Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Relocating a Washer/Dryer

I'll start with the obvious question.
Yes, you will need permits for this project.

Some things to look out for:

  • Relocating your dryer will require moving the vent for proper air quality.
  • It will likely also cause you to upgrade the electrical outlet in the new location, and possibly at the breaker box.
  • Relocating your washer will require you to run sufficient plumbing to the new area and cap off the existing pipes. 
  • You will also need to be sure the flooring is secure in the new area, as these are heavy pieces of equipment, especially when full of water. 
  • You will also need a proper air vent in the room to remove humidity that can cause mold to grow in the walls or ceiling.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

About Us

Your Permit ensures a smooth permitting and inspection process for your development and a satisfactory experience with your building officials. We process any plans, no matter how big or small the project may be.

Our company has worked closely with the building departments through out the counties.We are committed to offer our customers (you) the best service possible, we know the system in & out and with our professionalism and expertise that we will serve you; we can assure you that you’ll be completely satisfied with our services and turn around time. We at Your Permit handle all aspects of permit requirements from beginning to end. Completing all the required forms, tracking & monitoring the plans, submittals of plans to T.C.O/C.O of the property. Your Permit (Roy,Inc.) enables clients to avoid the costs and headaches that could stem from acquiring a property plagued by hidden problems. By offering a host of beneficial services, we are able to assist attorneys, real estate agents, processors, closers, contractors, home owners, title companies, and lien search companies to help them expedite their work and provide clients with peace of mind. I welcome you to see for yourself that I have experience and provide excellent customer service (meaning that you are number one to us) and that I can help you with your entire permit needs. So don’t wait any longer, give us a call and a professional representative will assist you ASAP. 

We will be happy to assist you and look forward to working with you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hurricane Impact Windows

Many methods of protecting a home against hurricanes exist. The current gold-standard in testing is the Miami-Dade County hurricane impact test. Be clear that products that meet or exceed this test are appropriate for all areas that may be impacted by hurricanes, tornadoes or other high wind situations. Remember, it is your life and your property. Essentially all of Florida, and all the coastal regions of the United States should prepare for possible wind speeds of 110 mph or greater.

The impact tests do not guarantee the windows will survive a hurricane, but they do test specific conditions that they should survive. Impact survivability certainly helps home survivability. If you can maintain the structural shell of your house or business, you are significantly more likely to save the structure. Once wind enters a building, it becomes much more likely that the structure will be significantly damaged. Therefore it becomes imperative to protect all the openings in your building.

THE IMPACT TEST, from the Miami Dade office of Code Compliance
The Miami-Dade Building Code requires that every exterior opening - residential or commercial - be provided with protection against wind-borne debris caused by hurricanes. Such protection could either be shutters or impact-resistant products. There are two types of impact-resistant products: large-missile resistant and small- missile resistant.

Large-missile resistant A product is tested as large-missile resistant after it has been exposed to various impacts with a piece of lumber weighing approximately 9 pounds, measuring 2" x 4" x 6’ (no more than 8') in size, traveling at a speed of 50 feet per second (34 mph). Then the product must pass positive and negative wind loads for 9,000 cycles, with impact creating no hole larger than 1/16 x 5" in the interlayer of the glass. If you live in a building where doors and windows are located 30 feet or less above grade (e.g. above ground level) then the products must pass the large-missile test. If the doors and windows are more than 30 feet from the ground then they must be either large or small missile compliant.
Small-missile resistant A product is declared small-missile resistant after it has been exposed to various impacts with 10 ball bearings traveling at a speed of 80 feet per second (50 mph). The product is then subjected to wind loads for 9,000 cycles.

Hurricane Windows

Hurricane impact resistant windows provide continuous protection from wind borne debris. The advantages are numerous: 
  • no shutters to put up.
  • no plywood to cut and put up.
  • continuous protection. 
  • the windows are structurally part of the house so it is much more difficult for wind to get behind the windows and pull them off which can occur for shutters and plywood. 
  • while clear shutters do exist, they are less common so impact resistant hurricane windows provide the added advantage of letting light in.
In our experience, hurricane windows are somewhat more expensive than good according shutters. This is primarily due to the labor costs of removing and re-installing windows in your home.

