The home-buying hullabaloo

Catching up on my email today (remember, laptop out for repairs means a huge buildup of email, both personal and work-related), I saw the story in the Sunday LAT about home purchases under $400,000. Reading the first half of the story, I was struck by the “duh-factor” – of course you can still find homes out in Riverside and San Bernardino counties for under $400,000. Of course, back in 1997-1998 – not even 10 years ago, but getting close – I can remember when homes in the San Gabriel Valley were between $200,000 and $300,000 and that was getting a little too high.

But what really made me stop and say, “what?!!!” was this statement:

Head into the San Gabriel Valley, and the best bargains are in Azusa, said Marty Rodriguez, a veteran Century 21 agent in Glendora. There, buyers still can find tiny homes for $365,000 to $405,000.

“If you like flat-roof houses and some wild colors, you can find an old fixer in 700 square feet,” Rodriguez said. The upside is the proximity to downtown L.A. The nearby towns of Monrovia, Glendora and Arcadia offer the more upscale shopping and restaurants Azusa lacks.

First off, even if I were desperate, I’d be loathe to buy a condo/townhouse that only had 700 square feet of room, much less a house. Second, proximity to downtown L.A.???? Does the writer have any idea how far it is from downtown L.A. from Azusa? Or how long it takes to get there? In traffic??!!!

I know, since my church is in Azusa. I also used to have to work on Sundays, so I used to have to make the trek from Azusa to Hollywood – and that was without much traffic. It used to take me 45 minutes. That’s right – without traffic.

What’s proximity? According to dictionary.com, proximity means:

1: the property of being close together [syn: propinquity] 2: the region close around a person or thing

According to Google Maps, the distance between Los Angeles, CA to Azusa, CA is about 24 miles. Of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the different freeways you can take or morning traffic (and let me tell you, pretty much anything going west in the morning sucks). I don’t know about you all, but 24 miles does not feel close to me. It feels – 24 miles away. And then, to have to commute 24 miles AND have to live in a 700-square-foot house? Ech.

This story makes me wonder if the reporter drove out to any of these areas at all.

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