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How have collapsing home prices impacted you?
February 2nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How have collapsing home prices impacted you?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Shocking new numbers on the housing crisis which show home prices down nearly 33% since peaking in the summer of 2006.

Translation: the value of many Americans' biggest asset has dropped by one-third in just the last 5 years.

The latest S&P/Case Shiller 20-city report shows home prices posted a steep drop in November, falling 1.3%. Some of the hardest-hit cities include Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit.

Compared to a year ago, home prices are down close to 4%.

Experts say that home prices are still falling despite record low interest rates and better GDP growth. They think prices will continue to drop this year and maybe even into next year before finally stabilizing.

Some suggest prices are down in part because more sellers are willing to accept the weak market conditions and lower their asking prices.

Also playing a role is the increase of sales of properties in foreclosure - look no further than Nevada, the site of Saturday's caucuses, which is the foreclosure capital of the country. Arizona and California also suffer from some of the highest foreclosure rates.

Meanwhile the U.S. Census Bureau says that the nation's homeownership rate has fallen to 66% - the lowest in seven years.

Economists tell USA Today that while the housing industry's downturn may be nearing a bottom, the impact will be felt for years.

They say even for people who want to buy a home, they may have difficulty getting financing for a mortgage.

In short, we've got a long way to go before the housing market rebounds.

Here’s my question to you: How have collapsing home prices impacted you?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Loren:
Not yet, knock on wood. Just keeping my fingers crossed the president and Congress don’t do anything to screw up this already slow recovery.

Tom in Chico, California:
My house has lost 30% of its value, but property taxes haven't gone down at all. State and local services are struggling with less tax revenue. If a foreclosed house is "bank owned", why don't the banks pay the property taxes that they owe on their empty houses? That expense would make the banks sell them sooner and get some relief to taxpayers.

Noel in New Mexico:
Since I'm neither selling nor buying, the market doesn't worry me much. I don't even know how much my house is worth anymore, and I don't want to know. Since I have a place to hang my hat and can afford the mortgage payments, I prefer to live in ignorant bliss.

Carol on Facebook:
We live in Cape Coral, Florida. Don't ask. We're holding on tight; many, many of our neighbors GONE! Impact? This is a living nightmare.

Paul in North Carolina:
Not much at all, really. Like everywhere else, prices here have declined since '07 but my house is still worth more than it cost to build and I'm not underwater. Eventually, the housing market will heal and prices will start rising again. In most cases, people who did it the right way, with a substantial down payment and mortgage payments that fit their budget, will come through this debacle with very little pain. But there is no sympathy here for those who thought they could buy a million dollar house on a blue collar salary. Common sense is still the best defense.

Michael in Virginia:
One bathroom shared with two females. Hell by any definition.

Posted by
Filed under: Economy • Homeownership
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. David Ran

    Lost everything trying to do the right things like paying bills when values drop, cash out of pocket to sell RE investments, salary drops 40 percent etc.. Yet the banks are doing fine. American dream is a lost dream.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    Not good, Jack. Not good at all. Frankly, I'm scared. And to see congress playing political games, especially from the right side of the aisle, makes me sick. They should be ashamed. Maybe we could learn a lesson or two here and stop electing rich people to move this country forward. They're stingy, self-serving, and downright ugly, as we have all seen these last three years. Yet we keep electing the same guys with the same failed ideas, which get even more extreme as time goes by. Go figure.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  3. JD in NH

    We are very lucky to live in an area that hasn't been impacted as badly as other places in the country. We are also grateful we bought the worst house in the best neighborhood so our value has increased over the years we've owned it and put in sweat equity.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  4. David of Alexandria, VA

    Not much. Maybe indirectly in the general economy because some people have been financially clobbered by this market correction and others are not using their houses as ATM's as much. But, like most Americans, I'm not considering moving any time soon, live well within my means, and put a good downpayment on my house to hedge against market fluctuations. Something my parents taught me - something about common sense.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  5. Thinkforyourself, OK

    No, in Oklahoma the housing market is doing okay, we never had the huge bubble.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Being the most significant monetary expenditure I have made during my life time and watching that investment just whittle away and not be able to do anything about it, the impact has been adverse to say the least as the value of my home; my community; my future; my retirement; and to some extent my children's future, slowly diminish while I helplessly stand by leaves me without the proper words to describe the widespread life changing impact.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Jeff In Minnesota

    Any one that owns a home has been adversely impacted. However depending on where you live determines just how bad the impact has been. Here in Minnesota, the impact has not been so devastating in established communities where houses are ten or more years old. But in those communities that were part of the housing boom from around 2001 on, those communities are sitting on partially developed neighborhoods, partially finished homes as well as a lot of turn in the keys and walk away foreclosures. I was recently in Florida and Arizona and I could not get over the number of homes that are for sale because of foreclosure. Where I was, there seemed to be blocks and blocks of four to six homes per block with such signs. In those areas, I would guess that recovery of the housing industry and values will take quite a while.

