You can go to the courthouse and search for any litigation's.
You can also pay for a detailed CSLB history and complaints, name changes, warnings, etc. I believe it's $75.00
Check all his surety company records with a simple phone call they can tell you his history.
Now that the condo is new construction you should probably make sure that the HOA IS solid if the building is a red flag. I have seen many condos that get built poorly and then you have tons of litigation down the road against the builder. With new construction there is a warranty period but if the contractor is shady who is to say that he/she will honor that warranty and not file for bankruptcy. If your gut is saying this isn't a good idea then move on.
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
I just closed on a new construction and the main concern if you are getting a purchase money loan is whether or not the building has it Certificate of Occupancy. As well, new construction needs to be 51%-70% sold for lenders to approve financing. Many new constructions will give credit toward the closing costs but will as the buyer to come out of pocket to bolster the HOA reserves. You should be concerned about the quality of construction however you should be equally concerned about the ability to gain financing. Any liens, lis pendens or construction issues will slow down the sale process.
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to call. If I can't answer them, I can research on your behalf.
An expired license is a "red flag" in my book. Your instincts have already told you the builder "seems a bit shady", and he has "explained away" structural issues that do not match info and building codes?
While Anthony has provided a solid answer below, save your $75 and find someone else! If it looks and sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck....
Two more suggestions:
1) See if you can find an Building Education Center like this one up here in the Bay Area:
2) Have Anthony inspect the property!
Your answer is pretty awesome! I'm contacted the realtor to get a specfic license number, but the only name search revealed https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicense/License
I'm unsure if I should go with a builder with an expired license, even though he has recently built a number of condos. What would you suggest?
PS Unfortunately, our contigencies expire at the end of the week. How long does it usually take to search throught he courthouse records?