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By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: It takes more than housing to make an economy boom


Last updated 2/1/2019 at 3:06pm

A shortage of anything will cause that item to become more expensive. I wasn’t an ace in my college economics class, but I understand supply and demand. When the nation experiences a drought and the cattle aren’t producing milk, we have a shortage of milk and prices go up for all dairy products. Years ago, when there was an oil embargo, gas prices went through the roof. Availability and affordability go hand in hand.

California has a deficit of 3 million homes. California needs 300,000 new homes every year for the next 10 years and there will still be a shortage because California’s population is growing. California’s population is nearly 40 million. Just 10 years ago, it was just under 37 million. But only 55 percent are homeowners. This is not because they don’t want to own a home, but rather because they can’t afford to purchase a home. The shortage of homes has led to higher and higher prices, which has a detrimental effect on the overall economy.

Governor Newsom has proposed building 500,000 units every year for the next 10 years. The problem is, he has not defined what those 500,000 units will be. Will they be single family detached homes, will they be attached structures like condos and townhomes, will they be apartment buildings, or will they be government housing?

Locally, the county of San Diego just approved a 5-year moratorium on building permit fees for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s). These are small, secondary units built on a property that has a primary dwelling unit. Built to county zoning guidelines, they can be built relatively quickly. This type of dwelling works well on our larger parcels and qualifies as new units.

Fallbrook has also embraced Horse Creek Ridge and Aurora Heights, two new housing neighborhoods. There is a new home development in final approvals off Pepper Tree Lane and local builders continue to build custom homes on the available parcels throughout Fallbrook. Fallbrook is contributing to the new housing counts in ways that conform with the character of Fallbrook.

As involved community members, we need to stay alert to any attempted hijacking of our rural lifestyle. The Fallbrook Community Planning Group works hard to protect and preserve the Fallbrook we know and love. The thoughtful development of Fallbrook must be protected.

Despite this growth, Fallbrook’s economy is not booming. Studies show that there should be a direct connection from a community’s willingness to grow and the vibrancy of that community, yet despite the growth that we’re experiencing within our ZIP code, the downtown shopping area continues to struggle. Why is that, and what can we do?

One suggestion might be to refurbish what we have. The Village area has adorable buildings and stand-alone bungalows. Some have been updated, yet many have not been maintained. There should be a standard of excellence that mirrors the excellence of the residents. Landlords are you reading this?

Is it OK to have buildings on Main Avenue that are in dire need of paint? Others that have old shake roofs and torn awnings? The owners of the commercial buildings need to embrace what many town leaders are trying to do, which is revitalize our main shopping area.

We need more quality restaurants in town. A landlord should choose a “farm-to-table” experience over another taco shop, right? Vacancies occur more quickly when the landlord chooses collecting rent over collecting rent from a merchant that enhances Fallbrook’s character.

Fallbrook has one building owner who is regularly stepping up to bring quality experiences to town. Did you know that the Mission Theater is in the process of becoming a local “bijou”? Enjoy some wine or beer, maybe some munchies, and sit back and watch a great old movie with your family and friends.

This same owner is working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance and the Fallbrook Revitalization group to make Main Avenue more of a pedestrian friendly environment than a major thoroughfare for motorists who are just passing through.

Fallbrook is already experiencing growth, now we need to focus on creating an exciting vibe that visitors and residents want, so our economy booms. Spread the word, challenge the status quo if it’s not good enough, do your part to encourage the building owners to raise the bar.

New people to town, at first glance, are charmed by Fallbrook. But we need to give them something great, so when they plan to eat out or go shopping, they always think of Fallbrook first. What say you?

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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