County Final – Certificate of Occupancy

Most areas require that homeowners obtain a building permit before making modifications to their residence. Calaveras County only contains one city – Angels Camp.  All other parts of the county are controlled/regulated by the Calaveras County Building Department and the Calaveras County Planning Department, both of which are located in San Andreas.  You can go to the county web site and view many of the permit requirements and the fee structure for new construction and remodeling:

In order for the homeowner to receive a permit, the homeowner or his representative are required to file plans and pay fees to the county. In addition, the improvements are given a value. An increase the value of the property may result in an increase in property taxes. Inspections are often required during various stages of the process. This process can be time consuming and inconvenient in the short run. It is for this reason that some homeowners skip the permit process.

There are many homes in Calaveras County which do not have a “final” or Certificate to Occupy.  The Calaveras County Building Department did not even come into existence until the mid-1960’s so any home built prior to that likely does not have a file at the county.  In addition, there were some files that were lost or destroyed in past decades, so some houses are considered to have a final by default.  It is highly advisable that you or your realtor contact the building department prior to listing your property to determine the status of your county file.  The best case scenario would be that they have a file on your home which contains a final, and that their square footage and lot size figures agree with your own.  If this is not the case, you may need to apply for a final and have a county inspector come to the house for a look.  It’s always best to obtain a final if at all possible. By law, work not permitted where a permit was required must be disclosed to any prospective purchaser. This may cause you to have to discount your sale price or perform costly or time-consuming repairs before title can be transferred.

For prospective buyers of a property, it is advisable to verify whether the house you are purchasing has the appropriate documentation in a file at the Calaveras County Building Department.