Decline and Despair in Exurbia

This story from the Los Angeles Times looks at the downfall of exurban growth in the High Desert of Southern California, and the families caught in the downfall.

The town of Hesperia was home to rapid residential growth, but the downturn in the economy led to a quick decline.

"Construction stopped when a builder filed for bankruptcy in April 2008, leaving nearly 100 graded lots bare and six Craftsman-style houses ready for roofing and stuccoing that never happened. A sign advertising home sites stayed up even after the phone number was reassigned.

Foreclosures started to sweep through the community, creating a patchwork of disrepair. For Sale signs dotted the streets. Vandals targeted empty homes. Boarded-up windows and weed-choked yards detracted from well-maintained houses with tile roofs, recessed entries and stone and brick detailing.

In the last four years, according to the San Bernardino County assessor's office, 373 of the 941 single-family homes in Mission Crest - nearly 40% - have been foreclosed on. Thirty-five have gone through foreclosure more than once. Properties that once sold for nearly $400,000 are worth less than $200,000."

Full Story: Undone by their dreams


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