sacktig
Broker / manager
Orange Key Realty
Direct: 732-213-1409
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
Hello Geo,

Make having a C of O, a condition of your offer, ( since the agent told you all renovations were done to code this shouldn't be a problem) Speak to your attorney prior to going into contract and get his advice. If all renovations were done to code there should be filings with the DOB on inspections done as the job progressed. Check for fines or penalties for violations on open applications. There are more questions than answers on this one. I suggest you do your homework.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 13, 2011
there are two kitchens and two bathrooms each apt would have a private bedroom/
Flag Thu Feb 27, 2014
The entire home without c/o? Or is it just a room? Is it a 1 family being sold as a 2? Please clarify.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
Flag Thu Feb 27, 2014
Hey Geo,

To best answer this questions may I ask a few questions:

When was the house built?
What renovations were done?
Have you done a home (Engineer) inspection?
And what in the home requires TLC? (Is it carpeting,wall paper, aesthetics)

If you can answer these questions you can get better advice on what to do with this home.

Egen Warner
Associate Broker
Web Reference: http://EgenWarner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
I would never recommend buying a house without a C of O but if you really love the home check with the municipality and see if there are any open building permits or if the home has permits for the work that was done.Check to see if the work was inspected and approved by the town code enforcement officer. Don't forget to make sure you get the advise of your attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 31, 2011
Hello Geo0171, first of all you cannot buy a house without a required C of 0 unless you are purchasing it cash, you could in the past, where money had to be left in an escrow account by the seller. Secondly, you say “all renovations were done to code, just needs some tlc” that’s a contradictory statement describing the condition of the home. The word renovation implies new, tlc implies repair both may not have anything to with a missing C of O so what really is your question?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 30, 2011
The advice given by both Anna and Chris are the best I have read here. They are both correct. Find out what year the home was built. Check the property card and see if there is a c of o. Also is the agent you are referring to an agent for the seller or have you hired this agent to represent you in this transaction. If the agent is in your corner works in your best interest they can start first on the internet by searching the Department of Buildings websites (Bis systems). Get the property card and do a search in the DOB archives to see if there is a c of o if the home was built after 1939. Also check to see what warranties came with the work that was done.

A little working smart and a little research can help you figure this whole situation out. Two hours of research can save you a year of headache.

Egen Warner
Associate Broker
Web Reference: http://EgenWarner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 30, 2011
Sometimes all renovations are done to code but the City won't issue a C of O because they want you to tear down a pool deck or a shed that the new buyers might want. Just check into it, is the best answer. Having a C of O doesn't mean the hot water heater might blow up after you buy the place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 27, 2011
If all renovations were "done to Code," then why isn't there a final inspection approved by the Code Department and a new CO issued? You should call Code Compliance and personally check to see that all repairs were permitted and approved before "blindly" jumping in.

Jack Gillis, M.B.A., J.D.
Jack Gillis Realty Advisors
Nathan Grace Real Estate, Broker
5619 Dyer Street | Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75206
Cell: 214.718.4910
Email: Jack@JackGillisRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 11, 2011
A home without a CofO built after 1920s is not a house that should have been listed. You cannot get a mortgage for the house and only a buyer with cash can consider buying it. Your lawyer will not suggest buying a house without a CofO. What is the area zoned for? It may never be able to get a CofO. The other problem is homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance only pays for claims on damage that is recorded with the City.
I would suggest you find a buyers' agent since your realtor is working for the seller and not you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
Your attorney can best advise you; if there is a mortgage involved, the lender may not lend without the c/o; not sure why the agent is telling "all renovations were done to code" unless he/she is an expert in the field; proceed with caution and consult with your attorney beforehand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
You will want to check for yourself if all permits were in place, dont take someones word, also check for the process to be able to get one, it is always better to have the seller get it and make that a contingincy in your offer. In most cases you cant get a mortgage without it
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
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