Concerned About Earthquakes and How Your Building Would Hold Up? Read This

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Looming earthquakes are just a part of life in Southern California and while many of our out-of-state friends like to poke fun, it does happen and we haven't had a "big one" in quite some time.

Common single-family houses can take damage during an earthquake but the largest threat is to structures larger in size and number of stories.  Buildings like apartment and condo buildings. Not only is there an increased risk of structural damage, but there is a greater risk of personal injury. 

Los Angeles County has been working on required retrofits for hundreds of buildings and Pasadena has now done the research to generate a list of those most threatened buildings as well.

Older architectural designs did not take into account shear and seismic shifts like more modern building have been required to. Lessons learned from the horrific Northridge earthquake taught us that "soft story" buildings, those wood frame structures with "tuck under" parking prove to be the ones with the most risk of significant damage during an earthquake. 

Website PasadenaNow.com has released a list of these local structures that are at risk.  See the article and the full PDF list of at-risk Pasadena properties here.  LINK

While not set into law yet, the owners of these buildings will most likely be required to professionally retrofit these structures and investment that will cost thousands of dollars. Los Angeles County already requires this so we can see the writing on the wall.

The cost to design retrofit can cost $5,000 to $12,000 and the actual work required could cost up to or above $50,000. This is a substantial investment that I would have to think many building owners will see this as insurmountable and opt to sell these at-risk properties.

While we have not yet seen a flurry of multi-family listings as a result of this, I anticipate that there will be changes in ownership.

If there are investors looking to reach out to an owner of one of these buildings, I am glad to be of assistance to see if they are considering selling.  Just contact me directly and we can discuss properties that are of interest. 

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