Local Disclosure Options for California

by Virginia Lindstrom 04/21/2021

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels

Certain cities and counties in California require disclosures in addition to the state-required disclosures. The real estate disclosure forms provide space for disclosures that sellers might make on their own, such as whether an adjoining property has mineral rights, timber rights or other disclosures. And, some zoned areas require mandatory disclosures for natural hazards and other property disclosures.

Flood Zones

Some areas are required to disclose whether the property is in a special flood zone area: Zone A or Zone V. The Federal Emergency Management Agency determined that certain areas fall into these special flood zones. If you or your real estate agent has actual knowledge that your property is in one of these zones, or if your city or county has a list of properties that are located in either of these special flood zones, you must disclose it when as part of the purchase contract.

Additionally, if your home is in an area that could flood if a dam breaks, you must also disclose that information.

Fire Zones

You must also disclose a high fire hazard severity zone if the home you are selling is located in this area in certain cities and / or counties. A list of homes in high fire hazard severity zones is posted at certain county offices, including the county planning agency, county recorder and county assessor.

A state responsibility area, otherwise known as a designated wildland area, is also an area that has a high risk for forest fires. If the home you are selling is in one of these areas, you must also disclose that to potential buyers. As with high fire hazard severity zones, properties in the state responsibility areas are listed at certain county offices.

Earthquake Zones

Earthquake faults are usually about 1/4-mile wide. Cities and towns in these areas are in earthquake zones that must be disclosed to potential buyers. The list of properties in earthquake zones is posted in county offices, including the county assessor, the county recorder and the county planning agency.

You must also disclose whether you are in a seismic hazard zone to potential buyers. Seismic hazard zones have a higher risk of landslides, strong ground shaking and soil liquefaction because of fault zones. Homes in areas zoned as seismic hazard zones are also listed at county offices.

Due Diligence

If a seller does not know that his or her property is located in one of these zones, and if the property is in one of these zones but not listed at one of the mentioned county offices, the seller would be unable to disclose this information. Buyers should carefully research properties they are interested in and should include these zones as exceptions if they prefer not to buy in flood, earthquake and fire zones.

About the Author

Virginia Lindstrom

Hello and welcome to my website!

My Real Estate sales career began on June 18th 1985 at the age of 29- a wife & mother of 2 young children.

Within the 1st year I closed 5 sales and in January 1986, began my monthly marketing in the Lakewood Village neighborhood in Sunnyvale, where I made my very 1st sale and also took my 1st listing!

Over the last 3 decades, I've helped well over 450 families purchase and or sell their "American Dream".

I specialize in both Lakewood Village in Sunnyvale and the Cambrian area of San Jose, where I've lived for over 20 years. 

I now primarily help sellers with the sale of their property- whether it is their primary residence, or an investment cash out or 1031-Exchange, an Estate Trust sale or a Probate sale of a loved one who's passed away, I have vast knowledge and experience in all these areas of Real Estate.

I began my Real estate career with Century 21 Community Realty in Sunnyvale, until that office closed. Since then, I've been with Re/Max Real Estate Services in Cupertino and recently celebrated 26 years with Re/Max in October 2019.

I pride myself in being the best Real Estate professional I can be with integrity and honor at the forefront of my business career and my clients.

Thank you for visiting my website and I look forward to an opportunity to serve you and your family with all your Real Estate needs too!

Warmest Regards,

Virginia Lindstrom, Realtor