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Highland Park Hub of Housing Boom, According to CBS

CBS says that investors are flocking to the neighborhood.

Add CBS to the long list of media outlets who are keeping an eye on Highland Park's housing market.

The neighborhood was featured in a story--"Early signs of housing recovery in Los Angeles"--published Tuesday on CBS's website.

, the story quotes statistics on the surge of investors who purchased property in the neighborhood just after the new year.

According the CBS' report, 43-percent of the homes purchased in Highland Park in January were bought by investors.

"Bidding wars and house flippers are back," states the report, which goes on the speculate that, while investors artifically inflated home prices before the bubble burst, they are know playing a key role in regulating those prices.

The report also notes another consequence of flippers' rushing to Highland Park; home's that couldn't afford a stylish makeover by a flipper are now languishing on the market.

According to the real estate tracking website Trulia.com, the average sales price of a home between January and March of 2012 was $265,000--an increase of 7.1-percent over the previous quarter, but a 7.5-percent decrease compared to the same time period last year.

As we noted in our coverage of Times piece, we believe that Highland Park is actually experiencing a slow and steady housing recovery that started in 2010. Trulia's numbers indicate that January's burst of sales was a peak, surrounded by valleys on both sides.

Jennifer Train April 26, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I've been singing the praises of HP for 2-3 years now...It's funny because I remember colleagues who pooh poohed HP, and now have their names on listing signs here.
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Yeah, we paid on our loan for 15 years on our home in Highland Park. The bank stole our home. The bank sold it for less than what we owed. Give us our home back...WELLS FARGO !!
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 04:18 AM
All you folks drooling over foreclosures, just remember these homes do not have clear title and you are subject to being sued. Get some good title insurance...if you can...you will need it. You are fooling yourselves if you think homes are going to go up again in value and the "recovery" is just around the corner. Foreclosures are the highest ever for 2012. You are overpaying...just like the banks jacked up home values with their inflated appraisals. Knowing what I know now about banks destroying the world's economies, I could never in good conscience buy a foreclosure or short sale and capitalize off someone's misery. And you can skip the bit about "deadbeat homeowners." Most of these people applied for the HAMP programs did NOT get any help. The banks kept the gov't funds for their own investments. Banks tell you you don't qualify for a loan modification because you have not missed any payments, and then when you finally do, they start you on a path to foreclosure and eviction. Banks are in the business of foreclosures, not helping people to stay in their homes. That is a fact. They make more money foreclosing. They collect on insurance. Then they turn around and sell your home again for a profit. Banks are selling homes they do NOT even own. That is FRAUD. They are NOT the true lenders, they are servicers. Our loans were sold the day we signed papers and the investors were not disclosed to us. These are crimes against humanity. Don't buy into this mess. Wake up people.
jerry April 26, 2012 at 07:11 AM
Linda, you sound really bitter. The bank did not steal your home. Obviously, you were not meeting payments that you agreed on when you signed the contract. People that are getting foreclosed on are people that bought homes on fake reported incomes, ARMs and zero down payment. I'm tired of the government bailing these people out. Ignorance is not an excuse.
darrylzcortez April 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM
This new 123 Refinance could serve as a lifeline for many of the 2 million homeowners in the US estimated to owe more than the value of their property
Rob Schraff April 26, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Linda does sound really bitter Jerry, and perhaps with some reason. Here's more info on Wells Fargo and various forms of mortgage fraud. Your accusations of fraud on Ms. Blair's part seem somewhat insubstantial in comparison. The government, by the way, has also done very little to bail "these people" out, while dropping more than a trillion dollars bailing out Wells Fargo and the like. http://www.wellsfargomortgagefraud.com/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/03/mortgage-fraud-new-york-ag-schneiderman-sues-banks-electronic_n_1252793.html http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/26/1077811/-Mortgage-Fraud-Battles-UnResolved-SEC-Sues-Wells-Fargo-for-Paperwork PS - I didn't lie on my mortgage, and I have equity in my house. But am I "bitter" about the damage caused by real, corporate mortgage fraud in my neighborhood. You bet!
Carl Showalter April 26, 2012 at 03:04 PM
If you can't meet payments, of course the bank will take back the house. It's not your house until you pay the loan off. Don't go blaming others for your own misfortune or poor decisions.
