If you’re a homeowner in Philadelphia, you may have been spending more time at home over the last few months in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. You also may have been looking around your home and realizing that you may want more square footage, a home office, bigger backyard, or a more modern kitchen. These are common improvements that might not seem like a large challenge but can become a huge hassle if not dealt with properly. In this blog, we’ll discuss the difference between doing the renovations you have in mind or selling your home in its current condition in Philadelphia in order to find that dream home you’re looking for.
Finding a Contractor you can Trust
As a homeowner in Philadelphia, it can be overwhelming to find a trusted general contractor, plumber, electrician, or any skilled laborer that can perform the work you need to remodel your home. Whether you find a contractor through a friend or family member, online, or through other advertising avenues, picking the wrong person for the job may end in you waiting months or in some cases even years before seeing the finished product. Why wait that long when you can sell your home with no headaches?
Contractors might be spread thin with multiple projects going on, or might prioritize another project before yours. This can lead to frustration and in some cases you might even want to completely get rid of the contractor or stop the project altogether! If you do end up firing a contractor, you need to start over from square one, which will be another challenge considering many contractors do not want to clean up someone else’s mess. The unfortunate news is that even after finding a contractor that you feel confident with, they still must be able to “pull” the proper permits to do the work that you want done.
Obtain a Construction Permit
The next step in this process is obtaining a permit (or permits if you have multiple projects) . If you live in Philadelphia, you might already know about the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections – or L&I – as they are colloquially known. This department’s motto is “Building a safer city by enforcing building-related codes through inspections, licensing, permitting, and demolitions.” What this means for you as a homeowner is: a lot of headaches. This department is often fielding dozens or hundreds of phone calls, making it incredibly hard to get through to speak with someone. Once you do get through with someone, you might have difficulty getting consistent answers. You also want to make sure you are keeping your own records because there is no guarantee that they are keeping records for you or ensuring that each conversation is documented. It is important to get the name and title of who you are speaking with in case there is any later dispute in the permit or the construction. Philly L&I can pose a major roadblock for homeowners that are intent on making changes to their property. Some examples of projects that might need a permit include:
- Erecting a fence in the backyard
- Installing or altering plumbing in your home
- Mechanical permits for HVAC systems and ductwork
- Installing or altering electrical systems in your home
- Building a retaining wall on your property
Projects like a kitchen remodel might require multiple permits in order to get both electrical and plumbing work done. In theory, you could have a carpenter or contractor come in and get a building permit, then have to get a plumbing permit AND an electrical permit. The time, money, and headaches associated with this process could be astronomical. You could avoid headaches, long wait times, and permit issues altogether by selling your home in Philadelphia as is, and finding a home that has the conveniences or amenities you are looking for already installed!
Here’s a video from the owner of a construction company in California that details more about the process of obtaining permits:
This video is a great illustration of the different obstacles there are to obtaining permits and the fact that some contractors are not even willing to help pull the permits at all! Mr. Rodriguez also discusses the need for architectural drawings which is just another layer added to getting a project done. Although this video is from California, the content is very relevant and similar to the process of obtaining permits in Philadelphia. However, for more information on permits and when they are needed specifically in the city of Philadelphia, here is the link to the city of Philadelphia Licenses and Inspection site which has information on each kind of permit pertaining to the specific project you might be thinking about doing in your home.
Do I Need A Building Permit?
Now, after reading about these different obstacles, you may think: what happens if I build without a permit? Well, that can pose challenges for you down the road. Here is an article from the legal site Nolo.com that goes into detail about the various issues that come with unpermitted construction.
Unpermitted construction might seem like an easy bypass to get something done quickly, but making drastic changes to your home without a permit can have a lasting impact and make your home harder to sell in the future. If more space for an office or a bigger backyard is your goal, why not sell your home and find those things elsewhere??
Sell Your House Quickly in Philadelphia
If you are realizing that you are going to need space FAST, then a remodel is probably not something you want to do. It would be more convenient to sell your home quickly and as is through a trusted real estate company that knows the market and would be willing to take on the challenges of your current home.
Brotherly Love Real Estate can make selling your home in Philly a quick and simple process through these four steps:
- Tell us about your property– Call us (215-769-9875) or fill out our online form and give us some details about your home
- We’ll call you to see the house- We will follow up with you to set a time to see the house and answer any questions you may have
- Receive your offer – We’ll make you a fair offer to buy your house as is, no repairs, no permits, no contractors, no closing costs.
- Set your move out date – You pick the date. We work around your schedule and at your pace! Stress-Free. The goal is to make the process as easy as possible.
At the end of the day, when you weigh all the options and see what the process looks like in order to make large improvements on your home in Philadelphia, you might come to the conclusion that selling is the right choice. Brotherly Love Real Estate is here to make that process easy for you, whether you are in North Philly, Brewerytown, University City, Fishtown, or any other neighborhood in Philly. Give us a call or reach out to us through the online form to see how we can help. Keep in mind, we are willing to buy as is, which means you skip all the aggravation involved with painters, plumbers, electricians, contractors and especially permits!