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#177648 - 10/26/07 12:04 AM Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
The fires in California are shocking to watch on television. I can't imagine what it is like to be an agent out there and see so many homes destroyed and lives lost. Some of the families impacted had only hours to gather what they could and get out with their lives...and there has been loss of life, which makes it even worse.

Do we have any agents on the forum whose area is suffering from these fires?

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#177662 - 10/26/07 02:06 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
PacificBreeze Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 484
Loc: CA
Thank you for your thoughts Darlene. You are right... it is hard to describe or imagine. Many of us only had about 15 minutes to grab things and leave... others had hours or even a day's notice. But I gotta tell ya... having over 500,000 people evacuated in a 48 hr period with minimal problems, was an accomplishment beyond belief! It was people helping people and the organizers really had it together! I was fortunate that my home and neighbors were only on a voluntary evacuation for a day. I chose to stay instead of leaving, because we had several friends that were on a mandatory evacuation, so our home was open to those in need. All of us were ready to go on a moment's notice, if mandated. Hotels were filled and the evacuation centers needed to be reserved for those who had no other alternatives.

We started feeling a sense of normality again today. Qualcom Stadium has less than 1000 people remaining and the other evacuation centers have alot less. More areas continue to get clearance to return home. Most of the highly populated areas are once again safe. Businesses are up and running again. I actually did a couple BPOs today just because it felt good to do something normal.

The fires are still blazing, but in less populated areas. Full containment isn't expected unil 1st week of Nov. We expect there will be somewhere close to 2000 homes lost and the death toll is now 14. That number is huge, but when you consider that the fires were all around us... and often right up to your back yard... considering this, it's amazing that tens of thousands of homes weren't lost and more lives taken. We never, in history, had to evacuate as far west as the beaches! My heart goes out to all those who weren't so lucky as myself, including those victims in other southern CA counties.

We will all pull together here in San Diego to continue to help those in need. And the outpour of thoughts, prayers and contributions from others like yourself and from around the country is like a breath of fresh air! Thank you for your thoughts!

Donna

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#177740 - 10/26/07 03:14 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: PacificBreeze]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Donna. This disaster touches so many more lives than just those who lost their homes...their families and friends are impacted, businesses are impacted and some probably never reopen...just the whole ripple effect that happens with a disaster.

Glad to hear the evacuation was so orderly and organized. When people are stressed so severely, every little bit of kindness and comfort goes a long way. And it's great you were in a position to take people into your home. They must have been relieved to find shelter with a friend.

I remember after Hurricane Rita (mild for this area, really), when the lights came back on the next day and I finally got my computer up and running, it was just like you described it after you did your BPO's...it was great to do something normal.

Donna, will you keep us posted on how the fires are impacting the real estate situation in your area? A few people will leave the area, I'm sure, but most will not want to leave the place they have called home for so long. Every disaster is different, though. It's always hard to imagine that large an area in rubble. I'm not quite sure just how many acres have burned. I guess the same spirit that was evident in the evacuations will be there to help these families put their lives back together. It's just sad that lives were lost.

Darlene




Edited by Darlene B (10/26/07 03:20 PM)

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#177828 - 10/26/07 10:39 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
PacificBreeze Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 484
Loc: CA
Well today things were almost back to normal here. The all day media coverage is now minimized and most businesses are all open again. Most people are back to work, except the ones who actually lost their homes. The fires are still blazing, but away from populated areas (at least in most of the county). Of course we can't close any deals yet because the insurance moratorium isn't lifted yet. But good news is... I got 3 PCR orders today, which means the banks and insurance companies are taking the 1st steps to closing deals again. Two photos of the exterior and a 5 min simple report to complete to assure them the house is not damaged. No transactions will be closed here without a reinspect (we're gonna get busy on PCRs). And we're being told that insurance will open slowly zip code, by zip code. They are being cautious (can't blame em).

