The purchase of real estate is the largest single investment most Californians make during their lifetimes. The DRE ensures that subdividers comply with real estate and subdivided lands laws when offering new homes or lots for sale and deliver to buyers what was agreed to at the time of purchase. The laws enforced by the DRE apply to most standard subdivisions and various types of common interest developments including condominium projects, certain undivided interest developments, and timeshares offered for sale in California.
Before marketing new subdivisions in California, subdividers must obtain a public report from the DRE. Public reports contain information of vital importance to prospective buyers including covenant, conditions and restrictions which govern the use of property, costs and assessments for maintaining homeowners' associations and common areas, and other material disclosures.
Public reports are a critical disclosure document which should be read and understood by any home purchaser considering buying a home in a new subdivision. It is important for consumers to know that a subdivider is required to provide a copy of the public report to a prospective buyer before the buyer becomes obligated to purchase a lot or unit within the subdivision and also to any prospective purchaser who requests it.
Prior to the issuance of the public report, subdividers must file an application with the DRE and submit documents supporting the representations made in the application. If improvements to the subdivision are not complete at the time the application is filed, the subdivider must also submit evidence that adequate financial arrangements have been made for their completion.
After the subdivider conveys the last remaining lot/unit in the subdivision, the DRE's oversight ends and the board of directors of the homeowners association operates the subdivision.