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Foreclosures in Your Neighborhood
Foreclosures in Your Neighborhood

AIR DATE: February 3, 2011

The foreclosure crisis has not been an equal opportunity disaster for the housing market. Everyone has been hurt but the impact has been much more brutal in some neighborhoods than others. It's emptied out some streets that are looking like ghost towns in the making while other neighborhoods have only had a handful of foreclosures and new residents moved right in. What's causing that and what does it mean for the future of Las Vegas?

Paul Bell, Pres, Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors
Dennis Smith, Pres, Homebuilders Research
Christopher Leinberger, Visiting Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Inst
Rich Copeland, Technical Producer, Nevada Public Radio

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The common sense is that you should cut your coat according to the cloth. If you spend beyond your means, it will definitely bring financial disaster. During the boom years, everybody wanted a piece of American pie and sadly, nobody paid attention to the warnings by Professor Robert Shiller in his book "Irrational Exuberance". He was considered out of touch with the then economic situation. I believe we should trust our own instinct and act accordingly no matter what the Wall Street pundits, realtors, and bankers say.
Kirti ShahFeb 2, 2011 11:43:47 AM
My wife and I bought a home in Sun City Anthem in Nov. 2009. While things look pretty much untouched around here, you have to look closer. In my square mile "village," there are foreclosures, and short sales ongoing. Our house, which the original owner bought for $469,000 in 2004, was sold at auction in Sept. 2009 for $250,000. At least at this point, we're not underwater as housing prices are recovering, but many of neighbors are very much under. This community's stability comes from retirement income, but not all retirement is the same. The original owners of our house, for example, depended solely on the stock market, and went under when the market turn down in 2008. Others, who may draw state or federal pensions, may get into trouble if budget cutting affects them in the coming months.
JackFeb 1, 2011 12:29:23 PM
Oops, I apologize for the typos, I meant to write cheap! That's what happens when you write in the heat of the moment, I guess.
IlanaFeb 1, 2011 11:37:07 AM
I spoke earlier on the radio today, and after making my comment about the greed of the builders, i.e. not completing neighborhoods as promised, the question was then posed to the man being interviewed after me (can't remember his name). He laughed it off, stating that everyone has been guilty of greed. I can't tell you how frustrated I felt when hearing those vacuous words. How can anyone dare to tell innocent homeowners who've invested their hard earned money, in a family home, that greed had anything to do with their decision making. Why do those "experts" continue to shut a blind eye to the real guilty parties, the ones who are to blame for the sorry state of our neighborhoods and the unbelievable financial woes that they have caused us by their continuous greed. Why are there no laws preventing builders from doing as they wish with people's money? Is it always gong to be the case that our mayor continues to supports businesses over what's right and just for its residents? I can tell you that if my neighborhood would have been completed as promised, sure, we would nave taken a financial hit like everyone else in the country, but it would not have been as detrimental! And that's a fact.
IlanaFeb 1, 2011 11:30:24 AM
I agree with Ilana. She was cut off from making her point and then it was diluted by the experts who generalized right past her point.
JackFeb 1, 2011 12:18:17 PM
When will people realize that the state of our neighborhoods has nothing to do with unemployment and everything to do with greedy business practices of the developers. When the smiley Pardee representative promised my husband and I that Pardee is a reputable builder, that the neighborhood in which we were about to invest in would be completed by a certain date, we stupidly believed her. Two months after buying our home, and investing a lump sum of money, they stopped building in the Highgate community in Providence. But they never stopped building in other parts of town, doing the same thing to others as they had done to us. Leaving all of us in ghost towns! Why were they allowed to go on building elsewhere?

They have never gone broke, but we have. We bought into a gated community but the walls around our home remained undeveloped for three long years; our home was vandalized during that time, the plants surrounding the neighborhood died. They didn't care, as long as they made their money, they moved on. They sold our development to Richmond Homes who are now building cheep homes in what we thought would be a neighborhood of a certain price range. Again, we lost but the builders are laughing all the way to the bank. So unemployment behind ghost towns. A fallacy!

IlanaFeb 1, 2011 11:18:04 AM
I both live and manage in HOA communities and completely agree that the strength of the HOA is one of the most important factors in your discussion. Both the community I manage and the one I live in have extremly strong Board's and Management and have sustained minimal impact by the current real estate market.
DonnaFeb 1, 2011 09:58:39 AM
I've lived here for the past 19 years and have worked as a residential appraiser that entire time, and my family goes back in this town to 1910. I've lived in Denver as well. What I never felt here, and this really bothered me, was this lack of "community" throughout the whole city. There seemed to be this manufactured community rather than one that is spontaneous or that is "organic", which, like so many of the hotels, just seems to be short lived and never viewed by the residents as one they really would care about. The old Huntridge area is starting to see some gentrification, and the First Friday's Art has helped this. But these "manufactured" mixed use projects just seem so much of a top-down approach, rather than allowing communities to develop organically from the bottom up. True long lasting communities are not built this way. Vegas in the 90's was just a big transient place where people came to make a bunch of money. We need reasons to KEEP people here!
Teresa OwensFeb 1, 2011 09:55:27 AM
As Dennis Smith said during your State of Nevada discussion today, one of the obvious problems with today's troubled housing market and distressed suburban neighborhoods is fairly simple: Too many people bought homes who couldn't really afford them when times got tough. In previous decades, many of today's foreclosure victims would have continued to rent. Most Americans want to own their own home, for good reason. But banks went too far in lending money to anyone who could fog a mirror.
George McCabeFeb 1, 2011 09:36:10 AM
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