clvngodess April 26, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Let's stop beating the victims of capitalist opportunity up. The banks were the jerks in this mess. THEY were the ones who had the power to say whether or not someone was qualified to carry a certain amount of debt. Corporate criminality got in the way of that. Anyone who is conscious knows exactly what happened with the robber barons. The government bailed out who, Jerry? The government rolled over and bailed out Wall Street. The same band of jackals who created this economic mess in the first place. By the way, you can't have a recovery without JOBS. Remember that aspect of the economic downslide? I get so sick of this ignorant mentality, Jerry. Sometimes the victims are just that.
clvngodess April 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Those gosh darn victims of bankster fraud! How dare they allow themselves to be taken by the robber barons with control over whether or not someone can afford a loan?! Gosh darn those victims who didn't see the massive layoffs coming! Shame on them for not having the magic 8 and third eye of economic foresight. Shame on those victims who were just trying to live a so-called dream.
HLP Frenchy April 26, 2012 at 04:06 PM
There's always 2 sides of the story. It is true that when you sign the loan paper, you agree to repay it every months. But the banks should have never allowed people to buy houses with nothing down or less than 20%, just like borrowers should have never allowed themselves to pay 500k for an 800 sqf home! It's just common sense, and not the american dream!
clvngodess April 26, 2012 at 04:16 PM
If you could buy a home with a couple of thousand dollars down, or nothing down, at a low interest rate, you would. I did, 12 years ago. My home wasn't 500k as the propagandists would have you believe. Many of us didn't go refi or flipping crazy. But many of us lost jobs or bought into the "dream" which is a myth, an advertising campaign about Amerika. And while there are two sides to the story, I put the weight of it on predatory lending. Common sense has nothing to do with greed, predatory lending (remember Country Wide and B of A? Wells Fargo, etc.?).
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Carl, the banks don't own the homes. They merely "service" the loans. That means they send out monthly statements and collect interest on behalf of investors. If they did own the homes, they could produce the original notes and deeds of trust that we signed and could legally foreclosure, providing they have a legally recorded assignment, of course, which they do not have those, either. Further, their foreclosure paperwork is robo-signed and faulty, also illegal. Homeowners had no knowledge of who bought their notes because it was not disclosed to them. Our notes have been turned into bonds and sold on Wall Street. That means the banks leveraged our future and the future of the economy of this country...for that matter...and the world by creating derivatives. Did you see the film: Inside Job ? That is why our economy is in rough shape. Feds kept printing more and more money leading to high inflation. You don't punish the people for the mess the banks created. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Let's make this clear: We are all morally obligated to pay a debt that we sign up for. But we are not legally bound to pay off a debt that is invalid and illegal. Unless the true owner steps forward with the original paperwork there is no debt. What is so hard to grasp about that? e.g.: You can't legally sell an automobile unless you can show you own it. Proof of ownership. If can't prove ownership and they take your possession, that is called STEALING. And, fraud upon the courts.
insideguy April 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
The 123 Refinance is a bank and government scam. My house is upside down and I have been unable to obtain a new loan to lower the interest rate and monthly payment. The banks tell me that the ratio of value to loan is too high (which is the entire point of the 123 Refinance). My mortgage provider told me that they have not seen ANY of these types of loans go through. You hear all this hype about the government helping; it's a load of c**p to get votes for Obama.
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I agree. If banks were so morally upright as they would have us believe by their advertising, the world would not be in this mess. It they were not gambling with our deposits by lending them out ten times and more and peddling our loan papers all over the world. we would not be having this conversation. People, read the articles and such. Dylan Ratigan's commentaries alone will show you what's really going on. Then, don't point the finger at the little old homeowner. The problems are worldwide...not just in the U.S.A. Sure, there are always some who default on payments, pie-in-the-sky American dream and all of that...but those are NOT the majority of people who defaulted on these bogus loans. At any given time there is always about 4% foreclosures going on...NOT 40% !!! That is likely the more accurate figure, though news has reported up to 24%. That figure is still alarming. And, we are not finished! That alone should tell us something is rotten in Denmark. There was an audit done recently by the County Recorder's office in San Francisco. Google Aequitas Compliance Solutions. They took a sampling of 2,000 foreclosures and found that 85 per cent were fraudulent. Same goes for Los Angeles, so you know it's nationwide. The New York Times covered it on February 15, 2012, by Gretchen Morgenson.
