The Los Angeles Times had another sad but well reported story about the housing bust hitting home. This time it’s in Temecula, California, one of the those classic ex-urbs full of McMansions that’s located about half way between Los Angeles and San Diego and a little further inland. What’s unusual about Temecula is that it’s a fairly upscale community, Southern California wine country, and yet now buffeted by a rash of foreclosures.
As the Times reports, one of the problems the city faces, and probably countless other cities across the country, is green pools. These are swimming pools in abandoned homes that are now filled with algae, dead birds and debris. They are festering sources of mosquitoes and potential disease and it is the job of city workers to go around and disinfect them. The number of green pool reports is up 45% in the past year in Temcula. Another example of how municipal costs are rising even as property taxes fall.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.