Buying Ground That Moves

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlemagne International Properties BRE# 01147470

The ground moves in California, and if you live here long enough you will feel the earth move too.  Not only do we have blissful weather, beaches, mountains and more than our fair share of sunshine, we also have earthquakes on a regular basis, and in Palos Verdes we also have one of the largest active landslides in the country.  Mudslides are a common threat during the rainy season. Yes, our precious California land does its fair share of shaking, slipping and sliding.

What's a prospective buyer to do?  Educate yourself, investigate the area, and inspect the property.  Most of the Palos Verdes Peninsula is made up of bedrock and building a foundation on a bed of rock is a stabilizing anchor for most Palos Verdes homes.

A visit to the local city planning department will reveal details not only about the property in question, but also about building moratoriums, building restrictions and local codes.

No one should purchase a property subjected to earthquake shaking without having a thorough physical inspection of the property.  If further investigation is suggested, it may be advisable to engage a structural engineer and/or a geologist. 

In California the real estate purchase contract grants the buyer 17 days to inspect the property.  The savvy buyer will use these days to assemble and evaluate a written assessment of the property.  Numerous disclosures and reports by the sellers, inspectors, real estate agents and other professionals engaged to inspect the property deserve and require the buyer's attention and acceptance in order to complete the purchase. 

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Norma Toering & Team RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
(310) 493-8333 / Office Phone: (310) 831-0800

South Bay Los Angeles cities I sell real estate, property, houses and homes in: Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Long Beach, Torrance, Lomita, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Not a real person 11/05/2011 09:44 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
California Los Angeles County Palos Verdes Peninsula
Groups:
CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE
Everything California
LA Connection
CALIFORNIA DREAMING
Tags:
californian earthquakes
normatoering

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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

It's a very interesting yet accurate title Norma about the California ground. In Texas we have tornadoes, hail storms and the occasional hurricane. I think you have to live in Nebraska to have some stability but they still get blizzards. The 17 days definitely helps you better define the status quo of the structure.

May 22, 2009 12:50 PM #1
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Gary - Natural hazards are to be expected and we need to know how to deal with them, and what to look for in structures that have withstood the shaking.

May 22, 2009 01:18 PM #2
Rainer
84,156
Andrew Haslett
Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI - Fort Knox, KY
Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector

Norma, yep! earthquakes. Hollister is a rip roaring, shakin place.

I lived through the Loma Prieta. In some respects, it was fun and exciting, but that is probably because I wasn't injured and didn't suffer any property damage.

It might sound odd, but I miss earthquakes living in KY. There have been a few tiny ones (5.0 max) since I've been here.

May 22, 2009 04:35 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Norma, great and informative post!  Thanks for reminding us to have our buyers do their due dilligence.  I like that 17 day inspection provision in the purchase contract.

May 22, 2009 05:33 PM #4
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Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Norma - Very interesting post and I have lived in California and the ground was really moving when I was there, it really never bothered me though because I love Cali so much.

Vegas Bob

May 23, 2009 01:40 AM #5
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Andrew - Earthquakes are a part of life in California....for better or worse, they come with the territory.

May 23, 2009 05:15 AM #6
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Tony & Darcy - The 17 day inspection period can often be extended if additional time is needed to complete thorough inspections of the property.

May 23, 2009 05:18 AM #7
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Robert -- I experienced my first California earthquake three months after moving here in 1989.  The first one is definitely memorable and a bit surreal.

May 23, 2009 05:22 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Excellent advice Norma!  I will say this however, I've lived in California all my life, and I'd rather live with the threat of earthquakes, rather than take on hurricanes and tornadoes any day of the week!

May 23, 2009 12:50 PM #9
Rainer
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Xinh Truong
Connect Realty.Com, Inc. - San Leandro, CA

thanks for sharing the info.

May 29, 2009 07:19 AM #10
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Myrl - Thank you, and Mother Nature spreads her natural disasters around.

Jun 03, 2009 11:00 PM #11
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Xinh - Knowledge is the best way to deal with fear of the unknown.

Jun 03, 2009 11:02 PM #12
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hey, Norma. I left a surprise for you in my blog post this morning. Let me know when you find it. What? You thought I was going to tell you exactly where it is? Ha! This comment is a clue, though.

Happy Saturday!

Nov 05, 2011 05:34 AM #13
Rainmaker
288,656
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole lies on the Teton Fault, and we have a half dozen earthquakes a year here. That's the price of the spectacular view!

Nov 05, 2011 05:44 AM #14
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Russel - Wow, I admire your due diligence in finding this article I wrote over two years ago.  Do you ever sleep?

Nov 05, 2011 06:00 AM #15
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Tim - As they say, nothing is free...and I'm a big fan of Jackson Hole and your Grand Tetons.  Jenny Lake hikes are fantastic.

Nov 05, 2011 06:03 AM #16
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