    February 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  8. Richard Texas

    You know Jack I keep hearing the media talking about collapsing home prices but I am not seeing it where I live just north of Dallas. My property taxes are just as high as they ever were and the County and City tax auditors think my home is worth more so it must be. It is unfortunate that some people could not afford their mortgages but they probably should not have had them in the first place if they couldn't pay for them. The Dallas paper is full of jobs each and every day so there is work. The work may not be what a person was doing before they lost their job but work is work. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. There are no guarantees in life and if your depending on the government or someone else to provide for you then you already have a strike against you..

    February 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  9. pierre glenn

    Lost my house cause major bank did nt wnt help me! truely believes bank like too see yu lose yur home.Jack yes fell behind an yes went to places to help low income family! No help also tlk to lender got smart own phone wth me. Jack yes im own disability, bt this markets an bank dnt give damn abt middle,low,elderly,diabilities. Jack we are stepping stone an examples to be left out. thanx Mr. Cafferty Pierre Glenn Columba,mo

    February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  10. Bill of New Mexico

    Thank goodness, we do not have to move! Knock on wood.

    But, I hope I have more than a few years left.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  11. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,In two ways.Being underwater of course but up to date and solid.#2 It did not have to be this way,all caused by
    pure pathetic greed and COMPLETE!!! mis-managment by congress and the SEC.They have put us in 16 trillion dollars in debt,cost us our homes and they belly up to the food bar like nothing happened like they had no hand in it.Yes Jack it affected me and my country and its people.We bailed out the criminals WITH THE VICTIMS MONEY.
    David

    February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  12. Jenna Roseville CA

    How have collapsing home prices impacted you?

    Not at all Jack. My house has been paid in full for a number of years now.

    However if you were to ask my daughters one would tell you that she snatched up a sweet deal getting a short sale 5 year old 2800 sf 5 bed 3 bath 2 story for 300K in a great neighborhood in Northern CA, while our other daughter lives outside of Dallas (in Rick Perry Country) where she is upside down on her house in the tune of 185K

    It depends on where you live and when you bought and what kind of loan you got.

    I am hoping that our daughter in TX will benefit from Obama's refi plan so at least she can get a better interest rate, but they are current and have never missed a payment so they may not even get to apply.

    Remember when GW's buds came up with that Interest Only Loan scheme for homeowners and subprime lending schemes.. This is what caused the housing bubble to burst. Not sure why we are not seeing people go to jail over this..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  13. Doug Ericson

    We havn't had to sell, so it hasn't impacted us directly yet. The Investment Companies have to get out of the Mortgage business for their own survival, even if they don't care about the rest of the Country. Pooled Mortgage Securities have to be outlawed. Either that or bankrupt the entire country. Your choice boys. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I cannot afford to move or sell so I am planning on staying here until they carry me out in a body bag. I don't have much but what I have is paid for. I wasn't stupid enough to get caught up in a low floating mortgage. I do think a lot of people were swindled and talked into a house they could not afford and the people that done this should have to pay by going to jail.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  15. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    I am locked into this condo, which is half of what I paid for it, until I pay off most of the primary mortgage. Our current payment in today's market would allow us a much bigger house, but we can't sell and still get credit and have money for the down payment. Even people who aren't technically underwater can't sell for enough value to move up. The only answer to ending what is arguably another Great Depression is principal reduction, which will allow prices to start going back up and help even those who were not modified.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  16. Paul From Austin Texas

    It just makes me see that the banks have end plan. That plan being the banks own everything and we all rent form them. If this is not true why do they push the reverse mortgage so much.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  17. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    One bathroom shared with two females. Hell by any definition.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  18. Dave - Phx

    They haven't. I did not run out and buy a $400,000 dollar house back in the market hayday when I could not afford one. If it's value is now $200,000 then that is just too bad for the greedy person who though that they would sell it for $800,000 in 10 years.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  19. Jk from Minnesota

    Not as much as the Rotten GOP controlled MN legislature's "no new taxes" montra has. Their solution to handle a state deficit was partly to lift the tax table at one end and let it run down to the property taxes – they are rising.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  20. Pete from Florida

    My home lost about 40% of its value, so much that I lost all my equity and the mortgage went underwater. Still, my family and I wanted to move to the Gulf Coast, so we ate our losses, paid of the mortgage, and moved on with our lives. Actually, most aggravating is when I found out that selling my home at a loss is NOT a valid tax deduction; seems strange that you can deduct just about every other kind of actual financial loss, but NOT when you have to sell your home for less than you paid for it. The IRS seems to always find another way to screw average Americans. Sad, really.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  21. curtis in philadelphia

    Jack, I once had a house price collapse on me, didn't feel a thing, I rent.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  22. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    I've been lucky so far that they have not, but in the next 6-12 months they will. And I'm going to bit the bullet and live with it.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  23. Ron WPAFB

