Santa Rosa California Fires are Driving UP Home Prices

THE SANTA ROSA CALIFORNIA FIRES resulted in the destruction of 3000 homes in Santa Rosa, and another 3000 in the surrounding areas of Sonoma and Napa Counties. This means 3000 fewer housing units in Santa Rosa, and 3000 families looking for a place to live. Many of them have found rentals that their insurance companies will pay for for six months or more at prevailing rental rates. Those prevailing rental rates have gone up about double because demand was already way higher than availability before the fires. These higher rents also mean the properties have a higher value from an investment point of view, and buyers will pay more.
In addition, some of the owners of burned homes are selling out to the insurance company. This puts cash in their hands and they no longer have a home loan, so they can freely buy what they can find.
Not only burned out homeowners are looking, but there are a considerable number of burned out tenants who are looking to buy now, having realized they were just satisfied to rent before, while it was not a good investment decision. Prices have gone up over 10% in the last year, meaning that a purchaser with 10% down would have doubled their equity.
With only about 1% of homes in Sonoma County turning over annually BEFORE the fires, the shortage of homes for sale vs active buyers is even greater now.
New home projects are being overwhelmed with buyers applying to purchase them, selling out new releases within a few days, with waiting lists. The County is trying to help by getting banks to allow larger releases by the new home builders.
Finally, the new homes that will be built, .. maybe finished in 18 months, will be worth far more than the older inventory they replace. In fact, in Kelseyville, where there were the Lake County fires, the homeowners who did not get to build new from the ashes are frequently saying they awkwardly feel they are envious.
With many of the Owners of burned homes selling out, there will be speculators building these new homes on vacant lots just to put them on the market. The prices they will be able to get will be much greater than the neighborhoods would have brought before the fires.
In Summary, there are no factors that I can see that would indicate the Sonoma and Napa fires will depress home values. In fact, all indicators are that property values will be driven up, in continuation of what is already being seen. The most desirable properties are being purchased quickly with generous overbids, and frequently with cash.
However, we are getting buyers, First Time Buyers and Repeat Buyers into homes with Creative Ideas. Don’t think you can buy a home? NO. It is not a matter of IF… it is only a matter of WHEN. Call me and I can explain for your situation… NO TRICKS, just our routine service from a place of being CARING, CAPABLE, CREATIVE and CONFIDENTIAL.


“Green” homes are not just important by fears of Global Warming. “Green” homes save significant amounts of money. Cold is deadly, much more deadly than heat. Insulation is the most important thing you can look for when buying a home today. Global Warming or Global Cooling, this is the most cost effective way to stay comfortable and control the costs of cooling or heating. Add insulation if what you have is not adequate. Dual, or even Triple paned windows are also important, along with blinds on the windows that can be closed and trap air against the windows, or opened to let heat in or out. Outside air ventilation is very effective at heating and cooling a home if there are wide outside temperature swings. Cool nighttime air can be brought in and kept inside during the day. Warm daytime air can be brought in and kept inside during the night. Emergency power may be wise where freezing temperatures occur. Most central heating and cooling systems will not work at all without some electricity. It seems that Commercial Utility power is either at risk, or poised to become very expensive. Clouds are the primary cause of cold weather. Clouds make solar power inefficient. Wind power requires a lot of space and a very large investment using today’s huge wind generators. Smaller wind generators will most likely become available when Solar Power cannot be reliable. Wind generators require maintenance. Have you seen how many dead windmills there are in any given windmill farm? A diesel or gas or propane powered generator may be a good investment. Those fuels will never go away. It is even possible to use the gas that is piped to your home to run a generator to provide electricity for fans lighting, appliances and microwave ovens. Have an electrician add a way to switch to alternate energy sources in case Utility power is interrupted. This switching can even be automatic.

Prepare your home for temperature extremes, or buy one that is already prepared. Be very interested in dual paned windows and insulated floors, walls ceilings and garage doors. Make sure gaps around windows and doors are sealed when they are closed. Use low wattage lighting to save electricity that will be needed for heating or cooling. Look for energy efficient appliances, because electricity and gas utilities will get more and more expensive over time. Use water efficient fixtures because water will get more expensive over time. Droughts are making water conservation a serious financial concern. Buy a “Green” Home, or make one out of one that is not “Green”, and save lots of “Green”.

Home Decor – Orange Accents

Orange is a color that doesn’t get much love when it comes to home decor. Some say it’s too bright, too loud. However, orange can add a welcoming splash of color, if used in the right ways.





Smart Phone, Smart Home

Nest Learning Thermostat

Do you have Nest learning thermostat on your wall? If not, there’s a good chance you’re paying too much for heating and cooling. Not only does Nest boast an intuitive interface and elegant design, it can actually reduce your energy bill.

About Paul

A Message to you directly from the Broker-Owners, Paul and JoAnn Claeyssens

Real estate is the most exciting, important, and personal investment one can make. We provide you with complete personal real estate services for Petaluma, Sonoma County, and Marin County. Most of us Buy and Sell Real Estate infrequently. It should be an educational, rewarding and even fun experience. We make it our responsibility to go through the entire experience with you as your personal guide and consultant. We look at it as if we were doing it ourselves, and bring all of our skill and experience to apply when selling your property for you, or finding your dream property. It is a very personal experience, so we treat your personal information with uncompromising confidentiality. We intend to make Selling or Buying Real Estate personally rewarding beyond your expectations. We care, and it shows. Read the testimonials left for us by our Buyers and Sellers.

We are a family-owned, independent Realty company since the beginning in 1989. We are independent, able to do things our way. We don’t have to follow corporate guidelines and dictates of a large organization, designed for the lowest common denominator. Yes, we are a closely held California “C” Corporation, in partnership with Mason Mcduffie, a company that dates back to 1857 in the San Francisco Bay Area. We believe in a personal approach to the full range of services with our deep personal experience in all aspects of Real Estate. This includes Short Sales, Foreclosures, Loan modifications, REO Properties, 1031 Exchanges, and very effective Promotions of our listings for sale. All of our agents are free to be flexible in assisting you and are honest, passionate, caring, experienced, and pleasant professionals.

Our past and existing customers and clients give us glowing Testimonial reviews for their experience with us for any kind of Real Estate, including Residential, Commercial, Recreational, Ranches and Land.

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