As a developer and Realtor, I can say that Berkeley is probably the toughest jurisdiction for permits in the SF Bay Area. I've had better luck getting things through planning in San Francisco and that's no walk in the park. The permit records in Berkeley are also very detailed compared to many other areas. However, they only put those systems in place within the last decade so most homes don't have the kind of detailed information that you get from a new project today. Because of that I think the expectations of buyers are still below where they will be over time. You can probably do moderate remodeling without incurring much of a resale penalty. However, if there's a major addition of living space you will have an issue for appraisal. Some appraisers will give credit based on measuring your gross living area and others will choose not to. Of course, newly permitted work is given directly to the assessor and you will pay taxes on that space going forward. The only way to make sure you get the full count is to get permits on any expansion work. If the expansion is all interior and does not change the building envelope I would think you can get in and out of planning in 3-4 months. That's a long time in my book but it could be worth the wait. Finally, consider that without permits you need to be on exceptionally good terms with your neighbors because one phone call could stop your work and cause you to pay not only in time but triple the permit fees. Hopefully you can tailor these remarks to your specific needs and situation. Cheers!... more
Hello Tweety- Your question can't be answered very easily as it depends on a lot of different factors. Are you going to have new foundation or retrofit the existing foundation . Is it a sloped lot or you are adding to a flat lot. How many SF you are adding, how many more baths and or kitchen? To give you a wide range, you can do it from $100/SF to $500.00/Sf. I have built and remodeled homes many times during last 30 years in SF Bay Area.
One of my first additions for just 300SF cost me about $250/SF, 20 years ago.
If you like to chat about your goals , I will be happy to share my experience with you.
Best of Luck, Kirk Ansari,415-819-7777- You may want to see my profile on my website... more