7 On Your Side: Will the Napa quake scare homebuyers away?

7 On Your Side takes a look at the real estate market after a lot of homes took a hit following a 6.0 earthquake.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
As the clean-up continues in Napa, many homeowners may be wondering about the value of their earthquake-damaged homes. 7 On Your Side takes a look at the real estate market after last week's 6.0 Napa quake.

Damage estimates to homes and businesses in the city of Napa alone start at $300 million. A lot of people's houses really took a hit, so the question is: will that drive buyers away?

"The building tilts this way at the bottom and then tilts this way at the top," real estate broker Kristofer Chun said.

7 On Your Side visited Chun in Napa to talk about the quake and going over the hard numbers following the hard shaking.

"These are all the active listings and the ones currently available on the market today and as you can see when looking through it, all of the prices have not changed since the earthquake. So, people are still holding their prices up because they feel that there is still value in their homes," Chun said.

Out of the office and into the neighborhoods, Chun showed 7 On Your Side around Browns Valley -- one of the hardest hit neighborhoods.

The sun is shining and the wine country vibe is still here. What isn't left is a future for 86-year-old Edward Mays. He said, "We hate to leave the area, but we just don't see any possibility of staying here."

He was the first resident of the neighborhood 41 years ago. He showed our cameras the damage to his home as he was packing up. He says the cost and the time of rebuilding are just too much for him and his wife.

When asked if he was worried about what he would be paid for the house, Mays said, "Really... we are. We don't even have a figure in mind. It is hard to come up with a figure."

It may be hard to price, but it might not be hard to sell.

Chun is already working with a client who is interested in buying a distressed property.

7 On Your Side asked Chun if the Mays' home might be a bargain, but he replied, "Well, it depends on what your definition of bargain is. It is going to probably going to sell for below the median price in our area, but with the amount of work that's going to be needed to make it livable, it might not be a bargain."

This is the time of year when housing sales slowdown anyway, so it will be hard to analyze the quake's impact, but Chun thinks it will be minimal.

"The city has already come through, they've repaired this street, they've repaired the streets throughout the city where there were water main breaks and pot holes and cracks, and neighbors are helping neighbors and everyone's getting kind of back up to normal and I think within 60 days we will be running as business as usual," Chun said.

Now Chun says there are no sure things, but 7 On Your Side did a spot check of real estate professionals in and around Napa and found the same optimism. With a worldwide reputation and demand as it is, Napa real estate is still considered to be in a very strong position.
Related Topics:
realestate 7 On Your Side home earthquake south napa earthquake real estate housing market Napa
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