The Inland Empire area of southern California is one of the hardest hit areas for foreclosures.This TV report (which I meant to post earlier) shows some of the devastation.
One guy has a business clearing out foreclosed homes. Everything must go. The people often leave behind computers, TVs, furniture, etc. He started the business a few years ago with a handful of employees. Now he has over 70. He tried to recycle the stuff, but Salvation Army and Goodwill are so unreliable in showing up that all the stuff goes directly to landfills minus whatever the crews want that they can carry away.
Another business is spray-painting brown lawns with a biodegradable, safe-for-grass green paint so the house looks better maintained and not obviously vacant.
That businesses like this are thriving shows just how bad things are there. BTW, these are good-sized homes too, 3,000-4,000 sq. ft. Bought in the exurbs by people who drove long distances to get to work. But then gas went up and their variable-rate mortgages reset to higher interest rates as the property value plummeted…