Are Lenders Redlining Entire Cities?


by Roberta Murphy

Redining in San Diego
Redlining San Diego Real Estate?

Redlining is a term that describes the unethical if not illegal practice where lenders red line a neighborhood or community, making it very difficult for buyers to purchase in these afflicted areas.

I have recently heard from a couple of direct lenders, Countrywide Home Loans and Bank of America, that most if not all of San Diego County real estate is in the red zone.

Qualifying for current red zone status simply means that the subject property is located in a declining market area. The impact of this colorization is significant to both the San Diego real estate market as a whole and to first time home buyers in particular.

How this version of redlining works creates a no-win situation for buyers putting down less than 5 percent.

Even if a buyer has negotiated a bargain purchase price, say 10 percent under market value, the appraiser will automatically deduct another 5 percent from the contract price to determine a value. In other words, a borrower cannot get away with putting less than 5 percent down.

I spoke with Brian Brady a couple of weeks ago about this matter. I had been told by a representative from a large direct lender that San Marcos, CA was in a red zone, and would be subject to different lending standards. Brian bristled at the thought of redlining, declaring it an illegal practice unless an entire region were painted red.

Well, it seems that most, if not all of San Diego County real estate, is swimming in blood.

One of our agents is struggling with a couple seeking to buy their first home in the Shadowridge area of Vista, CA. The buyer is an automobile service manager in nearby Carlsbad and his wife is an attorney. They are conservative in lifestyle, and can afford payments on a $417,000 home. However, they are short on down payment. And with current lending guidelines and the unavoidable prospect of buying in a red zone, they can no longer qualify for the 100 percent loan Countrywide Home Loans had promised.

And what makes this particular case so interesting is that the home is a foreclosure held by Countrywide as an REO (real estate owned). Any reasonable person would think that Countrywide Home Loans would jump through hoops to get this liability off their books especially with buyers like these.

Wouldn’t reasonable minds agree?

Listed below are all current listings of homes for sale in Shadowridge area of Vista:

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986 Lupine Hills Drive 88 Vista, CA 92081

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,325 SqFt
Status Contingent
MLS # 170047259
Property Type Attached
SHORT SALE! Rare 3BR single level ground floor unit is located in the Shadowridge Glen. 3bed, 2 bath with a patio approx 9x22 is the perfect starter home that just needs a little TLC and some updating. Includes a detached 1 car garage. Great location and conveniently close to shopping, schools, restaurants and freeway 78 access.

1223 Tesoro Vista, CA 92081

4 Beds
3.5 Baths
3,381 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180009519
Property Type Detached
Located in Vista, this unique two-story home boasts four bedrooms including a first-floor dual-master suite, three and one half bathrooms, a large bonus room with a wet bar including a sink and wine chiller, and 3-bay tandem garage. The gourmet kitchen showcases stylish granite countertops, stainless-steel GE® appliances including refrigerator, an island with a sink and eating bar, and beautiful cabinetry with soft-close hinges. Also included Ruckus® Wi-Fi access points throughout the home. See Supplement

627 Via Del Mar Vista, CA 92081

$389,900 - $399,900
2 Beds
2 Baths
1,120 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180019352
Property Type Manufactured Home
Welcome to Vista Del Mar, a senior Community with HOA fees of $70.00 Monthly and includes, Club House Pool Sauna Spa Tennis & RV Parking. This immaculate upgraded home boasts an open concept floor plan with a modern flare & very nice views from the patio. Improvements: Driveway Double pain Windows Canned lights LED throughtout New Appliances Quartz counters and much more. This corner lot home sits up high with mountain views & ocean breezes close to guest parking. You will be pleasantly surprised.

1164 Casa Bonita Way Vista, CA 92081

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,900 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180019333
Property Type Detached
Light and bright with lots of windows. New vinyl wood look flooring throughout. Large formal living room, dining room combo. Kitchen has lots of counter space. Family room is adjacent to Kit with an inviting fireplace. Indoor laundry room. Fresh paint on all 3 bedrooms upstairs. Master has a large bath suite with a separate garden tub and shower, His and Her Sinks. Private wooded backyard with new sod and a large Wood Deck. 3 Car Garage. AC. Close to Restaurants, Shopping, Park and Frwy.

1061 Via Carina Vista, CA 92081

$675,000 - $725,000
4 Beds
3 Baths
2,541 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180026618
Property Type Detached
Sellers will entertain offers between $675,000 to $725,000. This well cared for single story home is located on a quiet Cul-de-sac in a small enclave of homes in Vista. A spacious & inviting home with neutral paint schemes, Plantation shutters and wood flooring, vaulted ceilings, open floor plan and a combo family room/kitchen area. Bedrooms are big & bright. The master bedroom is large and an en-suite bath with dual vanity sinks, shower stall/tub & a large walk-in closet. See supp below for more info.

718 Sycamore Ave 135 Vista, CA 92083

2 Beds
2 Baths
960 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180020502
Property Type Mobile Home
Remodeled home w/ NO property taxes! All new Kitchen! Updated Bathrooms! New floors! Double sinks & walk in closet in Master. Very private porch & patio. Slider from Master to yard & patio. Exterior offers a raised planter box, decks, 2 sheds, handicap ramp & more. Located across from guest parking, clubhouse, pool, spa & amenities. Walk to near by Stater Brother grocery store, pharmacies, CVS, Target, Walmart, Petsmart, dining, & more! Space rent is $873.41. Flat screen TV gifted w/ full price offer!

