Thursday, December 9, 2010

1 in 3 Treasure Valley homeowners confront ‘underwater’ mortgages

Michele and Ben Pearson need a new home for their family of eight, currently squeezed into 1,800-square feet of living space.

With six children — including 2-year-old triplets — the couple wanted to upgrade from the three-bedroom home they purchased in the Sutters Mill subdivision in Kuna three years ago.

Their problem: They owe $180,000 on the home, which is now valued at $121,600, according to the Ada County assessor’s office website.

In industry parlance, it’s called being “underwater,” or owing more on a home than the residence is worth.

CoreLogic, a provider of consumer, financial and property information, recently reported that 44,524 homeowners — or almost 34 percent of Treasure Valley mortgage holders — were underwater on their home loans. Another 6 percent, or 7,687 borrowers, had less than 5 percent equity in their property.

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