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Yes. I agree with your statement to some extent, HP Frenchy. I believe the problem lies in that banks had to give loans to anyone who could breathe, because they were running out of A paper (good credit) customers and needed to get more people into the system to make more sales to Wall Street....because the profits were so gargantuan...or their scheme would die. That is why the derivative market is called a Ponzi Scheme. Because they have to create more and more derivatives/loans to keep it going. When the market starts to dry up, you have to find new victims. (pyramid) If you've been paying on a home for 15 years and never missed a payment, for heavens' sake, wouldn't you think a bank would work with you?? Just lower the interest rate by one point to make the payments affordable? Further, people who newly bought expensive homes were lied to by the banks and brokers and told they could just re-finance in a year and get lower payments. Banks deliberately took advantage of peoples' ignorance, but also we as a people are not educated and do not expect to be scammed in this country. So, something is wrong when you can't trust anyone you do business with in this country, when the OCC, SEC, attorneys general, courts, and others, are not doing their jobs by enforcing laws and sweeping millions of bad loans under the corporate rugs. Banks have ruined our County Recording systems irreparably with their bogus recordings and lack of assignments. How do we fix that??? What a mess!
Carl Showalter April 26, 2012 at 06:01 PM
"If you could buy a home with a couple of thousand dollars down, or nothing down, at a low interest rate, you would." Not really, no. The proverbial free lunch does not exist.
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
It sounds like another dead-end program. That's a shame. There was HAMP, TARP, then OCC Foreclosure Reviews, and now this 123 Refinance deal. Makes you wonder what the intentions of these programs really are if they are not to keep people in their homes. Must be a bunch of hype. But why? I guess just more advertising to make us think that the big boys are doing something to remedy the situation (they created). Keeps people in a state of false hope. We are starting to wake up and see how these businesses have only their own best interests at heart. The pattern is becoming obvious. Take our taxpayer money and dump it into bogus programs, and then dissolve the programs because they don't work or pretend to revamp them. Then blame it all on the people (homeowners). Hmmm
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Do banks create all these loan programs just so people like you and me can make bad decisions? And then when we make these so-called bad decisions, we are then blamed by the very pushers of these loans and by people like you who do not understand the scope of what is going on? Sadly, even if we were to pay off our homes they would still not belong to us. We could not sell them with clear title moving forward. That is why so many quiet title actions are being filed and more to come. This action is to clear up clouded titles created by breaks in the chains of title...created by banks who failed to file documents, and defective documents that were recorded at our County Recorder's offices that do not allow for legal ownership of the homes by anyone! (clear title so that you own your home and/or can sell it without defects that would subject the next "owner" to a challenge) In this current state of affairs, I would not go and pay off my home. I would first get a forensic audit to see the condition of the loan. You might be surprised if you find that your loan has already been paid...and perhaps numerous times. And that no one has clear title to the property at this point. Especially if you have MERS on your loan.
Stella Meridian April 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I agree that banks are screwing over homeowners AND that Highland Park is awesome!
Linda Blair April 26, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Yes. The facts support that the bank stole my home. And they did it illegally. Your line of thinking does not match up with the problems going on right now. Yes, your line of thinking would be applicable under normal circumstances. No one I know wants to stop making payments for no good reason or trying to get a free pass. People naturally want to honor their obligations. That is why we sought help for ourselves to KEEP making payments!! Here is one definition of bitter: "angry, hurt, or resentful because of one's bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment." UNJUST TREATMENT. That says it all. We as a people are being unjustly treated. We would be robots if we had no emotion. We should be angry for being lied to, taken advantage of, and kicked out of our homes of 15 for no good reason other than stepping up to the plate to help our my families by applying for the Making Home Affordable program. We did the right thing and we got slammed for it. The bank's only intention was to foreclose, collect insurance, and sell the home again for profit. Well, the home is certainly affordable now. Because we are not in it. I guess that's what they meant by making homes affordable. And we thought when they said "spreading the wealth around" that would create a more even playing field. But what they meant was that the have-not's would be required to give more to the have's so they could become even wealthier. Rob from the poor and give to the rich? Our nation needs healing.
