SUN VALLEY GOLF COURSE – It is not unusual for a school to have a parent fundraising golf tournament – with the traditional hole sponsors, closest to the pin contests, raffles and auction.
It is, however, quite unusual to have the students join their parents for the event.
That was the scene Sunday afternoon at La Mesa’s municipal pitch and putt – a nine hole course tucked in between I-8 and the city’s Community Center.
More than 60 fathers, mothers and children of the Warren Walker School picked up the sticks and headed out onto the links in the kind of brilliant, sun-drenched afternoon that this winter’s rainy weather made that much more appreciated. The tournament was named for the school’s inspirational artist and gym teacher, Savaii Seau, brother of former Charger linebacker Junior Seau.
Golf, they say, is a lifelong sport – and if that’s true, this Sunday outing launched more than a few love affairs with the old Scottish game. And, in keeping with a school activity, there was much learning to be done.
Students as young as pre-kindergarten learned not to walk in front of others’ shots. All were taught how to swing safely and there were on-going lessons in etiquette and honesty. This is, the students were taught, one of the few games in the world in which the players serve as their own judge, referee and scorekeeper.
Warren-Walker Head of School Ray Volker met each golfer as they arrived and was seen throughout the day delivering water to refreshment stands and assuring safety. Each hole was sponsored by a school supporter and, following the golf, all the families retired to the nearby golf cottage for a fish taco dinner and the announcement by Savaii Seau of the golf and raffle winners.
Undoubtedly there has been greater golf played at this little jewel of a course, but there have not been more energetic outings for a larger group of new golfers.
And there were winners: First place went to fourth grader Rachel Amaral and her dad; second place went to fifth grader Claudia Hall and her father; and third place went to Liam Hudson and his father.
In Southern California, New Homes are Rare and Costly
Source: LA Times
New home prices have soared in recent months in the Southern California region, with the median for the six-county region peaking at $538,000 in June, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. And in affluent ZIP Codes, builders are bidding up already-high land values. Overall, new homes have become all too rare and costly for the average buyer. Making sense of the story:
- A surge in higher-end projects has pushed new home prices above their pre-recession peaks, even as prices for existing homes remain one-fifth below their bubble-era highs. - In Orange County, the median new home price has topped $800,000. - Builders have piled in to pricey ZIP Codes — bidding up land costs there in the process— and polished their projects to a high gloss to woo wealthy buyers with cash or good credit.
- Projects aimed at the middle of the market remain scarce, and overall home building is off about 60 percent from a decade ago. The shortage of new lower-priced product is one factor making Southern California among the toughest housing markets in the country for middle-income families.
- While new homes have almost always sold at a premium, that premium has hit new highs this year. In January, the gap between median-priced new and resale homes in Southern California peaked at $151,000, a 41 percent premium for a new house.
- Several factors contribute to the widening price gap between new and resale homes, housing economists say. For example, competing bids drove up the cost of land in prime areas in 2012 and 2013, which means higher prices today.
- Some builders have made a conscious decision to move upmarket because they see more profit and upside in catering to wealthier consumers. KB Home is among the builders moving upmarket. The Los Angeles builder, long a specialist in entry-level homes, has shifted to more affluent, "land-constrained" neighborhoods.