Foreclosure Fever

C'mon Menifee; we've all seen it. That empty home on our street. If not your street, than the next block over. That foreclosure in y...

C'mon Menifee; we've all seen it. That empty home on our street. If not your street, than the next block over. That foreclosure in your neighborhood. It has hit this area even harder than many of the rest of the nation. But what can we do?
When you purchased your home, you made an investment not just within your property lines, but an investment in your neighborhood, in Menifee itself. You said to the rest of the world, "I believe Menifee is an up and coming area. I believe it will grow! I believe it will be a wonderful place to raise my children." Now you are disappointed and disheartened to see the heartless home in your neighborhood; heartless because it's residents couldn't meet up to their end of the deal. But don't dismay.
Real estate has a certain ebb and flow, a ying and yang, that will never falter. The tide goes out, sure, and we are all upside down in our equity right now. But just as certain as the tide went out, the tide will return. You can bank on it. You already have.
What can you do? Make another investment in your home, your street, your neighborhood, in Menifee. Keep that foreclosure from looking like a foreclosure. Pick up the newspapers, flyers and handbills the solicitors drop. Keep trash out of the yard. If your hose can reach, water the lawn, maybe even mow the yard if you can. How is this your investment? Because we all want to attract the best neighbor possible. When your new neighbors move in, (and they will) don't you want them to be just like you? Someone who cares about their home, their neighborhood and Menifee? I know I do.


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  1. We just moved into a foreclosure, and the people on our street are borderline rude. It's too bad.

  2. We have had 2 foreclosures on our street both were eyesores. Both have since been purchased and the yards redone. I'm grateful. Why do you think your new neighbors are rude? Just curious.

  3. anonymous @ 8:34 PM we must be in the same neigborhood. 2 houses across the street from me were both purchased and are now looking like nice homes instead of the horid eyesores that they were. I have met one of the neighbors (very nice people) but have yet to meet the other.
    I am sorry to hear that some people are not nice in some of the neighborhoods. You would think they would be a little nice since the buyer is helping turn their neighborhood around.

  4. So U want me to fund someone's financial irresponsibilty by watering the yard during a drought and mowing the lawn when fossil fuels are at an all time high?

    I agree we need to attract quality people, however we need to get ride of the scum that sign people to loans they could never afford!!!

  5. My family purchased it's first home here in Menifee in 1990. Shortly there after the market dumped yet again, and we saw many homes that folks walked away from due to upside down mortgages. We hung in there, knowing we loved our home, our neighbors, our schools, we loved Menifee. We started a business and like many we borrowed against the equity in our home to help support our struggling business. Over the years we made beautiful upgrades to our home, wood shutters, wood floors, granite countertops, designer paint on the walls. We had pride and love of our home. Then the nightmare started. Our business struggled with the Calif Workman's comp insurance doubling, forcing us to give up our employee health insurance, and increasing our overall costs to where we knew the end was coming. Our American dream was coming to and end. We took a huge gamble with our home and now we were forced to give it up. 17 years in a home we had raised our children in, shared with family and friends and I could go on and on. This has been by far the hardest thing we have ever had to go through.
    When it came time to leave our home, we left it in prinstine condition. We left it the way we loved it. The real estate company that took over the home met us on our way out and remarked "We never see homes left in this condition" and my husband said "It was my wife, she wanted to make sure whoever bought this home knew that there was a family who lived here".
    I am happy to say, that our home was sold very quickly, and our neighbors did not have to look at an eyesore for months.
    The reason I share this story is to remind those of you who might forget that behind those foreclosed homes is usually a sad story, and that not all families are walking away because they are flakes or bad neighbors. We made a fatal mistake and we will pay for it for a very long time.

  6. To the comment above, I am so sorry about your experience. And you are right there is a story behind every foreclosure. In the meantime I agree that we must help our community out by watering, mowing and taking an active stance in Menifee. The difference between people who bought homes three years ago and now is that we had a lot of so called "investors" which rented out to anyone because they thought they could flip it soon. And remember the banks gave out loans to whomever with not so great credit. Well now those people have to move out and the owners are letting these homes go. But in return now that the banks are not lending money "freely", the new home buyers have to have great credit and in some cases 10 to 20 percent down. Now you all know that if someone who has 10 to 20 percent down are people who are responsible and hard working. Those people are the ones who are buying. Responsible homeowners. Even though houses may be selling in the low 200's you still have to make at least 65,000 year to qualify. I know now a days that's not enough, but do you think the "losers" who rent and bring down the home values down, make even half of that.

