Having shown many, and listed and sold properties in Corona, this appears to be a reasonable price for this home. Let me answer your questions in the order asked.
1. Is this a house or a condo - In some parts of the US this would be called a garden home. It is a detached home, on a small personal lot, with a larger shared area which is governed and maintained by a Home Owner's Association.
2. High HOA fees - according the MLS information, the HOA fees are $70/month. This is in keeping with this type of development. The HOA maintains the streets, parks, and shared recreational areas and the homeowners maintain their own homes and lots.
3. Is the asking price real - Yes it is. Will it sell at this price, lower or higher is anyone's guess. If the home shows really well, there might be multiple offers which will push the price up. However, it is a very small home for Corona (only 1407 square feet, when many homes are well over 2,000 s.f.) and it is relatively old (1996 construction vs post 2000 construction). The prior owner listed the property for sale in 06/2008 at $285,000 (which made it a short sale) and were not able to get it sold before the bank foreclosed on it in 12/2008.
REO lenders are pricing at or slightly below market in Corona. There are almost 1500 homes for sale in Corona and many of them are foreclosures or short sales. Property values have returned to 2003 and 2004 prices in most areas. Banks want to off-load them as quickly as possible. One of my listings will be closing next week for around $300,000 and it is 2794 s.f. (nearly twice the size of this listing). We were forced to sell at this very low price due to two foreclosures in the area on exact model matches and the significantly discounted price that the REO Bank was willing to take for their properties ($300,000 and $298,000). Another model match sold just November 2008 for $350,000.
If you are serious about buying in Corona, now is the time to work with a really good Realtor who will know how to position your offer for greatest success. Prices are low, inventory is high and interest rates are dropping like lead balloons. Make a commitment to yourself and jump in. If I can be of assistance in any way, let me know. And never forget, Dare to Dream.
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty