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The Housing Crisis Marches On

It's beginning to feel like this mortgage crisis has been going on forever. It's in the paper everyday and is the main subject of the cable news channels. At the same time, home values have continued to decrease, sales are slow and foreclosures are high.

This morning's newspaper had an article about home values. It seems that people who are selling their homes have an unrealistic idea of what the home is worth. Realtors continue to advise them to decrease the price to meet the average neighborhood value. For most sellers, this is absolutely out of the question. Imagine that in your neighborhood there are several foreclosures that are being sold at a very low price. This problem is bringing down prices of the homes in the immediate area. For many sellers today, they owe more than what their house is worth. They are faced with either staying put or abandoning the home and losing everything they put into it. The situation is so out of control that one has to wonder if it will ever get back on track again.

Living in Florida, I have been able to see this firsthand at a fast rate. Every weekend we see another moving truck in the neighborhood pulling belongings out of a home. As the grass starts to get higher each week, we know that it is another foreclosure. It's not surprising since the unemployment rate in Florida is high especially in the county that I live in.

We do know someone who was allowed to rent the home from the bank when they no longer could afford to pay the mortgage. This sounds much more reasonable and would reduce the bank's loses until the home is sold. It would also help to sustain the market values of the homes in the surrounding area. It seems that as the foreclosure problem got worse, more banks would have chosen to do this. Instead, the majority of people have left their homes to foreclosure because the banks didn't want to deal in any way.

Thus, they have created a major crisis for everyone, even those who are still in their homes and paying their mortgages. So far, the number of mortgage modifications is very low as compared to the number of foreclosures. Is there an end in sight for this crisis?



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