If you are considering a home renovation, or purchasing a home contingent upon expansion plans, inquire with local government officials about the specific ordinances in place. Every town in Marin County follows their own set of ordinances. Although some of the ordinances share a similar theme, each town has their own considerations; such as – zoning, slope of the property, environmental issues and energy efficiency requirements.
#1 - Inquire with your Realtor or local government official if the home is located in County or City limits? If the home is located in an unincorporated area of town, then you will want to contact the County of Marin to inquire about the Building and Permit process. If the home is within city limits, you will want to contact the City Hall Planning and Building Division for information.
#2 - Once in contact with your local governing body, inquire about the property’s permit history. Has the property been surveyed, are there easements and restrictions/requirements in place?
#3 – Contact a local reputable General Contractor and/or Architect. Obtain a few referrals from your trusted sources and start interviewing them about their experience working with local government building inspectors. Run your ideas by them and see how they respond. If they are familiar with local ordinances, they will be able to respond confidently about the obstacles you might face or not. You will want to know that the licensed General Contractor, and Architect, you select to perform the work is familiar with local building codes and the process for inspections to ensure a successful job.
I have 8 years of remodeling experience in Marin County working with good quality contractors. My expertise remains in guiding clients through light to medium renovations prior to marketing their homes for sale. The days of fixer upper homes flying off the market with 10 offers are long gone. Most buyers demand that a home they purchase be in relatively good condition and that a home exhibit some areas of improvements. If you find yourself in this position, or would like to purchase a home with upside potential, call me. I would be happy to answer your questions or assist you as needed.