The Good News is that The News Could Be Worse!

Not the best, Not the worst! Virginia is the 10th most upside down state in the Union. According to CBS Money Watch:

“Top 10 states for ‘underwater’ mortgages

March 27, 2012

10. Virginia

Percentage of mortgages underwater: 23 percent

Like the rest of the nation, Virginia was not immune to the housing market crash. In Richmond, Virginia’s capital, median sale prices are down 15.5 percent year-over-year. The average home in the state sold for $125,483 from December 2011 to February 2012, and sales fell 38 percent from the same time last year.”

My unofficial watch over the past 5 years is that Tidewater is roughly 49% lower in pricing than it was at the peak of the bubble in 2007/2008. Some properties are harder hit than others, e.g., condominiums, where dues paying homeowners have to take up the slack for defaulting homeowners and it accordingly depresses the sales price a little more than most free standing single family detached homes.

Another recent statistic says that home prices now are the same as roughly what people paid in 2002! If you are one of those people who purchased in the last 10 years and you are trying to “ride out the storm” until your real estate recovers value, this may still be a good time to consult a trusted realtor for a CMA (comparative market analysis) or a real estate attorney to discuss modification and short sale alternatives.

As one very wise man once said: Tomorrow is promised to no man. Banking on appreciation 10 years from now is historically a good bet, but this particular wise man owned no real estate during his 33 years of life. In all fairness, it should be said that it is well established that his father “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”. Whether it make sense for you to keep investing your monthly payment in your property is a worthwhile question!

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