Upside Down World

June 1st, 2011

by Victoria M. Johnson

In a normal world, you’d buy a house, make payments, and in a few years your home would be worth more money than you purchased it for. Real estate was ALWAYS something that increased in value. A house used to be a safe, wise investment and millions of Americans worked and saved and bought a piece of the American dream.

Until recently I hadn’t heard the term ‘upside down’ when discussing real estate values. But my husband explained to me that it meant we owed more than the home was worth. A lot more. And the situation created an unsolvable problem. You can’t sell a home that’s upside down. Good luck trying to refinance it. Here’s the kicker, for hundreds of thousands of families, mortgage payments increased! Talk about the world being wrong side up. It was enough to make this diva’s head spin.

Stranger still is the difficulty trying to purchase an affordable home in this climate. For us, promising townhomes we pursued had multiple offers and we were outbid. I quickly began losing hope of staying in the community I loved.

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