First-Time-Buyer in San Bernardino County- Wisdom (Los Angeles, Riverside: cul-de-sac, foreclosures, crime)
San Bernardino and Riverside CountiesThe Inland Empire
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
A little about myself, Born and raised in Los Angeles. My parents moved East to Highland in San Bernardino County for a better future. Houses were cheaper and there were too many gangs/problems trying to raise 4 kids in South Los Angeles. Once we relocated, I definitely seen the difference in people, location, and problems and didnt feel claustrophobic anymore. It was the early 1990's and people in San Bernardino County were much friendlier, a good change. A major problem noticed in the biggest county of the United States was it's meth problem. Fast forwarding to 2008, I seen the change once again. People arent so friendly anymore, and Im seeing more and more people and gangs once again are running amok.
I finished growing up having moved out here when I was 16 and am now 26yrs old and married looking to purchase my first home with my wife. The maximum limit of money were willing to spend our home is 225,000.and we have great credit (high 700's). I work in Fontana, and she works in Rialto.
I am thinking of moving to Hesperia because its cheaper and the land seems more worth the dollar. The tax rate is lower compared with cities down the pass. I recently drove out there the pass two weeks and noticed alot of new communities being built south of Main st as well as new stores sprounting up. I did not go too far into the heart of Hesperia not driving further than Topaz from the 15 and down escondido not further than East down Cedar. My question is... Which neighborhoods are good neighberhoods? Which areas do I avoid? Drive down the pass? etc.
Another city I was looking into was Beaumont (Riverside County). The Sundance community looks great and the city has a proposed mall similar to that of Rancho Cucamonga's Victoria Gardens. I drove out there a month ago and was bothered by the high tax rate and association fee which drove the payment up an extra 300-400 a month. Ridiculous! Plus, you dont even get a yard. My question is... If I wait it out a little more, do you think these new homes prices will drop even further than they have?
I also drove out to San Jacinto and Hemet. The properties I seen were okay but felt like our money could purchase us something we more deserved. Houses were not taken care of by previous tenants.
San Bernardino and Highland have there certain areas but making this decision is stressful and hard.
All in all, I know this house we choose is our first and Im looking to capitalize on this opportunity given the prices dropped just in time while looking for a house. I smell profit and am researching my decision in no rush.
I am asking for your wisdom, your first time buyer stories. Maybe there are programs that assist with downpayments, good communities, bad communities, good deals, bad deals, things I should know about, etc. Thanks in Advance!
Just an FYI in Beaumont, there are a lot of senior communities out there, Sundance has a few. You didn't mention if you were a senior citizen or not, but that is why some of the homes are cheaper. Other than that, the 10 or 15 times we've driven through there it hasn't seemed too bad. We drive through there to head to Cabazon from Redlands on the 10.
i am 26 years old as well i moved out to the high desert, victorville to be exact. i bought my house for 290,000. 2 story home big backyard. My neighborhood is pretty quiet....too quiet if there is such a thing. I'm orginally from el monte and I'm used to hearing music blasting all night and helicopters flying by. my husband and i have lived here for 4 months. our neighbors are very nice and yes there is a ton of commerical growth going on. To answer your questions let see- our developer KB homes bought down the interest rate and the closing costs on our house so that helped. good communities, bad communities well i heard that Brentwood is not such a great place or eagle ranch but thats from what i've heard, not from personal experience.
With the growth seen around the house Im looking into, the future looks promising. I seen and download a pdf file someone posted on this site about a developer who help with Rancho Cucamonga wanting to help with the expansion of Hesperia. This included hospitals, civic centers, stores, parks, etc.
Just like all neighborhoods, there is good and there is bad. I just dont want to be regreting this decision because I did not do the research. Im looking to stay in this home at least 6 years hoping the economy adjusts itself towards a sellers market by then.
The neighborhood Im looking into seems okay. Only that bother me is an association fee that $90.00. I just dont see what the association is paying for. I seen some vacant houses with broken windows, some lawns not cut, broke down cars in some driveways, trash in some front yards. I thought association fee's addressed this concerns. Im not looking to habd over money with nothing in return. Other than that, the neighborhood is quiet, has speed bumps every so often to reduce speeders, on a cul-de-sac, and the lot is okay for a first time buyer.
Because of the market "meltdown" of August 2007, we have seen some great buys occurring because many people can not refinance them selves out of their "toxic" loans.
Finding a real nice/newer home at @225K in the Loma Linda to Beaumont corridors is a little difficult.
Most tract homes built since the mid 90's will have Mello Roos or CFID.
There are some excellent FIRST time buyer programs!
Moderator cut: signature and url removed
Last edited by autumngal; 06-20-2008 at 12:12 PM..
Reason: to comply with the terms of service
All the numbers point to further price declines in the Inland Empire. Especially in remote place like Victorville. Too many foreclosures will continue to bring prices down for at least 2 years. Then it will remain flat for about 5 years. If I were you, especially a first time buyer, I would wait till end of year to see where we are at. Those unsold homes are not going anywhere and I doubt if interest rates will rise above 7% max anytime soon. You can always refinance later if they drop but you CAN'T undo overpaying for a home. I see homes in Vicotrville area dropping to about 200k range already in some pockets. Sub 200k prices are not too far off. Good luck.
All this talk of money, people being people will continue to move. What is presently a good investment property in six years can easily turn into tragedy. Given the scenario you painted about paying the association fees in one neighborhood, you are still seeing the evidence of poor attention to details with lawns not cut, cars in disrepair, etc. You cannot change the environment and pay the costs if this is what it looks like going in. That place unfortunately already sounds like its on a downward spiral.
Can you informally contact the local or county police, and ask where they see the gangs infiltrating? The police do keep records of crime and a request about a particular crime with the local law enforcement agencies typically provides information about patterns. Like any nuisance, this too can be tracked. You can see the needs people have and the spread of urban blight.
Realize also that the pot of money you bring to the purchase is what others will put up by begging, borrowing, or stealing, so they can 'lock in' the rates you are looking for. You may want to look into how these various communities screen out bad people or those otherwise considered high risks. You may want to also inquire of others (urban planners, community organizers) regarding what they see in up-and-coming neighborhoods that is an indication of safety and well-being. What are the details people attend to that speak about a neighborhood flourishing? You may look into how communities revitalize and what the signs of the same are. Particular stores, painted houses, children on the streets, neighborhood watches, flower pots, the elderly being seen comfortably in the neighborhood, these are all indications that people care and have an investment in safety and the future welfare of the next generation.
Referring back to your broken windows dilemma, a study was completed (I believe this was by urban planners or the local police) that indicated non-repair of broken windows in many urban communities leads to blight, decay, and heavier crime. It is an indication no one cares. It was an interesting pattern to hear about one window breaking, then another, then the accumulation of trash on properties, petty theft, break-ins, and finally prostitution and drug selling. This occurs over a period of time, not overnight, but it can be tracked. You have some things to look for now.
Last edited by Kin Atoms; 01-26-2008 at 07:47 AM..
Kabawl you need to wait to buy a home in San Bernardino. The housing bubble burst probably the sharpest in the Inland Empire than any other location in the United States. Prices are going to sharply come down, I would buy no later than August, this is when you can afford an "affordable" home.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.