How To Build Or Rehab A Home?

July 27, 2017

For our July 19th Meetup, we went to Curtis street in West Oakland, where we had the privilege to walk through a new build of a single family residential (SFR) home.


History of build and process: The empty plot of land was purchased at an auction (i.e. tax sale) in 1982 for $3,700. In 2016, architectural blueprints were completed and permits (i.e. water, gas, electric, building) were filed. Construction began in April 2017 and is expected to complete in a few weeks. The house will go on the market, either using a real estate agent or online. Estimated sales price of this house is roughly $995,000.


Key lessons learned:

- Insuring a property after a tax lien purchase can be difficult for 3 - 4 years as title could be considered "clouded" by most insurance companies

- In California, drafting a blue print and assisting with the permit process can be done by a licensed engineer (civil engineers can do all buildings except hospitals and public schools; structural engineers can do all buildings).

- If you have a question about specific development requirements of your new/ rehabbed home (e.g. height, set back distances and parking requirements), consult a planner in the city's permit center. Google "city of Oakland permit zone variances" for more details.

- Sanborn maps, used in the olden days by fire insurance companies, have very detailed geo-spatial information. These maps helped save our investor over $20K in permitting costs due to a prior structure existing (i.e. reconnect vs. new connection).

- In Oakland, you will more than likely need to file a variance with the zoning board if building two or more units on a residential (R1) zoned property.

- In Oakland, the maximum length of a continuous wall is restricted to 40 feet and a maximum height of 25 feet from the ground.


Attached are some of the pictures of our walk through...

For specifics on zoning, permitting, construction costs, blueprints, designing a house for a targeted audience then marketing that house, etc, please come to our next meetup and chat with our experienced real estate friends (note: this is not an endorsement and investing with any individual requires you to do your own due diligence).


Look forward to seeing you there.


Kevin + Kiri



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