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17 Feb 09 20% Northern California Home Mortgages Underwater

A huge percentage of Northern California homeowners suddenly owe more on their home mortgage loans than their homes are actually worth.  A recent mortgage relief report indicated just how quickly and far house values have tanked in, Silicon Valley. Mortgage industry groupies call this “underwater.” That is when you owe more on the total home mortgages than the home’s current fair market value. In a recent article, mortgage financing expert, Jason Cardiff said, “The homeowners that can afford their mortgage need to look forward and avoid getting caught up in the home devaluation crisis of 2009.” Cardiff continued, “California home values will rebound in a few years once the housing market receives the measure it needs for correction.” “California is still the greatest place to live on the planet and that why West coast homeowners need to stick it out if they can afford their mortgage.”

This new housing report shows that 20% of homeowners in Silicon Valley owe an outstanding mortgage balance that is greater than their property value. According to real estate news company zillow.com, during the 4th quarter of 2008, nearly 20% of homeowners in the San Jose metro area were experiencing “negative home equity.” Home values vary greatly in some Santa Clara County neighborhoods. This is the most significant decline in over a decade. Many home financing evaluators are predicting that mortgage modifications will reduce foreclosures in 2009.

When people are concerned about their income and savings disappearing, fewer will purchase homes despite low mortgage interest rates and falling prices. It is a difficult time for homeowners with these drops in values, but most real estate experts believe that home values will rebound eventually. Until then, FHA continues to extend a great opportunity for 1st-time homebuyers previously priced out of the market. Low interest rates along with lower home prices, especially foreclosure properties, are encouraging more new home buyers.

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