Occupancy Certificate Issued
In the normal course of events leading up to listing a newly constructed house for sale, the Builder will have completed all the progress permiting requirements by the municipality. These permits will have included permits taken out, inspected and passed by the city inspectors for excavation, forming prior to concrete pour, framing, mechanical and electrical systems, to name a few. Once all the progress permits have been approved, then the final Occupancy Certificate is issued. This milestone signals that the new house can now be moved into by the Buyers.
Happy Days But...
Let’s consider the case where the Builder built the house as a ‘spec’ home; that is, there was no Buyer prior to constructing the house. So the Builder developed the property as he/she saw fit, to a standard determined by the Buider. Along comes our Buyer who sees and likes the final product, purchases it and moves in.
As with any new build, there may likely to be items:
- cosmetic issues
- scratches on finished surfaces
- not operational
- not working as intended
Even though the Occupancy Certificate has been issued, the Builder still has the responsibility to complete or correct the work.
Builders are busy people. Once the new construction has been sold by their real estate agent, then they are on to the next development.
Buyers will typically have been ‘walked through’ the new house by the Builder and shown how all the systems, appliances and features operate. Builders are professionals who do their best to ensure that their product is understood and will be cared for by the new Owner.
Consider yourself blessed if you as the Owner have no deficiences with the new house.
Sometimes the Builder will leave behind a Deficiency List (or Punch List) of items still needing completion, which will require his/her crew to return to finish. If so, do follow-up to ensure the work gets done.
If available, ask the Buildier for the house drawings and specifications, including the site survey. But remember, the Builder is under no obligation to provide the Owner with this information, as it will be filed in the municipality’s Planning Office. Still, as the Owner, it would be useful to have a copy at home, for reference.
As the Owner, you will have received the New Home Warranty Certificate. Know the anniversary dates as you will have specific performance specifications extending for 12-months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years. Should a failure happen that is covered by the warranty, then it will be repaired.
Finally, be curious about your new house. If something does not look right, ask the Builder about. In some cases, using an independent property inspector to review the newly built house makes sense as it provides the Owner with information as to what is and is not acceptable in the final product.