Ask Sid

What can Slatter do for homeowners with problem properties or red tag violations?

Greg Flowers: Let’s talk about working on a problem or red-tagged property in Santa Cruz. Maybe the home is in foreclosure and has been bought at an auction, what are some of the dynamics?

Sid Slatter: One of the areas we specialize in is problem properties, and we have a dedicated problem property resolution team (PPRTTM). Our research shows that there are over 20,000 recorded code violations in Santa Cruz County, that’s a lot of property that people can’t get equity out of. The PPRTTM does works with the architects, surveyors, engineers, sanitarians—anyone that’s needed to resolve the problem or code violation. We then work with the county staff to come up with the resolution and make sure that it will be permitted. Once the design is together we put a budget to what needs to happen, get the design together and submit it through the County process. We do the work and get those red tags expunged so that the property owner can pull equity out of their property.

I’ll give you a great example of a project we did in Bonny Doon. The owner bought the property for 1.5 million, and it had multiple violations. We pulled 14 building permits and got all of the red tags expunged. The owner turned around and sold the property for 4.8 million dollars.

G: Holy Moly.

S: There is often equity sitting dead because of the red tag violations.

G: It can be a profitable game for the homeowner, and nice to work with a professional that has the experience to do the work.