Real estate and home renovation experts, Chenoa and David Rivera, star in Rustic Rehab on HGTV. Together, they renovate outdated homes in Paradise for those looking for the small-town life. The two met while attending Chico State, which Chenoa graduated from with a degree in Business Marketing and David with a degree in Recreation and Tourism. Their lives eventually turned to real estate, which started with buying rental properties and then to buying, renovating, and selling homes. Today, they work full-time in real estate, with David managing the projects and Chenoa assisting with design and house layout. Since the 2018 Camp Fire, they have also been helping people with new builds and rehabbing homes in the area. The Riveras live full-time in Paradise with their two boys and two girls.
How did you find yourself in Paradise? What made you stay?
We moved to Paradise in 2011. We were selling our home in Chico and looking for something larger. We were shown our Paradise house, and even though Paradise wasn't originally in our search, we immediately fell in love with it. It was, at the time, a short-sale and we made an offer that wasn't accepted. It wasn't until a year later we happen to see it again after it had gone to foreclosure for quite a bit less. We took a major risk in buying it, as it was only 60 percent complete. We had our work cut out for us but definitely made the right decision. We have an incredible view of the canyon and an amazing sunset every night. It's a little burnt up around [around the property] but it still feels so peaceful, which we love about Paradise: the air seems cleaner, the stars are closer, and it has this perfect balance of quiet rural setting and small community vibe. People know and remember who you are.
Describe Paradise to someone who has never been here
Paradise was a smaller community east of Chico, and with it only being 10-20 minutes from Chico, many people commuted to work. It offered an affordable alternative to the Chico housing market but also allowed people to live in a more mountainous setting. It attracted the outdoorsy people and gave people larger yards and more space than the typical newer subdivisions being built. It offered everything you would need to have a thriving community: great schools, churches, grocery stores, and activities. Paradise had a lot of outdoor activities and community events that brought the community together.
What is your favorite season in Paradise? Why?
Our favorite season in Paradise would be fall: the weather begins to change and cool down (although the temperature is usually always five to seven degrees cooler than Chico). We love all of the large trees throughout Paradise, and as the holiday season begins, Paradise embodies the perfect scenery for those cooler nights when you want to curl up around the fire with family and friends. We also love the spring because everything begins to bloom and the air smells so good and clean after the rain.
If someone only had one day to spend in Paradise, what would you recommend they do?
We would recommend any out of town visitors to come check out some of the hiking trails, Paradise Lake, and the antique shops. Since the fire, a lot has changed, but Paradise still has its trees, there is still beauty beyond its ashes, and the people are so resilient. It has really strengthen the community and we are forever bonded. It will be a different Paradise after the loss of so much including the historical pieces, but with that said, the foundation of what drew people to this quiet little community will stay the same. The land, the nature, the outdoors, the smaller community size. I believe it will be a perfect mix of young families and people looking to retire. We will never be as expensive as the Bay Area, and everything will be new. The town will incorporate some of the history and preserve as much as possible the originality of Paradise--it will just be refreshed.