If you are looking in Leonia and working with a good realtor, then your buyers' agent will tell you that in the contract you are automatically guaranteed the right of inspection, which comes within 10 days after attorney review once you settle on a price and terms. During that time, you should certainly do your due diligence to go to the town building department and request a copy of the house permit card, which will indicate any work done on the house with permits. If the inspector notes work which is not up to code and indicates this was probably a "do-it-yourself" job, then you can simply request repairs through your attorney, depending on the price of the house of course. The seller can make the repairs, offer a credit for you to do so after closing, or refuse.
The C.O. required by the town in order to close on any resale of property is done by the seller through the building department and their listing agent prior to closing. Each town is different in what they require for this inspection -- some towns like Teaneck and Bergenfield inspect for the state-required smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and a mounted fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Other towns like Fair Lawn go through a more thorough inspection of the furnace, or like New Milford require the homeowner have no buckled sidewalks and railings on all the steps inside and out. This C.O. is required to be presented at closing to accompany the recording of the deed at the county level, and is strictly the responsibility of the seller.
If you aren't yet working with a realtor in your housing search, give me a call! My team and I know the area well, and would be happy to help you with your real estate needs!
Coldwell Banker Residential RE