Q: Has a building permit been issued?
A: Not yet. Because a permit needs to be acted upon within 6 months of issuance and because there are various fees and costs that need to be paid before a permit can be issued, and because the Sellers have no idea of what a future owner will do with the current approved plans the Sellers have not asked the County to issue the actual permits. But the County has issued a “ready to issue” permit notice which is the next-to-last step in San Mateo County’s approval process. The Sellers understand that the following steps need to be done before the actual permit for the current plans can be issued — sellers have not paid the fees associated with each step:
- Application for and issuance of a water service permit and a sewer connection permit with the West Bay Sanitary District (e.g., complete annexation process and prepayment of those fees and the additional annexation fee of $70,000 approximately)
- Payment of school fees (Sequoia Union High School District)
- Preconstruction site inspection for erosion control and tree protection plan (general contractor task, staff inspector)
- Submission of the property’s fire sprinkler plan (a general contractor task)
- Payment of permit application fee (approximately $13,000–$14,000)
Q: The Sellers legalized the parcel, what else did they do?
A: The Sellers navigated the long approval process of getting the project approved, which is evidenced by the RTI (ready-to-issue) letter the Sellers received from the County meaning that the County is ready to issue a building permit for the site. From when the Sellers bought the parcel to the point of getting the RTI, which is tantamount to permit issuance, the Sellers were either asked to and have completed the following:
- Legalize the parcel with respect to the County;
- Obtain and establish the parcel’s corner records with a land surveyor;
- Obtain a extensive geologic soils study for the parcel;
- Obtain an extensive geotechnical study for the parcel and area from a geologist;
- Submit a tree survey and arborist report for the parcel;
- Secure a right-of-way access agreement with the County’s Department of Public Works;
- Confirm connection procedures for a future home with the area’s water district;
- Submit and revise application materials, proposed plans with specific plans, studies or drawings that included materials related to structural engineering, building schematics, traffic control, topographical conditions and building code compliance; and,
- Worked through an encroachment question with the neighbors at 1064 Los Trancos.
- And, for their own knowledge, the Sellers asked 3 contractors to estimate construction costs for the project. Those estimates, which range from ballpark figures to detailed line-item detail are included with the disclosures. An updated estimate from January/February 2018 is also included that show the projected costs remain consistent. Do remember that the Sellers make no warranty or representations about these bids as they are only provided here for general information purposes. Buyers should investigate these costs for themselves.
Q: Are there any forms you’d like to see buyer agents use?
A: Yes. Please use the latest California Association of REALTORS Vacant Land Purchase Agreement accompanied by relevant agency disclosure documents. In an ideal world, your buyers would also submit inspection waivers, contingency removal documents or even an “as-is” addendum, but there is no requirement to do so of course. If you are using the CARS form, please be sure to include the following local practice and customs: Sellers pay transfer tax while Buyer pays for escrow fees and for their title insurance policies. (These terms could be part of negotiating terms of course).
Q: Is escrow opened anywhere?
A: Yes. Because the property was bought via tax sale and because there are certain ownership steps that need to be taken, the escrow must be handled by Boston Title Company’s Southern California office. After this sale, the future owner is free to use any title company they wish as far as we know.
Q: Is there an offer date?
A: No, offers are as they come. If an offer comes in we will alert any other interested parties of this development to be as fair as possible.
Q: Have the Sellers received any offers?
A: Yes. Various parties have submitted offers to the Sellers, one of which was accepted. Those buyers, however, moved to cancel the contract as they experienced cash flow issues that were unrelated to the property. Each offer received has been all-cash. Out of respect to the marketplace, we cannot discuss respective offer prices.
Q: Any advice about making an offer?
A: Yes — Please send your messages and materials both to Kevin and Jonathan. Buyer diligence and investigations should be completed before submitting an offer. We advise your buyers to do the best they can. The Sellers would like the most people to see the Property as possible but is also keen to accept a strong and confident offer that is as simple as possible.