    I am very optomistic, there are a lot of people who care around here and want Menifee to succeed. I do, we just need to get involved. If you see a punk disrespecting your community you need to call the authorities or confront. A lot of these kids have never been told a thing, because their parents are losers themselves or their parents are too busy being their friends. Kids need to learn respect and that means respecting authority and community.

  7. I do take offense to the comment "the losers who rent". I was a responsible, community volunteer, all around good citizen homeowner for 17 years, and I have no choice now but to RENT a home. I am still all of the above, take pride in my rented home, and volunteer hundreds of hours to the community of Menifee. I just happen to be one of many people who have had their home foreclosed and now need a home for my kids to feel secure. I am thankful to the WONDERFUL homeowner who has agreed to let our family rent her home. Our family income is around $95K and it will be years before we can ever own a home if ever again!
    So please don't be so mean spirited to those in your neighborhood who may be renters. Lead by example, offer to lend a helping hand if they look like they could use it. This housing nightmare will be over eventually and if we work together we can see that Menifee doesn't fall through the cracks.

  8. To the above poster, I fell for you. Hang in there it sounds like you made some decison that weren't all that great and you know what we ALL do. So hang in there and people please don't act all high and mighty you never know.

  9. I went through the early 90's with this in Menifee. I mowed and watered my neighbors yard after it went into forclosure. You do it so your house doesn't look that crap.
    I also bought my last 2 houses at 100% financing. Just because you have 20-30% down doesn't mean you're responsible. I just chose to use my equity from my other homes on other things. You have to have good credit to get 100% financing at a good rate.
    When you get a home loan make sure to read the whole contract, All these adjustable rates where in the loan agreement. Most people do not read what they are signing. If you don't understand it, ask.

  10. The problem is, people borrowed 100% of there homes value when they got there home loans, got a crazy ARM loan, with interest only. Then took out a second and bought toys, and when there loan adjusted and their proerty values went down, they act surprised! So to get even with the bank, they trash there home before they got kicked out, kind of like a (adult)temper tantrum. They had nothing to lose. The banks should have made them put money down. On a good note, the empty homes are selling fast!The bubble was bound to burst sometime.
    I love living in Menifee and bought a forclosure in 1995.

  11. We read all the fine print in our contract and are happy that we did. We have a regular old loan. It is hard for me to feel sorry for people who bought all this stuff. We struggle on a regular loan and put money down so like I said it is hard for me to feel for the ones who went crazy and we know people who did.

  12. Is this fraud? 3 1/2 years ago a neighbor put no money down with a interest only loan on the house a couple doors down. 7 months ago he was upside down by appx 80k. With his excellent credit he went and purchase a second house (much bigger, for a lot less) with the intention of walking away from the upside down house, which by the way looks like hell!!! He never tried to rent it out or sell it. Isn't that fraud?

  13. Unfortunately it is not fraud. He found a loophole in the system and worked it. However, when the foreclosure hits his credit, it will be the last home he will buy in a long time. Now he is another neighborhood's problem.

  14. Talk about neighborhood eyesores. We have someone on our street who lives there but does nothing to their yard. Most everything has died from never being watered and now they are chopping down all the remaining healthy plants. They are young and perfectly capable of caring for their property. People walking by think it is an abandoned property. I have no idea what to do. It is downright ugly.

  15. It is unfortunate the amount of forclosures in Riverside Co alone over 200.000. bogus loans, and people just buying out of there overall scope of affordability..the smart ones bought low and sold at the peak. the less fortunate bought high and then bottomed out..its time for the next round of smart buyers to snatch up these mis fortunes..we have been waiting on this oppertunity for a long time in Menifee, we were simply priced out of the market a little over a year ago with the basic home starting around 350-400k. now we are going to escrow on a 2 yr old bank forclosure 2500 sq ft for under 230k.. yes the market will rebound in mid 09 and start climbing again..just wait it out your equity will return..and ofcourse keep it mowed, trimmed and trash free.

  16. Thanks to the tips on keeeping the neighboorhood looking good, We have a house that the owners waked away from about 2 months ago, someone stole the sago palms and the place is looking pretty shabby. I took your adice and removed the junk mail from the front door. I though to myself I wonder if the sprinklers still work so I went to the side of the house and manually turned them on, and wow they work. This will be something I will try to do on a regular basis, at least i can water the lawn oncein awhile, I was such a beautiful house and the owner had pride in it. There are several in my neighborhood that are abandoned.

