New home toughening and real estate disclosures in the defensible space in California | South Lake Tahoe


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif .– Those who live around Lake Tahoe know the danger of fire, but those who buy homes may not always be aware of the extreme severity of this danger in a house in the middle of a forest. .

Beginning at the start of the year, the seller of a home in a designated high fire area built before 2010 must now disclose to the buyer the ownership conditions that make the home vulnerable to forest fires. Sellers must now provide buyers with a notice that includes instructions on how to burn hardened houses and a list of any specific house features that the seller knows could make the house vulnerable to wildfires and embers. flying. The list may include materials such as untreated wood shingles, single-pane windows, and combustible landscaping near the house.

Now, on July 1, another new disclosure will be required to define a home’s defensible space. Sellers are required to provide buyers with documentation that the property complies with defensible space laws. While there are no laws on these matters in Lake Tahoe at the moment, insurance companies are certainly reviewing what has been done.

“Tahoe is certainly using this disclosure to help educate all new buyers and sellers in the Tahoe area,” said Kili Rahbeck, president of the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS®. “Due to Tahoe’s high fire danger throughout the region, this is a great disclosure to help answer some questions regarding the high fire danger we find ourselves in. This disclosure has become necessary. for all homes that close after July 1 and some brokerage firms have started making this required disclosure well in advance of the July 1 deadline. “

Longtime, full-time local owners know the forest fire risks after experiencing the Angora fire in 2007 and the dozens of major fires outside the Lake Tahoe Basin in recent years .

Living With Fire, a collaborative education and outreach program founded in 1997 by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and supported by members of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels team, provided volumes of educational materials for residents to integrate for creating a safer home and community (see the ten-topic “how-to” series on South Tahoe Now).

Even if you don’t sell or buy a home in Lake Tahoe, hardening the home and creating a defensible space are still important tools for a safer home. Local fire departments and agencies will provide inspections and advice on what needs to be done.

“It is strongly recommended that all sellers find out if their home has any fire resistance characteristics before putting it on the market so that it is an easy and smooth process for them and the buyers,” said Rahbeck. “With that in mind, it hasn’t changed the way sellers sell their homes, but it’s certainly starting to be great information for home buyers and home insurance companies. By requiring the seller to complete this statement before they sell. putting the house on the market, this could potentially help a buyer purchase home insurance.Some of the home’s fire-curing features that can make the home vulnerable to forest fires and flying embers are the front ventilation roofs, soffits and roof, wood shingle roof coverings and landscaping, single pane or non-tempered glass windows, bird stops or loose or missing roof flashings and gutters no metal or non-combustible gutter covers Due to the high fire risk in Tahoe we luckily see a lot of vendors going through these checkpoints whereas they started to secure their house against the fire with the realization of the Angora fire in 2007. »

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