How is the housing market affecting you?

Twin Cities home sales fell to their lowest level in eight years in 2010. Only slight improvements are expected this year. Today’s Question: How is the housing market affecting you?

  • Dianne

    My domestic partner and I sold both of our homes in 2008 and purchased a townhome. We bought it for $20,000 less that it originally sold. Currently, the county priced it another $70,000 before our purchase price. We use the savings in property taxes to pay off our mortgage even faster. While that is good for us, we are concerned about the cut in public services and the people who affected by those cuts.

  • hiram

    It’s a contributing factor to a depressed economy.

  • Jennifer

    I am a 32 year old professional and am finally able to search for a home in Minneapolis since the prices are so low. My partner and I plan to cease the moment by purchasing a home and establishing roots in our community. After watching some neighborhoods in the city collapse, it is exciting to witness their rebirth. We can’t wait to actually own our home!

  • Gary F

    Value of home going down, my St. Paul taxes going up.

    7 more years to go and it’s mine.

    I’m really glad I rejected the temptation to buy a bigger house years ago. Investing that money instead of making a larger house payment wasn’t as fun years ago but it has really worked out.

  • Joe Herbst

    I decided to go back to school for a Master’s degree in a different city. I’ve started classes, and am still looking for someone to buy or even rent my home. It’s hard being a college student and having to pay a home mortgage along with rent. I’ve lost faith in the idea of home ownership.

  • DMox

    I too have lost faith in the American idea of home ownership.

    I moved her in late 2009 for work, leaving my unsellable home in Phoenix to rent. Suddenly, I’m a landlord, something I didn’t want to be, and I’m a tenant, something I thought was a thing of the past for me.

    Currently my house is underwater, and I lose $300 per month, as the rent I’m able to charge doesn’t cover the mortgage payment. Not to mention, despite home warranty plans and insurance, I was forced to pay over $5000 in repair bills, out of pocket, on my house this past year.

    At this point, I feel that I’ve put too much time and effort into getting through this recession. I’m trying to hang on to my home long enough to sell it, and I doubt that I’ll look to be a homeowner again. I can find other ways to invest my money that are less risky and less traumatic in case of financial meltdown.

    I remember when I bought the house that I was complaining to my Dad about how I was suddenly $200k in debt. He calmed me by telling me that I wasn’t really in debt, as I HAD something tangible for my money, and that if the time ever came that I couldn’t afford my house, I could simply sell it and I’d be fine. Talk about a completely difference, if not naive, generational perspective!

  • Tanya

    I own a home with my mom and we’re underwater on it. We need to start the modification process because it’s worth much less than we paid and owe for it (and we didn’t overbuy in the first place). I would love to be in a house half it’s size, and half it’s price! The house I’m in needs work, which we’ll do, but it still won’t sell for what we paid once that’s done. The last appraised value was 70% of what we paid for it, and I’m sure it’s less by now. We need the modification so we can afford to do the work that needs to be done to the home, so it can hopefully be sold period!

  • Ann

    The company I work for is a materials supplier to the construction & remodeling industry and our business has dropped steadily over the last five years. We have gone from a work force of about 50 to fewer than 20 in the last three years. I have seen friends lose their jobs with little hope of getting a new one. I am one of the lucky ones who has kept their job but the uncertainty is very difficult. There has been a very slight upturn in sales lately and we have hired one person back but too little too slowly. I have seen good hard-working customers who have had to scale back or close their businesses which just keeps the spiral going downward. Wish I had a magic solution.

  • needingscubagear

    We’re so far under water with our mortgage vs the value of our townhouse it’s tempting to give up and call it quits [paying monthly mortgage payments]. We’ve tried several ways to refinance and none of it has panned out. The government bail out for homeowners is worthless for those of us making on-time payments. I get the impression there’s more help for us if we stop paying our payments all together. The townhomes around us are dropping like flies too, foreclosures everywhere, it’s really not helping the value of our home at all. I have to remind myself that none of this really matters unless we’re thinking of selling (we have no current plans to) but it really is difficult making those high payments knowing they’re getting us virtually no where [in value].

  • Misty Cowell

    We started to refinance our home in SW Mn back in early November, we closed on January 5th. The appraiser had nothing to compare our home to and when it finally did come back the value was way below what we owed so to get that low interest rate we had to get an additional loan to make up the difference. it was a nightmare!! Homeowners did not cause this mess the banks did, so why are the banks making it difficult for homeowners and why is a random appraiser a good idea now??

  • Dan

    2 1/2 years ago my wife and I bought our first home and were very excited. Now we are under water on our mortgage. We are fortunate in that we still have our jobs, so we can continue making payments. However, we are likely going to have to pass on a great job opportunity because we can’t move. I thought the American dream was having the freedom to pursue opportunities, not being tied down to a building and mortgage, but apparently I was duped like so many others.

  • Joy

    Hi,

    We bought our house in 1999 and took out a 2nd mortgage in 2002. In 2003 my husband was diagnosed with cancer and laid off from his job. We managed over the next few years, going through a lot of saved cash.

