How can you find out if a property is on a fault line?

Asked by isabela, Grass Valley, CA Tue Jun 30, 2009

I'm wondering about houses near Wildcat Canyon Park on Arlington Blvd in Richmond, CA

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Saundra Allman’s answer
Saundra Allm…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Jul 2, 2009
Hi Steve! Have you ordered a Property I.D. Natural Hazards and Environmental Report? Their reports are very interesting to read, will bring clarity to your question. I use this company all the time. I love the way they package the disclosure forms for the sellers to fill out, the way they present the informtiaon in these reports and the way they apckage them for buyer and sellers. Their reports are very comprehensive and easy to read. They will tell you how close the property is to the fault line and I belive there are maps you can aquire that are color coded too that show this information. You can contact them directly for more information and qustions regarding your report you will receive when you have questions. I reccommend Property I.D. as a company you may want to use for your sellers disclosures if you are the sellers agent.

Another way is to go to the planning department and ask the planning engineer about the specifics for the subject property you are representing for your seller/ or buyer. Many cities today have their planning departments on line that are linked to their city websites as a source too.

Saundra Allman

By the way... will you have anyone in your sphere of influence you may be interested in investing in real estate in Humboldt County California? Please preview my sellers property web sites: ; ; ; and the link will show you some of the wonderful best kept secrets of things to do in Humboldt County.

Please contact me directly. Thank you again. Saundra
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0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed Jul 1, 2009
Hi Isabela, earthquake is a completely separate insurance and not required for purchasing a home. However, I would look into the premium for peace of mind, but they are typically higher than your normal property insurance. I live by two faults in the Bay Area, I personally do not have Earthquake insurance, but I do have a "side-account" in case I have damage from an event. Single story wood frame construction, depending on the age of the house, performs fairly well in earthquakes. Ask your property inspector to verbally provide his opinion about the house in this regard. The website provided has a number of publications on how to properly prepare a home for an earthquake, you can use this to determine how “earthquake proof” the house is that you are considering.

Best, Steve
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isabela, , Grass Valley, CA
Wed Jul 1, 2009
Thanks for the link to My Hazards. I see the property is in a Fault Rupture Hazard Zone. So...not recommended to buy there? I'm guessing insurance costs will go up. What else should I consider?
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Tue Jun 30, 2009
Hi Isabela,

The Natural Hazards Disclosure law requires the seller or seller's agent to disclose whether the property is located in the following six zones:

Flood Hazard Zones, Inundation Zones, Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, Wild land Fire Areas, Earthquake Fault Zones and Seismic Hazard Zones.

However, since you are just looking for Earthquake faults, enter the address of the house here:

This will show a color-coded map covering:
1) High Ground Shaking zone
2) Liquefaction Seismic Hazard zone
3) Earthquake Fault zone

Best, Steve
0 votes
Dave Sutton, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 30, 2009
A standard environmental hazards report will cover everything about earthquake zones. $120 from several providers. Let me know if you want one. If you're considering buying such a home, the seller should provide the report as part of their standard disclosures.
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