Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I should post a real post about this sometime, with some specific information, since there isn’t a lot of information about this stuff around, but I’m currently in the midst of converting my place to condominium. I purchased the top floor of an Edwardian two-story in 2010, along with another person. We are currently co-owners (Tenants in Common – TIC) of the house with “exclusive” use of various parts of the property. San Francisco has some peculiar laws around converting this shared-deed property to a multiple-deed condominium – basically there is a lottery in which TICs of up to 6 units can enter when they meet certain owner-occupancy thresholds, and a small number of units win every year. There are two other ways to convert to condo. The first is so big companies can do it whenever they want, which is 50% or more improvement (which includes, of course, new construction). The second is a, lucky for me, exception for two unit TICs with a clean (eviction-free) rental history. After one year of both units being owner occupied, the TIC is eligible to begin the condo-conversion process.

Anyway, that’s the background, and like I said, sometime in the next couple of months I will write more about this and my particular experience, but one of the big steps towards conversion is to get a ‘code and safety’ inspection by the City. This inspection costs something like $2500 for a two unit building (it scales up, but the biggest per-owner burden is at two units). Building, electrical and plumbing inspectors come out and point out all the violations which then must be corrected within the next six months, whether or not the condo-conversion goes forward. A signed job-card verifying the completion of this work is needed to continue on with the process. We had our inspection November, and we got our report back at the end of 2011, and it really didn’t seem too bad. Only one ‘building’ issue was called out, a fairly minor issue with one of the back patio stairs, and there were a few small electrical issues, and a few more plumbing and mechanical issues. I don’t have the final bill for the contractor work on this, but it’s going to be around $5000 of work, shared between the two of us. Actually when I went in to the Department of Building Inspection to get the permit for the work, the inspector who looked over my report and my permit application said “wow, this really is not very much work, usually it’s a lot more”. Well, thats a lucky break for us – it’s probably a good thing that the former owners of this place replaced most of the electrical and redid the bathrooms and the downstairs kitchen, ALL WITH PERMIT in the past five years.

Ok, now to get to the point of this. We aren’t done with inspections yet, the building inspector has to come out Friday and look at the stairs and close the job cards, but the electrical and plumbing inspectors came out yesterday and both passed us. So hopefully when the building inspector comes out Tuesday he’ll just sign off on the small back staircase, and we will be free to proceed to the next steps.

posted by neil at 9:57 am
under home ownership  

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