    We started trying to do a modification in 2009. Our 2nd mortgage holder did modify, dropping our payment from $250 to $222. Not much, but it helped. Our 1st mortgage has been a nightmare. We have filled out at least 3 requests for modification.They lost the first one, then told us that we didn’t qualify when we resubmitted (it was a very narrow option of lenders that qualified under the initial program).

    They told us to try again, so I have been monitoring our latest request (submitted in Nov, 2010) and they have been telling us it was “in the final stages of review and we would hear shortly.” Then yesterday they told us we had not submitted all the required documents so they were closing our modification and we would have to resubmit.

    But we DID submit all the docs.

    It’s a nightmare.

  • Chris

    It is a tangible asset and you have to live somewhere. So, despite the fact that my house maybe worth less than what I paid (in 2009) I don’t care that much. The housing market will rebound once people stop leaving their homes because of being underwater. I do feel bad for folks who lost their jobs and cannot afford their houses, but I don’t like the people who are just walking away from their homes because of what it is worth on paper.

    Me personally, I live in Stillwater. My taxes went down this year and it’s almost laughable how cheap it is. Because I plan on living there for years I don’t really care about the housing market. But, I do care about people being so selfish that they are willing to hurt their community just to save a couple bucks.

  • Kirsten Halen

    I purchased a house in MPLS in 1990, lived there for 20 years and then bought a townhouse in Apple Valley. This was a great housing market for me, as I sold reletively high and bought low. I was down to owing 80,000 on my mortgage and 9 yrs left on loan. Bought the townhouse, and got a loan for 70,000 for 10 yrs. I couldn’t be happier…suburbs are great…lower taxes, better plowing and newer schools. I miss the parks and river, but I can always visit.

  • steve

    not much i live in a great area with good schools and love mn!

  • Jeff

    I bought my house in Bloomington in 2008, I’ve watched the house lose value for the last two years. I have also watched interest rates drop dramatically just after I purchased my home with a 6.25% interest rate. I have attempted to refinance 3 times so far and each time I was lied to (even on the good faith statements) and suddently a few days before the closing (on the day of the closing one time) the closing costs were increased by thousands of dollars! Luckily this last time the bank really needed the loan for their end of the year numbers (I closed on the last day of the year they can accept closings in 2010) and they worked with me to drop the out of pocket closing costs to zero (instead of the $2,700 they initially requested). Now I have a loan with a 4.875% interest rate and I paid zero out of pocket closing costs (the FHA loans require an up front insurance payment, which was the only cost rolled into the loan). Overall the housing market dropping did lower the interest rates so it wasn’t horrible for me but I will say that the refinancing process is a nightmare.

  • Erin

    We purchased our first home in East St. Paul six years ago with the hope that we would make improvements and sell it within five years to relocate to the eastern suburbs before our son was to enter kindergarten. Despite making every mortgage payment, property values in our neighborhood have fallen so much that we are now significantly upside down on our mortgage. In this market it will be years now before we will be able to sell our home in the city and move to the suburbs without suffering significant financial losses.

  • grams

    I am a retired person that had to buy a better house a few years before I retired in order to raise a couple of grandkids. I paid $172,000 in 2002. Over the next several years the county’s assessed value rose to $194,000 before it started falling like a rock. I was more or less counting on that value for maintaining and growing my equity so that when my deferred compensation ran out, I would be able to get a reverse mortgage to live on. Well now my value is way below what I paid ($130,00) and I have actually lost equity so a reverse mortgage is out of the question. I was able to get my payment lowered by $200/month with a re-fi, and that will help, but not nearly enough for me to stay here comfortably but I can’t sell either, so I don’t know what the future will hold for me. I doubt if the market will recover in time to help me.

  • Amy

    I purchased my home in 2009. The county I live in had the taxable value at $191,000. Now the taxable value of my home has dropped to $161,000 and my property taxes are going up…. I have no intention of selling any time soon, and I was able to purchase my house at such a great price I think it would take a collapse of the entire global economy for me to lose out on any value. It just frustrates me that my property taxes are going up but the value of my home is going down. I do feel fortunate that my only complaint is that though. Overall I think I’ve had a good experience with purchasing my home very low in price and I hope that when we decide to sell in 5-10 years, the market will have turned around for the greater good of the collective homeowner population.

  • Bill a.

    Other than the fact that my house is worth about 9k less than what I paid for it and my taxes have gone up, I don’t think I have been to poorly affected.

  • Rachel

    My boyfriend and I are trying to combine our lives. My condo, purchased in 2004, is way under water. We now have renters. I never thought I would be a landlord. The rent does not cover the mortgage. We live in my boyfriend’s town home, which he thought was an investment, as he purchased a foreclosure. Unfortunately, it has continued to lose value and we have outgrown the unit. So, we will be looking for renters in the summer and becoming renters too!

