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Feb 01

More Than 1,000 Inland Empire Homebuyers Tired of Over-priced Resale and Failed Bids on Foreclosures Seek New Homes at Wyeth Cove in Upland, Calif.

Wyeth Cove GrandUPLAND, CALIF.  – Feb. 1, 2010 – More than 1,000 potential homebuyers flocked to the grand opening of Wyeth Cove in Upland over the past weekend, eager to explore the first new home community to be built here in years.

“This is the first time I’ve seen new homes around here in a long time,” said Trevor Mason, a native of Upland who is now renting a place just down the street. “We really need something bigger for our family of four girls and it just seems like the right time to buy.”

There were waiting lines in front of the two single-family model homes and hundreds of home seekers took a hard-hat tour of a partially completed Wyeth Cove home just across the village green. Trumark plans to build a total of 39 two-story homes with living areas of approximately 1,700 to 2,400 square feet over the next several months.

Wyeth Cove attracted more than 1,000 visitors over two days and a vast majority of them were pre-qualified and ready to purchase, which will go on sale Feb. 6.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the level of interest in our new Upland homes,” said Michael Maples, principal of Trumark Homes.  “Frustration over failed bids for foreclosures, low interest rates and federal tax credits were among the reasons cited by people interested in purchasing Wyeth Cove homes today.”

Many home shoppers were surprised at the price tag of Wyeth Cove homes, which start in the mid-$300,000s. That is generally lower than similar resale homes in the area, some said, and would allow them to obtain a mortgage with monthly payments lower than the average lease.

“The price is spot on and there is tremendous interest out there, especially among first-time homebuyers,” said a local realtor. “There’s a huge frustration factor with people who are burnt-out trying to get into a home after being squeezed out in offer after offer on re-sales – which tend to be overpriced – or foreclosures that come with a ton of problems.  There are so few new homes out there right now in this price range so we’re going to see a lot of serious buyers.”

Hector and Lisa Arias – along with their three children – have been renting nearby for years. Now that they feel their jobs are more secure and they can afford a mortgage, they want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyer that expires in June.

“We’re looking for a good price in the right neighborhood, some place we can stay a long time and raise our kids,” Hector Arias said.

“Interest rates are so low right now that it’s really tempting to buy a home,” said Christy Fredy Abadie, who is considering a home purchase in Upland, where her mother and son live close by.

Century 21 realtor Jason Hong said the homebuyers he represents are younger than in the past, and with a little financial help from their parents, are trying to establish a foothold in Southern California.  Buyers in their 20’s or 30’s, he said, want a smaller new home with low maintenance. Period.

That is certainly the case with Kirk Johnson, who was helping his 25-year-old daughter find “a nice home in a safe neighborhood that doesn’t need a lot of work.”

Alison Smith, who lives in nearby Fontana, is no stranger to home renovation, but she’s had enough. “Prices have come down so far in the past few years that I think now is a good time to buy a home,” she said. “But I want something new.  I’m tired of repairing everything myself – I just put in new windows  – so I’m done with fixer-uppers.”

More than a few people interviewed had tried their hand at buying a foreclosed or short-sale home, only to find that the pickings were slim and the competition daunting.

One couple from Texas moved to California last summer hoping to pick up one of those cheap foreclosures they had read about in the newspapers, but it didn’t turn out that way.

“We’ve bid on four or five foreclosures and short sales without any luck,” said the wife. “Just recently we put a bid on a home that was $9,000 over the asking price of $410,000 – and still got shut out. It’s really frustrating. Makes you just want to give up. That’s why we’re here now.”

Timing is everything for Derek Yamashige, who sold his family’s home at the peak of the market three years ago and has been renting an apartment until prices bottomed out.

“I foresaw what was going to happen – it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done,” said Yamashige, who hopes to strike it lucky again by finding a good value on a new home, perhaps right here in Wyeth Cove.