Source: Hurricane

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When NOT to DIY

Moving advises you when to call a professional for your home improvement projects:

The move went well and your new home is perfect - except for a few little projects you have in mind. Some of them you can do yourself, like painting the bathroom. Others are more challenging, like installing a new exterior door. Do you accept the challenge and start shopping for a door, or should you hire a professional for your home improvement? Before you get in over your head, ask yourself these questions.

Do I have the time?

Many home improvement projects take weeks rather than days, especially if you're doing it yourself in your spare time. If you're planning to change out kitchen cabinets or countertops, know that your kitchen could be out of commission for a while. Measure the inconvenience against the cost of hiring a professional installer.

Do I have the right tools?

Rather than look at it as an opportunity to add to your tool collection, consider what special tools you'll need for the home improvement project. For example, installing a tile backsplash or floor calls for a tile saw. If you have more than one tile project, the saw is a good investment. If not, you might be better off calling a professional and using your tool money for one that will get more use.
Do I have the experience?

It’s true. There are lots of books that tell you how to do things. However, some home improvement projects are easier than others. Painting the bathroom requires little more than a bucket of paint, a brush and some time for prep and cleanup. Installing a hardwood floor calls for more, including knowing how to use power saws, nailers and sanders. Before you invest a lot of time in trial and error, consider calling a professional.

Since you just moved into the neighborhood, you might not know who to call for a reliable professional installation. Ask your neighbors or check with the experts at your local home improvement center. Many times, the folks who sell you the products can also help you with a licensed, insured installer. They can probably help you with financing, too.

Here are some home improvement projects that could benefit from a professional installer:

  • Exterior doors
  • Garage doors
  • Garage door openers
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Storage buildings
  • Stand-by generators
  • Water heaters and windows
  • Carpet
  • Tile
  • Hardwood and laminate flooring
  • Vinyl flooring
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Kitchen countertops
  • Window treatments

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lower Insurance From New Roof

A discrepancy between the date a home was built and a roof's age increases the chances for insurance carriers to miscalculate risks and rates.

Homeowners who have had a new roof put on their house since 2002, when a new Florida building code was adopted, should ensure their home- and property- insurance agent or company knows. It could lower your insurance premium payments.

Insurance carriers and reinsurance companies factor in roof age when determining the probable maximum loss of a home due to a catastrophe and when setting premium costs. If a company does not know that an older roof was replaced, then the date of the home may be used when calculating risk. That could mean homeowners and insurance carriers are paying higher rates.

— Bob KoslowSource: Daytona Beach News Journal

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Expedite your process by using Your Permit Solution. We will be your go-between in:

  • Picking up permits from the City
  • Getting them signed off by your contractor
  • Arranging inspections
  • Arranging re-inspection if necessary
  • Handling all the scheduling
  • Making every trip to the City so you don't have to
  • Standing in line so you never will
  • Seeing your project completed quickly and successfully

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Replacing a Tub

Replacing a bathtub is a decision no one comes to lightly. Once it's been resurfaced and that surface begins to chip, unsanitary bits can fall into the bathwater and the tub will need to be replaced.


  • Replacing your tub will cost a couple of hundred dollars, just for the tub itself. 
  • Installation is the expensive part and can cost you well over a thousand dollars.
  • Replacing the hardware (faucets and spout) are generally around $100, depending on your style.
  • Replacing the tiles at the floor and wall can vary greatly depending on your style.
  • Another large part of this cost is permitting. 

Permits need to be pulled on any job involving plumbing. It is not advisable for the common homeowner to attempt to replace a bathtub as it is heavy, grimy work. The complications potentially involved include broken pipes, flooding, broken tiles at the wall and floor, and damage to other parts of the house (such as doorways) when attempting to remove the tub from the house.

A plumbing inspector will be called out a few times to insure your tub was properly uninstalled, and that the new one is properly installed. Doing this step will save you from any potential leaking in the walls (which can lead to foundation damage, wall damage, mold, and more) and you will know that your new tub will last a long, long time.

Allow Your Permit Solution to run all your permits for smooth and quick project completion.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Permitting Made Easy

Let us take the hassle out of permit applications.

From the smallest of jobs, such as trimming a tree, all the way up to the multi-million dollar high-rise project, we at Your Permit Solution handle all aspects of permit requirements from beginning to end.

Start your project by clicking our online application form HERE.

Friday, October 5, 2012

You May NOT Need a Permit

You May Not Need a Permit for: 

  • Laying in a new roof.
  • Parking your roll-off dumpster on your own property (however, if you happen to live in an association-controlled neighborhood, make sure you do not run afoul of your own housing association's rules).
  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Replacing doors or windows on a one-for-one basis.
  • Upgrading your countertops.
  • Freshing up the exterior with new siding.
  • Minor electrical work, such as replacing an electrical outlet.

You MAY Need a Permit

You May Need a Permit for: 

  • Moving a sink.
  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall.
  • Changing the house's roofline.
  • Punching in a new window or door.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.
  • Parking your roll-off dumpster on a public street.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Science and Wind is doing new studies that feature a man-made wall of wind to test wind resistance on buildings. This has an immediate effect on our building code and that of other locations as Florida is leading the way in wind-resistance and building ordinances! Read the article here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Most landscaping will not require permitting, with the exception of adding/removing trees. However, many neighborhoods are now requesting that you consider xeriscaping if you are going to change your landscaping. Xeriscaping requires less fertilizer, less water, and is more environmentally friendly, not to mention friendlier on your wallet!

Seven Principles of Xeriscaping:
Planning and Design - Have a Plan.
Take a look at your garden’s topography, exposure and soil. Don’t try to fight your site. Create planting zones and group your plants by their needs. For example, groups tough, drought tolerant plants in areas exposed to full day sun, give less tolerant plants some partial shade and keep the more delicate or demanding plants for a spot near your water source.
Choose Appropriate Plant MaterialYou may choose to incorporate a few plants that will need to be coddled, but for the most part, selecting plants that thrive in your area during low water conditions will give you the best results. This often includes native plants that we so often take for granted. The choice of plants will vary by region, even within a single yard. You may also be surprised to see how many plants are considered xeric, once they have established themselves and when properly cared for.
Soil ImprovementThe old adage that if you take care of the soil, the soil will take care of the plants, is very true here. The key, as always, is incorporating generous amounts of organic matter. This will improve water penetration and retention in any type of soil. Rich, loose, water holding soil will encourage good root development and lessen the plant’s need for supplemental water. It is best to amend your soil before planting and to regularly use organic mulch.
MulchMulching is a naturally occurring process, but as gardeners we tend to want things tidy and we rake away all the leaves and debris that coat and decay into the soil. So we have to bring in more aesthetically pleasing mulch, such as shredded bark and compost.
However it gets there, mulch adds a great deal to your garden. It moderates soil temperature, holds moisture, slows erosion and suppresses weeds that would compete with your plants for food and water. It also gradually decomposes and feeds the soil. Apply about 4 inches of mulch at the initial planting and check it each season to see if it needs to be replenished.
Practical and Appropriate Turf AreasMost of us still want some areas of lawn in our landscape and many of us want way too much lawn. Think about how much water, fertilizer and gasoline it takes to keep your lawn green throughout the summer.
Where to place the lawn should be part of your initial design plan, taking into consideration what you plan to use your lawn for. If you are using grass as a ground cover, there are other options that would be less labor and water intensive. Choose an appropriate grass seed for the lawn’s exposure.
Efficient WateringNot all plants need the same amount of water and those needs may change with the seasons. If you have followed the steps above, you have your plants grouped by their water needs, including your lawn, and can water only where it’s needed.
Drip irrigation systems are often recommended for efficient watering. These systems allow you to control when and how much water a plant gets and to direct the water only to the plants that need it.
Base your watering schedule on the needs of the plants and not on an arbitrary schedule. All plants will require more supplemental watering for the first year or two that they are becoming established. However after they have acclimated and developed a good root system, supplemental watering should become much less frequent.
Appropriate MaintenanceYes, even a xeriscape garden will require some maintenance. Watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading and sensible pest management will all factor into the quality of your garden.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Needs Permitting

