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Reader Alan Cohara reminds us how seemingly minor details such as a certificate of occupancy can lead to major troubles. He bought a $1.5 million home north of Fort Lauderdale two years ago, which he couldn’t move into.
“I signed a contract on a newly constructed home. The bank told me I could not close without a certificate of occupancy. I did my inspection the day before closing and the builder was finishing things. On the day of closing I called the closer at the bank and asked if the certificate of occupancy was in the file. She replied of course we have it we would never close without on. I closed and when I got to the house I was locked out.
It still had 5 open permits on it and would not be ready for another 9 months. The bank gave me a right of rescission which I mailed and faxed and the bank said they would not fund the loan.
Well guess what they did. I could not sell my other house because I had no place to go and got stuck with 2 mtgs.
I currently have a lawsuit against the title company, builder and bank.”
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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.