Holiday Celebrations Provide Healing After Devastating Carr Fire
Dec14

Holiday Celebrations Provide Healing After Devastating Carr Fire

This past summer, the Shasta County area was ripped apart by the colossal Carr Fire. But the local community surrounding the city of Redding refuse to let the damage dampen their holiday spirits. A recent data analysis revealed that the Carr Fire, which roared through the region in late July and resulted in eight fatalities, caused an astronomical amount of damage. It’s estimated that the value of single-family homes eradicated by the fire reached $292 million. Another $113.2 million in damages were sustained by over 200 homes throughout the area. All told, the fire has caused $405.1 million in devastation. But according to a Zillow analyst, the cost of rebuilding will be far higher than that already significant tally. Following both the Carr Fire and the Camp Fire in the Paradise area, California counselors were understandably receiving a number of calls from impacted families struggling with the aftermath. Although the civilian workforce in Shasta County reached 74,500 employees in 2017, there’s still a shortage of construction workers here, making it difficult to rebuild houses. On top of that, many people impacted showed signs of PTSD; therapists said avoiding isolation would be key to recovery. And despite the disheartening financial news from the county, local residents are coming together to celebrate the season. One Redding family, known for their elaborate holiday decorations, decided to bring the Christmas cheer as soon as they possibly could for the sake of the community. The Munoz family started putting up their lights around Halloween, saying that merriment is needed more than ever this year. They even held an event on December 15 that welcomed everyone in the area to meet Santa Claus, his elves, and even the Grinch while enjoying the splendor. Earlier this month, visitors flocked to Old Shasta for their annual Old Time Holiday Celebration. The event, which dates back to 1849, typically welcomes around 800 guests every year. Musical performances, arts and crafts, and historic educational activities bring everyone together — a quality that organizers say was especially important this year. According to Matt Switzer, Officer for Park Ranger Interpretation and Public Information for Whiskeytown National Recreation Area: “It’s really kind of a healing thing. It’s that sense of normalcy that we’ve kind of lost out on for the second half of this year. So I think by having this event it’s been really good for the public in the area to have this one thing to hold onto.” And then, of course, there’s the 66-foot tall white fir tree that was decked out for this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. With approximately 10,000 LED lights and 900 handcrafted ornaments...

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Younger Millennials Are More Likely To DIY Home Renovations, Report Shows
Dec14

Younger Millennials Are More Likely To DIY Home Renovations, Report Shows

In 2019, the annual expense on residential improvements and repairs by homeowners is projected to surpass $350 billion. But young homeowners can save money through DIY home improvement projects, but those projects come with their own risks. According to a new report by NerdWallet, homeowners have completed 113 million home improvement projects by themselves between 2015 and 2017, but 43% of them say they’ve messed up a project. In their report, NerdWallet researchers examined data from the Census Bureau’s biennial American Housing Survey. The Survey polled consumers on home projects they’ve completed in the last two years in 2017. NerdWallet additionally surveyed 2,001 U.S. adults, which included 1,353 homeowners, with The Harris Poll between September and October 2018. NerdWallet found that younger homeowners between the ages of 25 and 29 were more likely to tackle home improvement projects on their own, approximately 59% of the time. Holden Lewis, a home expert with NerdWallet, says this high percentage could be due to the fact that younger millennials are bogged down with student loan debt. This debt means millennials are less likely to find homes in their price range that don’t require any additional renovations. It also means that millennials are more likely to do these renovations themselves. And approximately 34% of people buying homes are first-time homebuyers. “The younger you are, you tend to be making less money and have less savings, and so you’re doing a lot yourself,” said Lewis. When done correctly, a DIY home improvement project could save a significant amount of money. For instance, bathroom remodels can provide a 70% return on investment. NerdWallet found that the median DIY expense for a bathroom remodel was $1,500. However, the median expense with a professional is $5,500. The problem is that there’s a risk homeowners could mess up their DIY project and end up spending even more money. NerdWallet found that a little over four in 10 homeowners have botched a DIY home project and 35% said a home improvement show had inspired them to take on a project that ended badly. “People sometimes are overconfident in their ability,” said Lewis. The good news is that most homeowners are more cautious when it comes to more complicated projects. NerdWallet found that consumers were more likely to attempt a DIY improvement project on a bedroom or landscaping renovation compared to something like roofing or electrical. It’s crucial, Lewis says, to accurately gauge your own handiness before undertaking a renovation. Sherry Petersik, a DIY home improvement blogger, also says it’s important to hire a professional when there’s a risk involving personal injury. “No amount of saving money is worth a...

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