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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 19, 2007 10:14 AM. The previous post in this blog was Which one of you gave them my name?. The next post in this blog is 1.5M. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Suitable for framing

Is this a good idea? Or just more useless red tape?

Comments (12)

Most lenders require obtaining Certificates of Occupancy as a condition of the construction loan.

I can't believe pdx did not already do that. most small town I know of do it

Probably a good idea, unless you think Bill Sizemore's initiative to allow up to $35,000 worth of work on your own home without any permits is also a good idea.

If the fee is high enough it is a good idea.

This requirement would make me feel more secure when remodeled home/duplex in PDX--good idea.

If they had required this in PDX back in 1990 when our last home was built, they might have observed that we had a 3250 sq ft house instead of the 2100 sq ft the builder had listed on the building permit. We bought the house while it was under construction and for a very small price premium, we had the builder completely finish the basement, adding 1100 sq ft of living area to the house. At no time while we lived there (we sold the house in 2006) did the city ever tumble to the higher square footage, the higher value, and the higher revenue that would be received in property taxes. Not once during our residence did we have a physical reappraisal despite multiple permitted remodels of various parts of the house. If PDX actually uses this to take the full measure of a completed house, they might just find considerable additional property tax revenue, not to mention the revenue from the final inspection.

CoP has been providing Certificate of Occupancies already - I got one last year on a building. The usual motivation is the lender requiring it on a condo conversion.

So you have to go back to when the building was built, which is OK for a 2000+ vintage, but on a 1920-something will be hard to do.

I think there's some confusion here. A CofC is issued when construction is complete to verify that all permit activities have been inspected and any corrections made (primarily to insure that life-safety criteria have been met). There is no tie-in to assess the square footage of the house, etc. It's usually only required on a new or significantly altered structure.

My home (in unincorporated Clackamas County) was completed in 2004 and I had to give a copy of the CoC to the lender to enable conversion of the loan from a construction loan to a mortgage.

Certificate of Occupancy is already issued by the city-why duplicate? More fees? Why yes.

When the city certifies an occupancy it should be required that they warranty their inspections/sign off-especially in light of the fact that an average $300,000 dollar house costs close to $35,000 in total fees- not including all the special inspections fees now required on a house if slightly unusual.

I can give numerous examples where the city inspections have failed to note non-compliance with codes (like an exhaust fan and furnace flue venting into an attic and not through the roof causing major dry rot, and it was inspected). CoP wouldn't take responsibility, even with extensive paper work proving the city's failures.

Since CoP charges big time, they should stand behind their inspections.

Those "temporary occupancy" permits are mighty expensive. Consider a condo development with multiple buildings. The "certificate of occupancy" wont be given until the entire project is done so the developer will have to buy temporary occupancy permits for the other units. Will the lender close with a temporary occupancy? Will developers have to sit on hundreds of complete units waiting for the last one to be finished? This is just another reason housing will get more and more expensive.

Mystery Solved

The State Legislature writes the building code.

The State building code requires Certificates of Occupancy on all "commercial" buildings. It does not on "houses".

The State building code used to require a final inspection on all "houses". It doesn't anymore. (Go figure.)

So many builders stopped calling for them.

So many houses got built without the permits ever getting finaled out.

So people got mad and banks got nervous.

So after trying to get the State legislature to fix this, the City of Portland gave up and decided to require a C of O for all houses in the City.

(The speculation is that many builders liked the idea of being able to sell a new house without having to fix all the things the City wanted fixed (like all those pesky eco plantings) and blocked legislation to fix this at the State level.)

Greg C

"If they had required this in PDX back in 1990 when our last home was built, they might have observed that we had a 3250 sq ft house instead of the 2100 sq ft the builder had listed on the building permit."

Mr. Mrf.

The County Assessment & Taxation folks get the original square footage from the "original" building permit at time of construction. The A & T folks typically don't bother with the remodeling permits. I was told this because once the house is built Measure 5 controls the taxes not whatever the house is actually worth. I suspect the A & T folks know they are missing this type of construction but don't figure it's worth the cost of the labor to look it up.

Greg C


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