The following common alterations or improvements require a building permit:
  • Making a structural addition
  • Installing a new roof
  • Blocking off or adding a door or window
  • Adding or relocating electrical outlets
  • Adding or relocating plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers)
  • Converting a garage or storage area to an air conditioned occupied space
  • Installing or replacing an air conditioning system

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hurricane Safe

We’re not as safe as we can be from hurricanes



Twenty years ago, Hurricane Andrew made landfall in South Florida in the middle of the night of Aug. 24. When residents from Key Largo to North Miami walked outside their homes the next morning, they gasped at a level of devastation that had never been seen before.
Much has changed since then in Florida and around the nation. We have made great progress in the past 20 years to strengthen our coastal areas against the unstoppable reality of hurricanes. But we cannot become complacent simply because time has allowed memories to fade.
Mitigating the damage of natural disasters and, in some cases, actually preventing damages, is a proven money-saver. A 2005 study by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that, on average, a dollar spent by FEMA on hazard mitigation saves the nation $4 in future benefits. We believe the savings for property owners are even greater.
There are three fundamental building blocks to improved mitigation:
•  Stronger building codes. The creation of the International Code Council in 1994 gave us a single entity to draft model building codes that can be, and are, used as guidelines for local codes worldwide. Stronger building codes help drive the creation, and adoption, of better building products and practices. Alabama, for instance, this year adopted its first-ever statewide residential code.
Many hurricane-exposed states, unfortunately, still are lagging. Alarmingly, there have been efforts to weaken building codes in some states.
An Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) study last December found that, on a 100-point scale, only seven of 18 coastal states scored higher than 80 points when ranked for “strong statewide residential building codes and comprehensive regulatory processes for the building code officials, contractors, and subcontractors, who translate building code requirements into actual homes.” Bottom of the pack? Mississippi, Delaware and Texas.
•  Incentives, both public and private. Financial incentives work wonders in improving mitigation and reducing losses. Florida, for instance, has the nation’s most robust system of insurance incentives. Residents are supposed to receive a significant discount off of hurricane insurance if their homes were built after 2002 under the newer Florida Building Code.
Older homes also can get credits for mitigation features ranging from storm shutters, water barriers and impact doors and windows. Insurers are required by law to provide mitigation incentives in Florida, Louisiana and Maryland. Incentives are voluntarily offered in Alabama, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
But we need more incentives. Local governments should consider property-tax relief for homeowners who invest in mitigation. Governments also should waive taxes and fees on specific mitigation work, such as shutter installations. Sales-tax holidays could be implemented for all hurricane-protective devices. None of these efforts are particularly onerous, but provide the incentives to promote action.
•  Education about mitigation and prevention. Understanding the positive impact of mitigation and damage prevention remains the biggest challenge to our efforts. People lose their lives because they either don’t know or underestimate the dangers of natural disasters. While the media have done an exemplary job of providing useful tips in advance of storms, there is so much more to do. A troubling example: Nearly seven of 10 homeowners think masking tape on windows somehow will help prevent damage, according to a Harris Interactive survey this year. It doesn’t.
Massive losses to the insurance industry from Andrew, Katrina and other storms have resulted in more homeowners being forced to turn to government-backed “insurers of last resort’’ for coverage. That means we increasingly are placing these risks on our own pocketbooks.
Again, we have made great progress. But by no means are we as safe as we can be.
Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH).

Source: Miami Herald

Read more here:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Building Code FAQ

The Florida Building Code can be a little tough to decode if you don't speak contractor. Here is the plain and simple translation of your most commonly asked questions from the source.

