The importance of a permit search when you buy a home

downloadOne of the most important things a new home buyer can do is a permit search on the home they are about to buy. Most people think that the title company will do a permit search. And they will, but they are only looking for open permits. Also, many inspectors will an online permit search. While this is good, it may not show all permits. It is always a good idea to visit the building department and conduct a thorough search.

Here in Florida permits are important for various reasons:

  • Many home have additions. Have they been properly permitted? Not having a permit can result in three things. The city / county could request that the structure  be returned to its original condition, tear it down, or bring it up to current code, all of which can be expensive.
  • You will need permit information on your roof in order to obtain wind mitigation discounts. While we may know the roof is newer, the insurance companies want proof of when the permit was pulled. The permit will verify what code the roof was installed to. Keep in mind that while you may be able to get other documentation on your roof, without a permit the roof would not meet the Florida Building Code, as obtaining a permit is part of the code.105.1 Required. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any impact-resistant coverings, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.
  • The permit will also have information telling what materials should have been used and what code applications were used. There will be an NOA (Notice of Approval) for the products used. There will also be installation instructions. These are checks and balances to ensure that things were done properly.

Posted by Bill Siegel Florida Home Inspection Team Inc

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