Did you Hear About the $2.5 Million Wedding Penalty?

How does a $10 million wedding turn into a $12.5 million wedding? It’s easy, just start building near iconic redwoods and threatened steelhead trout.

Sean Parker, Facebook Billionaire and Napster co-founder, recently found out that even celebrities have to abide by state laws when it comes to building in protected areas.

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Earlier this month, the young entrepreneur held a lavish wedding in an ecologically sensitive area of Big Sur, which resulted in a $2.5 million settlement to pay for coastal conservation programs. The problem wasn’t that Parker held the wedding in Big Sur, but that he had several temporary structures built in this protected area without proper permits. Although Parker’s predicament may have been foreseeable, this may not be the case for home owners, buyers, builders, brokers, or agents.
As mentioned in a previous article on RE-Insider, there are over 155 species already listed for protection in the state of California, and another 52 species pending for consideration. While many enthusiasts rejoice this protection of animals, this safeguard can also lead to many problems for residents of the state.

In order to build in these protected areas, it is required by federal law to attain proper permits showing that construction will not have a detrimental impact on these protected species. These permit requirements often cause delays in development, and can lead to a loss of valuable time and money.

Even current homeowners outside of these protected areas are at risk. With more species being added to the list, it’s hard to tell where these endangered species will be in upcoming years.

At the end of the day, hindsight is always 20/20, and for this very reason it’s important that homebuyers, developers and real estate agents protect themselves by attaining an accurate and complete natural hazard disclosure report that includes all endangered species and habitat disclosures. By spending less than $150 you could end up saving yourself millions.

What are your thoughts?

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