Marino April 27, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Linda Blair a question and a comment. When you refinanced during the bubble, what did you do with the extra money? You sound like an intelligent person but the bit about the "banks don't own our houses, they just service the loans, therefore the foreclosures are illegal" belongs with the other kookoo theories out there like "The IRS is unconstitutional, you don't have to pay taxes". The people who believe in them, rightly or not, end up broke or in jail or both.
HLP Frenchy April 27, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Marino Pascal, nowhere did Linda Blair mentioned refinancing her loan at any point. She said the bank wouldn't even allow her to refinance at a lower rate, which is a shame!
jerry April 27, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Linda Blair let me ask you this. If I buy a Ferrari with zero down and they tell me I can i drive it for for the price of a ford escort a month but in 1 year I will have to pay the real price of the ferrari and my payments will adjust. 1 year comes and I can't afford the payments and the car is repoed. Who's fault is it? Ignorance is not an excuse. I understand people are losing their homes but they should have known that it was too good to be true. Back to the subject at hand. These foreclosures are a good thing for highland park. The majority of these foreclosures are pieces of crap anway. Once the flipper gets ther hands on them, it makes room for people that actually care about their property.
Marino April 27, 2012 at 05:37 AM
HP Frenchy, do you want a bet that she refinanced during the bubble and took more money out than her balance at the time was?
Linda Blair April 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM
These are FACTS, not THEORIES. Loan audits - title work show that banks do not own our homes. Thus no right to sell. What do you call a person who takes something from you they do not own? If I want to repossess your Ferrari, I need to own your loan. If I did not want to pay the loan I would not have sought a loan modification. HAMP failed. Banks ignored applications and shredded incoming applications. They had no interest in modifying loans. (which is a form of refinancing). "Too good to be true," as you say, usually indicates a SCAM. Let me ask: Why are banks SCAMMING the public? Answer: They had to transition out of the securitization business and into the foreclosure business in order to keeping making money. I had over $100,000. equity at time of foreclosure. We wanted to stay in our home. Bank told us we could not modify unless we missed payments. When we did, they began to foreclosure. I believe new legislation states banks can no longer put homeowners on a dual track to foreclosure. See part two.
Linda Blair April 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
This is basic contract law. There are fair debt collection practices that must be upheld. There are Truth in Lending laws, banking regulations, SEC rules, general accounting rules, RICO, notary laws, and the list just goes on and on where banks have violated these laws ad finitum. Exorbitant high rates of default are no good for any country. This reflects a larger problem within the economy. The U.S. is in jeopardy of defaulting on its debt as we speak. Nations like China do not want our worthless fiat paper as repayment. The trend in judicial foreclosure states is that a bank cannot sue unless they show the court they own the loan. California is a non-judicial state. Therefore they don't have to go to court to foreclose. They merely send out papers, unverified, that deprive the defendants of due process. Defendants/homeowners/borrowers are forced to sue. Audits are critical. If you are still in your home, look for a good attorney to file a Quiet Title action. I qualified for a conventional loan with a down payment, good credit, in 1995. We made on-time payments for 15 years. i refinanced and spent most of the funds on home improvements. As our neighbor stated, the new owners are absentee and do not take care of the place. Not every scenario fits your stereotype, Jerry and Marino. The bank sold our at a gain. Jerry, please do some research. Start with www.livinglies.wordpress.com The film: Inside Job The film: Thrive Loads of videos on youtube
Marino April 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM
