The city of Oakland and the City of Berkeley offer nice incentives for new Buyers to make seismic retrofit improvements to their properties. If you live in the Oakland and Berkeley hills areas such as Montclair, Rockridge, Elmwood, North Berkeley or anywhere in the San Francisco East Bay, it’s a safe bet that the home you are buying could use some seismic upgrades. As part of any home sale, city transfer tax is a closing cost of the transaction. Both Oakland and Berkeley will rebate a portion of the transfer tax paid back to the new owner for approved seismic retrofit work. There are some restrictions such as it only applies to property owners who have recorded the transfer of ownership within one year from todays date and complete the work within one year from taking ownership. For more information regarding the city of Oakland’s Voluntary Seismic Strengthening Incentive Program visit the Building Department at http://www.oaklandnet.com/government/ceda/revised/building_permits.html  . For information about the city of Berkeley program visit http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/PSC/  .
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