Was that room downstairs added with permits? Was the roof redone ten years ago with permits? Is the two-unit building you’re buying actually zoned as such?
These are the types of questions my clients are often faced with when considering purchasing a home in San Francisco. Properties here often have varied histories, and it’s important to know as much as you can.
One of the best tools for doing so is the city’s online permit site. The online history is useful when you’re doing preliminary research on a property you may be interested in purchasing.
Sellers are required to present a printed 3R Report from the Building Department that lists the permit history. However, that report takes weeks to arrive, and you want to do as much as you can to avoid surprises during escrow.