You know when you're markets bad when..... Homeowners are watering the dying lawn next door.

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When Neighbors water the lawn next door... you know it's bad!

I was driving to Wolf Creek today in response to an email I had gotten from someone wondering if there were any home sites of a particular model left in the tract Redwood In Wolf Creek . As I was driving over I decided to drive the streets that already existed with homes built in that particular tract to first see if any resale homes of its kind were available.

I turned onto Fireside Drive (the only street completed in the tract) and drove towards the end. As I get to the end I see a partially dead lawn, but something was odd about the home. There was a manual water sprinkler unit in its driveway going back and forth. As I drove by I wondered why someone would do that when all new homes come equipped with sprinklers in the front yard. I decided to stop and check it out!

As I walked up to the home I realize the manual sprinkler unit is attached to a hose going into the neighbor's backyard. That particular neighbor was sitting in his driveway. I approached him even though I already knew what he was doing and why he was doing, inquiring into why he was watering his neighbor's dead lawn. Turns out no one ever moved into the home, and its deemed the first foreclosure on the street. Someone took the time to pay $762,000 for a 4500 sq ft home only to not move in, and let it foreclose.

He tells me what I already know. Those foreclosures are ruining neighborhoods and killing the small equity new homeowners have in their homes. His wife and himself live alone, and their home is supposed to be one day passed down to their children. They are terrified of what the bank will price this home at once it officially becomes bank owned, because current trends show they'll price it 10-30% below last Sold price to move it quick.

As we finished talking, the last thing he asked was if I could refer him to a realtor who could get their home sold fast. They didn't want to lose $150,000 overnight (potentially) by this one homeowner who for whatever reason decided not to move in and let the home foreclose. This is just one example of thousands of people that are being forced to either take what they can get and get out or suck it up and lose their equity, simply due to foreclosures.

To sum it up, in my opinion: you know the market in your area has gone south when homeowners are becoming landscapers and gardeners to their neighborhood's  foreclosed homes ... because they are worried sick about the dead lawns casting potential home buyers away and ultimately ruining their value when they resell for hundreds of thousands less

Posted by



Ryan Case - Partner

Pacific Servicing, LLC

(800) 313-9050 - Office

(951) 760-3170 - Mobile

(951) 501-2926 - Fax


Comments (10)

Jefferson Otwell
Homestar Financial Corporation - Atlanta, GA

Sometimes one can notice what is really going on by driving around and eyeballing it yourself.  Of course, we know that housing prices, foreclosures, and such are in trouble, but you definitely know a neighborhood is affected when you see that.

BTW, great picture!

Aug 08, 2007 08:53 AM
Seth Callen
Farmers Insurance - Lawton, OK

Yeah, good picture and great post. 

Aug 08, 2007 09:01 AM
Jack Mcleen


Aug 09, 2007 04:03 AM
Cheri Smith
Prudential Gary Greene, Cypress TX - Cypress, TX
Realtor Prudential Gary Greene

lol. Great pic. That is just sad.

It reminds me of my old house......I had a neighbor once that let her lawn go, let her trees grow so that they were hanging on my roof and rubbing shingles off and so after asking her to remove them and she didn't and asking her to do something about her yard and she didn't, I started doing it myself. I mowed it, weed-eated it and she was fine with that apparently. NEver said a word either way. We then trimmed the tree limbs back so that they were not hanging onto our roof and she called the police! The policeman came, talked to us, talked to her, looked at the tree and our roof and went back over and he told the lady that she could press charges on us if she wanted to but what was going to happen was we were going to take the pictures we had of the limbs on our roof and of the roof damage and we were going to sue for damages and we were going to have the better case. That a judge would most likely see the evidence and tell her to pay us for trimming back the tree and pay to get the roof fixed. She said never mind. We moved to the country less than 6 months later and left subdivision life behind us.

Aug 09, 2007 04:56 AM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing
This is a very heartwrenching story!  This is not just effecting the people in foreclosure, it's effecting the dreams and plans of people who have no risk of foreclosure.  That picture is worth a million bucks!
Aug 09, 2007 05:52 AM
Ryan Case
Pacific Servicing - Temecula, CA
I agree. Its stripping the neighbors equity and affecting their plans to retire, remodel, or just cash out to do what they want in life. its only getting worse to. I counted 12 dead lawns in 2 blocks while I was driving to deliver disclosures to a client. Its going to get worse. I overheard my broker saying one of his close friends lost $150,000 in equity due to 7 foreclosures on his block and now he himself is in foreclosure due to his value being shot down!
Aug 09, 2007 06:31 AM
K Erwin

Thanks Ryan, I am the one who asked if you knew if there were any of those models left; that was nice of you to check it out. I will be on my way to Temecula on Sunday to look at the house and the neighborhood. I do think that those of you who live in Temecula now and are there for the long term will make your investment back and more. Temecula is a great area, in fact in my opinion its one of the last real Gems left  that you can move to and still be reasonably close to Orange County and San Diego. The home Ryan is showing above is a $1M+ home and that is what it will sell for years from now . The short term is going to be very rough. Foreclosure Auctions will be become weekend events and homes in the Inland Empire will go for 50% of what they were selling at the high.



Aug 11, 2007 04:01 PM
Shane Sarae
Honolulu, HI
Thank you very much for sharing, it is sad what is happening to some people through no fault of their own.
Aug 11, 2007 05:29 PM
K Erwin
Ryan went out on Realty Trac looking for this house found nothing.
Aug 11, 2007 05:56 PM
K Erwin

Went through the Standard Pacific models Wolf Creek including a version of the one above-nice designs. I also went through the Lennar Wolf Creek models-did not like their interior designs. I wish I would have had time to go through the McMillin models Morgan Hill-maybe next time.

I went by the property above and it looked like a nice house as did all the homes on Fireside Drive . Going through the surrounding neighborhoods I had two concerns. The park at Wolf Creek looks very nice, but past the park there looked to be a some old trailers and junk. Is that part of the Indian Reservation? I spent time driving around throughout the Wolf Creek community between the hours of 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM so not the best time to get a good feel for who lives in the neighborhood as I am sure many people were not home. I thought for the most part  the homes looked nice and were well kept; however, its seemed like many of the cars parked in front of these homes were junk. I am just curious with the Subprime Lenders where anyone with a pulse could get a loan. Was Temecula invaded by these extened/multiple families- ten people moving into a house with eight cars (many of the cars junk)? I am still living through some of that mess here in Orange County. There is nothing that will kill your neighborhoods curb appeal, property value and quality of life than having these people renting or buying a home on your street.

I am coming to Temecula next weekend so I can walk the streets early in the AM and at night so I can get a good feel for several of the communities. The home above is an investment and someone will most likely get a good deal on it, but its not a good deal if you do not have the right neighbors. It takes a community to create a place where others want to live. 

Thanks again Ryan 



Aug 12, 2007 02:24 PM