On yesterday's edition of Menifee Valley Talk Radio, Therese Daniels and Mieke Jacobs spent a portion of their show talking about property values in Sun City Core, and how the 55+ age requirement has worsened the situation.
Therese was asked if Sun City Core was always a 55+ community, to which she said, "no". Here's her answer, as transcribed from the show...
Therese: No. This has been my beef and my debate for sometime now. When Del Webb founded Sun City in the 1960s, mid-1960s, he founded it as an 18+ community. It was an adult-only community as age 18+, not 55. It remained like that until 1997. In 1997, one of the board members, Jean Loberge, I think that was her name, started a project called "Project 55". In order to... You see this is in the CC&Rs. In order to get something changed in the CC&Rs, one has to get a petition of at least 250.Therese went on to explain that Sun City Core can change the community back to 18+, by running another petition and putting it to ballot.
Then after the petition is signed, then it goes to a ballot and then it's taken to general vote. What happened is, there was a little chicanery there. After she got her 250 signatures, I don't know what she was thinking, probably sitting around thinking, "Oh God, it's so much work to take this to the ballot, they're going to approve it anyhow. Why don't I just save them time and money." She took, and went over to the County Recorder, and recorded that, that there was a majority approval, and that we are now a 55+ community.
Nobody at the County Recorder's office challenged that. Now that is about as corrupt, and about as dishonest as you can get. But by golly let somebody grow verbenia, and if they don't like those flowers, those verbenia, they will literally fine the people and say you can get rid of those, they're weeds!
You know, they want everbody to conform to their arbitrary ways, but yet they wanna break every law and get away with it.
Now, and for the last, uh, since 1997 or 98, when they did that and recorded that, there was only one signature, ONE SIGNATURE, and that uh, filing. By the way not all seven board members, just her signature. Now, I just can't begin to you tell how outrageous that is. I hope that answers her question.
Mieke: In the um, Hi Therese, in the History of Sun City, which is kind of a proud, published item, how is that justified? How is that recorded, that in 1997 they moved to a 55, was that for convenience sake, or how is that looked at now?
Therese: Well that's a good question, and there's a mix. Some people just love the idea of a 55+. They hate the idea of families, they don't want children skateboarding in front of their house, and uh, they like to think that, you know, this is just a nice quiet little place for little old people to live.
Uh, but other people, and a large percentage of them, resented for one thing, it keeps their property values down, their opportunities to sell are less, because it's a limited market, because your buyers... Well a buyer could be younger than 55 to own a home in Sun City, but you must be 55+ to live in Sun City. Most buyers, if they're buying retired homes, are buying homes to live in. So this limits the buyers by as much as 60%. And in a slow market like this one, that's like you know, bringing it to a stand-still.
The market has just about come to a halt. And yet we have the best buys around. We have some of the best buys around today. And they can't even give them away!
Mieke: There are actually some nice homes in Sun City right now, for under a $100,000.
Therese: Yeah! You know, this is really truly a buyer's market. Not only are the homes available under that price, the interest rates low, very very low, the sellers are desperate out there, they'll do almost anything to make a sale. A buyer could come in and take advantage of this market. And as the real estate market pendulum swings, which as we've talked about before, it always does, they're going to have a very nice little investment for themselves.
Albeit the entire real estate market in Southern California is still in the dumps, Sun City Core's market is even worse because the 55+ requirement makes it very difficult to find buyers. That in turn made property values fall even further.