Understanding California SB9

I received an email from Chicago Title recently about California Senate Bill #9 (SB9), which was signed into law in mid-September and takes effect on the first day of 2022. The language of the bill means that up to four homes on parcels where one currently exists may be allowed (by allowing current single-family homes to be converted into duplexes or be subdivided into lots).

Here’s why this matters: it will allow more homes or ADUs to be built on larger lots with the hopes of curbing our housing shortage. The con is that the neighborhoods with large lots will become denser. I find when people are moving into a single-family home, often having a decent-sized yard is a priority, where kids can play, dogs can romp, and BBQs can be held on the patio. I foresee large lot homes will be coveted and hold value, as new construction usually has small lots and SB9 will change the landscape of many existing homes with large lots.

We could see a lot more homes being built on existing plots, except for those types of plots that are exempt. This could lead to more movement of current homeowners, more rentals, and a higher population, among other things. For realtors, it’s a boon. For those who think the Bay Area is crowded, it might not be so welcome!

What do you think about SB9? Are you opposed or in favor? Let me know why in the comments!

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