California

California is a large and diverse state with a wide range of real estate investment opportunities. The state has a strong economy and is home to many thriving metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. These areas have strong job markets and a high cost of living, which can create demand for housing and make them attractive markets for real estate investment. However, it is important to note that California has some of the highest real estate prices in the country, which can make it challenging for some investors to enter the market. Additionally, the state has a high cost of living, which can affect the affordability of real estate investments. It is important for investors to carefully consider these and other factors before making any real estate investments in California.

Sustainability Resources

The Real Estate industry is one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world accounting for:
30%
of total carbon dioxide
40%
of all energy
40%
of all raw materials
Our goal is to give you the resources you need to take sustainable action in improving, building, retrofitting and revamping your home. The impacts are real, the benefits significant, and the need critical. Join us in bringing sustainability home and creating a brighter future for all, starting with you.

Save money and do the world a favor!
Here's a list of Sustainability Initiatives in the area:

FSC Supplier/Product Search

The Forest Stewareship Council provides user with a search tool to find essential materials and products for those looking to do home renovation based on their location. The FSC works to prohibit deforestation, wildlife habitat, and water quality, tightly restrict the use of hardous chemicals, ensure forests are mananged at sustainable rates of growth and harvesting, protect rare old growth forests and the right of indigenous Peoples. They are the gold standard of forest management and their search tool can be used in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Learn More
WaterSense Webinars

WaterSense, a subset of the US EPA, puts on sustainability webinars that have different focuses.

Learn More
Alen Breathesmart HEPA Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart HEPA Air Purifier is the energy efficient air purifier that filters out airborne particles.

Learn More

California FAQs

Is California a judicial or non-judicial state?

Non-Judicial

In a non-judicial foreclosure state, the lender does not need to go through the court system in order to foreclose on a property. This process can be quicker and less expensive for the lender compared to a judicial foreclosure.
In a non-judicial foreclosure state, the lender does not need to go through the court system in order to foreclose on a property. This process can be quicker and less expensive for the lender compared to a judicial foreclosure.

What is the process of closing on a property in California?

Not only do escrow procedures differ between Northern and Southern California, they also vary somewhat from county to county. Title companies handle closings through escrow in Northern California, whereas escrow companies and lenders handle them in Southern California. Conveyance is by grant deed. Deeds of trust with private power of sale are the security instruments used throughout the state. Foreclosure requires a three-month waiting period after the recording of the notice of default. After the waiting period, the notice of sale is published each week for three consecutive weeks. The borrower may reinstate the loan at any time prior to five business days before the foreclosure sale. All in all, the procedure takes about four months. Californians have both ALTA and CLTA policies available. In Southern California, sellers pay the title insurance premium and the transfer tax. Buyer and seller split the escrow costs. In the Northern California counties of Amador, Merced, Plumas, San Joaquin, and Siskiyou, buyers and sellers share title insurance and escrow costs equally. In Butte County, sellers pay 75%; buyers pay 25%. In Alameda, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties, buyers pay for the title insurance policy, whereas sellers pay in the other Northern California counties. Each California county has its own transfer tax; some cities have additional charges. Property taxes may be paid annually on or before December 10th, or semiannually by December 10th and April 10th. Annual taxes are set at no more than 1 percent of the property’s base value or purchase price. Each year following this, a two percent increase is permissible. (Proposition 13). A property transfer between husband and wife will not result in a new tax assessment of one percent of the fair market value. The homeowner’s exemption allows an owner to be exempt of the first $7,000 of the property’s full cash value. This exemption is allowed only for primary residences. Homeowner must obtain a form from the county tax assessor, and submit it by February 15 of the current tax year to be eligible for the exemption. Californians over the age of 55 also have the option of moving primary residences and taking their prior “old” tax base with them to the new property. This exception may be used only once in a lifetime. Referred to as the” Senior Citizen’s Replacement Dwelling Benefit”, Proposition 60 was a constitutional amendment approved by the voters in 1986. It is codified in Section 69.5 of the Revenue & Taxation Code, and allows the transfer of an existing Proposition 13 base year value from a former residence to a replacement residence, if certain conditions are met.  California is a community-property state.

