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What is Residential Legalization?

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Michael McCann and McCann-craft, Inc. offer legalization services to secure required and missing certificates of occupancy (C.O.’s) and to correct and remove building code violations on existing residential properties.

When placing their residence on the market, owners frequently discover that their property has legalization problems that must be resolved before the house can be sold. Sometimes these improvements, such as an enclosed porch, deck or added bathroom, were constructed without obtaining a building permit and were even present when the current owner purchased the house years before. In the past, legalization problems may not have been noticed or were overlooked by title companies and banks. But in today’s lending environment, banks will refuse to grant the purchaser a mortgage until legalization problems have been resolved by the current owner. Additionally, title companies will not grant title insurance with legalization issues.

Very often, real estate agents are the first to find out that a home their agency is marketing has legalization problems or open certificates of occupancy that can potentially delay or prevent a property from being sold. These problems can come to light during a search of records by the agent or the title insurance company, frequently right before a scheduled closing. Without a resolution of legalization problems or the issuance of a final C.O., banks will deny the mortgage. Therefore, the closing will be held up as the owner scrambles to clear up the problems, potentially risking losing their buyer.

Usually, when these problems come to light, the owner is then faced with finding a licensed architect to draw up stamped plans to submit to the town’s building department. Once the plans have been drawn up and approved by the building department, the owner frequently must then find a licensed trades’ person, such as a carpenter, plumber or electrician, to make the necessary corrections before the architect will certify that the C.O. problem conforms to the building code.

Michael McCann, as a licensed architect can help a real estate agent and owner resolve these problems quickly, while the owner has the convenience of dealing with only one person overseeing the whole process. As a licensed architect, Mike has familiarity with the New York and Connecticut State Building Code and can draw up any required plans. With 35+ years experience as an architect and builder in New York and Connecticut, he has dealt successfully with many building departments, inspectors and planning boards in obtaining building permits and C.O.’s.

Mike’s services include securing building, plumbing and electrical permits, if required. This will encompass stamped architectural drawings, permit applications by a licensed architect, plumber and electrician, all with required contractor insurances. He can perform code compliance inspections of existing conditions and provide architectural services, if a variance is required. Mike will provide and supervise the work as necessary to make existing conditions code compliant, secure and supervise governmental inspections, if required, and apply for and secure the required C.O.

Contact: Michael McCann, Architect
Telephone:   914 576-2142
Fax:   914 813-2574
E-Mail: mmccannarchitect@aol.com
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