I Heart SCV
Paying for Home
August, 2018 - Issue #167
Most people don't have a pool of their own. But with so many pools out there, one might think that the quest to find a place to float through summer is easy here in Santa Clarita. This is not the case. The price for admission to a public pool can be pink eye, and when friends let your family share their pool, there is a palpable sense that you owe them more than merely tolerating their boring chatter. And if you want to buy a home with its own pool, good luck. All around the SCV are reminders that the summer housing game is fierce, brutal and expensive.
"It seems that even people who don't currently live in the SCV heart the idea of living around here, so you best prepare for MANY NEW NEIGHBORS."

No Bargains for You
If money's tight, now is not the time to buy a home in Santa Clarita - unless you consider that it could get even more expensive. Median home prices in Valencia hover in the neighborhood of $600,000 - but some buyers are still offering well over the asking price on houses that have just barely been listed.

And all of this is to get a home in the SCV. While lovely, a long commute is in store every single day, we're rather natural disaster-prone and none of your LA friends will come up to visit you. Not ever.

Compared to other parts of the Southland, though, we're still in the cheap seats. Forbes reported that the median home price in the Greater Los Angeles region is closing in on $1 million. It's already well over twice that much in nicer communities and near the beach. There just aren't a lot of homes for sale, which means a lot of competition, a lot of frustration - and SCV homes looking like a value in comparison. As buyers broaden their search radius to include Santa Clarita, the consolation prize of LA real estate, Claritans should see home prices climb even higher. So buy now, or wait. It will be pricey - or pricier.

No Sleep for You
Being homeless in Santa Clarita isn't illegal, but it's very close. After a recent City Council meeting, certain activities associated with the homeless population are no longer allowed. By unanimous vote, there is now an ordinance banning people from sitting or sleeping on sidewalks, landscaped areas and in public buildings like libraries. People can no longer sleep in their vehicles in a public space like a parking lot. The ordinance can be enforced with fines of $100 or more, which may not be the optimal punishment for people whose entire worldly possessions fit into a couple of grocery bags.

The homelessness issue has long vexed Santa Clarita residents and politicians - to say nothing of the homeless themselves - and this tough approach was taken in no small part because of crises brewing in other LA communities. To appear less "mean," though, the City Council has highlighted steps it is taking to build a permanent homeless shelter. It is also developing plans to comprehensively deal with homelessness. Until then, it seems the only way to be homeless legally in the SCV will be to never sleep. Add insomnia to the list of problems for those without a roof over their head.

No Hills for You
The lack of affordable housing inventory and a problem with homelessness suggest that Santa Clarita needs more places for people to live. Luckily, developers are eager to evict plants and animals from their homes to build homes for people, who will then move in and complain about how all the other people are wasting water, clogging the roads and driving up home prices.
Newhall Ranch and Centennial at Tejon Ranch have much in common when it comes to supplying more housing. Both planned developments would bring tens of thousands of houses to northern LA County by developing wide open land. As a result, both projects have been mired in environmental controversy for many years, though Newhall Ranch is pushing forward more tangibly. This spring, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was unsympathetic to efforts by SCOPE (Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment) to delay or halt development, which has already begun. Big decisions on Centennial, just a short drive to the north, could also be coming soon. It seems that even people who don't currently live in the SCV heart the idea of living around here, so you best prepare for many new neighbors.
This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor. Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to
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