Decline and Despair in Exurbia
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."