How often is the code updated?
Every 3 years.

Where does the code come from?
The Florida code is based on the International Building Code, or the "base code", and adapted for state-specific needs.

Can I read the code?
Yes. It is available here. You can even see previous versions at that site.

What requires a permit?
I talk about this all the time. Here's the official stance:

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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wall Removal

Gee, it might be nice to open up that space between the kitchen and dining room. You would just have to remove that pesky wall...

Long before you pick up a sledgehammer, consult with a contractor. The wall may be load-bearing - meaning it holds up your roof - or it may have items inside that are more delicately removed - like electrical cables or plumbing pipes. Prevent a major disaster by checking with a contractor before doing any wall removal.

The same goes for removing part of the wall, as in to make a window, bar, or pass-through from one room to another.

If the wall is merely cosmetic, it may not require a permit, but that will rarely be the case.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The gulf coast of Florida is beginning to see summer swarms of termites due to a shortened winter and hotter springtime temperatures than is usual for the area. Luckily, Florida's building code requires standard termite protection for new construction which should make infestations less likely to occur and easier to exterminate when they do attempt to set in.

Source: Gulf Breeze News

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hurricane Season

Be prepared. Plywood is a last resort. For safety, you will need to cover your windows with hurricane shutters or replace your windows with hurricane-resistant glass.

Hurricane Shutters
Shutters do require a permit. Permits are used to ensure that your materials are going to stand up to the winds and protect your home. Your homeowner's association may have restrictions to the types of panels you can use. Check with them before purchasing materials. They may also require you to paint your shutters to match your home. The most common shutters are made from aluminum, but there are other materials on the market, including some which are clear.

Hurricane-Resistant Glass
This glass is thick, much like bullet-proof glass, and will require a permit before installation. Many companies are offering this as an alternative to putting shutters up and down each storm season. This can be a time- and money-saver, especially for people who are not able-bodied, such as the elderly who might otherwise have to hire someone to help them protect their home. Also, the glass allows the homeowner to watch the storm in progress and will not darken the house.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Working with your HOA

Before you do any construction on the exterior of your home, check with your Home Owner's Association. Associations are in place to make sure your property value remains high by disallowing mailboxes shaped like giant fish, houses pained 6 shades of neon, and an abundance of trash in the neighbor's yard. However, they may have strict rules as to what type of paint you can use, how many shades lighter your trim can be, what material you need to use on your roof, or the height of your shed or fence. Before you have to undo or redo work on your home, check with your HOA first and get the information in writing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friendly Customer Service

We pride ourselves on professional service, but also friendly customer service. You will do business with, and refer to your friends, those you like. We want you to like us, to respect us, and to count on us to get the job done right.
If you feel this is an important characteristic for your business as well, you might like these tips from 1-to-1 Media on how to deliver friendly responses in your social media arenas:

Be yourself
To be successful in social, you need to use a human tone of voice. Avoid corporate speak. conscious of syntax
It's challenging to convey tone and empathy in 140 characters, and multiple tweets can be taken out of context. Think about when should you link to a longer blog posts or separate article, or need to switch to email or other media to convey more information.
Keep the conversation online where possible
Everything that can be kept on public social networks should be. This is not only where the customer reached out to you, but it also allows you to show the rest of the world that you resolved the issue, boosting your public image. If any part of the conversation must go offline, try to take it back as soon as possible.
Remember that everything can be public
Be aware of what's default public and private (for example the difference between @messages and DMs). But more important, taking something "offline" now doesn't mean it will be private. In social media, anything private can quickly get posted publicly online.
Respond promptly and accurately
People expect a quick response in social. Comcast, for example, aims to get a first response to everyone within two to five minutes. But, it's better to be slower and accurate than to go too fast and say something wrong that can be spread very quickly.
Becoming social savvy takes time, training, and good management. Despite some industry leaders delivering great social-based service to their customers, for most, mastering the challenge is a work in progress. Conversocial conducted research into the performance of top retailers, finding that, on average, 65 percent of complaints and questions on Facebook were missed. There's a long way for businesses to go before they master social customer service, but following these examples should help many companies along the way.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Permit Horror Story

