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Real Estate Values After A Disaster?

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Janderso

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#1
Hi Gang,
As you know my wife and I lost our home and contents to the California wildfires.
I’m am hoping to find members that went through a loss or live in a community that experienced a flood, fire, earthquake,or tornado/hurricane.
There is going to be a housing shortage. I can only assume those that had adequate insurance will shortly be looking to purchase a home to replace the loss.
Last Thursday, my wife found a house for sale in Chico (near Paradise Ca.) We made an offer for 3% more than the asking price. The seller had eight offers in a 24 hour period. She accepted one of the offers with no option for us to counter.
Our plan is to find a good, local agent, explain what we are looking for and we will be ready to jump when one comes up for sale.
Anyone in this forum have any experience relating to our situation?
I don’t remember seeing anyone from the Santa Rosa area on the forum. Last year thousands of homes were lost.
Our insurance company will pay our rent until we find a replacement home.
We want a home, unfortunately there are many families wanting the same thing.
Hope to hear your experience.
Thank you,
Jeff
 

TomS

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#2
Jeff - I feel for you and your wife. You've experienced a traumatic event and I can't begin to understand what you are going through.

This is our experience with the Carr Fire although we were not directly impacted. Our house in Redding had been in escrow since February and finally closed the end of last month. The house is on the east side of I5 and as you are probably aware the fire did it's damage on the west side of the freeway. Immediately after the fire the housing market was robust. Our real estate agent said her phone was ringing continuously for about 4 weeks after the fire then it went dead. What she concludes is all of the available for sale houses and rentals were snatched up immediately after the fire. There is no inventory left to be had so prospected buyers/renters are looking elsewhere and because of this the market has tanked.

Back to our house the buyers were adamant about closing escrow and now I know why. There wasn't anything else available. It's going to be a tight housing market for a while due to the Redding and Paradise fires until people give up and look somewhere else.

I know this isn't what you wanted to hear. It's not a good situation and probably won't improve for quite some time. I wish you well.

Edit: If you want to talk with our agent about the current status of the Redding area housing market send me a PM and I will forward her name and phone number. She's been in Redding for 40 years so knows the market well.
 

chips&more

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#3
So very sorry for your loss. I had a lot of my tools disappear one time. The insurance company was a cheating PITA. I never got full reimbursement! Not even close! I can’t even imagine dealing with an insurance company for a TOTAL loss! They talk with a forked tongue! Getting an attorney will just mean a more loss (money). I hope you come out of it better than I…Dave
 

jocat54

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#4
We went thru a flood several years ago and the insurance adjuster was of course working for the insurance company so there claim estimates were pretty low.
We were advised (by friends that had gone thru a flood) to get an independent adjuster and what a difference in the claim money. They worked for 10% of what they got over the original estimate.
The BEST money I have ever spent.
They got us 10's of thousands more than the original---and they did all the work with the insurance company.

Jeff so sorry for what has happened to you--wish you all the best.
 

Aaron_W

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#5
You may have already seen this, but this is an article on the Sonoma / Napa real estate market from last march, or about 5 months after the fires last year.

https://www.trulia.com/research/norcal-fires/


Mendocino County, had fires at the same time, fewer homes lost, but also much smaller population. Neighboring Lake County was also having an effect, since their housing markets had been impacted due to major fires in 2015 and 2016.

Article from the Ukiah Daily Journal from December 2017, or about 2 months following the fire.

https://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/2...ty-fires-make-housing-shortage-far-far-worse/


You are kind of treading into unknown waters. The current fire has destroyed twice the number of homes as last years Tubbs fire (5000+ in Sonoma Co / Napa Co). Add in Lake and Mendocino county which have had major loss of structures in 2015, 2017 and 2018 (total of around 2000). Redding / Shasta County had the Carr fire this year which destroyed around 1000 homes.

You are not only dealing with a huge number of displaced from this fire, but these other fires surrounding the area have probably also already impacted the area as people may have relocated into the areas where some of the people who lost homes in the latest fire might me looking to relocate.

The articles I linked to may provide some insight, but I've been working in fire for 26 years and the past 3 years are really beyond comparison to anything during my career.