  • Clark

    In the past 25 years, prior to 2007, the average rate of return in asset appreciation in the U.S. of a typical homeowner is 2.5%. annually. That assumes purchase price, minus years of property taxes, utilities, mortgage interest, maintenance and other costs. Clearly, investing money in a 60 month CD would yield almost the same return.

    Despite what the politicians state, housing has generally been a lousy investment and with the recent collapse of the house market a terrible investment.

    In the end, it has been and should always be nothing more then a place to live.

  • Lola

    We would like to buy a foreclosed property and fix it up. However many of the quality built houses we have seen may look good from the outside but have blown out pipes and boilers from freezing and have been trashed by previous owners trying to subdivide units without any permits. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening to the wonderful Mpls housing stock.

  • tom anderson

    Personally, I am pleased that housing has slowed. Overall I think it is a major correction. Over the past fifteen years, my home community has experienced unsustainable growth. Schools, local police, roads maintenance and other infrastructures have become overly-stressed. The rural landscape and biological integrity have become compromised. For the moment I am relishing the quietude and the loud mantra of “growth for growth’s sake.”

    Hopefully, we, as a community will reframe the housing downswing to look at it as an opportunity to embrace a healthy community that honors human and non-human communities alike.

  • bustingattheseams

    We bought our home in 2004 with zero down payment, and an interest-only loan. We pay much more than the minimum each month (almost double!) but are still underwater in our loan due to devaluation. 7 years later we have two kids and make enough money to get a much bigger house. We could manage taking a loss – we’ve saved a bundle of cash – but the cost of a realitor in addition to losing on the loan is too much. It looks like we’re going to be landlords this summer. Unless… anyone looking for a reasonably priced home in Maple Grove and doesn’t want to use a realitor?

  • Tom

    No problems. We live within our means and have been blessed with good health. I am concerned with property taxes – is it possible that we will pay more in property taxes than the original value of our home? Doesn’t sound so much like the home of the free anymore…

  • Kevin VC

    Well I have family that had gotten a home loan to live in a home in the area required by the job, only to loose the job. They qualified for Government assistance loans as a former GI. And the loan agent did not represent them on best of terms.

    They railroaded them into a variable home interest rate. And yet they had a good credit.

    Now with the job loss and then the skyrocketing interest with the dropping home value, they are trying to get a loan modification.

    But the banks KEEP asking for the same documents they already received. And then the constant calls that contradict each other for information FROM the bank…

    So yeah, I have family DIRECTLY affected.

  • mYRNA M. MENDOZA

    i LIEVE IN A tOWHOUSE i NEED TO MOVE FOR A hOUSE I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY NEED

    i TRIED TO MODIFICATION THE TOWNHOUSE I TRY TO MODIFICATION THE LOAN FOR THE TOWHOUSE i HAVE ENTIG FOR 5 MONTH PAY TO MORGAGE A SEND TO SUNTRUST MORGAGE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM NOVEMBER LAST YEAR I SEND TREE TIME THE PAGE FOR MODIFICATION THEY DONT ANSER I LOOSING 600 A MONTH AND i=THE SUNTRUST MORGAGE i will like soon body helme I am 62 years old and my husman left to Georgia for work because in florida dont have job I am very dipress because all my mony it gong Please I need someboy in the goverment help for this situation, I appreciated everything can do for my situation

  • mYRNA M. MENDOZA

    i LIEVE IN A tOWHOUSE i NEED TO MOVE FOR A hOUSE I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY kNEED

    i TRIED TO MODIFICATION THE TOWNHOUSE I TRY TO MODIFICATION THE LOAN FOR THE TOWHOUSE i HAVE ENTIG FOR 5 MONTH PAY TO MORGAGE A SEND TO SUNTRUST MORGAGE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM NOVEMBER LAST YEAR I SEND TREE TIME THE PAGE FOR MODIFICATION THEY DONT ANSER I LOOSING 600 A MONTH AND i=THE SUNTRUST MORGAGE i will like soom body helme I am 62 years old and my husman left to Georgia for work because in florida dont have job I am very dipress because all my mony it gong Please I need someboy in the goverment help for this situation, I appreciated everything can do for my situation

  • mYRNA M. MENDOZA

    i LIEVE IN A tOWHOUSE i NEED TO MOVE FOR A hOUSE I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY kNEED

    i TRIED TO MODIFICATION THE TOWNHOUSE I TRY TO MODIFICATION THE LOAN FOR THE TOWHOUSE i HAVE ENTIG FOR 5 MONTH PAY TO MORGAGE A SEND TO SUNTRUST MORGAGE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM NOVEMBER LAST YEAR I SEND TREE TIME THE PAGE FOR MODIFICATION THEY DONT ANSER I LOOSING 600 A MONTH AND i=THE SUNTRUST MORGAGE i will like soom body helme I am 62 years old and my husman left to Georgia for work because in florida dont have job I am very dipress because all my mony it gong Please I need someboy in the goverment help for this situation, I appreciated everything can do for my situation