During the mid-2000s, housing prices reached stratospheric levels with mortgage lenders more than willing to be liberal with their loans, selling the idea of the “home as American Dream” to anyone who would listen—whether they were qualified or not. But, if the recent housing crisis has taught us anything, it’s that home ownership isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
So, after the recent mortgage meltdown, many are wondering: “where do we go from here?”
That’s the very question asked in a recent report by NPR. In it, correspondents found that after two decades of expansions in home ownership—fostered by government mortgage guarantees by the now much-maligned likes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—many policymakers are looking at housing finance reform as a top priority to the nation’s prospects for economic recovery.
“The two mortgage finance giants made astonishing mistakes,’ Raj Date, executive director of a financial policy think-tank called the Cambridge Winter Center, told NPR's Audie Cornish. Ultimately, Date said it might be time to rethink homeownership as an American ideal. ‘The world we live in today is not quite the world that existed in 1950," he noted. "The nature of households and the rate at which they dissolve and reform, the nature of work and its transient nature across geographies are all things that suggest that maybe, just possibly, a middle-class American shouldn't stake themselves to an illiquid, very large, concentrated, leveraged asset —- that is to say, a house.’”
As a result, many are revisiting (and reconsidering) the idea of the “white picket fence,” and turning to rental property as a way to prevent real estate from owning them—at least financially—instead of the other way around.
"Homeownership has gone from being pretty much an unmitigated good — something that would provide stability—and instead has thrown a huge cloud of doubt over the value of homeownership for a lot of people,” Alyssa Katz, author of Our Lot: How Real Estate Came To Own Us told NPR.
Unfortunately, for many Americans, alternatives to home ownership, namely renting property, means relinquishing that long-held sense of success and status that seems almost a birthright for many in this country. And beyond national sentiment, renting can be a precarious living scenario, reliant on landlords and leaseholderss for repairs, renewals and reliability that, in this uncertain economic era, is often a luxury. Between the social and socio-economic stigma and the relative lack of security, even in these tough financial times, renting can be many families’ last resort.
As a result, it’s important for homeowners with dwindling equity, underwater mortgages, or facing foreclosure to consider other options in attempting to save their shelter. Of these options, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can provide a tried and true alternative to moving onward and, in some cases, downward.
Don’t wait for your own housing bubble to burst or become a reluctant renter. Join the millions of American homeowners who have found immediate help to keep their hard-hit homes. If you have been hit by the hovering mortgage crisis, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond our own “Great Recession.” The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.