Home Buying in Howell>Question Details

Kbcm341, Home Buyer in Howell, NJ

does howell require a certificate of occupancy for house sale?

Asked by Kbcm341, Howell, NJ Fri Sep 2, 2011

the house i am buying has part of the garage converted to a den, but the seller never got a permit. do i need a c of o for howell and will this effect getting it?

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In Howell Township, a Fire Certification ($35.) is required. There is also a Permit Search required for an additional cost of $50. If there are any open permits, they would have to be addressed before the fire certification can be issued. Howell used to require Certificate of Occupancy's on purchases (sales), but only requires them now on rentals.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
Hi Kbcm
If you are buying the house " AS IS " and your contract states that you are responsible for getting all the necessary approvals, permits and inspections to close then you would typically be required to get COs , permits and pay all inspections. However, if it does not you should definitely request that the seller get the needed permits on any alterations to the house and pay for all required township inspections.Getting a permit is a simple process , does require application and inspection fees and may take several weeks to obtain, especially if the town requires any changes after their inspection so plan ahead of time before you schedule your move

Joan Congilose CRS,GRI, e-Pro
RE/MAX Central
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 7, 2011
Your specific question about construction without a permit. They may make the home owner return the space to a garage. If you are getting financing, you will definitely need a C.O.

Having more bedrooms definitely has tax implications. If the town doesn't make the owner return the space to a garage (and even, perhaps, pay a fine), they would probably want to charge for the permits that weren't taken out and re-classify your house for tax purposes as having an additional bedroom.

More than likely, however, they'll require the seller restore the space to its original purpose.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
I would be careful buying any home that has had unpermited work. It might be a lot larger of an ordeal than you would expect. You need to make sure you have a licensed contractor and home inspector take a look and inspect the home and the addition/conversion. And I would re-quest that the seller get the work permitted before settlement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
C.O.'s are obtained through the Zoning and/or Building Dept. One fills out an application, pays a fee, and schedules an inspection by a town inspector. Towns often hand out criteria at the time you pay your fee, so that you understand their requirements and have enough fire and smoke alarms, etc.

Keith R.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 2, 2011
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