  17. Thanks to the tips on keeeping the neighboorhood looking good, We have a house that the owners waked away from about 2 months ago, someone stole the sago palms and the place is looking pretty shabby. I took your adice and removed the junk mail from the front door. I though to myself I wonder if the sprinklers still work so I went to the side of the house and manually turned them on, and wow they work. This will be something I will try to do on a regular basis, at least i can water the lawn oncein awhile, I was such a beautiful house and the owner had pride in it. There are several in my neighborhood that are abandoned.

  18. I would kindly go to them and offer to help them restore their yard. Make them feel part of the neighborhood.

  19. to Anonymous, at August 25, 2008 9:54 PM:

    As far as the home you talked about. years ago my parents and their friends got fed up with a neighbor who refused to do anything about his yard, it was a total weed garden and looked like a salvage yard. They went out one night and spray painted "landscaped by owner" on the curb across the front of the house. That worked!

  20. I know what you mean! Sometimes it's not a foreclosed home that looks terrible. We have a house down the street that I thought was just getting ready for a garage sale. They had a HUGE pile of crap from one corner of the yard to the other side of the driveway. They had a "moving sale" but what they didn't sell, sat there for weeks! Talk about trashy!!! It was an eyesore and I'm sure that it attracts insects and rodents.

    In our neighborhood there are 3 houses that have been abandoned in the past 6 months. We have lived in our home for 5 years and NEVER noticed any insects other than ants, flies and occasionally a random insect. You know, nothing out of the ordinary. But in the past 6 months I have seen cockroaches in our garage at night when I flip the light on! It is disgusting! We take pride in our home and keep it clean so I know it must be coming from another place.

    So keep your eyes open if you have a few abandoned homes that are unkept in your neighborhood! You may have some visitors too.

  21. It saddens me to hear people called names because they have fallen victims of losing their homes. We lose sight of the fact that for each foreclosure, there is usually a heartbreaking story with a family, some with children, that has suffered. Just because they were taken in by the banks who offered too-good-to-be-true loans, why do we assassinate the families who jumped at the chance, many never dreaming of owning a home (especially a California home) and proudly thought they were living the American dream? Take a close look at the foreclosed homes, the playthings left behind and just imagine the little lives pulled from their surroundings, 'somewhere' out there. Before you all jump on board to assassinate me as well, my heart goes out to ones losing their homes.. consider "but for the grace..." I might also note that our neighborhood, as others, has more than its fair share of abandoned, vacant homes showing neglect. The banks who made the loans should be fined for the upkeep, since they are the ones who were so unconscionable to write these loans, reaping big benefits until our 'depression' hit. While I'm at it, I may as well mention the hateful comments about 'renters': Stop priding yourselves just because you happen to own your home. "If you buy your tuxedo and I rent mine, do we not BOTH deserve the right to enjoy the dance?" Renters should not be looped into a 'undesireable mold'; there's good and bad in every group; not to mention the neighbor-from-Hell (usually a haughty homeowner) we all know someone who has to endure.

  22. However, when the foreclosure hits his credit, it will be the last home he will buy in a long time. Now he is another neighborhood's problem.

    Actually, he may have done the smartest thing given the situation. Assuming he didn’t take a second mortgage or refinance, under California law the house is the entire collateral for the loan. Walking away won’t seriously affect his credit rating since he satisfied its entire amount by returning the house to the lender. That rule doesn’t apply in cases of second mortgages or when a refinancing occurs.

    The bottom line is that those who bought at the top of the market with 100% financing, no second mortgages and no refi’s are not in serious trouble. The lenders who never should have arranged the loans are the ones taking the financial loss.

  23. As for the neighbor not taking care of the yard.  Do you live in a community with Association?  If you do, file a formal complaint. If you don't, good luck!

  24. To the above poster... Why not be kind and offer to help them? Maybe they don't know how to get their lawn back, maybe they are in a financial situation where they had to cut back on watering to save money, or maybe they don't have a lot of time, either way they might appreciate your assistance or kind advice. You never know unless you try.

  25. I dont like to see anyone lose there home however. the market was going crazy and all these no doc, interest only loans for 2-3 years were bound to graduate to the rate and term anyways..i think a little greed set in with the booking market in 2004-5-6 it was simply homes of cashing out., what they didn't realize is most of who's have lost trhere homes weren't even old enough to experience the last fall out. it had already reeached its peak and was going no higher anyways. taking the risk of a blah loan with hopes of granger simply flip flopped on them and they lost the game. Everyone has the dream of owning there own home. unfortunately the lenders dont care if your able to keep it, after you lose it they just re sell it we as home owners are in even bigger trouble, the federal government now owns all control of the large bailed out lenders. i would be thinking about future taxes, and the problem is potentialy worse...

