The issue of 'Open Building Permits'

Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula

A permit check should always be done when buying a home. Here's some great advice from Dan Phillips, a Realtor in Eureka, CA. Thanks Dan! Please go leave a comment on Dan's original post.

Original content by Dan Edward Phillips

One of the suggestions I make to buyers is to check with the Building and Planning Department to see if there are any "open" permits on a property they are considering purchasing.

An "open" permit could prevent another permit from being issued for the property: say to replace a roof. 

If there is an "open" permit on the property, one in which the final inspection has not been completed, the clients could be subject to big expenses if they purchase the home.

In order for an inspector to check the quality of plumbing or electrical work, new drywall may have to be removed.  This can be expensive.  There may be additional permit fee's because the inspections were not completed on time.

My experience in this area has always been that the Building and Planning Departments are a buyers good friend!

Comments (4)

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


An excellent post for a reblog. Seems there are lots of situations out there involving permits or lack of, although I have not yet run into an open permit situation...yet.


Sep 27, 2011 12:13 PM
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Yeah, Jeff, there are quite a few unpermitted additions, modifications, renovations out there!

Sep 27, 2011 04:12 PM
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Steve, thank you for the re-post!  It is appreciated!

Sep 28, 2011 01:18 AM
Mike Young, covering the USA - Stallings, NC
FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809

We always suggest getting a "permit history" which would also provide the "open permit" copy but it also has all of the items ever permitted on this home. Most of our counties in CA didn't start requiring permits till the 1950's. It is a nice blog post to re-post and if you hadn't done that I would have missed it altogether. Thanks for doing it.

Oct 06, 2012 02:17 AM