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Esquire Real Estate Blog

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2018 CA Real Estate Voting Guide

Bryan Zuetel


On Tuesday, November 6, 2018, Californians have the opportunity to vote on two real estate related propositions.  Proposition 5 allows seniors, disabled persons, and victims of natural disasters to transfer some of their property tax basis to the purchase of a new home.  Proposition 10 would repeal the current law, which limits local governments’ ability to pass rent control ordinances.

Proposition 5: Currently, many seniors live in homes that are too large or too far from families and want to downsize or move closer to families.  However, seniors are often restricted from doing so by the threat of doubling or tripling their property taxes upon the purchase of a new home.  Seniors can currently transfer their property tax base within and to a small number of California’s 58 counties. Subject to certain adjustments, Proposition 5 would allow seniors to transfer their current property tax base to the purchase of another home in any of California’s 58 counties.  This proposition will provide benefits to seniors, the disabled, and disaster victims by allowing them the flexibility to move to a more suitable home without facing a massive property tax bill. This proposition will also help to boost the housing inventory in neighborhoods when older homeowners move from their single family homes that no longer meet their needs.  I encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 5.

Proposition 10: Currently, the long standing Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act restricts local governments from imposing most forms of rent control.  Proposition 10 would repeal this Act and would thus allow local governments to impose most forms of rent control. Multiple studies have shown that rent control drives up rents, discourages new construction, reduces the availability of affordable and middle-class housing, and results in existing rental units being taken off the market reducing the availability of rental housing.  The repeal of Costa-Hawkins could even allow local governments to dictate rental rates and terms for privately owned single-family homes and when a private owner may take a home off the rental market. I encourage you to vote NO on Proposition 10.

In short, I urge you to vote YES on Proposition 5 and NO on Proposition 10.