    December 2010, I was real worried with orders to Wright Patterson AFB and owning a house in San Antonio less than two years! Being Military, we weren't stupid and picked the right house. 16000 homes for sale in the SA Metro area, 4 with inground pools, two of which in neighborhoods least likely to get shot in. I owned one of them! Secondly, and I can't express this enough, ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE NO CREATED EQUAL! A legend at Remax, Lisa sold our house in three months and we made enough, in a time house prices were going down, we made more than we paid. Enough for us to break even within a few dollars, even after Real Estate commissions. They all get paid the same but they don't all do the work! Find a reputable Agent in a Brand Name Agency!
    We came to Ohio and rented in a prime neighborhood, actually in the Dayton area, Beavercreek is the prime! Did you know that the highest income per capita in Ohio is Beavercreek which is right next to WPAFB. The housing in Ohio least affected by the Buble burst once again, Right around WPAFB. That doesn't say alot about the rest of the state, well, maybe it does. John Beohner is from here and it seems to be a Red State, and it's dying, except for WPAFB!! Housing market here sucks! And we don't plan to stay a day in Ohio longer than we have to. It's like stepping back into history here!
    We just looked at a house in Glendale, AZ. A retirement home, 3500 Sq Ft and the entire Back Yard is Pool and Jacuzzi, four car Garage! It's going for one half what it sold for new 4 years ago. $224,000 . We just had no one to stay in it for two years and passed.
    It is a damn shame what happened to the Housing Market, but we can all sleep well at night knowing no one went to jail over the Mortgage and Bank Meltdown. And yet the Republicans STILL want to de-regulate the industry!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  24. diridi

    impacted rich not buyers. this is buyer's market. In front of my home is already sold out....OK.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  25. Larry in Houston

    How have collapsing home prices impacted you ??

    To be perfectly honest – It didn't affect us personally, as it did others. The factory that I used to work in shut down /and closed it's doors in 2003 – this was before this housing bubble "peaked" so to speak. My wife told me to quit complaining, she said that I complained too much, Jack. She told me that If we stayed up there, (back East) we Both would be working for minimum wage (after they sold out) and would have a difficult time making ends meet. She also told me that I need to "Be Thankful" regarding our situation. So – I guess she's right Jack. I'm Thankful – I'm Thankful I get to Visit once a yr – to see some "Fall Foilage"

    Larry IN Houston ( not From)

    February 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  26. garrick

    hey jack

    its impacted everyone but the people in Washington that we elected or running for the President job,it seem they bet against us lossing everything so I just dont pay them.their all alot of cons.

    g-man st pete , fl

    February 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  27. Mr D

    Not me personaly, but my daughter and her family exhausted their 401K before losing their house to foreclosure after a job loss. "They didn't get a bail out."

    February 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Loren

    Not yet, kock on wood. Just eeping my fingers crossed the President and Congress don't anything to screw up this already slow recovery.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  29. tom,chico,ca.

    My house has lost 30% of its value ,but property taxes haven' gone down at all.State and Local services are struggling with less tax revenue.If a foreclosed house is "BANK OWNED" Why don't the banks pay the property taxes that they owe on their empty houses. that expense would make the banks to sell them sooner. and get some relief to taxpayers.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  30. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    I have been a renter, long before the housing bubble burst. Now, in an awful market, with low rates maybe its time to get back into a house?- NAH.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  31. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Since I'm neither selling or buying the market doesn't worry me much. I don't even know how much my house is worth anymore, and I don't want to know. Since I have a place to hang my hat and can afford the mortgage payments I prefer to live in ignorant bliss.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  32. Paul - North Carolina

    Not much at all, really. Like evrywhere else prices here have declined since '07 but my house is still worth more than it cost to build and I'm not under water. Also, I'm retired and not planning on going anywhere soon. Eventually, the housing market will heal and prices will start rising again. In most cases people who did it the right way, with a substantial down payment and mortgage payments that fit their budget, will come through this debacle with very little pain. I feel very sorry for people who took big losses because they had to move to get or keep a job and for people who were foreclosed because of long term unemployment. But there is no sympathy here for those who thought they could buy a million dollar house on a blue collar salary. Common sense is still the best defense.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  33. Gary H. Boyd

    It's a treasure trove for me Jack. My house is paid for. I have money in the bank and live in Arizona. Properties are dirt cheap, interest rates are low and I'm buying. If the current situation continues I could end up owning Phoenix.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  34. Gigi Oregon

    We did refinance from a loan we got 5 years earlier which lowered are interest rate from 7% to 4% which was a large savings and we moved from a large bank to a local credit union. Which was a double blessing. But...two of our grandchildren living the America dream which was a 'nightmare bubble" not so good.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  35. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    From a personal standpoint, Jack, I don't have that concern as right now I still live in my childhood home, with my parents. I can sympathize with those who have lost their homes to foreclosure. President Obama is not to blame for this, however, and I get really disgusted both with my GOP-voting friends and with the GOP candidates themselves for placing this all at Obama's feet. If the GOP candidates have a plan for righting the wrong that's been done..they need to lay it on the table instead of accusing Obama of not taking action.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  36. Terry in Virginia

