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Decline and Despair in Exurbia

This story from the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> looks at the downfall of exurban growth in the High Desert of Southern California, and the families caught in the downfall.
June 29, 2010, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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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."

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Published on Saturday, June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles Times
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