Tips for Disaster Survivors

Everett v State Farm is the most recent case which has impacted every homeowner in California. You can read the appellate court decision HERE.

When hiring a contractor it's generally better to find your own trusted contractor than using the contractor recommended by the insurance company. Because they have a previous relationship (and potentially a future relationship) they are generally more worried about pleasing the insurance company than pleasing you. You should also make sure the contractor does not talk directly to the insurance company. All communication should go through you so you know exactly what is going on.
The creator of the website has suggested doing the following research before hiring a contractor:

  1. Check the status of the license at the CSLB Website
  2. Check to see if the contractor has a history of placing liens on the properties he works on at the County Recorder's office of your county any surrounding counties.
  3. Check to see if they've been a party in any lawsuits through the local court system of your county any surrounding counties.
  4. Check them out through the Better Business Bureau.

For more tips go to their website and click on Tips On Hiring Home Remodeling Contractors

After a disaster some people prefer to replace their house with another house that's already built in a different location (and sometimes even in a different county) rather than rebuild on the same spot. While each municipality has their own rules about transferring your base-year value between counties each will allow transfers within the same county. There are also special exemptions for people of at least 55 years of age and also rules about people with disabilities. Please contact your local assessor for more information, but here are some helpful links to get you started.
State of California related rules from the State Board of Equalization:
San Diego County:
County of San Bernardino:
Los Angeles County:
Orange County:
El Dorado County:
Here is an explanation of how it's calculated, given by the Orange County Tax Assessor as it was stated in March of '08

Here is another explanation by the Sacramento County Tax Assessor.

Please be aware that each county might have it's own regulations that could change the rules given by other counties.

Inspirational Quotes

Noble souls, through dust and heat, rise from disaster and defeat the stronger.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I ran into a fire survivor from 2003 last weekend. She wanted to tell me how much you helped her and she was so thankful that you are still there for others

Recovery Center worker following the 2007 San Diego fires, just 4 years after the Cedar Fire hit the same area.