Sending Stockton our sympathies


Poor Stockton California just can't get a break. The community of 300,000, located between Modesto and Sacramento, recently earned the dubious distinction of being home to the cheapest house on the market in California.

The cost? $25,000. (Although the house in the photo to the right is appropriately rustic, it is not the house in question.)

While we prefer to avoid superlatives, and have to believe that there is a mobile home lurking somewhere out in the bleakest corner of the Mojave Desert that must be listed for less, reports say that the 600-square-foot two-bedroom home was cited as "the least expensive single-family home in the seven-county area served by the Metrolist multiple listing service that doesn't involve a bank-owned or short sale transaction."

Them's fighting words. Especially piled on top of reports that called Stockton "Ground Zero" for the housing meltdown (although many communities may be in contention for that honor) and a recent Forbes' report which put it at the top of the "Most Miserable Cities" list.

Stockton led the country in foreclosures in 2007, with one out of every 30 homes posted for foreclosure. Ouch. In 2009, Forbes also called Stockton "America's fifth most dangerous city" because of its crime rate. Need more? Charles Manson family member, "Squeaky Fromme," called Stockton home for awhile. But then, even she moved on.

If real estate is all about location, location, location, is $25,000 too much to pay for a home in a town that some have referred to as "the armpit" of California? Ask an investor buying property in Detroit what they think.