I have to assume that you are pursuing some kind of Foreclosure, Short Sale or REO property. In a normal resale, the Seller is responsible for the CO.
The CO is specific to the requirements of your township, etc. Broadly speaking, local town inspectors seem to fall into two camps:
- Real pain, nit-pickers that take pride in really pushing the limits of what is wrong
- Quick run-through guys that look for the obvious but will otherwise miss loads of stuff.
If YOU are responsible for the CO as a buyer I would NOT show the town inspector anything at all from your private inspector. Just stay far out of his way, let him go through and see what he comes back with in his report - smile and thank him very much for coming. If you are lucky, he is the lazy kind and then you'll have a short list.
You do NOT want the town inspector to start going through your home with a fine tooth comb - anything he finds is stuff that you must fix before you can live there ...
Note - there will be a different inspector for general stuff and one for electric (not always but usually).
You will no doubt get a personal inspection in any case, to find out stuff that you really DO need to know about. Make sure the inspector that you hire is VERY experienced, and does it full time.
The certificate of occupancy is usually not that expensive, the local inspectional services can tell you exactly what it will cost. What does get expensive is the labor & materials needed to get the property to conform if there is a problem with what's currently there.
Your mortgage lender will usually require a certificate of occupancy in order to lend on a property or you might have to get a construction loan.
Good luck, hope that helps
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