Decoding  A Home's History: Your Guide to San Francisco & Marin Permit Tracking

Decoding A Home's History: Your Guide to San Francisco & Marin Permit Tracking

Understanding a property's history is vital for informed decision-making in the dynamic San Francisco & Marin real estate markets. One valuable resource are city Permit Tracking sites, a powerful tool that can unveil a home's past through its permit history.

Why Checking Permits Matters

Checking online permits can be a good idea for various reasons. It can reveal some or all of a property's renovation history, it can give a sense of compliance with building regulations, and it can give insight into potential issues that might impact the home's value or your living experience.

Navigating the San Francisco Permit Tracking Site

Accessing the site is your first step by going here:  SF Permit Tracking.

Navigating Marin Permit Tracking Sites

Mill Valley:  Mill Valley Permit Tracking

San Rafael:  San Rafael Permit Tracking

Larkspur:  Larkspur and Greenbrae Permit Tracking

San Anselmo:  San Anselmo Permit Tracking

Corte Madera:  Corte Madera Permit Tracking


Interpreting Permit Information

Checking for filed permits is a starting point for understanding a home.  Sometimes, to really understand what is being presented, you may need to enlist a professional or head down to the Building Department and speak to a qualified employee/inspector.  While the permit history is good information, it is vital that you don't try to interpret its meaning.  It can be a recipe for disaster.  Only use the Permit Tracking sites to help lead you in the right direction so you can begin asking the right questions.

Common Permit Issues

Be aware of common permit-related issues.  Sometimes, a permit was filed but was never Completed, or there are times when a property owner thinks a permit was filed but their contractor never actually did.  Permit Tracking sites are a great first step to getting a better understanding of what actually was done.  There are many variations of this situation, so asking questions is paramount.


Checking permits on the San Francisco Permit Tracking site can be an essential first step in your real estate journey whether you are a buyer or a seller.  It can be a great way to get a better understanding of what questions you should be asking, and then finding the expert that can answer your questions properly.

Call Oliver with questions.  After twenty years helping clients buy and sell homes, he will help you get on the right path forward.


When you are interested in getting a real feel for your local market, click this link and be amazed by the available information: 

RealScout - Discovering Your Neighborhood!



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