Projects > Ownership > Project
Encina Court Condominiums
Novato, CA, 1981
The six-unit Encina Court Condominiums was Northbay Family Homes's first project and California's first mutually owner-built/self-help project.
The six-unit Encina Court Condominiums was Northbay Family Homes's first project and California's first mutually owner-built/self-help project. All six units were built and purchased by low-income families with construction and mortgage financing arranged by us.
Although it is common today with such groups as Habitat for Humanity, in 1981 every part of this project was a new concern that hadn't previously been addressed by any builder. Northbay Family Homes encountered significant obstacles in building single-family, attached housing with owner labor while still meeting the guidelines of the California Department of Real Estate. Following completion, we learned that the money saved by using amateur labor was exceeded by the unavoidably-longer term of the construction loan.
Northbay Family Homes addressed this situation for others by working with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to devise a different set of rules and procedures specifically for owner-built attached housing. The state set up a separate program in the HCD for owner-built housing as a result of what we learned. The new procedures make it less difficult for groups to utilize the owner- builder concept.
Our involvement in Encina Court Condominiums included all seven services from our Seven Points of Entry in real estate development: