I am purchasing a home in foreclosure. Do I need a certificate of occupancy and if I do, where do I get it?

Asked by Allan, 07866 Thu Nov 26, 2009

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Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Thu Nov 26, 2009
If you plan to occupy the home you need a certificate of occupany. Certificate of Occupancy requirements can be very strict or the state minimum. They vary from town to town in NJ>

For more info on a CO follow this link...


In a regular sale, the seller provides the Certificate of Occupancy. On bank owned and short sales sometimes the buyer is required to obtain the CO.

Requirements vary from town to town, call your local building offeicer at Town Hall and find out just what must be done. If you're working with an agent, they should be able to answer your questions.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore
1 vote
Corey Grushin, Agent, East Brunswick, NJ
Mon Mar 26, 2012
Allan if you are going to finance the purchase the bank you use may require you to obyain a CO before you can close. Some lending institutions won't close on a standard FHA or Conventional loan without a permanent CO, so in order to do so they would require you do a 203K loan to close. Let me know if you have any further questions.
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Nov 26, 2009
Hi Allan, often the township website will have info on the CO requirements. Generally there is an application, a fee, and an inspection. Some towns are stricter than others - my advice - follow the instructions carefully and test everything to be sure it is working order - ie, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you fail, you'll have to reschedule which could cause a delay and likely involve a second fee.

As Laura mentioned, generally securing the CO is for the seller to do, but in a short sale and/or foreclosure, it is left for the buyer to do. But to close, it must be done. Once completed, get your certificate of approval to your attorney.

Jeannie Feenick
"Unwavering Commitment to Service"
Find success at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
0 votes
Ian A. Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu Nov 26, 2009
What you will need varies on municiplaity. Who is responsible for obtaining it(buyer or seller) depends on the terms of your contract. Your best bet is to first contact the municpal clerk where the home you are purchasing is located. They will be able to tell you what you need and how to get it. Then find out if the seller is taking care of it or you are expected to. If the home has a well, a water test will also need to be obtained for nj. Hope that helps.
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