Can I buy a house without an occupancy permit? | Let’s Get Real Estate | April

Dear Jan, I looked at a house that was foreclosed upon. It is new but was never finished.  I was told because there is no occupancy permit that I can’t buy it. Is this true?


Dear PW,

Tough one. There are loans out there that would allow you to buy this home.  There is an FHA 203k Loan.  And there are Investor Loans.  Any of these loans would allow you to close now. You borrow more money than just the agreed upon purchase price. You also borrow the money to get the work done on the home.  An appraiser has to be able to justify the higher price to the lender.

In other words, the home with all the work complete must be able to appraise for the “new” purchase price (home + repairs).  There are special rules to follow; some of these loans require that you will occupy the property for a certain number of years. Others require a higher down payment. Some require stellar credit. Don’t rule this home out until you talk to a lender who specializes in these types of loans. Some of these homes are great buys right now.

Find a broker who knows these properties, knows how the loans work and is connected to great lenders. Best wishes.


Jan Zufelt is a broker with John L Scott Real Estate in Kingston.