    Houses in my area have taken a huge hit. For a long time, my house was floating just above the water line. In the last year, it has sunken below that. My mother's house is so far under water it might as well be sitting on the bottom. Our friends and neighbors are in the same boat. None of us can afford to refinance or sell. Every night I pray that this economy will turn around soon in spite of the fact that I gave up on "hope" a long time ago.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  37. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    For me, no negative impact. But that is only because the price of my home was not artificially inflated by rank speculators, nor was the mortgage written by a third grader at BofA. Most Americans don't spend the time it takes to understand the pitfalls and traps of buying a home, because they expect their government to be regulating the industry. Well, surprise! The government isn't capable of, or interested in, protecting you from unscupulous bankers.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  38. John from Alabama

    Jack: The value of my home has dropped by 20%, but at least I am still living in my home. Of course, I can not sell my home, but then no one in my town is selling their homes quickly. I think many who could buy a home are young, and can not appreciate what a home brings to themselves. Many are waiting for life to get better, but life belongs to the risk takers, sometimes. The rates are as low as they are going to get in America. My father in 1950 purchased his first home for 3.5%. It was a VA loan. My father was a World War Two veteran.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  39. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    I have come to the conclusion that collapsing house prices do not affect you that much if you stay in your house. It's like stocks. If you don't sell while the market is down, you don't lose any money. The only people who should be selling right now are those who have to relocate to find work. If common sense prevails, Americans can overcome the housing market collapse by waiting out the storm. This is a nation who buys new cars and is immediately upside down on the loan the minute they drive it off the lot because of the depreciation. We just keep our cars until we get them paid for and then we can do it again. We can sit in that new car on the dealership showroom floor and breathe in that intoxicating new car smell and sign on the dotted line.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  40. Ed from California

    It's not the housing collapse that has all of us effected, it's the lack of private sector jobs. Since Bush, the US has lost 50 thousand factories, laying off millions of middle-class workers. If, people had work, that's now being done in foreign lands, were back here in America. then, buying a 300K home or any priced home for that matter would be easier to obtain and pay for. We got into this mess because of Bush and his Ownership Society, that put people into homes that couldn't qualify to buy a stick of gum on Monday. But, was qualified to buy a home on Tuesday. Who made out in this fraud, is real estate agents, bankers and loan officers. Who lost, the entire middle-class. Why, no one is in jail is beyond belief. Mr. Boehner, wher are the jobs.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  41. Ed in California

    The double-wide just ain't worth as much as it used to be!

    February 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  42. Nancy - Pella Iowa

    Jack, I have been a real estate Broker in California for over 30 years (now inactive) and experienced many market slumps due to economical downturns. It was my experience that when the market began recovering, sales prices dropped at first. The reason? Because sellers were willing to negotiate and drop their prices because buyers had been so scarce and they didn't want to lose a sale. As the market improved, prices gradually stabilized and suddenly got very heated when both buyers and sellers realized prices were rising. This could be good news at this point.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  43. Denise

    Ohio
    While this crisis has not affected me personally, we need to look back at when this started and why! Loans to people who could not afford to by a home, over building in the desert areas of Nevada , Arizona and Utah. This all started 7 yrs. ago... not 3 yrs. ago. Unemploymenet rates were already skyrocketing in 2008. It isn't an easy fix and yes it will take time. We didn't get here in 3 yrs. It took eight years and two wars! So why is the President being blamed for our situation? It doesn't make any difference whether he be Democrat or Republican... that doesn't make it fair to blame a President who came into office in the middle of a catastrophe!!!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  44. lil magothy. annapolis, md

    I see my area being overrun with empty homes, foreclosure signs, short sales, and property deterioration. Personally, since our home is paid for, on the plus side it means lower property taxes upon reassessment. On the down side, it means we may be stuck in the very expensive state of Maryland a long time before the house can be sold and we can retire to a less expensive, less developed, and more civilized area of the country.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  45. Allan

    A young friend of mine died trying to work three jobs to make his mortgage. He fell asleep at the wheel and went off the road. His wife and two year old lost everything because they had given up his life insurance to meet the bills, being as young as he was. I’m just sick at the way this country has turned out. Lending institutions are the experts, not the borrowers. They should be the ones to suffer these losses for creating the problem, not the poor kids trying to have a home for their family.

    February 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  46. Jim

    Jack,

    I'm retired and own my home free and clear, so the collapsing home prices haven't touched me personally. But I've lost some fine neighbors to foreclosures. Even if you're safe, it's tough seeing good people get hurt through no fault of their own.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    February 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  47. Dan

    We lost our house and now rent a small three bedroom.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  48. andy Lynn, MA

    If I had a job I'd be able to buy a house.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    Benjamin Franklin said it, "You have a Republic if you can keep it", nothing about a home though !

