EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — Life in the hills in El Dorado County is beautiful but coming at a bigger cost since the Camp Fire.
Insurance rates have skyrocketed and now experts say that’s impacting home sales. One agent says she has seen a 20 to 30 percent drop in sales in rural parts of El Dorado County due to insurance rates that have doubled and tripled.
“It all comes down to numbers and qualification, something they can afford,” Kathy Patsfield said.
Patsfield is a mortgage consultant who has seen fewer referrals since homeowners’ rates went through the roof after the Camp Fire.
“I know a gentleman in Auburn got a quote for $22,000 a year,” said Patsfield.
She showed us dozens of emails from people pleading for help. Homeowners whose insurance rates have skyrocketed are now desperate to sell their homes including one woman she met at a supervisor’s meeting.
“She said she literally had to lower her home price $100,000 in order to offset the cost of insurance,” said Patsfield.
A look at the numbers tells the tale. In 2018 between July and November in rural El Dorado County, 290 homes were for sale and 60 sold. This year during the same time frame, there were 350 on the market and only 50 sold. And the days on the market doubled.
Insiders say this shows more people listing their homes and fewer are selling.
“Fire insurance had definitely had an impact on how people come to the conversation,” said Sally Long Johns with Coldwell Banker.
Sally Long Johns said insurance is one of the first things buyers ask about now and it didn’t need to happen that way.
“Those costs should have been going up over the last two years instead of the dramatic jump they have made in the year since the Camp Fire,” Long Johns said.
She says it’s created a type of fear factor for buyers. Kathy Patsfield wants to change that. That’s why she is taking the issue to lawmakers and asking them to intervene.
“The state of Louisiana, when all that happened with Hurrican Katrina, the governor came out and said ‘if you don’t come down with your cost you are out of my state.’ And guess what happened? Insurance came down,” said Patsfield.
They are asking for real estate industry members and homeowners to attend a rally to petition lawmakers this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol.