Friday, November 14, 2008

Billion Dollar Fire

The Montecito fire is still being whipped by 40-50 mph gusts.
"I saw $15 million in houses burn, without a doubt," Santa Barbara evacuee Tom Bain said. "They were just blowing up. It was really, intensely hot."

Image and quote Ventura Star.
And why such an expensive fire? Here, look at the typical zillow values in the neighborhood currently burning:


Peripheral Visionary said...

Hey, a real-life use for Zillow--submitting claims to the insurance company! Of course, the insurance company will argue that Zillow values are being beamed in from alien spaceships and have no connection with reality, and they'd be right on that latter point, but still, it's a use for Zillow!

Property Flopper said...

So... those are houses worth about $1MM each? Given Zillow's wildly overblown values, I'd say that's about accurate.

I know some people who paid WAY too much for a place at the peak. Just looked it up in Zillow and (surprise!) it's shown as being worth MORE now. Forget the fact that the whole region is down and that ZIP Code got hammered hard, they're still up.

The humorous part though, is that Zillow links in "related ads" and has two listingings just around the corner from this place - on Couple bank owned places sitting on the market WELL BELOW what zillow says their place is worth, well below what they paid for it.

Why would anyone trust a Zillow value?

Lost Cause said...

You are bound to see houses burning that are underwater.

Rob Dawg said...

How do you start an "underwater?"

Seriously, While $15m "houses" are supposedly burning they are really $8m lots with $2m structures that together used to sell for $15m that are burning. I'm being extremely generous.

I wouldn't pay $200/sf on an acre which puts most of the supposed $6-$7m houses in the second picture at sub $1m.

w said...

Don't worry these folks can go live in their beach homes while they rebuild. The houses were kinda old and needed updating anyway.

Property Flopper said...


And the lawsuits begin:

Lost Cause said...

Burning billions? Hank Paulson would be proud.

Lou Minatti said...

I hope that no one gets hurt, but I also hear tiny violins playing. I think it would be cool to see a SB fatcat living in a FEMA trailer.

Tyrone said...

Schwarzenegger wants to trim Calif.'s 14 holidays
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California's generous offering of holidays for state workers — the equivalent of nearly three work weeks — is among the items Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to trim to help counter a mounting budget deficit.

Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day would get the ax under a proposal the governor's administration estimates will save $114 million during this fiscal year and the next one starting in July.

"We think it's not so painful to give up a couple of holidays," said Mike Genest, Schwarzenegger's finance director.

H Simpson said...

Just got back from Orlando. Man what a ghost town. The parks are empty, the streets are empty. The eateries are empty. Lots of people walking down dead downtown streets. Few tourists are to be found with the global meltdown.

yet still they build. Guess the chamber of commerce did not get the message.

This has a long, long way to go.

By the way Dawg, pick up a copy of Car and Driver. Editor goes by the numbers to destory how green light rail service is. You will love it.

Time to invest in outplacement services. I think the pace that companies lay off people is going to accellerate.

Watching the shuttle last night was interesting. At separation, to see the shuttle continue to pick up speed as the rest flamed out and fell to earth reminded me of the Flordia economy...