    February 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  50. Robert Corodimas

    Well Jack, the numbers are directionally correct – I've had to sell a few properties over the last three years and essentially lost my retirement fund i.e. the several thousands of dollars that were put down are gone. And the worst part of it is that I now feel I cut my own throat by voting for Obama – all that's left is his empty promises and in retrospect...lies.

    Robert from Vegas

    February 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  51. Kenneth Brown

    I feel so bad for all of those who have lost their homes or so much of its value, however, living in Hawaii on a social worker's salary the dream of owning a home was never possible until the market collapsed. I now own a beautiful place a block from the beach. Please do not hate me!
    Ken B Maui, Hawaii

    February 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  52. Marc Tallmadge

    I live in Florida and very young I bought a house in 2009 thinking that I would be in a good spot except now its worth nothing. We cant refinace do to we got a $10,000.00 assistants. Dont know what we should do? We can do like everyone else is doing and let it go in to fourclosure dont know...........

    February 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  53. rob

    Prices haven't fallen all that much here in NY. But let's face it, real estate is a century-old bubble that had to pop sooner or later. Personally, I think it needs to fall another 30-50% before it recovers. It's toxic right now. No one wants to hold it unless they're living in the home. It's also a liability when you consider municipalities are going wild with property tax increases.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  54. Aja, Utah

    We are upside down now that the prices have dropped. There is noway we can try to sell our place anytime soon. We owe more than it's worth. Our home value has dropped more than $20,000!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  55. Kurt

    Jack, being a carpenter it has taken away my income. I have only worked a few months in the last two years. Luckily, my own home is paid for so I can sit and wait for this thing to bounce back. I feel for the people who are underwater. Kurt in Illinois

    February 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  56. Cassius King

    How have collapsing home prices impacted me? I was finally able to buy a house. Remember Jack, buy low – sell high.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  57. Jessica

    I am a realtor with RE/MAX. Besides my own home losing value in the past years, my income has drastically declined due to the drop in prices. Being paid by commission on the amount of each sale means if the sale price goes down, so do your commissions. Yet we are having to work way harder to close each sale, especially if it is a short sale. When we represent the sellers we are the ones that are having to make the phone calls to work with these lenders who really don't seem to care. They will drag out what seems like an easy decision on a military families house that are now stationed across the country and can't stay in their home due to their job moving them from their home. Buyers get weary of the process and walk away and we have to start all over again. I am writing from Graham, WA

    February 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  58. Bill from Rotonda Florida

    I'm 62 years old. My house is significanly underwater. When I built the house that was not the case. I did nothing wrong. Now I am pusing refinancing via HARP 2.0. I am trapped here in my own house. My 5 year plan was to build the house of my dreams and then move into a smaller place up north. I am not sure how long my IRA will last, houses everywhere have lost 30% or more, gasoline is reaching $5/gallon. It just seems that the world is conspiring against me. Oh, and I am considring a stragegic default or short sale. I will do whatever it takes to protect what I have left.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  59. KatieP

    The collapsing real estate market has made our financial situation much weaker. Before everything fell apart we started to build a new house. That was in 2007. We finally closed on our old house this past June. It sold for more than 100,000 less than we paid for it and our current home has lost 25% of its value too. I had always thought real estate was an investment everyone should have. I don't believe that anymore. I've lost tens of thousands with market investments in 2000-2001 and now in real estate it was even worse. Beginning to think the mattress isn't such a bad idea.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  60. Guy

    Jack,

    Our mortgage is underwater and we tried to refi. We have very high credit scores and have never made a late payment. But after paying the appraisal fee and going through the process we found we could not refi. Reason is we have PMI Insurance, and if the appraised value is below the balance on the mortgage then the PMI companies will not rewrite the PMI. If we had been able to refi we could have save $3000 a year. This is a big loop hole in the process.

    Guy, New Hampshire

    February 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  61. Laverne E Brison

    My home has lost value but it is paid for. I would like to sell and move to another state but I think I will stay where I am for a while.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  62. Frank, Las Vegas, NV

    I lost my home and 2 rental properties due to the crash.I am self employed and my credit score is just as high as it was in 2006 when I purchased my last home. Currently I don't qualify for a mortgage loan under the new stringent guidlines... I am now forced to live in a rental that has a higher monthly payment than if I was to purchase a new home twice the size of the one I am living in now...

    February 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  63. Cathy

    We're in a Chicago suburb and have to move due to husbands job relocating to another part of the state later this year. We bought our house 5 years ago and have to list it for sale for $65,000 less then we paid for it back then. We didn't buy beyond our means at all, it's just how the market is now. We'll be lucky to sell it in this market, and if it doesn't sell, we're not sure what we'll do.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  64. Doug

    Issue in this part of Virginia is the local real estate tax is being imposed on the last tax assessment, not the current real values. In the last reassessment they actually raised everyone's assessed values even as the bubble burst.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  65. Dave S.

