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Hello, Fools!

I'm 45, single independent, and a first time prospective home buyer/house hunting, AND I live in Los Angeles! Talk about housing prices racing ahead of your ability to save.....AND I'M A RABID SAVER and a freak about debt!!!! My fear of being in debt is the reason I'm not a homeowner at 45 years of age.

One house I was considering gouged up to over $65,000 in the 4 1/2 months I was searching on the web site. Since I live only 5 houses down from this property, I wanted to see what all the raucous was about! It's in foreclosure/the bank has it! And to top it off, in 1990 the very same house sold for $160,000 (courtesy of the Fool's Home Price Check). Remember I said SOLD for, not what it's value was actually assessed at by the tax assessor( listed it's value at $64,500). And the work that that needed to be done was extensive! I don't think the previous owners could even afford a hammer and nails or a bucket of paint! I understand that you usually end up paying the current market frenzy value; But #!*& it all, I want a home to live in, not as an investment instrument that I turn over in 6 or 8 months for a profit!

The homes in the neighborhood across the street and around the corner shot up from an average of $255,000 to $650,000-$850,000 within a period of 9 months! No, I'm not exaggerating! Most of them are still on the market.

Some of these very same homes' with their ever escalating prices have been turned over 2 - 3 times within the last year (courtesy of Fool's Home Price Check). One home had been sold and resold for an eye popping 6 times within 14 months! Price steadily increased.....

I also recently learned at a recent community town hall meeting, that predatory lending practices are rampant in the region. Mayor Hahn has now passed legislation to prohibit the practice! The usual victims are immigrants, the elderly (refinancing), and first time home buyers/low FICO score consumers (like me), in that order.

Needless to say, my fellow Fools, I'm sittin' this one out! Everyone keeps teasing me about "saving myself out of the market"...So be it.

By the way, they are all always bemoaning their bills (debt), including their mortgage and how many times they've refinanced, seconded or third....on and on and on it goes. Geez, misery really does love company.

Sorry for the long post, Fools. I've learned so much from you all. Thank you!

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