I was hired to assist a client who had a shed built on their property over 10 years ago, but never pulled the permits from Miami Dade County Building Department. The Miami Dade Code Enforcement Department, upon surveying the area or through an anonymous call, triggered a warning to our client because the permits were never pulled to install the shed in their home.  My client was assessed a $510.00 permit violation based on the illegal shed and really needed the help to sift through the complicated process and system. I got to work!
Based on my extensive experience with Shed violations in Miami Dade County, I know the first and most important thing to do is address the issue and look into the details with the County. I immediately followed up with getting survey and zoning details so the compliance work could be submitted. This process can be long and drawn out, and the amount of work needed to process this violation is extensive. Needless to say, I was able to get the paperwork in place, contact the required people to help in the process, and the code violation was closed and resolved.
This violation is very typical in my line of business, for over 8 years our company, Your Permit Solution, has assisted hundreds of residents and business owners with their permit violation, if you or someone you know has received a permit violation and/or is frustrated in resolving a Permit Violation for their shed or an addition to to their home, please contact me at 1-800-9730023 ext. 0 or visit our site
Source: My previous blog, 2011

Friday, April 6, 2012

Is a Fire Inspection Necessary?

The following types of work require a fire inspection :

  • LP gas pressure test
  • Standpipe and hydrostatic test
  • Fire alarm system
  • U/G fire lines hydorstatic test
  • U/G full bore flush
  • Floor penetrations
  • Fire retardant spray
  • U/G tank installation
  • White box final
  • Fire pump test
  • Fire dampers
  • Awnings
  • Fire suppression gaseous
  • Fire sprinkler final
  • Overhead fire sprinkler rough/hydrostatic test
  • Building final
  • Fire rated separation
  • Elevators
  • A/G tank isntallation
  • Hood/duct assembly
  • Fire rated wall penetrations

Source: Estero Fire Rescue

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Building Codes

New building and construction codes went into effect on March 15th, 2012 for Broward County. These codes changed the zones for hurricane resistance, making more stringent building restrictions so that properties will be better protected against wind. Existing properties will not need any changes made to them. Any changes made going forward will need to adhere to the new codes. Any plans already approved will remain approved, but may be out of code by the time they are built. Many builders are redoing their plans so that they will adhere to the new code.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Broward County Information 2012

Processing your permit quickly and efficiently is my job. I want things to go as smoothly and fast as I can for your project to finish on time. We have to work around the system that is in place, however.

The following Broward County cities have building departments that are closed on Friday:

  • Coconut Creek
  • Lauderdale Lakes
  • Margate
  • Miramar
  • Pembroke Pines
  • Wilton Manors

The following are government holidays in 2012 where all cities' building departments will be closed:

New Year's Day (Observed)Monday, January 2
Martin Luther King, Jr. DayMonday, January 16
Memorial DayMonday, May 28
Independence DayWednesday, July 4
Labor DayMonday, September 3
Veterans Day (Observed)Monday, November 12
Thanksgiving DayThursday, November 22
Day After ThanksgivingFriday, November 23
Christmas DayTuesday, December 25


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Copying Florida's Building Code

In the wake of the recent tornadoes that swept through Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia, other states' building codes are considering adopting the strict standards to protect against violent winds that Florida has in place for hurricanes.

Source: Indy Star

Friday, March 9, 2012

Saving You Time and Money!

You've heard the expression "Time is money." And as you age, and time becomes more precious, your hours spent really begin to equate to how much your time is worth.

Using my service saves you time by:

  • Getting the job done quickly by freeing up the contractor.
  • Getting corrections made more quickly than your contractor alone.
  • Allowing open and easy communication from contractor to inspector to city.