  26. This is a bad situation all around. If I bought in '06 and I'm now upside down by 130K with an interest only loan what benefit is it for me to stay? I can't refinance anytime soon, so what am I to do? I have no kids, so I might need to start over and play it smarter next time. Hopefully the foreclosure rescue bill will help me October 1st.

  27. Actually, our HOA discourages even stepping foot on abandoned properties for legal and liability reasons, but I do like the sentiment, and I think it would be great if we didn't all have to fear being sued at the drop of a hat.

  28. to Anonymous, at August 27, 2008 11:50 AM. I am the one with the eyesore house in my neighborhood that is not vacant. They have been offered help with their sprinklers. Their neighbor helped them set them and trouble shoot a couple small problems. They just didn't seem to want to follow thru. They have said they want to "re-do" their yard. I'll wait and see.

    for the post above of spray painting "landscaped by owner" on the front curb ... I laughed like crazy! I don't have the guts to do it, but I can dream....

  29. To: No worries..., at August 28, 2008 10:51 AM

    It is nice to see you have great pride in yourself.

    Just because the price of your house has fallen, does not make you upside down. You bought a house knowing the price and knew that at some point the monthly payment would adjust to include principal and now you claim you have no other option.

    It is said people use the falling prices of homes as there excuse to walk away. Granted, for those that have lost a job or have other circumstances that prevent them from making payments that’s a different story. But to walk away because your house is not worth as much as it was yesterday is a Lazy excuse!

  30. We're upside down in our house - as are a ton of other people right now! So what! "No Worries", take pride in home ownership - after all, didn't you buy that home to actually live in it? Or are you one of those "spec" buyers whose intent was to sell it anyway after it rose a few thousand bucks? For shame!

    Our story: My mother-in-law lived in her Menifee home for 15 years. She became gravely ill, was hospitalized and discovered that she has lung cancer. She could no longer live alone and required an assisted living facility. There was absolutely no way my husband and I could afford 2 mortgages plus the assisted living expenses. Her social security didn't cover all of the monthly fee.

    Our real estate agent told us the best way out was to "let it go". That home still sits empty; no For Sale sign, nobody taking care of the lawn. This was over a year ago.

    My mother-in-law is constantly saying she needs to go back home and get her things out of the house (the house is empty; she has dementia) and how she misses taking care of her roses. It's sad.

    Across the street from us is a scenario like what another poster said. The neighbors bought a cheaper home down the street they picked up in a Foreclosure auction and are letting the house across the street go back to the bank. It disgusts me to even look at these people or their houses. It's the ultimate in irresponsibility!!!

    Not all of us are deadbeats. Some of us had horribly unexpected burdens that devoured us. Others are just taking advantage of the poor housing conditions. I would never put my poor mother-in-law in the same category as the deadbeat neighbors down the street.

  31. I think instead of calling them deadbeats we should call them "debt-beats" hahaha Just wanted to get a laugh!

  32. My problem with some of the foreclosures is that they were just walked away from. The owners put No money down and the market dropped so since they had nothing invested they just walked away from it. Then they turn around and purchase another bigger home for less money and maybe put some money down. I hate to say it but a foreclosure does not prevent you from buying another home. The worse it does it drops your credit score maybe 100 points. All that does is make the lender require you to put a certain percentage down and you'll get a higher interest rate. It sucks for the rest of us because these people do this over and over. I've spoken to at least three in the past 6 months that have done just that.

  33. we live next door to a foreclosure, house looks horrible. I struggle enough to keep our house and yard clean as it is; I've got young kids and DH isn't much help. If I could afford to hire a gardener, I would. We don't water our lawn as much as our neighbors do because CA is in a major drought. Why waste water on a lawn when we could save it to drink?? Yes, I keep it alive but not sparkling green

    We bought in '06. Put 20% down--$80K that we got from selling our old house. We got an ARM with the intention of getting out in 12 months, when the prepay penalty left. DH got 2 raises by that point. The market dropped. We couldn't refi at that point, we certainly can't refi now. We're upside down 185, loan will adjust in 2010. We're not scum. We did what we thought we needed to do at the time and we had a plan to refi ASAP. The market didn't let us. We lost all that money, that would have paid for my son's college if we had just chosen the 100% financing we were offered and saved it. :(

