Roger Kimball: This Metamorphosis Will Require a Permit –

As a prospective buyer in Illinois I share the trepidation every time you have to deal with government.  The house we’re buying was foreclosed. In order to get a certificate of occupancy, we had a city inspector look at the house. He found a laundry list of infractions, mostly minor,that need to be fixed before we can live there. Normally the seller fixes these issues before closing, but since it is a foreclosure they won’t fix anything, so we are in the position of buying a house that we can’t live in.

The inspector did say that he would recommend allowing us a Temporary Occupancy certificate  but that it wasn’t his decision. So some bureaucrat who hasn’t even seen the house is going to make a decision on whether we can live in the house.

And, did I mention that we can’t close without a certificate of occupancy? We could conceivably be unable to buy the house because the village won’t issue a certificate, which leaves an unoccupied potential hazard just sitting there, and us without a place to live.


Then,of course, we need to pay the Village of Round Lake Park a $200.00 deposit in order to get the water turned on.  Only the homeowners can do this, so we can’t have water until after the closing. But don’t expect them to turn it on if it’s after 3 PM on Friday – they don’t work that late. So our closing, tentatively scheduled for Friday afternoon, may result in our not having water for two days when we start moving in.

Thankfully after that we only have to worry about getting a parking permit for our cars, which is only $15.00 per car. That’s cheap compared to many Illinois towns, but still a hell of an imposition when you park your car on your own property.