    I purchased a reasonable sized house based on what I could afford 2 years out of college in 2003. It's now almost 10 years later, I'm married, just had my second kid and there is zero chance I can sell my house at the going rate even though we have dramaticly outgrown our house. It absolutely drives me crazy for being responsible, doing the right thing, when the banks responsible for this mess get a free pass while I pay for their mistakes.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  66. Carl in San Diego

    Jack, let's face it, housing prices had become highly inflated (read: overpriced). Although California prices have always been high, they were asking $300,000 plus for a two bedroom, 1 bath home, with little to no yard in a non-affluent neighborhood. Prices are now coming back into reality, where they will be more affordable to all. I really do feel sorry for those who bought houses in the "booming" years at the inflated prices.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Common Sense in San Diego

    Unfortunately, if you lose "your" home, it means it wasn't "yours" to lose. It belonged to the bank. If I fall behind on my mortgage and then get booted, it's totally fair, it's not my house. I struggle with the mentality of many that when you owe someone for something and do not pay then it's their fault. Stop complaining about congress and banks, if you lost "your" house it's because you took on too much debt, it never was "yours" to begin with.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  68. Daniel Holt

    It hasn't as my Home is Paid for, but the $70Thousand I put into upgrades I wouldn't see a return on in this Economy..Jobs and unemployment need to become in sync, as home values are determined by."Strong market competition" that will happen in Time........ Question is as people are "Running out of Time" (Sounds Like A Movie) who will survive...

    February 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  69. romy singh

    My house price droppeed from 860 to 600. lost a job. coudnt afford mortgage of $5600. I have applied loan modification 6 times and were denied six times.now they are threatening to forclose.
    This economy is not going to turn aroound till Govt took over all the banks and start lending.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  70. Mark in Wisconsin

    Not much, Jack. But then again, when we bought in 200 we were careful not to spend more than we could really afford. While I feel sorry for any family that has lost their jobs and homes in this ongoing economic crisis, at some point caveat emptor must apply...buyer beware. Too many people bought more house then they could afford, and consequently when times got tough they couldn't hang on. Personal responsibility has to apply to many of these cases. The housing crisis will not subside until Obama is forced ourt of office. Obama did not cause the crisis to be sure...but he has no clue how to fix it either.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  71. Yuri from florida

    Jack, I bought a short sale house after months fighting with seller's banks trying to pay full asking price. 3 years later my home value dropped 15%. That is after housing market crashed. I am not impacted. I am happy even though value of my house dropped. I bought EXACTLY what I could afford and frankly I will keep making my mortgage payments until I pay it off or sell it when housing market recovers (if it recovers). What is important to keep in mind is that value of the home is not in the asking price. If you bought a house for one price and did absolutely nothing to improve the house then there is no reason why that house should go up in value. Most people who got burned by housing market were buying and selling homes, multiple homes, at the same time, each time "flipping" the house at significant profit. In my subdevelopment same exact townhomes sold for 140K and as high as 205K. Exactly what kind of person out there would get suckered into paying 60K over price it cost to build the house? Ohh I know Jack, the kind of person that wanted to make a profit by buying and selling real estate but did not do his or her homework and then cry wolf. Think of underwater mortgage as a free for all full time renter's game where you pay rent but do not have to deal with the landlord. Exactly why is it that home value goes up substantially just because someone bought it and lived in it. Like used cars it should diminish in price unless improved and even then overall home price should not exceed cost of improvements done. When will people learn Jack?

    February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  72. Stephanie - Seattle

    Housing prices have played a big part in causing us to change our retirement plans. Though we may be more fortunate than many, our largest asset has been substantially decreased causing us to put off retirement for anytime in the foreseeable future. In spite obama and the dems slamming some on the right for saying the market has to correct itself, I think they may be right. Artificial means may only cause a rebound to take longer. Another way this has effected us is that we're mad as heck at our government. They allowed corruption and acted foolishly on BOTH sides The dems demanded everyone gets a home regardless of their ability to afford it and Bush signed off on zero down mortgages. If only congress would have listened when Bush warned that Fanny and Freddie were in trouble, or if only Bush would have acted with a backbone. They're all to blame and if anyone should pay, it's them and the banks they allowed to behave so badly. They missed the boat though when they bailed everyone out.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  73. ANTONIN Z. SERGELIN from San Diego

