What do I need to know about buying / selling a home in Berkeley?
- RECO - Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance
This is a point of sale ordinance, requiring Seller or Buyer to take responsibility for compliance. Should Buyer assume responsibility, Buyer would have one year to complete. Responsibility can only be passed once if work has not been done. Refer to Ordinance #6099.NS
Compliance is having the ceiling insulated, hot water pipes wrapped, water heater wrapped, low flow devices for shower, faucets or fixtures, weather-strip exterior doors, damper in chimney, replace incandescent lights with lower watt, and sel-insulate furnace ducts.
- Berkeley Transfer Tax Calculated at 1.5% of the sales price and imposed at the time of sale. Typically shared 50/50. One third of the tax may be rebated to the Buyer or Seller for seismic retrofitting and work must be completed within one year of purchase and verified by permit for work. No extensions permitted. Refer to Ordinance #6072.NS
- Berkeley Rent Control
Ordinance regulates rights and duties of property owners and tenants. Questions should be directed to Rent Board for individual property status or registration.
- Sewer Lateral Compliance
A certificate of compliance is required prior to close of escrow however responsibility can be transferred to Buyer. A deposit is held by the city to insure work will be completed.
See City of Berkeley Municipal Code Chapter 17.24
- Berkeley Creeks
There is little discussion about the creeks so I mention it here. The City of Berkeley now has on line a list of properties that may be restricted to use if they are within 30 feet. If the home is located over a culvert, repairs to the culvert are considered by the City of Berkeley to be the homeowner's responsibility.
What do I need to know about buying / selling a home in Albany?
- Albany Transfer Tax
Calculated at $8.50 per thousand of Sales Price.
Typically shared 50/50.
- Sewer Line repair/replacement
City requires video of lateral sewer line to check for roots, cracks, etc. City determines if line should be repaired or replaced. Some insurance companies will cover costs. Typically Seller's responsibility but can be assumed by buyer.
- Seller must warrant property upgraded smoke detectors to photoelectric only devices.
- Disclosure regarding location of creeks.
The City has recently published notice to homeowners regarding their responsibilities to maintain and preserve creeks.
What do I need to know about buying or selling property in El Cerrito?
- City of El Cerrito has a map which identifies different areas within the city limits as being more susceptible to ground movement or landslides. The city may require soils reports or further investigation prior to any structural changes to a property
- There are some locations within El Cerrito that, provided there is space available, children can attend the Kensington Grammar school.
- The Sanitary Sewer Lateral must be in compliance with East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) guidelines. Buyer can assume responsibility but compliance must be obtained within 180 days of purchase.
The above information is highlights of ordinances and does not fully explain requirements or responsibilities of parties. If you would like more information, please contact me at my office or email me at email@example.com
I hope this has been helpful. Please call with any questions or comments.
Diane Verducci, CRS, SRES, Green