Natural Hazard Disclosure update

Natural hazards include earthquake fault zones, seismic hazard zones, state fire responsibility areas, flood hazard zones, liquefaction areas, whether underground storage tanks are nearby, airport proximity, land conservation, etc.

Natural Hazard Disclosure Company, Property I.D. attorney, Mailana Mavromatis brought a room full of San Mateo County Realtors up to date this week at the San Mateo County Board of Realtors office.  Most of what was discussed we already knew, but she spiced up her presentation with interesting stories, new information, and lunch from Draegers.

A seller is required (Cal. Civil Code 1102 and 1103) to provide the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (NHDS) to the buyer.  This is on the printed purchase contract.  However, for an “exempt” seller, such as a financial institution in an REO sale, she pointed out that the seller is not responsible for providing the Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) form, but is required to provide the Local, State, and Federal disclosures (i.e. the information). 

There are several companies that provide this third party report.  The ones that I’ve seen and/or used are Property I.D., JCP, and Disclosure Source

There will be a new disclosure added to the report effective January 1, 2009.  The new law, AB2881, states that a seller must disclose whether his property is within one mile of agriculture.  This is applicable to the Half Moon Bay area communities due to our abundant farmland and ranches.  Sellers in neighborhoods such as Spanishtown, Alsace Lorraine, Frenchman’s Creek, Clipper Ridge, to name a few that come to my mind, will have added protection knowing that their buyer knew about nearby agricultural activities.  Two important issues are water runoff and sensibilities.   Will be property be affected by watering methods of the neighboring farm?  Will the distinctive aroma of brussel sprouts wafting through the bedroom window bother me?  Or will the natural alarm clock (rooster) down the road interrupt my sleep routine?

If you are buying an REO property, your agent should give you and review the C.A.R. REO Advisory in addition to the Statewide Buyers and Sellers Advisory.  The REO Advisory spells out the exemptions and the requirements of natural hazard disclosure.

Diligent buyers and sellers make for smooth transactions.