Jun 24

Brooktrails Water Hookups Available Again


 Brooktrails Water Hookups Available Again
 Written by Bill Barksdale

I recently spoke with Mike Chapman, Manager of the Brooktrails Township Communities Services District, regarding the availability of water/sewer hook ups to develop Brooktrails lots.  Mike has always been very generous with me, sharing information about what’s happening in Brooktrails and once again he had valuable information.

Recently the State of California, who imposed the original water moratorium, let Brooktrails know that the District could make available twenty-four water hook ups.  This means that 24 new homes can be built in Brooktrails.  Mike cautions “Once these 24 connections are gone it may be a long time before any more connections are granted” This is strictly a “first-approved / first-served” basis.

Mike told me, “We’re back in business.”  He stressed that the District has worked very hard to increase their water capacity by raising the dam at Lake Emily and with water conservation measures, and those efforts have paid off.  “We want to help the economy” he told me.  He understands that local builders need the work and Brooktrails still offers some of the most affordable building sites in the County even with the utility hook up fees.

I asked what the process is for actually getting one of these permits.  In brief, here it is:

1) Pick up a “site development packet” at the District Office, or request one by mail. (at 24860 Birch St, 707-459-2494, across from the Brooktrails Lodge)

2) Submit the completed package to the District Architect along with your building plans (plot plan, construction footprint, etc) for review.

3) Comply with any requirements of the District Architect to get the District’s stamp of approval.

4) Pay required fees, including the connection fees - $11,697. Water  / $12,014. Sewer

5) Bring your District approved & stamped plans to the County of Mendocino Dept of Planning & Building to apply for the appropriate permits. (at 501 Low Gap Rd, Rm, 1440, in Ukiah – 707-463-4281)

NOTE: The County does not require that you have paid connection fees in order to issue you a building permit, but you will want to insure that you have these permits tied up before you break ground.)

 If you have been wondering when you could develop your Brooktrails lot, this is a good time.  This is also a great time to try purchasing vacant lots that adjoin yours to create a larger site.  Many lot owners are willing to sell at low prices, often times they will even carry the financing.  There are a number of fine local builders available to help you with your project.  Some development costs are down.

 The biggest challenge is getting your financing in place.  Most lenders who used to make construction loans don’t offer that type of financing now.  Appraisals for new construction are coming in too low because of all the foreclosure & short sales.   Some lenders will do construction financing on a case-by-case basis.  When a construction loan is converted to permanent financing, that conventional long-term loan is called a “take out loan”.  The take out loan becomes your 15 or 30 year loan.  Try your local bank, credit union or a loan broker to see if you can get construction and take out financing in place, getting both loans approved at the same time. Loan agent, Debbie Owsley of First Priority Mortgage, cautioned me “You don’t want construction complete and find you can’t get that Take Out loan.

 Economic times like this offer golden opportunity for those who are prepared.   Plan your project responsibly.  Discuss what you want with your contractor including budget and have pictures from magazines & the internet if possible.  Pay careful attention to cost-per-square-foot estimates, quality of materials (beware of cut-rate appliances and materials), and time-to-complete estimates.  Always get a written estimate & materials list from your contractor, and remember that when you make changes the cost goes up so be pretty clear on what you want from the beginning – in writing.  Check references with previous clients. The local economy benefits when you move forward to build your dream.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Bill Barksdale: I have been selling real estate in the Willits/Mendocino Co. market for over 18 years. I can be reached at Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty Inc. PH: 707.459.8888 or Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I hope you will find my site (Bill Barksdale's Real Estate Site) of use to your home buying or selling a home now or in the future.

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