It took La Conchita, a coastal community in western Ventura County, Calif., a few years to rebound from a devastating mudslide in 1995 that buried nine homes as 600,000 tons of mud and silt poured down. By then, the mortgage lenders and insurers had begun to support home sales in the area again, and home prices climbed. Mark King, who runs MurphyKing Real Estate in nearby Carpinteria with his wife, Debbie Murphy, said the rainstorm that led up to the 1995 slide was called a 500-year event – one that only occurs about once every 500 years. Such reports may have lulled residents into a false sense of security, he added. After another horrific mudslide on Monday that killed at least 10 people in La Conchita and has displaced all of its residents, that 500-year event now appears to be a 10-year event, King said. "Over the last seven or eight years (La Conchita) was starting to rebound," he said. The housing boom really hit its stride in 1998, and price escalation in neighb...
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