Fixer Upper // Final Certificate of Occupancy.

Our plumbing inspection finally passed on Tuesday, we had to call it in ourselves as the plumber has somehow disappeared. Yesterday the GC tried to call in our CO (certificate of occupancy, which you need to live in the house) with the city and they claimed the system had an issue and wouldn’t let us call it in. The whole department was at a seminar so we couldn’t get anywhere until today. My husband and I didn’t sleep last night imagining all the things that could put us back more time and money, setting ourselves up for the heartbreak that was sure to await us this morning as it has become our norm. As soon as the building department opened this morning my husband walked in and our home inspector, who knows our whole #203k saga, was standing inside and asked my hubs why he was there. Luckily the inspector knows everything about our build, sat down at the computer to look into the issue, and it turns out it was just a fee that needed to be paid. Once it was paid the inspector went to our house and gave us our final CO within about 30 minutes. Which means we are done with the city and can move into our house!

I have cried a few times today when I think about how happy I am to be done with this portion of our lives and start the next phase. It has been such a long and stressful road. Our patience and endurance has really been tested. Luckily our marriage is stronger then ever. We still have plenty of things to do to the house don’t get me wrong (hello driveway), but we can actually LIVE in the house we pay a mortgage for, not to mention electric and water bills. We no longer have to live in just a bedroom with two dogs and pay for a storage unit, budgeting every penny each month because we owe a sub more money or need something new added on like extra dimmers that cost $30 each. Now we can just waste our hard-earned money on decorating. You know, the fun stuff.


Read on for what to do with your CO once you have it >>

Ok, so once you have your CO here is what you need to do:

  1. Send it to your insurance agent for your homeowner’s insurance. Now that we have new everything our insurance should be lowered. For the build we just had hazard insurance, not homeowners insurance. The CO will allow the agent to “bind” your insurance into your mortgage so you are making one monthly payment.
  2. Send it to your mortgage broker if you are interested in refinancing. We are looking at doing a rate and term refinance, to lower our interest rate & knock off our PMI payment by switching this from an FHA loan to a conventional loan. Hopefully the home appraises for more than we currently owe and we can get some equity out of the house to pay for silly things like a driveway and sprinklers. Our realtor believes our home will appraise for $375k which is amazing as we only owe $245k, giving us $130k of equity right off the bat. Obviously we are only going to borrow the least amount we need to pay off some debt and cover our driveway. One day we will work on the pool but not today.
  3. Send it to the 203k bank consultant to draw up the final draw paperwork and get your last check from the bank + the 10% holdback check for the GC. Our GC fronted this last part of our job so most of the money will go to him. On Monday morning the bank consultant came out to the house and filled out the final draw paperwork plus a Mortgagee Letter and Release of Lien that your GC signs. Those are the only documents our bank requires plus the CO to process the final check.

Once you have your CO legally you are allowed to move into your home. We are having it deep cleaned tomorrow morning and then we can start moving all of our stuff in. I cannot wait to share before and after pics once the place is cleaned, not to mention as we decorate and give the house some life. Thanks for following my journey through this lengthy process and as always, let me know any questions you may have about the home renovation process and of course, the dreaded 203k FHA Rehabilitation Loan. If you aren’t up to date on my whole 203k Loan saga, check out my HOUSE section to read all about it from finding the house, navigating the bank draws and firing your contractor, to coping with stress and decorating tips. It has been so helpful to write about this whole process along the way and I hope that I helped someone out there who may be experiencing this process to some extent. We’re like a really small #203k gang. Have a lovely weekend. xx, B


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