Deep home discounts dream for some, worry for others


D.R. Horton Inc., a national homebuilder based in Fort Worth, Texas, is selling homes at up to a 50 percent discount in 23 Southern California developments starting this weekend. Bakersfield's Contessa's Vineyard II and Lavender Trails neighborhoods, both located in the larger City in the Hills development, are part of the first-come, first-served sale.

One home plan, formerly listed for $380,000, has been reduced 48 percent to $199,990, according to a company sales flier.

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Jon Hess, a 29-year-old flight instructor, is betting on securing one of those bargains. He set up camp in front of the Contessa's Vineyard II sales office Sunday, and was still in line Friday afternoon, with the goal of buying a specific floor plan for his wife and three kids.

"I think it's a good value," Hess said of the model home he had in mind. "I like the area. It's better than the northwest."

Still, he was realistic about what this kind of sale might say about the health of the real estate market.

"Who knows?" Hess said. "Maybe by this time a year from now it's going to be worth half of what I paid for it."