Sorry to hear your offer fell through, that sounded like a nice arrangement for you.
 

tq60

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#6
Buy an rv from out of area and find a place to park it.as one suggestion...


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

Janderso

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Aaron,
Your post is the reality. We have so many displaced people in a fairly close disaster impact area.
This is going to be a tough market for a year or two or three.
Some folks may just leave the area for good.
I'm curious to watch how long it takes the authorities to begin the clean-up and the rebuilding process.
There is a tremendous amount of debris, hundreds of thousands of trees need to be removed and the toxins involved in the area makes the clean-up more tedious and expensive.
It was raining when I left the apartment this morning, I can't help thinking of those in tents.
 

mickri

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#8
The fires over the last several years are not the cause of California's housing crisis. The true cause lies with California's over regulation of everything including housing. Couple that with over zealous environmentalist who fight every type of development. The end result is that it can take years to get a project approved even if it is just one home. My daughter and son-in-law recently built a new home. It took a year just to go through the permitting process. They were lucky. It took one of their neighbors 4 years to get permits to build a home.
Local government officials are also a problem. All types of development are viewed by local officials as a source of revenue. Another example from my daughter's project. After they had complied with everything the county where they live required yet another report about the soil on their property. All of their design professionals submitted letters that the requested report was not necessary. The county still required it. Why? The county charged $4000 to review a report that they probably never even looked at.

You mention the trees that need to be removed. Good luck on that getting done anytime soon. Trees from a fire only have value if removed within about 2 years. After that they have no commercial value and the logging companies will not remove them. I learned about this after fires several years ago to the east of where I live. The environmentalist's lawyers fought the removal of the trees. Luckily the judge overseeing the case had some common sense and quickly ruled against the environmentalists.

Also the government will not clean up the mess. That is the responsibility of the property owner in California. Jeff it sounds like so far you have a decent insurance company that will most likely cover the cleanup of your property.

There are no easy solutions to the problems faced by the people displaced by the fires. Jeff be patient. Step back and take a deep breath. You and your wife are alive and have a place to live That is the most important thing. Everything else will work out in time. Let the dust settle. Don't get caught up in the frenzy of bidder wars for the limited housing available. I spent my whole working life in the real estate industry in California. There is an old saying that you never make a bad deal when selling a piece of property. Whether you got a good or bad deal is set when you buy the property.

You will be ok in the long run.
 

TomS

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#9
Jeff - My daughter's neighborhood was devastated by the Carr fire. Of 95 homes there are about a dozen still standing. Lot cleanup wrapped up a week or two ago and a couple of homes are under construction. A couple of homes sold immediately after the fire and the new owners have moved in. But there are several lot's with for sale signs on them. Her neighborhood is in the city limits and it appears, so far, that the city has expedited the permitting process. Not sure how this applies to Paradise and your particular lot.

Mickri makes some very good points about how difficult it can be to rebuild, particularly in the Lake Tahoe area. One of the reasons why I moved to Nevada.
 

Janderso

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#10
The last two posts are well thought out and I agree with you.
We have a Realtor who sends us new listings, the last straw is a 100 year old home. The seller is asking $363 a square foot. Good luck.
We are going to step out for a year and revisit the market then.
Lake Tahoe, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 1975. With my Dads help we bought a lot west of the Y.
The building moratorium made the lot worthless. The builders left town so nothing got built. The economy tanked.
Yep, the environmentalist got their way.
Rebuild? We can’t wait that long.
Paradise Strong.
I hope so.
 

TomS

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#11
Yep, $363/sq ft is a bit high. Must be a nice place. I wish you well in your search. With time, something will come up that fit's your needs, and price range.
 

ericc

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#12
Sounds like a bubble. Unless the jobs are there to support the high prices, they cannot last. As I recall, you have to stay near Chico for your job. Staying in an apartment for a little while sounds like a great idea. Good luck, and keep us posted.
 

Bob Korves

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#13
If you plan to retire in just a few years, it might be smart to rent until retirement and then find something that best meets your long term needs for that stage of your life.
 
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