With all this rain, it is probably a good idea to think about your property drainage issues. Over the last few years, I have been involved in many property inspections both on my own and by following around professional inspectors. One of the most common property damage issues involves water intrusion.
I represented a buyer in March on a property with a planter connected to the exterior wall outside the kitchen window. The planter was filled with wood bark but water had collected in the bottom of the planter and caused water damage to the exterior stucco and into the drywall behind the kitchen cabinets. This created a black mold problem and the seller had to offer a buyer-credit for over $20,000 for repairs.
In another instance, I represented a buyer on a home in the College Area where, during a heavy rain, water would actually drain toward the house and seep underneath the house. I use only top-rated property inspectors who are veterans in the industry and can identify these sorts of problems. The inspector took note of a possible slant towards the house and then (with the seller’s permission) used a garden hose to flood a patio. We all watched in horror as the water drained towards the house and underneath the house. I then ordered a foundation expert to inspect the posts and piers under the structure. The inspector found several posts that were rotten. The seller then had to offer the buyer a substantial cash-credit to complete the sale. I have additional stories involving water problems as well.
The point I wanted to make this month is that the next time we have a heavy rain in San Diego, I would recommend putting on some boots and grabbing an umbrella to conduct a property inspection of your own. Walk slowly around the property during the heavy downpour noting the drainage patterns. You may find some limited spots where a French drain could be installed or some concrete added to assist the water run off away from your property.
Also look at your flashing such as where the chimney meets the roof. I was involved with a property where the chimney flashing was not secure and rainwater would leak into the house causing mold issues. Also note water runoff from neighbors. Your adjacent property owners have a duty to divert water into the city drainage systems and away from your property. Sometimes rainwater will run from one property down a slight hill to another property.
You may have a legal right to force an adjacent property owner to correct their drainage problems by diverting rainwater away from your property. Chances are that if you own property in College Area, your property is worth between $500,000 and $1 million. You need to protect the value of your asset by regularly inspecting it and maintaining it.
College Area market update
The local economy remains strong with the demand for housing steady. Although College Area’s November was slightly slower than one year ago, the median sale price for November 2019 was a whopping 16% higher than November 2018. New listings for single-family homes were down 45% from 53 listings in November 2018 to just 29 for this year and the inventory of homes for sale dropped by 39% to just 42 homes for sale in the entire 92115 ZIP code at the end of November!
If you are thinking of selling, it may be a good time as prices are significantly up and inventory is down. If you are thinking of buying or selling residential property in San Diego County, give me a call to set up a no pressure consultation on your options and my recommendations.
—Sarah Ward is a Realtor with College Area Realty. Reach her at [email protected] or at 858-431-6043.