How to Find if an addition is Permitted?

2 Replies

Hi BP!

I'm evaluating a potential deal in San Diego and the property has a ~600 sqft addition to the house which the listing agent says may not be permitted; the agent was of no further help, didn't even offer to find out for me.

The construction of the addition itself looks good - it has insulated walls, electrical outlets every 6 feet, minimum 7' height, etc... However, the permit status of the addition may affect my funding options.

How can I find out for myself whether that addition is permitted or not?


Your county's (or city's) building dept. has a file on the property. It will have the original plans and permit for the house and any additional permits. Sometimes you can find permit info online as some counties have more recent permit info online.

Plan for a few hours to go in person and learn where and how you can access your muni's permitting info.

Hi @Peter Chan

I still owe you a phone call, sorry about that. I have had you in my inbox for a couple weeks now as a reminder and every afternoon just flys by. Feel free to reach out to me if you get a chance and you can likely catch me.

In regards to the permits, K. Marie Poe is correct. The only way to get the real answer is by going into the building department (first thing in the morning is best) and see what you can dig up there. You can attempt to call first to see what you can find out on the phone, but more often then not they will just tell you to come in. Worth a shot though. Eventually, when you can afford it and have confidence in the deal, there are people you can pay to do the research for you that are much more efficient at getting the relevant info, and deciphering the non-sense that sometimes is the San Diego building records.

Good luck,


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