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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 http://www.contractorsfromhell.com/ 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:
http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/200c.pdf
 
San Diego County:
http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/docs/90cntiesemp.pdf
 
County of San Bernardino:
http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/assessor/Documents/arp110.pdf
 
Los Angeles County:
http://assessor.lacounty.gov/extranet/lac/control/binaryGet.aspx?uploadid=53
 
Orange County:
http://egov.ocgov.com/vgnfiles/ocgov/Assessor%20-%20Webster%20Guillory/Docs/PropertyDamagedOrDestroyedGovDeclaredDisaster_8-07.pdf
 
El Dorado County:
http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/assessor/pdf/65PT-Rev2-8-05.pdf
 
Here is an explanation of how it's calculated, given by the Orange County Tax Assessor as it was stated in March of '08
http://web.archive.org/web/20080320062925/http://www.ocgov.com/assessor/faq.asp#DD

Here is another explanation by the Sacramento County Tax Assessor.
http://www.assessor.saccounty.net/GeneralInformation/DisasterandCalamityPropertyTaxReliefPrograms/SAC_ASR_DF_QABaseYearValueRT69

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

Inspirational Quotes

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

Duke Ellington

Testimonials

I have immense gratitude for the presentations you made here in Colorado Springs, the last weekend of July. They were relevant, practical and oh SO timely. I deeply appreciate how you cleared away the fog, set us on a firm footing and posted great big signs pointing us in the right direction and telling us how to proceed step by step. Invaluable!!!

Waldo Canyon Fire Survivor, 2012