As of June 18, 2013, if you own a residential building of a certain size in San Francisco, you’ll be required to seismically retrofit it. The law specifically applies to wood frame buildings with “soft stories,” which means buildings with three or more stories, or two stories above a basement or underfloor area that has any portion extending above grade. The buildings must contain five or more units to comply with the new rules.
Ivan Diviney, owner of Diviney Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company, explains why soft story buildings are so dangerous: “During an earthquake, large openings on the ground floor (like garage doors or commercial spaces with large window and door openings) are especially vulnerable. These openings have no shear structure to stop a ‘soft story’ from failing, which means residents who live above them are at high risk. Even if the upper floor is structurally sound, the base of the building isn’t, so gravity will take its course.” Continue reading “San Francisco Prepares for Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program” »
There are 10 different versions of the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory
The massive distribution of the 2013 Diamond Certified Directory has been in full swing since early April, with more than 800,000 copies reaching homeowners, select local business owners, property and apartment managers, and insurance and real estate agents throughout the Greater Bay Area. This year marked the addition of a Napa County version, which joins Sonoma County, Marin County, San Francisco/Daly City, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Solano County, and Monterey/San Benito/Santa Cruz Counties. Continue reading “2013 Diamond Certified Directory Now Available!” »
A common misconception of home sellers is that in order to sell as quickly as possible, they need to invest a lot of money in remodeling. However, spending money on renovations can be a precarious financial gamble, as remodeling is by no means guaranteed to increase a home’s value. To increase the appeal of your home while still being cost-effective, start by doing a thorough cleaning. When potential buyers enter a home, the last thing they want is to smell pet odors or see disheveled rooms.
Depersonalize and de-clutter your home to make it more attractive to potential homebuyers. Photo: Avi Urban Residential & Investment Real Estate (2013)
To that end, it’s also important to de-clutter your home by removing excess furnishings and accentuating the space by condensing and rearranging the remaining furniture. When people are looking to buy a home, they want to envision what it would be like if they lived there, so if your house is too cluttered with furniture and personal belongings, it can inhibit their ability to see the house’s potential. Continue reading “Real Estate Tip: Selling Your Home” »