We at Chicago Title understand that the ultimate responsibility for the entire subdivision process and the success of your development lies with you, the develper.  It is therefore imperative that we work closely with you and that you carefully coordinate and communicate your needs and requirements to us, your engineer, attorney, budget preparer and the other members of your team throughout all of the various aspects of your project.
 
Some, but not all, of the various duties and responsibilities that involve you directly are as follows:
  • Contact your Chicago Title Sales Representative to open your subdivision title order and discuss the members of your Developement Team.  If you are new to the process, they can provide you with a list of qualified engineers, attorneys, budget preparers and DRE processors.
  • Payment of fees for:
    • Bonds:  Off-site improvement bonds, Tax Bond(s), Homeowner's Association Maintenance Bond and optional bonds such as, a Subsidy Bond, Completion Bond or Purchase Money (RE600) Bond.  The various bonds required will be explained throughout this section.
    • Incorporating the project's Homeowner's Association, if applicable.
    • Department of Real Estate (DRE) filing fees, if applicable.
    • Natural Hazard Disclosure Report(s).
    • All other fees and payments required to process the subdivision map and building plans with the City and/or County.  (These are further discussed on the Engineer's Responsibilities page of this section.)
  • Obtain or be involved in obtaining the necessary signatures and notary acknowledgements on your subdivision map, and other documents to be recorded in connection with the recording of your map.
  • Coordinate with your engineer to comply with the Conditions of Approval imposed on your subdivision map by the City and County.
  • Arrange for construction and take-out financing for your project.  Chicago Title will need your lender information in order to anticipate and process the required title insurance for your lender.
If your project is a residential condominium or planned development of 5 or more lots or units, OR if your project is a standard subdivision of 5 or more lots, located in an unincorporated area of the County, then you will need to process an application with the Department of Real Estate (DRE) for a Public Report.  You must have at least one of the types of Public Reports offered by the DRE before you can offer your lots or units for sale.  A list and explanation of the Public Reports and their process can be found on the 'Obtaining Your Public Report' page of this website.
 
The developer's responsibilities in the DRE process are as follows:
  • Contract with a qualified Attorney for the preparation of management documents (CC&R's, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation) and any other documents your attorney may prepare for you.
  • Contract with a qualified Budget Preparer for the preparation of a homeowner's association maintenance budget.
  • Select Chicago Title to handle the escrows for the entire project.
  • Contact your Chicago Title Sales Representative to discuss who will be handling your DRE processing.  Your processing may be handled by your attorney, an independent DRE processor or a DRE consultant at Chicago Title.  If you are new to the process or if the project has complexities that would benefit from a preliminary meeting of the Development Team, your sales representative can set it up for you.
  • Provide your DRE Consultant with the information they request for applications and forms to be submitted to the DRE.
  • Obtain or be involved in obtaining the necessary signatures and notary acknowledgements on the CC&R's, Subordination to the CC&R's, and Condominium Plan (if a condominium project).
  • Obtain a DRE Maintenance Bond, once the DRE has approved the maintenance budget and provided the bond amount.  Your DRE processor will advise you if other DRE bonds are required.
  • Complete the DRE on-line survey, which is required before the DRE will release your Final Public Report.
Once your project has received a Final Public Report from the DRE, you are ready to start or complete your sales program.
 
Your responsibilities will now include:
  • Provide your buyers, through your sales agents or escrow with a copy of the DRE Public Report and the Purchaser Documents (i.e. CC&R's, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Maintenance Budge, Natural Hazard Disclosure, Condominium Plan [if a condominium project] and any project specific disclosures or warranties that you may have had prepared).
  • Contact your Chicago Title Sales Representative to set up your sale-out title orders and request an Indemnity approval, if you expect to close escrows within 90 days of completion.
  • Prepare an Address Certification List which will be provided by your Chicago Title Sales Representative.  This will be your official list and comparison of the project addresses and unit numbers as posted on the door with the recorded subdivision map or Condominium Plan.  The list will also include any parking assignments, if applicable.  The list should be maintained by the sales office, your title officer and your escrow officer.  Any changes will require immediate notification to all.
  • Purchase the Homeowners Association blanket insurance policy (condominium) or common area policy (planned development).
  • Prepare a Notice of Completion to be recorded by Chicago Title within 10 days of the completion date.
  • Provide escrow with a property tax estimate if the taxes are unsegregated and you will be closing escrows between July 1st and November 1st.  This estimate will be used for proration purposes.  Consult with your Chicago Title Sales Representative about setting up a Tax Hold account for the payment of future unsegregated taxes.