Operator: “Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?” Homeowner: “I’m in a river of debt and my house is washing away…”
If you’re a homeowner whose mortgage is underwater, there may be help on the way. Recently, the Federal Government has initiated a bevy of new programs aimed at helping homeowners keep their homes and fight the nightmare process of foreclosure. While there are differing opinions if these efforts will help the market rebound, we believe the housing market is making a turn for the better in the opening quarter of 2012.
At the Rancon Group, we’ve been buying, selling, developing, and improving real estate in Southern California for more than 40 years, and we are dedicated, committed and invested in this market.
So here we are in 2012 and slowly but surely things are getting better. In mid-February, the North County Times reported that according to their own analysis year-over-year foreclosure rates in Southwest Riverside County have steadily declined for 21 consecutive months.
This, we believe, is good news. Our immediate challenges are inventory and prices and the rate of foreclosures definitely affects both. Both inventory and price points may improve with the new federal programs. Homeowners in Riverside County are scheduled to get about $1.6 billion in relief funds, according to our state Attorney General.
In addition to the pending mortgage relief programs, the government is offering counseling for struggling homeowners on how to fight foreclosure and modify existing mortgages.
With all that “help” on the way, homeownership may just be on the rebound soon. The one big factor is that it is currently extremely hard to qualify for a loan. In our opinion, making it just a bit easier for a qualified buyer to get a loan, would go a long way to improving the housing market.
Every day we read the headlines about new challenges, and new solutions to the housing market. The bottom line is the market will improve with or without assistance from the government, especially in “A” locations such as Southwest Riverside County in Southern California. It’s just a matter of time.