SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — Empty lots are going up for sale in Santa Rosa.
There is a growing number of homeowners who are choosing not to rebuild after they lost their homes in the wine country wildfires.
As Santa Rosa’s most devastated neighborhoods enter different phases of debris removal, some new signs have risen from ashes.
Toni Lisoni and her wife Susan Jones live in Fountaingrove.
Theirs is one of few homes to survive.
They say they weren’t surprised to see dozens of for sale signs down the street.
Toni Lisoni said, “More and more seem to be popping up.”
Susan Jones said, “I don’t know that I would have wanted to come back to a house and rebuild and go through all that.”
Jeff Schween with Pacific Union Real Estate said, “I would expect we’ll see upwards of 600 lots come to the market.”
Schween says for many homeowners rebuilding is expensive, time consuming, and uncharted territory.
“People are a little gun shy, it’s fear of the unknown, what is it really going to cost?” Schween said.
Land in Coffey Park is going from $145,000 to the low $200,000s.
In Fountaingrove, we’re seeing prices closer to $400 for just the land.
Realtors say many see this as an opportunity — they’re seeing huge changeover, and in some cases some housing musical chairs.
“We’ve seen other people talk about they’ve lost their lot but they don’t know if they want to rebuild on their lot. They may want to move to a different lot,” Schween said.
While Susan and Toni’s home survived, they too are choosing to sell and leave. They’re heading for Mendocino County.
They say staying has been too painful.
Toni said, “We’ll be back to visit as often as we can but we really need to, just to clear out our own psyches, we need to get out of here really.”