    Jack, The housing crisis has adversely affected me in the following ways. My perfect FICO score is now hovering at around 600 and about to go lower as I am now forced to short sell my rental condo because I can no longer pay for that and financially support of my elderly mother. The loft that I want to make my retirement home is about $155K under water and I can not refinance because I do not have the Loan to Value ratio nor, now, the FICO need to take advantage of these historically low interest rates. I did nothing wrong! I supported my mother, I did not take advantage of minorities and sold them loans they did not understand. I paid my bills, I did not package loans that I knew were bad and sold them off to others. I served my country, I did not cause the American economy and subsequently the world economy to nearly collapse! Antonin Z. Sergelin, LCDR, USN(ret)

    February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  74. Patrick- Florida

    There are many things that contribute to the housing market fall. and anyone that had there eye on the ball could have seen it. I worked on some of the homes and there was man working there from england. He told use they over built and it devalued the house prices and took then ten years to recover. We knew just as POOR WORKERS that the houses were being over built. Why couldn't the GREEDY see it, but then again there you go. The house are over priced 110% anyway as reported back then by the Orlando sentinal. The president tried to help people and it was not so much his plan as it was the Banks, a friend of mine I been helping straighten out her problem, has been fighting with the bank every step of the way. They say you don't live there, so she proves she does. Then they say the adress does not exist, she proves it does. On and ON get the point.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  75. Rick

    I lost 80k in equity on my home almost have it's value. I'm 10 years into the mortgage payment and upside down by about 30k. I have good middle class income and make the mortgage payments with no problems and I decided two years ago to tough it out no matter, but I feel like I'm putting money into a black hole after being duped by the housing industry to buy over priced homes. It's tough to stick it out and hope for a market return... especially after you feel like the big sucker that got scammed by the builders & banks in an overpriced national market and such a miserable outlook. Banks are of little help so don't look that way.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  76. Ken

    In August of 2006 I was 25, and had been in my current job in Chicago, IL earning a six figure salary for over a year and a half. Everyone around me was telling me to stop throwing away money on rent, that buying a place was the best investment. On top of that, I was getting advice from people saying to buy as high as I can afford, it'll be the fastest way to get rich. Well, I had no money for a down payment, but that didn 't stop a lender from offering me a subprime mortgage (I really didn't understand what it entailed) with $0 down. When I went to refinance a few years ago, I actually owed MORE than the purchase price of the condo because it was an interest only loan. It's now six years later and I'm lucky enough to still have a job and be able to pay my bills on time, but I have a monthly housing payment of $3,500 and even after six years of paying a mortgage I owe much more than i could hope to sell it for at this point. I feel betrayed by the entire financing industry, and naive for ever buying this place. It was by far the biggest financial mistake of my life and nobody should have given a 25 year old a giant mortgage by himself with no down payment!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  77. Mary

    The collapsing price is bad enough, but combined with huge insurance increase, we are paying more than ever for a house we can't sell. My daughter and son-in-law are ready to commit credit score suicide (they have perfect credit) to short sell their townhome.
    I would love to ask Romney why banks won't negotiate with owners for a mortgage reduction, so the owner walks away and the bank sells the home for much less than what the owner was willing to pay.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  78. Frank

    It allowed me to buy a house for cheaper. I consider myself extremely lucky as I've watched many of my friends lose their job and not be able to find a new one while the recession has largely passed my wife and I by (knock on wood). I pay my credit cards off every month, I carry no debt and have been saving for years, so when the economic downturn occurred I thought it was the perfect time. I wish more people were in a similar position.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  79. Frank

    The collapse of housing prices have not had much of an impact on me. How about this Jack, I purchased my house to live in, not to speculate with. I refused to use my "roof over my head" as an ATM machine to buy TV's and SUV's. I bought a house I could afford with a down payment, the traditional way. If people did not treat their home like a poker table than this country's housing market would be in far better shape.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  80. James

    My wife and I bought a home in Nevada in '05 we paid a little over $320,000 at @ 8% We checked the value two weeks ago and it worth @ $140,000. We can't get a refi to a lower percent because we owe much more than the house is worth. I can afford the payments so I can't go bankrupt! MY GRANDCHILDREN WILL NEVER GET THE MONEY OUT OF IT THAT I PUT IN TO IT! Eevery person in the senate and the house of representatives need to lose their jobs! I'm 37 years old and have three girls the ages of 5 to 5 months old. That's a long time to get my money back.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  81. jean2009

    Every property has lost value. However, worrying about it depends on whether you are paying for, or own, your home, whether you need to currently sell your home, whether you can meet your current mortgage payments. These are all variables....as a senior who owns their home without a mortgage...the market will eventually level out. I feel so sorry for those who are currently facing the loss of their home or the value of their home for any reason.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  82. Sandstone.

    "Not me personally! But it must really effect everybody. When the Bank hurt's just little, then you get to bleed a little also. But don't worry, Jack, you can always get a tetanus shot."

