Would you move in if the following was not yet complete:

threeapplesMarch 28, 2013

Painting would not be finished in several rooms, not all showers, sinks, and faucets would be installed yet, many light fixtures would not be installed, tile in the foyer and first floor hallway would not be installed (there is another staircase to access upstairs without walking on the untiled floor), no railing installed on porch, downspouts not adjusted, and some masonry work incomplete. My husband wants to move in in a few weeks because we need to be out of our current home by May 1st and because we have a great offer to refinance at a desirable rate. I personally don't want to be living there when there is still so much to do and feel like we'd be in the way of the subs who are working, as would our furniture. So, have any of you moved into a half-finished house?

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We would not have been able to get a Certificate of Occupancy with all of those things unfinished.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Agree. You absolutely could not legally move into a home in that condition where we live in New England.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:56PM
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The paint and tile work wouldn't bother me...and if you have a working bathroom, then installing remaining fixtures wouldn't be too bad, either. My concern would be the safety issues (such as railing) and whether anything would create dust and/or unhealthy fumes.

If you're going to be using low or no fume paint and the rest of the work does not include cutting into sheetrock or subfloor, you should be okay. Just keep picturing the inconvenience of cleaning a fine layer of dust off all your furniture...and think about what you may be breathing in, while you're living there.

If it were me, I'd want as much done as possible, before I moved in. I don't think you're doing a lot of DIY (?) so why be around all that mess, if you don't have to be?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Beth Parsons

I don't think a bank will let you refinance the construction loan to a perm mortgage until construction is complete, either. I know ours won't - we & our builder had to sign notarized documents stating that we were done building and there were no outstanding monies due to subs. A bank won't let a mechanic's lien take precedence over their own interest...

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:04PM
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That's what we had to do. We fired our builder and had to move out of our sold house. Living in an unfinished house and subs seeing you in pajamas is temporary. A low interest rate is forever.;)

Oh and the CO wasn't an issue for us.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:51PM
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Circus Peanut

Sounds like it's all just finishes, other than the faucets and sinks? Wouldn't bother me at all as long as there were one completed (i.e., functional even if not yet painted) bathroom.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:05AM
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The CO would be an issue around here. You wouldn't get it. I would talk to the bank and see what you need for a CO. We had a bunch of workers there for weeks but none of the issues you state, which are major. Ours were things like refinishing floors when we weren't happy, fixing bad tile work, painting, etc.

Also, how will you handle the closing and the remaining payments/draws to your builder? Banks will require a lien release from the builder and subs and if there is work still going on and the builder hasn't been paid for it, I doubt they will let you close.

May 1 is a long way away. It sounds like if they doubletime it they can get it done.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:22AM
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I did something similar - we ended up having to get a temporary CO, which I understand is something that isn't even offered in some places. And there was a lot of stuff that had to be done to get even a temp CO.

It worked out ok for me, but I don't have kids. (I do have one wacko dog who was upset with all the commotion in the house though.)

It isn't easy, to live in an active construction site. You are right to think about furnishings. There were whole rooms we couldn't put stuff in, the basement was a disaster area, the garage was still a staging area...and what stuff I did move into the house got covered in drywall dust and construction debris.

It sure wouldn't be my first choice.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:53AM
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He who has the gold makes the rules. Your builder hasn't always done the right/best things when he was owed money ... once you close and he has his money, he will be even less motivated to get things done right.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:56AM
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We had to do this when I was about 10 yrs old (dad is an electrical contractor, my parents had built 4 houses by the time I was 18) and it made my mom a nervous wreck. One of my then-4-year-old sister's friends walked in and said "is this house not made yet?"

My mom still jokes about her saying that. I'd avoid it if you can. It's not an easy situation, and I personally wouldn't do it unless I really had no choice.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:45AM
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In the days before CO in our area, we deliberately moved into the new house which was just a shell. We were building it ourselves without borrowing. Moving in meant that the money that previously went for rent could be used to buy materials to finish the house. Inconvenient for a couple of years-- but there was never a mortgage. We rose from poverty much faster than is possible today. All these regulations penalize the poor most of all.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:54AM
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I wouldn't do it now...

But, when I was your age I would have and I would have looked at it as an adventure!

It might give you better control of finishing everything off, if it doesn't drive you crazy first, lol.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I'm planning on starting to move in this weekend (at least getting enough in to sleep there). But we do have a little more done that you. We are finishing tile ourselves, and I think by living there, we will be able to finish quicker. Instead of staying there so late and keeping kids up...they can go to bed. ;)

The trim/cabinet guy is coming tomorrow to hopefully finish. And then the stain guy is coming Monday to look at nicks and scrapes on cabinets to fix. Electrical was supposed to finish today but got called on to another job and will supposedly finish Tuesday.

I'm tired of waiting for all our subs to finish....we seem to always get put on the backburner. The tiny house we are living in now (going on 10 months!!) is about to stress us to our limits. My teen sons are very tired of sharing the tiny space and it causes problems for all of us.

We have electrical in all the important rooms in the house. We have hot water and all the plumbing is done. We still need to paint boy's bathroom (it has been primed). But I can't foresee any problems in moving in...

In our rural area, we don't have to worry about a CO. The bank has already told us we can move in when we want to even though they won't lock in our rate and begin the closing process until everything is done and ready for an appraisal. They've already extended our construction loan to August, so no hurry as long as interest rates stay low (even though the Interest only payments on the construction loan are as much as a mortgage payment so the sooner the better for us!).


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:17PM
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