Las Vegas Sun

January 22, 2018

Currently: 51° — Complete forecast

Fire victims, a deal waits in Vegas

Here's the word from Las Vegas to the homeless victims of the wildfires in San Diego County:

We've got homes for sale or rent!

So went a handful of ads in the San Diego edition of craigslist, a classified ads Web site.

Such as this one:

"Have you lost your home and need to relocate to Las Vegas? An awesome model home on a golf course ... is available for immediate occupancy ... Don't wait as this will go fast especially since the fires (have) taken so many beautiful homes in San Diego and people are relocating fast."

Compassionate outreach or crass exploitation?

And this one, pitching Las Vegas attributes:

"There are over 41,000 beautiful homes for sale in the greater Las Vegas area. Thousands are priced under $300,000. You enjoy short sleeve weather 10 months of the year. No hurricanes, no earthquakes, no tornados, just beautiful weather, fun, fun, fun ... You are only a 3 hour drive from Southern California, or 20 minutes by flight."

Real estate agent Bill Gaul, who placed the ad, said he certainly hopes he didn't offend anyone.

"There are people out there who are sick of natural disasters and their potential to be caught up in one," he said. "My ad simply points out that Las Vegas has a pretty stable environment."

Equity-poor parties can lease with an option to buy, he noted.

By Wednesday afternoon, he hadn't received any calls.

Another advertiser, offering his fiancee's Las Vegas home for rent, said he too is only trying to help.

"With all of the hotels filled up in California, some people won't mind coming up to Las Vegas to stay for a while," said Bob Bridgeman, who lives in Orange County, Calif.

He's asking $1,600 a month for the five-bedroom, furnished house.

He hasn't received any calls either, but thinks he might when the dust settles and displaced fire victims start looking for long-term housing.

"My motivation was only to help people," Bridgeman said. "I've helped the homeless before."