KPCC: Life in this iconic mid-century suburb shows how California dreams are shrinking

KPCC: Life in this iconic mid-century suburb shows how California dreams are shrinking
July 2, 2018 Pierce Monahan

On the first day of sales in Lakewood in 1950, 25,000 people lined up to have a look. At the end of the first month, more than 200,000 people had flocked to the sales office, and more than 1,000 families had purchased homes. As many as 50 houses a day were sold, with a record 107 sold in one hour. With California’s problems of affordability and congestion, many of us are paying a higher price for an ever-shrinking sliver of California paradise. Even those lucky enough to be able to afford a home often do so at the expense of some of the quintessential perks of life in the Golden State. The downsizing of the California dream is readily apparent for Jenny Gov. In 2015, she and her boyfriend bought a home in Lakewood, a bedroom community near Long Beach that was once a classic example of the mid-century suburb and all that it offered — including easy access to good jobs, tight-knit community, the beach, the mountains and nearby Los Angeles. Gov and her boyfriend moved here seeking many of the same things tens of thousands of buyers before them sought in Lakewood, only today they’re paying a higher price and getting less.

 

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