Creekside Homes in San Carlos
Creekside homes in San Carlos represent some of the best and most prestigious properties in town. San Carlos has several creeks that pass through it, most notably the Cordilleras and Pulgas. Often times, creekside lots are larger than the standard lot and offer considerable privacy due to the additional space between the rear neighbor. However, it is important to understand that these homes also come with some additional responsibilities.
For most properties in town, the City of San Carlos serves as the primary authority with regard to code enforcement. Properties with creeks open themselves up to additional governing bodies. Believe it or not, the Department of Fish and Game and the County of San Mateo also have oversight responsibilities with the creeks. Consequently, homeowners looking to do any work toward the back of their property, against the creek, will most likely need to get clearance from all governing bodies prior to conducting any type of landscaping or construction that will touch or affect the creek.
Most homes that back up to creeks will need some type of retaining wall in place. As you may be aware, some retaining walls, specifically engineered retaining walls, can be quite expensive. A survey of most creeks in San Carlos would find a hodge podge of solutions offered by homeowners at the back of their creekside properties. You will see everything from perfectly engineered retaining walls, to weekend warrior retaining walls, to a pile of rocks, to properties that have absolutely no retaining wall whatsoever. Clearly, some of these homes have not obtained the required approval from the agencies detailed above.
Understand What You Are Dealing With
The one thing most professional inspectors will agree on is that over time, running water will eventually start to erode away inferior retaining walls. When retaining walls buckle or fail, it is the the land behind the wall that will start to slowly pull toward the creek. It is not unheard of for homes that are built close to a creek, with an inferior retaining wall system, to have a tilted sill plate due to the pull of the land. It is always a good idea to get a report from a trusted inspector that is used to seeing homes on the creeks in San Carlos. It is also a good idea to understand the additional responsibilities that come with owning a creekside home.