When Danica Vinson’s home burned down in the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA, she wasn’t sure she could find another place to truly call home. But now, less than two years later, she and her partner Jesse are raising their daughter in their dream home from Clayton.
In 2018, Paradise, CA, was at the epicenter of the Camp Fire, which was caused by a neglected piece of electrical equipment. The fire wiped out about 18,000 structures in the area, including residential homes like Danica and Jesse's. At the time, Danica lived in the area and worked at the local hospital.
After losing their house, Danica and Jesse lived with Jesse's brother for a few months before moving into their trailer at a campground for eight months. Eventually, they were able to move their trailer onto their property.
"We actually lived in our trailer for almost three years," Danica said. "Cooking was hard, so we ate out a lot and spent on our credit cards. Getting our credit card down to where we wanted it to be for a home loan was a struggle."
About a year after the fire, Danica and Jesse went to a home show, came across Clayton Homes of Oroville and made an appointment to visit the home center to learn more about buying a Clayton home. When they visited, Danica found out she would need a job in order to get a home loan, but the hospital she worked at had closed because of the fire. So, they left the home center. However, a few minutes after they left, home center manager Dustin Youngdahl called and asked if Danica would like to interview for a home consultant job. She got the job and has been a Clayton team member since November 2019.
About a year after Danica started her Clayton job, she and Jesse were ready to build their new home. They had already bought a piece of property outside of Paradise and knew they were going to build their new home there, instead of in town where their previous home was. And when they started their paperwork, Danica found out their previous home in Paradise was actually also a Clayton home, which she hadn’t known.
Now, she had the opportunity to build the Clayton home of her dreams with custom features that fit her, Jesse's and their toddler Soryah's needs.
"It's different when you move into a new, custom home," Jesse said. "Everything is new."
It took about nine months from pre-approval to move in day, and the Clayton home they chose was part of the Dream series.
"We modified the regular pantry into a hidden pantry, and we rearranged the kitchen layout and added a bigger island," Danica said. They also modified the model's bathroom setup and added an additional room to make the double-section home similar in size to a triple-section.
Their property also comes with a lot of land, which provides plenty of room for their two horses, Firecat and Smoke, and their 11 goats.
"One of the big things about our lifestyle needs and having a large property with animals is we had to have a huge utility room," Danica said. "I go out and get dirty and need somewhere to take off my boots, place my animals' extra stuff and an extra freezer. The model [our home] was based off of had a huge utility room – I’ve never seen a utility room like this. It even has its own island."
When they moved into the home in September 2021, their daughter Soryah was only 8 months old.
"Getting to watch her grow up here, it's been great," Danica said. "We have given her so much more [than we had]."
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