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I read a few great housing-related stories this morning and have been trying all day to come up with a thread (other than housing) that would sew ’em all together for a neat little blog post. But it didn’t happen. Check them out anyway, I say.

  • ‘Real Estate Investors Bought on Faith,’ from the North County Times, looks at a few people who bought real estate in southwest Riverside County (ie. Temecula, Murrieta) who are now facing foreclosure. One woman in the story used equity from her first home in Temecula to buy a second, a third, a fourth, and eventually a fifth property — and now she’s received notices of default on all of them. “I thought real-estate was a good investment,” she said in the story, about her initial investment in 2004. “It was going up at the time.” Some San Diegans have departed San Diego County for southwest Riverside County’s bigger homes.
  • This story, ‘Buyers Scarce, Many Condos Are for Rent’, from the New York Times, illuminates a trend in Washington, D.C., where nearly 6,000 brand-new condos are being rented instead of sold. The story says some developers face scaled back loans from their backers and have turned to renting their units out to wait out the “glut” that has formed in that city’s condo market.
  • This LA Times story about the sale of a hotel that has been an affordable dwelling for mariachi musicians for decades was of particular interest to me (I moonlight as a violinist). But it has some universal themes, too — the fight of low-income renters against what they perceived as the threat of gentrification in their neighborhood, for one. Now an organization has bought the hotel and says it will keep it as an affordable musicians’ residence. This is my favorite part:

The mariachis lobbied city officials, filed a lawsuit against the church (the former owner) for breach of contract and negligence, and even took their case to the Mexican Consulate, where they staged a musical protest that they hoped would curry the consulate’s support.

Read any great stories like these? Pass them along — just click my name below.

KELLY BENNETT

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