  34. I am aware that this message does not apply to everyone who were "forced" to foreclose on a home. There are some hardworking responsible citizens who just fell on hard times due to many different circumstances. However, I would like to know why do people rely on a morgage company who profits off of giving loans to tell them what they can afford? That is like trusting a thief to tell you it's ok to go on vacation and leave the door unlocked. Our society has suffered from a culture the is dillusional when it comes to the concept of ownership and fiscal responsibility. Just because you can buy things on credit does not mean that you should and it the case of a house does not mean that you own it. They still teach math at school. What about working the numbers and weighing the risk before you buy in making sure you can afford payments even if the what if's (interest rate increase)happen. Everyone needs to take responsibility for the collasp in the real estate market including the little guy buying what he/she could not afford. The lenders are suffering the consequences of their actions.They are going BK. If government continues to bail/ buy them out... The financial lending and investment companies will be government owned and controlled which in essence so will our businesses and homes. Does this sound a little like socialism ??? Who really made the profit from all this.. the developers who got inflated payment for the homes and property, and the CEOs who still get to lead the BK'd morgage companies. Some reform is needed, but it should begin with holding ourselves and financial leaders accountable.

  35. Got an idea... Let's teach our kids some community responibility and make a kid club for community service to maintain those lawns. Buy the way the morgage companies should fund it. Another thought.. Beware of unmaintained pools they can cause an increase in west nile virus.

  36. The basic outline of the situation is this: starting in the mid-1990’s, the American government began deregulating the banking industry, repealing laws that had governed the terms of credit and investment since the Great Depression, due in large part to the money-soaked lobbying of commercial banks. Simultaneously, it created institutional and consumer incentives for home buying, motivated in part by statistical evidence that home ownership was the single greatest determinate of a family’s financial success. At the same time, the dot-com boom was putting (fake) money into consumers’ and bankers’ pockets, and although that bubble burst in 2001, it was quickly replaced by a new bubble in real estate.

    Thus began a massive surge in home buying. Part of this up-tick in buying was made possible by “sub-prime mortgages”: loans with adjustable interest rates given to people who probably can’t afford to buy a house in the first place. They function much like credit cards: if homebuyers miss a payment, which they are likely to do, the interest rate doubles or even triples, dramatically increasing the cost of their monthly payments. These were attractive loans for banks to make since they assumed that all but a few homeowners would continue making payments after the upward adjustment of their interest rates.

    The scheme seems idiotic in hindsight. A huge rise in demand for homes led to rapidly rising real estate values. To keep the market booming, less qualified buyers were found and given sub-prime mortgages to buy houses at inflated prices. Because prices were rising and wages were stagnant, lots of people with sub-prime mortgages were unable to keep up with payments. Their interest rates rose, but instead of paying banks a premium, many of them had to stop paying entirely. Now, at least two million of the seven million sub-prime mortgages used to buy homes since 1998 are expected to default.

  37. Call me old school, but i still believe in good old fashioned american resilience. Things are going to get better, but while things are hard, we need to all pull together and figure out how were going to sustain ourselves. And i dont mean how were going to ride our motorcycles at the track every weekend (as fun as that is for me and the kids) but how are we going to keep our fridges full and job markets going. So im saying lets all pull together to make sure these big budget supermarket tycoons dont gain any more ground in our beautiful neighborhoods.

  38. Name Withheld to Protect the ConservativeFebruary 03, 2009 11:55 PM

    Friendly Advice for my Menifee neighbors in troublesome times:

    Everyone in America, especially the State and Federal government, would do well to live by this one financial rule: LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. That means don't spend more than you have: if you use credit cards, you pay them off at the end of the month, and don't buy anything if you can't pay for it. Excepting large purchases like Real Estate or Student Loans and maybe a car loan, you shouldn't owe any money to anyone that you can't pay off at the end of the month. Does this sound reasonable?

    The problem is most people have gotten so used to buying on credit, they don't have any idea how or if this could work. My family and I have been doing it for 17 years, and we have excellent credit, our mortgage almost paid off, and all of our NEEDS are met daily. I suppose the downside is I don't have a big screen TV or an IPod or any of that kind of stuff, but I'd rather do without that than be in foreclosure or homeless.

    In this financial environment, there is little chance of increasing your revenue (income) because businesses are in the same predicament we are as homeowners and families. So, what is left to us is the responsibility to cut our spending. This also goes for the government. Government gets money through taxes. People will be making less money this year, so there will be less tax revenue, and so the Government cannot afford to increase spending, just as we cannot.

    I have heard in the news that the next thing to blow up may be the Credit Card industry. For anyone who has ever heard of the Parable of Jesus about the "Prodigal Son", the word 'Prodigal' means extravagant and irresponsible. Think about it.



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