I'm not sure how many total acres have burned in our county yet either, but I think it's somewhere around 300,000+ acres from yesterday's report. (yikes)! All walks of life were affected from mobile homes to multi-million dollar homes. I just hope the final count stays under 2000 homes.

By the way, to my surprise, I had a call today, from a buyer in TX that wants a vacation home in one of our coastal communities for $1.25 -1.5 million. And another buyer contacted me about REO properties... so maybe all these fires aren't going to scare out of town buyers away after all... but it's surprising that they are calling while the fires are still raging, huh?

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#177843 - 10/27/07 12:55 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: PacificBreeze]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I guess this is a good example of how natural disasters impact real estate. One day you have a somewhat predictable routine (if that's possible in this business), then in a very short span of time, you wake up in a new world and have to redo your schedule to make room for all the PCR's, then deal with closings being postponed, moratoriums, and red tape...all that after your almost-evacuation. It will all come together for the houses that aren't damaged, but it's just a shame that all this happened, especially with the holidays just around the corner.

As for the Texans wanting to buy out there, I guess there is not much that can happen in California that will stop people from wanting to move there.


Edited by Darlene B (10/27/07 12:57 AM)

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#182498 - 11/20/07 11:52 AM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Richie Spain Offline
Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Alicante, Spain
Good to hear that they had things under control over there, I have been reading lots of posts on other forums and it seems to me that companies outside the region are jumping on the wagon to take a slice of the action, constructors and agents!

As soon as people see an opening no matter what is involved, as soon as there is an opportunity to make money even if it is at the expense of the unfortunate circumstances of others - you will always get them!

I hope you guys recover out there and send my best wishes.

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#182593 - 11/20/07 06:14 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Richie Spain]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
 Originally Posted By: Richie Spain


As soon as people see an opening no matter what is involved, as soon as there is an opportunity to make money even if it is at the expense of the unfortunate circumstances of others - you will always get them!


It's important that people selling a quality product or service keep greed out of the equasion. Many contractors rip off people in these situations, but many also donate their time and products. New Orleans is an example of people (from all over the world) helping people. But victims in these disasters need to be aware of who they are dealing with so that they do not compound their misery.

Sadly, there is misery and greed all over this old world. But there are also good people who will give what they have. I only wish we did not have so many areas where help was needed. But natural disasters will just keep happening, as we know from last week's sad events in Bangladesh.

Thanks for posting, Richie.

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#183386 - 11/26/07 07:08 PM Re: Fires in California touch everyone to some degree...not just the homeowners [Re: Darlene Bitner]
MikeDammann Offline
Member

Registered: 11/16/04
Posts: 377
Loc: Costa Rica
I have been in San Diego 3 years ago when they also had huge fires. Sad to hear it happened again.

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#186568 - 12/11/07 05:40 AM Oklahoma ice storm
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
It's hard for those of us on the Gulf Coast to imagine an ice storm like the one Oklahoma is experiencing when it's still reaching 80 degrees outside down here. I'm remembering some photos posted to the BPO forum last year of a vacant house that wasn't winterized. An ice storm caused considerable damage...probably ended up destroying the house. So I'm wondering how much damage homes will suffer from this Oklahoma storm. Older homes, vacant homes, and homes not properly winterized will probably have the most problems.

Centerpoint Energy here in Houston just sent up a convoy of trucks to help get the electrical service restored. It's probably going to be a big mess with all the broken lines, but these people are trained in how to get everything up and working very quickly. It will be a big relief when residents can look out their window and see these trucks rolling into their neighborhoods. Most of them have done this before. One of the employees on TV tonight said he barely had time to throw some clothes in a bag and kiss his dog goodby. They don't mind leaving their own families right here at Christmas to go for a week or two and help get lights and heat to everyone up there as quickly as possible.

If any of our Oklahoma agents have time and don't have much damage to their own home or their listings, hopefully they can let us know how this storm is impacting property values. Guess they can't do that without any electricity, so let's just hope and pray things start getting better quickly. From what I've seen on television, this is going to impact a lot of holiday plans with only two weeks till Christmas.

