Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homes 'Round Here Rant

No, I don't do real estate but I noticed around here in Northeast Pomona there are a few homes for sale (3 beds 1 or 2 baths is normal). They range from $185,000 to $210,000 at most. You can probably buy them from $185,000 or less. Here is my rant on the bad side of recent home sales. Of course, this isn't everyone, but it is common.

I have grown tired of these homes being bought by people who will lose them within 2 years. How they sell to these unqualified peeps is a mystery to me. I knew what they did back in the mortgage frenzy of 2003-2007, but to get away with it now I simply don't get it. The story around here goes something like this. Generally, it's the same foreclosure story, but it originates with this: The previous owner lived here for 20+ years, kept the house nice and front yard green and clean. They either pass away or move to another state/town and their children decide to sell it . Here comes the dirty astrovan with another 4 cars and moves in. Lawn and curb appeal goes to waste in a hurry (some of these people have NEVER owned a home and do not understand what curb appeal and property value mean). A dog or several dogs are now added and left in the backyard to bark away all night and day. Within 2 years, there's a sign for a foreclosure. Next buyer comes and receives it in even worse condition, and they seem to try and improve it by sticking an ugly small queen palm in the middle of a weed dirt lot. Tara! Looks even worse than before.

I do have some interesting stories where people have actually benefited by buying here. Take a recent purchase by a couple I personally know from Claremont. They lived up near the foothills and sold their home about a year ago for $650,000. Their kids are all grown and out of school, so there is no need to worry about schools. They bought a 4 bedroom house in Pomona (with a pool) on a pretty nice and quiet street for $235,000... cash. Spent another $75,000 on remodel/renovation. And they put away the other $340,000 for retirement. They also cut their annual property taxes by more than half! They are already pretty well off financially anyways, but they seem to go on vacation constantly. I say they're a frickin' brilliant and smart to do this. What's our biggest fear when we buy in not areas labeled as 'bad'? Schools... but with no kids, what's to worry? Just drive around and find a nice street (Pomona has many beautiful neighborhoods) and these people knew that, whereas the majority do not.

Also, if you are over 55 and you purchased your home a LONG time ago, chances are your property taxes are very low (under $1000 a year). Well, if you buy another home YOU CAN continue to pay the same amount in property taxes no matter how much the newer house costs!

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