In the wake of California’s wildfire devastation, it can be hard to think of the future. Standing in the ashes of a previous address, one is overwhelmed with the number of choices they must make regarding their future living arrangements. This is a painful time for your family. Across the west coast, people just like you have been forced to make instant decisions about living arrangements.  An example of this is Oregonians moving into motels, as reported by the National Geographic. 

Making the transition as smoothly as possible will reduce the pain and stress of relocation and help your family get back on the right track.

High prices, tough choices

MarketWatch reported on September 26 a common problem among working-class Californians fleeing the wake of the raze. A safer place to live is not guaranteed. MarketWatch estimated the number of homes standing in the impact zone of Cal-Fires wildfire risk charts at over 23, 700 structures. All of these structures together are worth an estimated value of $8BN.

Do your homework on current market risks

For 2020, market instability is an inevitable eventuality, as Yahoo! Finance reports a grim forecast across all markets for October and November.

For one, there will be those unfortunate residents who will have no choice but to find a new place to live as fire ravages whole neighborhoods. Yet, seeing what is happening around them, many Californians are expected to want to relocate. MarketWatch cited Danielle Hale, the chief economist at, as the source for inference that Californians are preparing an exodus from fire risk zones.

Investment indices give you an idea of buying, selling risks in key areas

In the wake of the buyers market influx, you will be faced with higher prices. The choices will have tougher options, but they need not be agonizing choices for the one who does their homework. You can keep a weather eye on some of these changes by watching investment indices such as Norada Real Estate Investments. 

Watching the buying and selling trends before you start looking into a neighborhood is good practice, because it guarantees you already have some knowledge of the area you want to move into before you get attached to a home or apartment you can’t afford. Shopping only the areas within your budget helps you to find a new neighborhood with as little pain as possible. This applies to homeowners as well as commercial property owners.

What does a smooth transition look like?

A smooth transition is more about knowing what your options are than it is about perfection. Sometimes, you can negotiate a new lease term. See our five steps for doing just that for your commercial property.

Knowing what you’re paying for, what all hidden costs are, and what you can save money on will help the relocation process gain graceful footing. You don’t want to pay for more than you need, and you don’t want to fall for scams.

Building communities after wildfires, all part of a smooth transition

The wildfires of the past few years have not been an isolated experience. Rather, all of America has felt their impact on a visceral level, as the fires leave lasting scars on the minds of those who call the West their home as well as the physical infrastructure of California. It is for this reason that community building is integral to your smooth transition.

Be active in participation

Community building has an influence on the economics of residences. MarketWatch made a note that relocating Californians will have to factor in new child care costs, the available jobs in the new community, and many more nuanced costs of uprooting to a new town or even a new neighborhood within the same town. For low income communities, this is a disaster by itself.

Be vocal for your needs

In 2018, Capradio noted the shortage of qualified contractors in some areas that only exacerbated this issue. The proposed solution from Capradio was to be proactive in your community’s rebuilding strategy. By speaking up in regards to the need for out-of-state contracting, and increased fire recovery strategies, you will begin to engage the community you are rebuilding in your relocated area.

Don’t forget your former neighbors 

Forcibly relocated Californians should consider forming an exit plan with their former neighbors. If you are being forced to leave because of damages to your property, chances are so is your neighbor. It seems simple, but exchanging numbers regarding child care, service providers, and other social constructs of your old neighborhood will give you a place to come back to and a sense of security moving forward. You can compare your new address book of familiar faces to the unknown place you are venturing toward. Will any of your old contacts be moving in close by? You will have them to reach out to in the future, and not feel so alone. Have no idea where to go now that your home has been destroyed? See where your neighbors are going. Follow that sense of community.

Take some steps to guarantee your new home’s insurance policy

The subject of wildfire “managed retreat” has been subject to heavy debate in the years since titan wildfires became the new normal. KQED made the valid point that to retreat from wildfire interface zones entirely is to completely urbanize the West Coast, which is contrary to the real estate dreams that Western U.S. dwellers have. How do you know that the neighborhood you’ve relocated to is safer than the one you lost?

While you may not be able to eliminate the natural risks of forest fires ever reaching your new residence, you can eliminate some of the financial risks. Property insurance is the recommended route, yet many have shunned it for fear of its hidden expense. The secret to a smooth transition to wildfire proofing your next home buy is to find property insurance that has been vetted for cost traps.

As more people lose out to the fires, the California Insurance Commissioner has urged insurance companies to now start offering wildfire property losses without requiring a home inventory. This was reported by the Sierra Sun Times on October 3.