No matter where you live in the world there is some kind of natural hazard. For the people of Pompeii (pictured above), and Hawaii today, the natural hazard is Volcanoes. In Florida there are hurricanes. In Oklahoma there are tornadoes. In California our natural hazard is earthquakes.
California state law requires sellers to provide buyers with a Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) statement as part of the disclosures made by the seller during escrow. The NHD indicates whether or not the property is located in a ‘Hazard Area’.
There are several dams and reservoirs on the Westside: Encino Reservoir, Stone Canyon Reservoir, Franklin Canyon Reservoir, Mulholland Dam, and Silverlake Reservoir. In California history there has been two major dam breaks: St. Francis Dam (1928) and Baldwin Hills Dam (1963).
Baldwin Hills Dam
Baldwin Hills Dam Burst
Very High Fire Hazard Zone
Hillside areas in Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, Verdugo Mountains, and the Palos Verdes Hills are all Very High Fire Hazard Zones.
These hillside areas have a lot of trees and brush that can burn in wildfires, especially during a drought. Bel Air had a big fire in (1961) and more recently Malibu in (2007).
Homeowners insurance in Very High Fire Hazard areas is more expensive and harder to get.
The NHD goes on to include additional hazard information like proximity to Commercial or Industrial, airport, mining operation, hazardous waste, Mello Roos Tax, and future tax increases.
It is customary in Los Angeles for the seller to pay for the NHD report. The price of an NHD report is about $150.
The 9A report is a statutory disclosure during escrow. Escrow orders the 9A report from the city- they can order it two ways, by mail or online. Mail takes 7-10 business days, online 3-4 business days. To order by mail requires a personal check, ordering online works with a credit card. This is the link to order a 9A report online: http://netinfo.ladbs.org/autores/autores.nsf (click Request for RPR). The report costs $70.20. This is typically a seller side closing cost.
The main thing I look for on the 9A report is if the property has any special tax assessments. Paragraph VI B. of the 9A report is what you want to look at to check if there are any special tax assessments. At the bottom of the liens and assessments, make sure the property is “cleared of all items“. This means that there are no special tax assessments.
In addition to assessment information the 9A report also has information on certificates of occupany, zoning, sewer permit, and an owner’s declaration that indicates retrofit compliance. These items are covered in other inspections and reports so they aren’t important.
Paragraph IV B shows if there is a certificate of occupancy for the property and how many have been issued. The 9A report usually has all certificate of occupancy issued attached to the end of the report. In the below example 3 CofO’s were issued for the property.