Anyone with Experience Moving into Newly Built House Before Occupancy Permits?

Updated on May 12, 2010
S.R. asks from Morgan Hill, CA
4 answers

Hello Mamas,
What a wonderful forum this is that I can ask such a question!!!
My hubby and I have built our own home and are in the process of obtaining final inspections and the final occupancy permit. The project took longer than anticipated and since the new house is done, water and electric are already turned on, etc., I would like to go ahead and move in as soon as possible so that we can stop drawing from savings to make rental payments.
I've asked the General Contractor and even a few friends who have experience in major remodels, etc., and everyone says that essentially, nothing happens if you move in before the final inspection and the occupancy permit is issued. You are not fined by the city, etc.
Do any Mamas have any experience having done something like this and is it true that there really are no penalties?
If anyone has any horror stories about having done this and being slapped with huge fines or having their (pending) permits revoked, etc., PLEASE reply.
We are pretty much settled in our mind that we are going to move in soon, with or without the permits. We are confident final permits and passing inpections will not be an issue. It is mostly just hold-ups with trying to get the City to schedule our final inspection, etc., that are preventing us from having our occupancy permit.
If anyone has any information that would sway me to stay in the rental another month, please let me know.
Thank you!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

My dad is a retired construction Superintendent who's worked in TX, NJ, and VA. I asked him, he says, no, you can't move in. The issuing of the permit shows that the county agrees that the house is safe to be occupied. Also, many times you can't close on the loan until the title company has the permit.

If you are worried, you can call the county division for building permits and find out their point of view.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

S., all I will venture to say here is that I would not do it. Your general contractor might be the best guy in the world, but he also might be the one who "walks", leaving your place with unfinished issues. There's a reason why you have a "walk-through" before closing on the house.

Also, you need to make sure he has paid his sub-contractors and the places where he has bought his materials so that you don't end up with liens on your house. Of course, he's not going to tell you this stuff. The part about the permits may not be what all you have to worry about. And at the final closing when you have switched from construction loan to mortgage loan, this is probably when he is paid for the bulk of his work. If he is already paid, he may not want to finish the parts of the job that "finish" the house. You cannot imagine the trouble it will be for you if YOU have to find people to do that kind of work. I promise.

Rent another month - it's the safest thing to do.


answers from Dallas on

I personally would not. I don't know the laws though.

We've built 2 homes and there is SO much to go over when you walk through to make sure you get every detail that needs to be re-touched, re-done, corrected, etc.

We had 2 builders we were not happy with and we went through a lot of efort and time getting things to the point where they needed to be because we caught some areas where the biulder cut corners (though we wouldn't notice) and had to be re-done.

Also, we didn't move in right after we closed either. We took about 4 days to seal the tiles and grout in the house and make sure it was ready for us to move in.

Congratulations on your new home, I think 1 more month of rent is worth it.



answers from Casper on

My husband and I built our dream home. My husband was the general contractor. We did not get an occupancy permit when we first moved in because we had a deck off our bedroom that did not have a railing around it (second floor). We had the railing custom-made and it took longer than expected, but well worth it! Well, we NEVER did get an occupancy permit and we have lived in the house for 14 years.

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