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#187042 - 12/12/07 11:55 PM Re: Oklahoma ice storm [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Latest I heard today was the new threat to folks hit by the storm was fires caused by attempts to stay warm. And another storm is coming, but this one is a snow storm...now quite as bad to the electrical lines, but I'm sure people are beginning to show the strain of being cold and being without basic services. The lights are slowly coming back on as the repair crews continue to work on them. Haven't heard anything yet about damage to homes...but it will be a mess in those areas not set up to handle this type of storm. It's more important at this point in time to make sure the people are going to be able to survive, then worry about the homes. But a lot of real estate is not going to look anywhere close to the way it did a couple of weeks ago. After the damage to landscaping, trees, and whatever else was damaged, curb appeal will be a thing of the past for a long time. And from a kid's point of view, it's sad all the outdoor decorations were ruined...lawn decorations and whatever else was outside. I hope all this clears up before UPS and FedEx start doing their deliveries so these people can have some sense of a normal holiday before the real damage sinks in.

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#212438 - 03/17/08 05:31 PM Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Downtown Atlanta tornado - Atlanta took a hit yesterday from a bad tornado. Visit http://www.wunderground.com (Dr. Jeff Masters' weather site...where I stay camped when a hurricane is coming) to read the blog on this storm...lots of building damage. Dr. Masters' site has everything you need to know about hurricanes and more. Sad about the damage to beautiful Atlanta. No lives lost, so that is a blessing.

Manhattan crane accident - Not weather related, but lots of building damage in the crane accident in Manhattan. Sadly, some lives have been lost. Go to http://www.nytimes.com to see some disturbing photos of the damage and read about how high these crane are when used in the construction of these tall buildings.


Edited by Darlene B (03/17/08 05:47 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#217412 - 04/05/08 03:08 AM FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST
Kuntryhart
Unregistered


I live in Missouri, and we've had some flooding. Some places a lot worse than others. My area hasn't been so bad. A few roads closed here and there, water over the road & across bridges. But, over the weekend I went out in the 18 wheeler with my husband. We were traveling in Illinois, Indiana....I was shocked at all the water in Indiana. My Goodness! I was amazed at how much water was actually there, it wasn't just covering the ground.Fields that would and should be planted in crops were like huge lakes!There's no telling how long it will take for that water to recede!! I doubt there will be any planting in those fields till maybe time for the 2nd planting. The price of fuel, is driving the prices of consumer goods through the ceiling already, this flooding situation will surely have an effect on things as well.(Diesel is approaching $4 a gal here. Takes around $800 to fill the tank on a semi.) And locally we are expecting more heavy rains starting Monday night! I'm building an ark!!

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#217585 - 04/06/08 12:12 AM Re: FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST [Re: ]
Kuntryhart
Unregistered


Here's some pics that I didn't have uploaded yet yesterday.These are open foelds that would normally planted in crops.






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#217995 - 04/07/08 11:40 PM Re: FLOODING IN THE MIDWEST [Re: ]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Donna, thanks for this post. Very informative. Good to get a first hand report. It looks like a water wasteland in the photos. It's Monday night right now, so I just checked the national weather map and you did get some rain, that's for sure.

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#232181 - 06/13/08 01:50 AM Re: Recent LOCALIZED natural disasters [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Well, I have no idea what is going on with the weather. I can't keep up. My friend called me to discuss "how bad those poor people had it with all that bad weather" and I just had to ask which state. I flipped on the TV and there on the screen was a nice house going over the hill...then, a little later, I saw another house floating down the river (or maybe it was a freeway)...so I am trying to think of this latest mess as a cruel way nature is helping stimulate the economy at the horrible expense of lives and shattered families. I saw an interview with two different evacuated ladies, both talking about not knowing what their situation was at their houses. No matter how much insurance a person has, losing a home is very hard to come back from financially and emotionally.

China is putting up some temporary houses very rapidly because of their disaster, and I'm trying to get some info on that for another thread.

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