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Conversion Application Processing: How Long Does It Take?

Condo Conversion requires processing by both the Department of Public Works and the Planning Department. Typically the entire process takes between 12 and 24 months to complete. Buildings with 5 or more units take longer as they require processing by additional city and state entities.

How the Condo Lottery Works

The San Francisco condo conversion lottery is held annually, typically in late winter. In 2006, lottery tickets cost $150. The lottery itself grants conversion rights to up to 200 units. It is important to note that it is 200 UNITS, not buildings. In actuality the number of buildings that actually convert is approximately a fourth of that number. Tickets may be purchased without proof of qualification for conversion. However, if selected the owner will have to meet condo conversion requirements prior to converting. Lotto tickets are generally available for approx 60 days prior to the lottery with the deadline to purchase tickets ending about two weeks prior.

Condo Application is Approved: What Next?

What steps remain after an application is approved?
There are a few remaining steps once a building owner has completed all the requisite steps to get a condo conversion application approved. The first step is to have the survey map notarized with signatures from all owners (lenders must sign as well for buildings with 5-6 units). This notarized survey map is then sent back to the City along with the updated title report, certification that all inspection work has been completed, and certification showing all property taxes are current. Once the updated survey map and CC&Rs are officially recorded, the building officially becomes a condominium.

Costs of Converting

The costs associated with converting to a condominium are far more than the $150 condo lottery entry fee.  Costs include:
City Fees - The city of San Francisco charges an inspection fee ranging from $511 for two units to $852 for six units, an application fee starting at $7700, a recording fee of approximately $110, and of course the condo lottery fee of $150.  
State Fees - The State of California requires an application for conversion of 5 or more units. The application fee is approximately $1700.  The State also requires a formal budget which can cost a few thousand dollars if prepared by a professional.
Surveyor Fees - Surveyors are used to prepare the parcel maps. They start at approximately $4500 and increase as the building size increases.

Condo Conversion & Property Taxes

The assessed value of your property will not change with a condo conversion. The existing assessment value will be allocated proportionally among each unit. A separate tax bill will be generated for each unit based on this allocation.