740 Breeze Hill Rd 186 Vista, CA 92081

2 Beds
1.5 Baths
846 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180020551
Property Type Attached
Huge Price Reduction! Seller Motivated!Rarely available top floor 2 Bedroom Townhome with private attached deck. This home features cathedral ceilings, ceiling fans, laminate wood flooring, fireplace, laundry closet with full size washer/dryer (included), 1 car garage and an open living concept. The common areas are beautifully maintained and pet friendly. Buy now and enjoy your summer by the pool in this well kept Breeze Hill Community!

1994 Moonglow Court Vista, CA 92081

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,981 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180026732
Property Type Detached
Beautiful two story home in the coveted community of Shadowridge. This light and bright 4 bedroom, 3 bath residence has vaulted ceilings and a functional floor plan, including first floor master bedroom. Enjoy entertaining in the back yard with gorgeous views of the golf course, the property is blocks away from Shadowridge Country Club. A wonderful community to call home!!

1681 Marbella Dr Vista, CA 92081

4 Beds
3 Baths
2,297 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180027921
Property Type Detached
Come see this beautiful family home. 4 bedrooms plus bonus room. 3 full baths, with one bedroom and bath downstairs. Spacious floor plan. Custom paint throughout. Newer floors. New bathroom counters and fixtures. Too many upgrades to list. Large private back yard is perfect for gatherings with friends and family. Close to shopping, and schools. This home shows pride of ownership. Call today to set up your private viewing of this great home.

718 Sycamore Ave 20 Vista, CA 92083

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,350 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180028654
Property Type Manufactured Home
Beautiful newer home w/ many upgrades! Trex factory front porch. 9’ ceilings & high windows. Island Kitchen w/ stainless steel appliances, under cabinet lights, & extra pantry cabinets. Solar tube. Lever door handles. Walk in closets. Extra storage cabinets in Master Bathroom & Kitchen convey. Recently installed retaining wall, concrete patio, 2nd storage shed, low rise steps to back yard, & privacy lattice on carport. Orange tree & cherimoya tree plus raised gardening area. Walk to nearby shops, Rx, etc.

1330 Krug Ct. Vista, CA 92081

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,192 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180029110
Property Type Detached
An opportunity to live in Brock Manor, a stately development in the Shadowridge community. This home is located on an interior corner of a cul-de-sac, it does not back up to a busy street. Vaulted ceilings. Partially curved staircase with wood banister. Master bedroom downstairs. Separate tub and shower in the master bath. Newer refrigerator. Fireplace in family room. Private backyard with patio, overhang, fruit trees.

2451 Melissa Ct Vista, CA 92081

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,778 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 180028809
Property Type Detached
Don’t miss this opportunity to own an upgraded home on a private corner lot off a cul-de-sac with tons of parking, AMAZING panoramic sunset views & a relaxing ocean breeze. This home has EVERYTHING with about $100,000 in upgrades! Featuring newer OWNED solar, A/C & furnace with wifi thermostat, upgraded kitchen & bathrooms, travertine floors, drought tolerant landscape & Easyturf with drip irrigation. No HOA. Solar will be paid off by the seller through the HERO program & property taxes will be reduced.


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13 responses to “Are Lenders Redlining Entire Cities?

  1. Pingback: Real Estate/Buisness News » Blog Archive » Are Lenders Redlining Entire Cities?
  2. If you were in business of lending money……Would you lend money at prevailing rates to buyers today with less than 20% down?
    Yes, lenders are in the business of lending money but at what point do they insist on having some legitimate cushion against people walking away from their homes when times get a little tough.
    It may not be legal to “redline” but if I’m in business and want to stay in business, I’d find ways to do just that.
    Your clients are successful dual income consumers that sound like they may have to learn the lesson of their parents….save, live within their means , sacrifice, and the big lesson for us all….no one owes us anything.
    Your client may be different, each has a different story, but many need the lesson that we all are learning the hard way.

  3. Billy:

    We and our San Diego real estate buyers are negotiating terrific deals on very desirable real estate. Lenders should take this into account instead of subtracting an arbitrary 5 percent off the appraised value.

    The San Diego real estate market has enough problems without lenders adding unnecessary fuel to the fire.

  4. Susan: We were told by two direct lenders that the red lines have been drawn all around San Diego County and its real estate.

  5. Paul,

    I don’t think there is a particular red zone map for San Diego real estate; rather, the lenders painted the entire county a bright shade of red.

    To do otherwise would be a federal violation.

    Hope it’s removed soon.

  6. Wow…After reading the article as well as some of the comments…that is amazing to hear. I have heard about this before and also read some articles myself. Luckily we have never had any of this pop up in the Santa Barbara areas.

    Hopefully this is not the real case.

  7. Kevin:

    Redlining is a reality with San Diego real estate lending. Santa Barbara, because of prior limitations on building, may not be suffering the same fate.

  8. Well what more can we expect Because of continuous economic downturn, many realtors and business establishment were engaged in financial issues, they tend to get big loans in order for their business to survive in this time of depression.

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