Emergency Short-Term Housing In Southern California

The interactive marketing team over at Move working pretty hard over the last few days putting together a list of available short-term housing options for people who were displaced by the Southern California fires. Our hope is that we can help people who are returning to find that their homes were either destroyed or partially burned find a temporary place to live while they get back on their feet.

With tremendous support for the Move Rentals team, we were able to reach out to local apartment associations and thousands of Southern California property managers, many of whom have been more than willing to forgo their traditional lease process and open up their vacancies to people on a short-term basis. Also, through the REALTOR.com team, we’ve been able to reach out to local and statewide REALTOR associations who have also provided lots of help in identifying homes and apartments that available for short-term leases.

Normally I don’t talk much about the work that I do at Move, but in this case, I’m going to make an exception because I feel pretty confident we’ve been able to aggregate the largest selection of temporary housing options for the fire victims and I want to get the word out to the RE.net community. Any help you can provide in spreading the word about the list of temporary homes for people displaced by the fire would be most appreciated.

Finally, one of the guys that works with me has done a tremendous job taking adding all the temporary listings we can find onto a Google Map. This has made it extremely easy for just about anyone with a website or blog to spread the word.

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Holy flying skylights! Why I take good care of my contractor buddies…

I’ve been trying to get around to writing this post for a week but have been distracted otherwise. Anyhow, I wanted to make sure and point out a little something that anyone who owns a home with skylights might want to check. When we had the oh so lovely windy weather last week (before the ice and snow) I had an eye opening experience with a skylight on my 3.5 story house. I’ll provide a photo so you can see the pitch of this roof and get what I’m talking about later.


So, thankfully a neighbor was kind enough to run down to my house to inform me that one of the skylights off the top of my house was dangling off the roof a bit being held on to the roof by a gutter. I ran upstairs to see how much rain was pouring in the top of the house and saw that thankfully at that point it wasn’t much – but more clouds were headed our way from the west and south. Frantically I called one of my close contractor buddies – crap!!! – no answer!!! So, I called another local one but he was headed out of town. Thankfully he gave us the number of one his usual people that helps with his projects but when he showed up the ladder he brought wasn’t large enough. So, back to plan #1 with more frantic calls to the first contractor. I got lucky. He answered and was actually in the vicinity and he just so happened to have one of his longest ladders with him.

The 3 workers showed up and two of them ended roped up to the tie off on the top of my house while one stayed inside to help with screwing in screws that HAD APPARENTLY NEVER BEEN INSTALLED when they put the skylights on my house! We got lucky that no damage occurred to the skylight that came off – 1. it popped off like a bottle cap [photopress:bottle_cap.jpg,thumb,alignright] and landed on its back, and 2. it didn’t fall to the ground (concrete driveway) below. While they were up there they went ahead and secured all 3 skylights (yes, ALL of them had been left with little to no method of attachment). The contractors applied silicone to seal the windows and then they screwed them in properly. Little did I know that I was living on borrowed time with these things – and we got really lucky that they’d not blown off earlier. As you can see in the photo I live on a hill and my house gets buffeted by winds regularly.

So, note to homeowners and agents… If there are skylights on your home (or one you’re helping buy or sell) it’s worth it to check to see if they are secured. It doesn’t take much to do after seeing what these contractors did. Secondarily, I was also told that skylights are a common method of break-ins on homes because many of them aren’t installed very well. A good maintenance tip and addition for your annual gutter and roof check.