Prices Rise, the Empire Beckons

Thanks to the peculiar logic of Southern California real estate, down is still up. Sales of homes in Southern California declined again last month, with Orange County leading the way down– but prices kept going up. For the region overall, the Los Angeles Times reports, it was 9.7% decline, but OC saw a whopping 22.3% drop in sales. Despite that, the median price for a house in OC hit a new record, $623,000, up 10.3%.

So what does this mean for you? If this trend continues, it means that unless you are reading this from behind the sturdy, yet tasteful, walls of one of the county's better gated communities, the only way you'll be able to continue living in OC is to become a live-in servant in a home behind the sturdy, yet tasteful, walls of one of the county's better gated communities. It'll be just like the good ol' days of Medieval Europe, when either you had servants or were a servant. Maybe the better gated communities will start digging moats.

There is another option. True, it's extreme, but it's there. The Inland Empire. Stop making that gagging noise, it's rude.

There's a new publication covering that land that god forgot, Inland Empire Weekly, which claims " Few places on Earth are as misunderstood and misrepresented as the Inland Empire." The Inland Empire, you see, is actually a place of delights and wonder. (I've already asked you to stop making that gagging noise.) Among the many delights and wonders of the IE that the Weekly touts: "a major turf farming community"; "the ultra-secret/ultra-swanky Scientologist Castle"; "death... not just the high-score on accidental cop shootings of homeless women wielding screwdrivers, but so much more"; "nudist camps"; and of course,"cheese factories—two of them". Is it any mystery the new Weekly's editor claims "only in our very own SoCal Empire do we get the funky badassness that sorry sewage pits like LA and phony, plasticine OC crave"? (If it is still a mystery, you may want to read on to the editorial's next sentence, which explains, "We've also got better drugs.")

Whatever the IE lacks in immediate appeal, the IE Weekly certainly looks interesting. Some of the names appearing in its bylines will be familiar to readers of OC Weekly. And the IE Weekly also contains useful practical information. For example, the first issue has a review of Upland's Buffalo Inn, which "offers good times for the downwardly mobile". If real estate prices continue to go the way they're going, you may need a place like that.


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