Thursday, April 28, 2011
King County is taking the next step to reform customer service by improving the process of applying for mid-size permits at the Department of Development and Environmental Services – working up-front with customers who bring in permits too complex for over-the-counter service.
Starting April 25 customers with development permits too complex for over-the-counter service, but not complex enough to qualify for a pre-application meeting, will be entered into a new program called Pre-Submittal Services (PSS).
The PSS process will provide direct customer service to applicants before they submit the application by providing feedback to identify technical issues or red flags, and set expectations for the process ahead. This will allow staff at the Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) to immediately initiate or review the application as soon as it is submitted, rather than having to go back to the applicant to request clarity or more information.
“Our Department has been working purposefully and energetically over the last year to make permitting processes at King County less burdensome,” said DDES Director John Starbard. “I’m optimistic about this reform to our services. It should speed up review times, improve communication with our customers, and enable applicants to start their projects sooner.”
Incorrect and incomplete application submittals are a major factor that add to the cost and complexity of the permitting process.
PSS will assist with twelve types of mid-size permit applications:
Small Commercial Buildings
Site Plan Resubmittal
Boundary Line Adjustments
Separate Lot/Lot Mergers
*Some of these permit types may be covered already in the easy over-the-counter permit process
Beginning April 25, applicants who have a PSS qualifying project will pay $357 up front, which will be credited to the cost of the application once the final paperwork is submitted. The total processing time is expected to drop significantly, and each applicant will work with DDES staff to help ensure their paperwork is right the first time, and they can prevent delays associated with the need to stop processing and contact the applicant for more information or clarity.
PSS will be conducted during business days from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a lunch break between 12:00 to 1:00 pm).
The PSS process builds on a series of reforms at DDES under the guidance of King County Executive Dow Constantine, and DDES Director John Starbard. Reforms include the introduction of a fixed-fee model to provide cost certainty for building permits, permit integration with other county agencies, over-the-counter permits, a revised permit intake process, and enhanced relationships with cities and stakeholders.
For hours and location of DDES, visit www.kingcounty.gov/permits
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I hear questions from time to time from people about the guidelines relating to buying a home after a bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure. While the requirements are not universal, here is a matrix that was put together by Homefront Mortgage that I found quite useful.
Monday, April 18, 2011
SEATTLE — King County said it is improving the application process for mid-size permits at the Department of Development and Environmental Services by working with customers who bring in permits that are too complex for over-the-counter service.
The new program is called Pre-Submittal Services. It starts April 25 and is for customers with permits that are too complex for over-the-counter service but not complex enough to qualify for a pre-application meeting.
The county said this will let the staff identify technical issues or red flags, set expectations for the process ahead and avoid having to go back to applicants for more information. Incomplete submittals add to the cost and complexity of permitting.
PSS will apply to a variety of project types including new dwellings, remodels, additions, small commercial buildings and boundary line adjustments.
Applicants with a qualifying project will pay $357 up front, which will be credited to the cost of the application. The county said processing time is expected to drop significantly.
Daily Journal of Commerce
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Fannie Mae announced today that people purchasing a Fannie Mae-owned HomePath property will receive up to 3.5 percent in closing cost assistance. The initial offer must be submitted on or after April 11, 2011; and the sale must close on or before June 30, 2011 to be eligible for the incentive. Additionally, they'll pay a $1,000 bonus to buyers' agents in Washington State. One caveat, buyers must reside in the home as their primary residence (sales to investors are excluded).
"Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing the inventory of vacant homes remains essential to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover," said Terry Edwards, Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management. "Since interest rates remain low, the incentive will go a long way toward helping even more families buy a new home so this is a great time for Fannie Mae to offer some assistance."
All Fannie Mae-owned HomePath properties are listed on HomePath.com and most listings include detailed property descriptions, photographs, community and school information, and more. In addition, many Fannie Mae-owned properties are eligible for special HomePath Mortgage and HomePath Renovation Mortgage financing, which offers homebuyers an opportunity to purchase with as little as 3 percent down.