balcony pic

In response to a balcony collapse in Berkley, California in 2015, SB 721 has been passed and signed into law. Effective January 2019, all multi-family buildings containing at least 3 units are required to have any load-bearing balconies and decks inspected by a licensed architect, civil or structural engineer, or building contractor. This inspection must be paid for by the property owners and prov...
Sands through the hour glass

This is by far the most-frequent question we encounter in our day-to-day business.  And the good news is, that we can usually provide a fairly good estimate of the time period required for your particular project!  The Department of Real Estate is governed by specific timeframes in which they must respond to an application filing.  The regulatory timeframes, coupled with detailed information about...
Password

The time has finally come!  E-filing is available at the DRE.  All it requires is a quick registration with the Subdivision Online Public Reporting System, or SOPRAS.  Each SRP (Single Responsible Party) and each Subdivider must register to submit electronic files. Initially, Preliminary (Pink) Public Reports will be the only electronic filing application available, with the others to be coded ...
Streets aerial view

Selling homes in phases? Consider structuring your next subdivision map to include multiple road lots.  Asphalt streets are definitely one of the most expensive items that HOA's maintain.  Breaking the road lot into multiple lots to match your sales plan can save thousands. Think of it this way; if you have all of the streets in one lot, it can "front load" the HOA dues program, causing assessm...
Pool under construction

When an HOA is created, the dues start in any phase when the first lot or unit is sold. For planning purposes, it’s important to note that the DRE Regulations allow for HOA assessments to be waived for HOA-maintained improvements that are not complete. Regulation 2792.16c, in a nutshell, stipulates that any assessments for common area which has not been completed can be deferred - in other words, ...
Rubber stamp

Does your HOA common area need to be rejuvenated, but your bank account doesn't allow for much more than a new paint job?  Well, the good news is that most banks consider HOAs good investments.  Obtaining credit from a reputable agency is often much more palatable than special assessments and may be easy to obtain!  We have worked with several HOAs who have used lending to cover their financial ne...
Private eye

We often get calls from clients considering a purchase of a "broken" project, who are in the due diligence period on a project.   In this situation, it is worth the effort to investigate the project from the Department of Real Estate (DRE) perspective.  Was it filed with DRE previously?  Are there any red flags in the public report?  What would an amendment filing at DRE look like for this project...
computer

E-FILING becomes a reality in 2018 Electronic filings have been discussed for the past five years, and some thought it might never happen.  Alas, it is happening, in 2018.  Our firm will be participating in beta testing of pink report application filings in July of 2018.  Based on the success rate of the beta filings, it is possible that full electronic filings will be available as early as the...
Home community

A well-run Homeowners Association (HOA) can lead to an increase in property value and heightened satisfaction from owners and can considerably enhance your home ownership experience. A recent survey from The Community Associations Institute reported 84% of HOA members stated their governing board continually acted in the best interest of their community, and that 85% of HOA residents shared the sa...
Framing a home

It’s a great time to be a homebuilder in California.  Not only is our state a gorgeous place to live, but it’s a state very much in need of more homes.  Below are a few reasons it’s a fantastic time to be a homebuilder in California: Building Adds Jobs To The State According to a recent study by the California Homebuilding Foundation, building new homes creates more than 200,000 jobs per yea...