In the upcoming November election, there is a chance to do away with the outdated Zoning Information Report (ZIR) once and for all. BUT IN ORDER TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN, YOU MUST FIRST SIGN A PETITION TO GET THE BILL ON THE BALLOT.
Why This is Important for You
If you have sold a home in the city of Santa Barbara within the past 50 years or so, then you have most likely paid for a Zoning Information Report. The ZIR Reports have become increasingly expensive over the years and now cost around $500. According to the City of Santa Barbara, this is a required report at the time of sale.
Santa Barbara and Pasadena are the only two cities left in the state to require such reports. Other cities realize that these are outdated and basically useless to buyers. The ZIR was created at a time when Realtors did not have disclosure forms in place to describe the condition of the home. Now there are several different forms that cover the property condition that are much more detailed than what the City provides.
It has been my experience, as well as that of many other Realtors, that the City does not stand behind their past reports. In other words, if you purchased your property with a ZIR that was “Free of Violation,” it would mean nothing for you presently. If you sold your property today, the City might require thousands of dollars of work to be done just because they missed something in the past. There are countless cases of sellers finding themselves in just that situation.
But now there is something we can do. If you live in the City of Santa Barbara, you will have an opportunity to vote against the outdated ZIR Report on our ballots in the next election. Not only would this save sellers the cost of the report, it may save thousands of dollars in changes to the property due to the City’s poor reporting in the past.
Please feel free to call me with any questions!