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Last week we posted our latest video tracking our progress at Jones Avenue in Ballard.  Just to recap; in our introductory episode, we had just removed over $10,000 worth of trash from the house. Once we got some of the stuff out of the way, we were able to take a better look at the layout and floorplan, realizing that the previous owner had illegally divided the house into multiple rental units.  This led us to the next step in the process, obtaining permits for illegal dwelling units, which we have detailed here.

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One of the most important aspects to staying on budget in any project is to stay on schedule.  Carrying costs are a huge part of the budget, especially during times of market change.  As the Seattle market begins to balance, it will take longer than one week to sell your investment.   Permits and other unexpected issues can easily derail a renovation schedule, however, if you plan accordingly there are ways to multitask and speed up the process.

One of the ways we’ve kept Jones Avenue on schedule is to plan out our permitting.  While we were waiting for the house to be abated, we applied for demolition permits.  As soon as we had a fully abated house, we were ready to begin demo.  Completing demo is a very important step in obtaining the next permit, a Modified STFI (Subject to Field Inspection).

A modified STFI is a permit that allows you to bypass plan review, which can sometimes take up to five months. With the modified permit we can obtain an over the counter permit, after submitting a plan with seismic upgrades and engineering.  To begin looking at engineering and updating the home we needed to open up the house to see what we were working with. This allows our engineer to get a clear view of the house to start planning.  One of the best tips we can give investors is to capitalize on this downtime.  Instead of waiting to do any work until abatement is done, use the lag time to apply for additional permits.

Have any questions about permits? Comment below or get in touch with our team of experts.