Property Taxes in California?

Annually before December 10th ,or semiannually by December 10th and April 10th

In California, does a property management company require a real estate broker's license?

YES. Key components of property management are considered a real estate activity under existing California real estate licensing laws. A broker's license is required for any person or company that, for compensation, leases or rents or offers to lease or rent, or places for rent, or solicits listings of places for rent, or solicits for prospective tenants, or negotiates the sale, purchase or exchanges of leases on real property, or collects rents from real property, or improvements thereon. A salesperson working under a broker may engage in such activities.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement that a property manager have a broker's license in California?

Certain exemptions apply. For example, certain functions can be fulfilled by an employee of a property management firm retained to manage a residential apartment building or complex, if that person is under the supervision and control of a broker who is also employed by that firm. For more information about these and other California property management requirements and exceptions, please contact the California Department of Real Estate. Before hiring a property manager to manage your California rental property, you should always check that he or she is properly licensed. You can check the license status of California property managers at theCalifornia Department of Real Estate license check webpage.

Do you need a broker's license to manage community associations in California?

There is no requirement that a community association manager in California have a real estate broker's license. However, voluntary certification, known as "Certified CID Manager," is available. Claiming that you are certified to manage condo associations or other types of homeowner associations when you don't have the license is considered an "unfair business practice." The law for Certified CID Managers will sunset on January 1, 2015 unless the California legislature extends it.

California Real Estate Broker Requirements

Not only do escrow procedures differ between Northern and Southern California, they also vary somewhat from county to county. Title companies handle closings through escrow in Northern California, whereas escrow companies and lenders handle them in Southern California. Conveyance is by grant deed. Deeds of trust with private power of sale are the security instruments used throughout the state. Foreclosure requires a three-month waiting period after the recording of the notice of default. After the waiting period, the notice of sale is published each week for three consecutive weeks. The borrower may reinstate the loan at any time prior to five business days before the foreclosure sale. All in all, the procedure takes about four months. Californians have both ALTA and CLTA policies available. In Southern California, sellers pay the title insurance premium and the transfer tax. Buyer and seller split the escrow costs. In the Northern California counties of Amador, Merced, Plumas, San Joaquin, and Siskiyou, buyers and sellers share title insurance and escrow costs equally. In Butte County, sellers pay 75%; buyers pay 25%. In Alameda, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties, buyers pay for the title insurance policy, whereas sellers pay in the other Northern California counties. Each California county has its own transfer tax; some cities have additional charges. Property taxes may be paid annually on or before December 10th, or semiannually by December 10th and April 10th. Annual taxes are set at no more than 1 percent of the property’s base value or purchase price. Each year following this, a two percent increase is permissible. (Proposition 13). A property transfer between husband and wife will not result in a new tax assessment of one percent of the fair market value. The homeowner’s exemption allows an owner to be exempt of the first $7,000 of the property’s full cash value. This exemption is allowed only for primary residences. Homeowner must obtain a form from the county tax assessor, and submit it by February 15 of the current tax year to be eligible for the exemption. Californians over the age of 55 also have the option of moving primary residences and taking their prior “old” tax base with them to the new property. This exception may be used only once in a lifetime. Referred to as the” Senior Citizen’s Replacement Dwelling Benefit”, Proposition 60 was a constitutional amendment approved by the voters in 1986. It is codified in Section 69.5 of the Revenue & Taxation Code, and allows the transfer of an existing Proposition 13 base year value from a former residence to a replacement residence, if certain conditions are met.  California is a community-property state.

California Real Estate Salesperson Requirements

Annually before December 10th ,or semiannually by December 10th and April 10th

How do property ownership transfers work in California?

Grant deed

Cities