I get asked frequently during our annual fire “season” “how will the recent fires in the Sonoita area affect real estate prices and values”. There is a rather simple answer. But first some comments.
We need the warm, hotter than normal, weather at this time of the year to draw moisture up from the Gulf for our annual monsoon. Unfortunately, the higher temperatures bring lower humidity and the increased chance of wildland fires sparked by lightning or humans. They are bound to happen and are actually good for the grazing lands adding back much needed nitrogen. What follows, of course, is the beautiful green grasses of the monsoon season.
Most of the area residents prepare for this season by mowing a defensive zone around their homes and other structures. This is the single-most important thing we can all do to contain fires and prevent significant loss of livestock and homes. Every year there are examples of how this one simple thing paid off. And, this year with the increased number of fires, it was really important. Even this last fire, Encinos, which had the most structure damage that anyone can remember, showed the importance of keeping areas surrounding your structures mowed and clean of combustible debris.
Now to the questions The simple answer is there is no impact. Yes, I would prefer not to show a home that is in an area where there has been a fire as the charred ground looks worse than the summer brown grasses. However, the green grasses return soon enough and the impact and vision of a fire vanish to the back of minds. Fires are a possibility, but not a certainty. So, if your home was worth so much before the fire season or a fire in your area, it is still worth the same amount.
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