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With the housing prices back, do you wish you had not "walked away"?

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  • With the housing prices back, do you wish you had not "walked away"?

    (This question is intended for those folks that did a strategic "walk away" default - i.e., they could have stayed, but decided that they would be throwing away money by paying a note on a drastically less valuable home.)

    I have been reading that housing prices are bouncing back rather nicely, so it seems that there could be some folks who "walked away" when their home was underwater, but had they stayed, they would have a home back above water, and without the credit score hit - making the decision to walk away a poor decision in hindsight.

  • spidge
    replied
    Well I could have filed a 7 and left the house, but rent was similarly priced without the tax benefits. So with a good modification and manageable 13 plan we stayed. The downside is that the house was built in the early 60's and has had no significant upgrades. Luckily there is is a program in my county that attaches some improvement costs to property taxes.
    Even though I don't see us using the house as a credit card it is nice to see the values come back. Makes retirement planning look a bit more promising even though I have many years to go.

    Leave a comment:


  • Billssuck
    replied
    Sitting in an 82 year old home now that is about 1/4 the size of our previous home...nope don't regret giving up a $2,000 mortgage for a $273 mortgage (creative financing by a relative). The other house had foundation problems amoung other big repairs. I can clean our current home in 4-5 hours and the other took 2 full days. Plus my husband no longer gets unemployment so we can afford where we live now with what I make. Oh and the other house just sits there not on the market (foreclosure auction just took place Nov 12) so that it's not one that will skew the market on just how many fore closures are out there still to try to keep the housing market up (if you can all it that)! That other home controlled our lives and we are free from it now!

    Leave a comment:


  • mynameainttracy
    replied
    Strategic foreclosure was the best thing we ever did. When our house sold at auction in Dec 2009, it sold for 30% less than we paid/owed. Now home prices in that same neighborhood are about 20% less, so they have not bounced back much at all. We were fortunate that our process was very fast. The whole process was only about 8 months and it was out of our name. Since then, we have moved out of state and got great jobs. If that had been our forever home things might have been different, but we knew that was only a 5-7 year home for us when we bought it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stilltheone
    replied
    I'm in the process of losing my house and refinanced in 2006. Owe $260,000 and my neighbors house just sold for $125,000. Housing prices are NOT bouncing back! Lol

    Leave a comment:


  • sbatman
    replied
    Nah, we're still very happy that we walked, even though the house is worth more than we owed on it at the time of the strategic default. We would still owe the balance of the first mortgage, even with the HELOC (only in my name) stripped. However, I became disabled and our income went way down, so the payments would have been somewhat arduous. And, my partner wanted to do early retirement as a teacher, but would bring him with an income of only $700/month-but the important thing is that he is able to keep health insurance at a reasonable rate. But the house was old, a maintenance hog and my Sweetie-Pie didn't want to do it all, since I can't do it.

    Since I was disabled, I was able to take all my retirement accounts out with no penalties aside from the regular income taxes (about $90K) and bought a little house in another city, not in the best, but now an improving neighborhood (a barrio that is starting to gentrify because of the close proximity to the university and downtown). The house is free and clear, so with the property tax and homeowner's insurance, we pay less than $200 a month. We're fixing the house to be compatible for aging in place (I'm already using a walker and I'm only 54) and added a casita for my disabled son, who cannot live on his own and put in the standards Barrio security measures (fences, locked gates and rejas on the windows)

    So, we don't regret it a bit. I do miss having a lawn though, sometimes, but we don't have to mow dirt, just Sweetie-Pie pulling weeds here and there. So we're planting xeriscape plants and should have a ton of African daisies/desert wildflowers in the Spring-twice a year we rake the dirt, drop some seeds and wait for the rains and grey water from the washing machine and hand-washing sink to see how much grows.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoMoreCards
    replied
    I did a strategic walk away, saved and purchased a house for cash when the market prices were at their lowest. I was lucky enough to watch my house value rise while enjoying no mortgage payment. No regrets here. Best thing I could have done.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeadManCrawling
    replied
    Our old place is still in our name, eight years later. We could walk back in and live there if we wanted. The last mod offer would reduce our principal from 400k to 175k. However, that is still likely underwater. And would certainly be if you take into account all the repairs needed to make it livable again.

    Aside from that, it was a gigantic home with very expensive upkeep costs, around 4k per month.

    Good riddance.

    Oh, and the HOA and many of the neighbors! Don't wanna get started. I would never shut up!

    Leave a comment:


  • bcohen
    replied
    Until and unless wages and salaries recover to their pre-recession levels, I fail to see how house prices can. After all, with today's mortgage underwriting standards being stricter than ever, people can only borrow so much based on their income. Houses--like anything else in this world--are only worth what people are willing and able to pay for them. Thus, stagnant and declining incomes must necessarily result in stagnant and declining house prices.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pjmax
    replied
    Especially since high unemployment (I don't care what the stats say on this) and incomes that keep going downward, means not many can afford to buy anymore. I think even if there is a short-term spike in housing numbers, the employment situation will soon level that back down again. Just my opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • frogger
    replied
    Originally posted by tobee43 View Post
    yes, all the false hipe about the housing market recovery is just that hipe! false information and numbers. the reality is, house pricing is controlled by the big banks and they still want to keep the little people in place or in a place where we can't budge. truth is, housing prices will likely never fully recover.
    You said a mouthful there. The numbers are being manipulated.........

    Leave a comment:


  • tobee43
    replied
    yes, all the false hipe about the housing market recovery is just that hipe! false information and numbers. the reality is, house pricing is controlled by the big banks and they still want to keep the little people in place or in a place where we can't budge. truth is, housing prices will likely never fully recover.

    Leave a comment:


  • sophieanne
    replied
    I am in a 13 and have not walked away from my house. The reality is the house is underwater and I don't foresee that fact changing (if at all) for a a very long time. It's underwater by about $80,000 and prices in our area are projected to go DOWN even more over the next year; so I don't think there's really a full housing recovery. We are paying the full mortage as part of the plan but we pay it outside the plan. If things don't improve in the next year or two, we may walk away too....

    Leave a comment:


  • tobee43
    replied
    certainly NOT for us. the home we left, and ours was really not to be considered a strategic walkaway, presently is still underwater OVER 200k. so in our case we did the absolute correct move by leaving.

    i know very few areas, if any, where home prices are up as much as they were prior to the housing crash.

    Leave a comment:

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