Question from John & Martha - Building Permits


"We recently purchased a second home in Santa Fe that we plan on renovating and keeping in the family. Is it necessary to have building permits pulled for the work?"

Answer from Ross Sanders

Dear Martha and John,

That is a great question and one that I often get from first time remodelers. The simple answer is yes. Building permits are not only the law in most states but they also provide the homeowner with an unbiased review of their property to ensure that work is being done according to current building codes. Additionally, if unpermitted work is done, it could come back and bite you if you ever choose to sell. Inspections required for financing by the future owner might trigger questions about the legitimacy of the work done.

If you are planning to keep the house in your family, this likely doesn’t matter and even if you do sell, it might not come up. However, as a precaution, I like to make my clients aware of anything that could potentially be an issue so that they can make informed decisions. We’re facing this very issue with my parent’s home in Anchorage. Due to extensive code compliance issues, they couldn’t sell it if they wanted to which means that it must be renovated or inherited.

Bottom line, building permits may cost more upfront and have the potential to create time delays but are, in my view, a necessary part of the process.

For more information about obtaining a building permit in Santa Fe, visit the city’s official page.

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