3 Reasons Why the California Permitting Process Needs Work

Attaining housing permits used to take a few days, maybe a few weeks at most. For those wanting to improve their homes, or build new ones entirely, it was a relatively quick turnaround. People could acquire the permits they needed, make their improvements, renditions, or new construction, and then turn around and either enjoy or sell the property shortly afterward. It was good for homeowners and good for the market, fast turnaround meant a quicker sell, and that meant a hotter market. On shows like HGTV’s Flip or Flop, these improvements still appear to take only a matter of days, as they buy, remodel, and resell the house all within the matter of a 30 minute episode- but the reality is that it takes much longer, and that needs to change…

So here are 3 reasons why we think this absolutely must change. Do you agree?

  1. It’s hindering the economy

If things really did operate like Tarek and Christina’s house flipping business, we might be living in an economic golden era. Ok… maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if permitting processes were expedited, more homes would sell, faster. Period.

  1. Permits are expensive

As a homeowner, there are so many obstacles to jump through as it is. The process of purchasing a house alone can seem like somewhat of a triathlon, let alone the property tax, maintenance, and myriad other costs that come along with home ownership. It’s an unfair burden to then not only make homeowners wait for months, and sometimes even years at a time to make minor improvements on their home, but to also charge them upwards of 1,000 dollars just for permission to make the improvement!

One of our readers was charged 1,000 dollars just for the permit to do a mandated rework of the plumbing on a rental property in Compton. In more upscale neighborhoods, “architecture committees” cost homeowners thousands of dollars, if they happen to disapprove of your remodeling plans, and you’re stuck having to go back and forth between them and an architect (who are not cheap to work with). It makes you wonder if some cities look at permits as a major source of revenue!

  1. It’s not rocket science

Of course there are many things that need to be considered when we talk about legalities, property requirements, and each individual city’s ability to process permit requests. But the fact of the matter is, the process needs to be revised. It’s taking too long and it doesn’t have to. Let’s ask our city officials to spend some time on this and figure it out… it’s not rocket science.

Of course these are pretty bold statements that are being made, and we wouldn’t make them unless we felt they were necessary to make. If you’ve read our other articles, you’d know that typically we stay out of opinionated arguments. However this is something that needs to be addressed. Have you had any experience or frustrations with this issue? Share your thoughts with us here in the comment section below, or find us on Facebook or Twitter and get our attention there!