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Fewer Bobcats, More Carpet Cleaners Moving to Suburbs

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Back in September 2008, right about the time when the financial markets were really starting to get scary, the real estate stories were about bobcats moving into a foreclosed homes in suburban SoCal. This past weekend, the New York Times' ran a real estate story about plucky buyers moving into foreclosed homes, a piece which looked at eight houses on one cul-de-sac in Moreno Valley in the Inland Empire (a neighborhood about 60 miles from LA). Among other things, the story shows the tension between those still living on the street, and those families moving in to take advantage of the prices of the foreclosed homes (three of the eight homes have been sold). One meets Gaston and Natalie Giuliani, immigrants from Argentina. Buying for them was the "realization of long-held dreams and months of negotiations." One also meets carpet cleaner Dan Cortez, who "never thought he could afford his own home — the four-bedroom is a castle compared with the tiny one-bedroom home he rented in El Monte, a rough area closer to Los Angeles." Mr. Cortez almost starts crying when talking to the Times about being able to afford a home. While these new buyers obviously are lucky enough to have jobs, here's how they sum up the fall of the dice: "The newcomers — the Schneiders, the Cortezes and the Giulianis — have sympathy for those who lost their homes, but feel they have been rewarded for saving, waiting and buying in a conventional manner. The falling home prices were “the answer to our prayers,” Ms. Giuliani said. '"We would not have been able to get a house this size elsewhere.'" Related: The Daily News looks at how buyers are snatching up foreclosures in the San Fernando Valley.
· A Cul-de-Sac of Lost Dreams, and New Ones [NY Times]