So you refinanced (added debt) for home improvements. Enjoy your granite countertop and stainless steel appliances from the sidewalk. I refinanced to lower my interest and speed up repayment of my loan. Now I'm not even 50 and I own my house free and clear except I just took an equity line to buy your house "all cash" 50 cents on the dollar and now I rent it out with positive cash flow. The banks have been my friend. The difference between me and you? My house still has the original kitchen cabinets and countertops from the 50s and they are not even vintage. I was frugal. This thing about stopping payments to force a renegotiation of the terms sounds like a gamble doesn't it? I'll try it next time I eat at a restaurant or buy groceries. I'll tell the cashier; "What to you mean the bill is $100?" I'll pay you nothing unless you give it to me for $80. It's not your food anyway. The farmers produced it and they got subsidized by my tax dollars." I'm not going to sit here and defend the banks. I was opposed to the bank bailout. I won't pretend capitalism is not a giant Ponzi scheme. But I'm also not going to subscribe to the theory that people who used their houses as ATMs were scammed. That's why I'm more interested in the SPECIFICS of each foreclosure case than a whole indictment of the system. Yeah capitalism is not fair. What else is new? Wanna start a revolution? OK. But I'm not going to follow you cause someone took your granite countertops.
Linda Blair April 28, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Marino. Our home was in quite a disrepair. Plumbing and electrical was shot when we got it. No granite counter tops and stainless steel, sorry. Boy, you are really harsh. My anger is toward the banks, not YOU. Your anger is toward me or your preconceived idea of me, it seems. This is a global problem, not just about the American dream and HGTV. Marino. I own an apartment building free and clear. I did not stop payments to deliberately force a negotiation. I phoned the bank three months before any payments were missed. My own foreclosure prompted me to investigate why my bank would not work with me. What I discovered was quite an eye-opener. Unfortunately, bank fraud is a world wide problem. Iceland recently implemented debt forgiveness. New Zealand and Australia are following suit. In the film Inside Job it opens with Iceland's tragic involvement in the mortgage-backed securities scheme. Whole countries were ripped off as well as other investors and borrowers. It will take a long time to repair the damage to our land title system and our economy. Iceland's economy is improving greatly since they eradicated the phony debt. I am sure you will pull out your saber on that. Google it and see for yourself. That was the best solution to the systemic problem. This is not about capitalism, though we could say it is an abuse of it. If you read my previous post you would see that 2000 loans were audited - found 85% errors. That means systemic wrongful foreclosures.
Marino April 29, 2012 at 01:04 AM
There is nothing I can do about Iceland, New Zealand or even Greece which is my home country. I can help people like you avoid similar mistakes if you give specifics about your case. When did you get the original loan and on what terms, when did you refinance and on what terms, how much did you pay for each repair etc. For instance my expenses for home maintenance over the last 20 years have been - Roof 10K - Copper piping 3K - Sewer line 2K (can be as much as 10K) - Electrical 5K - Heating 2K (can be as much as 5K) These aren't huge amounts, they don't need to be done all in the same year. The beauty of home ownership is that we can "patch" things and postpone till we have the money to do them properly. Like snake the clay sewer line for $200 every year until we have the money to replace it. Now if your house had 100K equity you could have refinanced with someone else. If you own an apartment building free and clear you could have taken an equity line from that. Nobody loses their house because they had to repipe. Sorry but your story doesn't add up. Global conspiracies have been going on for hundred years. Sure, they are out to get us. Let's not make it easy for them by doing stupid things like borrowing more than we can afford and then not paying them back. Anyway, you sound 100% convinced you have a solid case against the bad guys. So... good luck with that.
Linda Blair April 29, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Thanks, but what are you wanting to help me with? We are out of the house for a year now. Bank would not work with me and we were evicted. Two attorneys ripped us off. I guess I could call those choices mistakes. I did a LOT of work on my home and it was in top shape. I did a lot of it myself. Please don't assume so much like I don't know anything. I worked in home construction for several years. No, we were not able to refinance and also I could not get equity out of the apartment building. It is located in another state. Banks don't lend on commercial property valued under $250,000. for more than four units. Long story. I tried at least 20 times. I do have a solid case and so do most of the homeowners, though they may not know it. What is going on with global finance now is NOT a conspiracy. The Federal Reserve is a very real entity that has created the derivative market...printed more money than the world can repay. The newspapers, media, and Internet....stories are numerous regarding the bank fraud. I don't imagine you are going to do any research on that as you appear to be totally convinced that banks own all these loans and the fault lies with the irresponsible borrowers, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a conspiracy nut. Last time: Banks are foreclosing illegally. Write back when you have seen or read Dylan Ratigan, Niel Garfield, Matt Taibibi, Gretchen Morgenson, Mandelman, Judge Napolatano and others. Thanks for the offer of help.

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