    February 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  83. Cynthia

    My husband and I (and our story) are the poster children of the housing collapse. We tried selling our home of 14 years in Minneapolis from 2005 to 2009. MN was especially hit hard - the bubble was HUGE and exploded BIG. Most homes have lost a minimum of 40% value. We finally sold our home in short sale losing upwards of $1M July 2009. My husband was a shopping center real estate developer, I was a residential realtor. We both lost our livelihood. We needed to sell in order to move to NE Pennsylvania to accept a job. YES, NE PA believe it or not ! ! We are counting the days until we move back to MN this summer to a housing market that STILL has not recovered. Hopefully, this time we will have some kind of advantage/opportunity of buying instead of selling at the bottom of the market for a change!!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  84. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    I bought my home during the first Bush recession in 1991, and paid it off during the second Bush recession in 2008. It was clear to me then that the prices of homes were twice what they were worth and in a bubble. Even a small 1000 square foot house was selling for $200,000. When the market collapsed the prices almost became affordable for working people to put some money down. But, the wages of those working people have also dropped to levels that teenagers made in the past. So, there is still no relief or realism in the realestate market yet. Pundits say that the reason consumers aren't buying is due to an uncertain market. The truth is: WE'RE BROKE!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  85. Gerry in California

    Our collapsing home price arrived a couple of years after the collapsing stock market that lost 75% of our portfolio and the collapsing real estate investment market that reduced our income by 75% and lost 25% of our capital and froze the remainder since June 2008. In 2011 we were faced with foreclosure on our home we had lived in over 30 years and were able to finish a Deed In Lieu and avoid foreclosure. The house was valued at less than $300,000 on a loan value of $875,000. We are lucky to be renters instead of living in a van down by the river. Other than that, the lender and the government offered no help. Had our home price not declined by almost 75% we probably would have still been in the same position. So, I guess you could say that the collapse of our personal home value was just part of the problem.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  86. Bill from Acworth GA

    Jack, my wife and I retired a few years ago. We were planning to sell our large house, and either buy or rent a smaller, managable place. then the bottom fell out. now we will be stuck in this large house probably until we die. One problem with that; we have a mortgage on this place with several years yet owed. We had a sizable equity in the house, but that is now almost completely eaten away buy the plunging home values. Our kids could not manage the mortgage and upkeep on our home. So, it very well could be totally lost, to include what little equity still remains.
    Sorry statement on the sorry state of affairs in this country.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  87. William Lee

    Jack , My mortgage is twice my homes value so what's new.The land was worth about 40,000.00 when I purchased the home in 2005. Looking at gold prices then as compared to today ounce for ounce 40,000.00 would have increased to aprrox 160,000.00 for the same quantity of gold so just talking about land why hasn't this offset the property value. We have inflation at the same time depreciation of our assets. That's not all! Down the road we have another storm on the home ownership forcast namely: Roofs will fail. Homes have no equity and roofs are not cheap It's not if roofs will fail it is when and when this happens it will be on an epic scale! Roofs will fail and what then mold and health issues? Mold has been one cause for condemning dwellings. So Then I ask who is going to get the blame The President or Congress? The Housing issue is far from over! Fire Congress!

    February 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  88. Joe Young

    From Slippery Rock, PA

    We've been lucky. But, we bought my brother-in-law's house and rented it back to him so he and his family could stay. Should you mention this, please withhold name and location so as not to embarrass them.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  89. Suzanne Garner

    Falling housing prices meant we couldn't sell our beach house when our retirement savings took a hard hit. It meant the bank refusing to consider lowering payments or even a decent offer as a short sale. It means we no longer have a good credit rating and can't refinance our primary residence mortage to take advantage of lower interest rates. Further insult was added by lost rentals because of the Gulf oil spill which put our rental company out of business & us out of lost revenue (because our rental company never paid us for last summer's rentals). We've hired lawyers to sue the rental company and to help keep us out of foreclosure.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  90. Larry in Houston

    How have collapsing home prices impacted you ?

    If we were living elsewhere, I guess we would be in the same boat as everyone else, Jack – But we've been down here in mosquito & fireant country for the last 7 years. (please don't tell my wife that I just complained, Jack) (that wouldn't be good for me) Doin good as a matter of fact. I guess we're one of the lucky ones, Jack. I read the news on the internet, instead of buying the chronicle + watching CNN. Plus seeing you and Blitzer is my favorite T.V. Show of each and every Day, Jack. The last time I actually read the chronicle, I accidentally dropped it (in the bathroom) on my big toe, and it took almost a week before it healed, Jack. I decided to place the newspaper on the scales in the bathroom, and found out that it weighed around 6 lbs. I believe the want ads were around 20 pages long, every week.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  91. Jimmy in Virginia

    I've had my home for sale for a year. I paid $189,000 for it in 2007 and owe $153,000. An apprasier says it's worth $135,000. I have learned what a deed in lieu of foreclosure and short selling and I know this is what I will have to do either way. I've never heard of this before, but this housing market has made me an expert. It kills me not to pay my bills, but with this economy there is no other way around it.

    February 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm |