Would Jesus Walk Away from a Mortgage?
My husband and I have joked that our 2006 purchase of a townhome in a blue-collar suburb of Chicago must have been the single transaction that popped the housing price bubble in America. Within weeks after we signed the papers, the housing market began a historic slide that hasn't yet hit bottom.
We paid $193,000 for our property. Today, it is worth $101,000 - if we could find a buyer for it. We are now so underwater on our mortgage, I see coral reefs every time I write a mortgage check. If housing prices stopped declining today and prices began to appreciate 5 percent a year, it would take more than 13 years for the price of our house to climb back to the price we paid for it. Those calculations are far rosier than the cold reality that at middle age, we probably won't live long enough to see the prices return to the numbers we paid in the good old bubble days of 2006.
Eighty percent of the homes on the market in our town are foreclosures. We find ourselves wondering if we could simply ...1