Rarely do we go outside the city limits for the San Carlos Blog, however, Belmont is our neighbor and it is currently considering an idea that could bring their housing market to an absolute standstill. I am hoping that our city leaders are occupied with other issues this week and pay no attention to what is going on next door.
Essentially, Belmont is considering an idea in which it would require any homeowner who would like to sell their home to forward a $300 fee to city hall. The city would then send out an inspector who would meticulously canvass the property and note any and all code violations. These violations would then need to be fixed prior to the close of escrow. Belmont is not a whole lot different than San Carlos in that many of the homes, actually the vast majority, are the victims of weekend warrior home depot projects which will fall well short of passing inspection. The gridlock that would ensue would be completely debilitating to the Belmont real estate market.
Reading between the lines, this a a desperate attempt to raise city revenues in a time when Belmont really needs the money. If it is money that the city is truly after, it should consider a city transfer tax, similar to the one that exists in San Mateo. Attaching cement blocks to the feet of Belmont sellers with an idea similar to the one being floated to city council would make a very difficult real estate market an absolute disaster.
Daly City shot down a similar idea just over two weeks ago. Here’s hoping that Belmont does the same. As for San Carlos officials….there is nothing to see here…just keep moving along.
For a full copy of the article from the Oakland Tribune, click here.