Sure, I charge a small fee for my services, as my time is also valuable. I understand how valuable time is and what your time is worth. I work efficiently to get your job done quickly, which keeps your project in budget and gets you back to enjoying your home with your family with less interruption!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Solar Panels

The benefits of a solar-powered home include:
  • no electric bill
  • being "off the grid"
  • no power outages
  • a self-sufficient home
  • benefit to the environment
  • tax breaks
With solar panels much more affordable than they were a few years ago, due to their increased popularity, why don't you have a solar-powered home yet?

Permits ARE necessary for installing solar panels and their necessary components.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Elevator permit

If you own or manage a commercial property such as condos, apartment buildings, stores, or malls, did you know you need a permit to install, repair, modify, or remove an elevator?

Not just elevators. Lift devices consist of:

  • elevators
  • wheelchair lifts
  • stairway lifts
  • escalators
  • moving walks
  • dumbwaiters
  • limited use, limited access devices

Get permits here for:
Palm Beach

Friday, January 6, 2012

Code violations harm property sales

Code violations can sink a real estate sale
What comes to mind when you hear the term "code violation"? If you're like most people, you think of a breach of the local building code that regulates minimum construction standards.
But that's only one of 70 or so types of code violations that can be attached to a property, according to Rudy Krupka of Code Violation Services, a Windsor, Colo.-based firm that helps lenders uncover code violations. Worse, any one of them can sink a real estate sale.
The most troublesome code violations are unpaid property taxes and homeowner association fees. But a growing number of hard-hit municipalities are aggressively flagging homeowners who don't mow their lawns, who allow trash to collect in their backyards and who don't take proper care of their pools.
Typically, these violations occur when the property involved is being sold under some kind of duress — a foreclosure, for example, or a short sale. But they can pop up even when the house is clean as a whistle and the sellers are Mr. and Mrs. Perfect, as opposed to a distant lender or servicer.
Often, the issue is cleaned up before the house goes on the market, so the buyer is unaware of it. But the ticket doesn't go away. At the closing table, the local government is there with its hand out, demanding payment in exchange for letting the deal go through.
Sometimes, Krupka says, what started out as a $200 fine that went unpaid when it was levied years ago blooms into a five- or six-figure penalty by the time the place is sold. In one extreme case, a Florida property had $684,000 in fines, most of them the result of a barking dog.
Usually, the sanction can be negotiated down to a more reasonable amount. But that takes time, and the closing is delayed until everyone is satisfied.
Admittedly, barking dogs and uncut grass are extreme examples of code violations. More common are liens filed for unpaid dues and assessments by homeowner associations.
In 16 states and the District of Columbia, homeowner associations hold "super lien" status, meaning that liens placed against a property by a homeowner association take precedence over all others, including those filed for unpaid taxes.
If an association records its lien, it becomes public record and the title company will find it. But often, the lien isn't recorded.
If the lien is recorded, the homeowner association will step up to stop the sale until it recovers what is due, or the parties agree to pay at closing. But if the association does not learn of the transaction and it closes without the lien being satisfied, the lien transfers with the property, and the new owner is on the hook for what's owed, with little recourse against the seller except to sue.
Sometimes, a property can be the subject of multiple homeowner association assessments, one by the main association and another by the golf or tennis club. In one unusual case in Florida, several separate but related HOAs lined up to present past-due notices.
According to CoreLogic, a real estate information and analytics firm based in Santa Ana, Calif., code violations tend to be a larger problem in the handful of states and markets with the highest foreclosure rates and negative equity — Florida, Nevada, Arizona and parts of California and Michigan.
Very large fines are common in Miami-Dade County, Fla. But CoreLogic has found that officials there are more willing to stop issuing new fines if they see someone attempting to correct existing violations, and sometimes they will reduce fines significantly.
San Francisco, on the other hand, "has little empathy" for attempts to correct violations, according to a recent CoreLogic white paper. Another jurisdiction that sometimes plays hardball is Maricopa County, Ariz., which has required significant structural changes to correct conditions that have existed through several previous owners.