Building codes are minimum standards set by local governments for the design and construction of buildings. For example, most cities set building codes for fire-proofing walls or plumbing systems. The government enforces building codes by requiring homeowners to get a permit from the local county office before building a new home.

With new construction, the inspector should issue a certificate of occupancy confirming that the home is up to code. This document is required at closing, so it’s important for the buyer’s agent to ensure that the inspector files the certificate before the final papers are signed. Learn more about the closing process.

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