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Housing market continues slide, making home ownership goals tough to achieve.

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The nation’s residential real estate market continues to tumble, further complicating life for millions of Americans looking to either buy or sell a home in the near future.

Not only that, but home sales are so tightly wound into our economic system that every ebb and flow tends to create ripples on Wall Street. Financial analysts around the country are doing all they can to instill a sense of calm in the American people about our financial system. Every time they do, more facts about a faltering real estate market come to light, scaring those who currently own and increasing the hesitation in those thinking about buying.

Foreclosures are also increasing, damaging the family structure and adding pressure to the banks charged with handling them. As the wave of negativity continues to flood the real estate market, the banking industry will only get pushed farther downstream, caught up in a torrent of scandal and mistrust.

In addition to 2011 being predicted as a record year for foreclosures, home prices in 20 major cities fell during the last quarter of 2010. Almost half of those markets experienced new lows in real estate value. In North Carolina, Charlotte has struggled the most. Nationally, and to no surprise, Las Vegas and Detroit are at that top. However, Seattle, Chicago and Portland, Ore., are also seeing a decline in home sales.

The causes of the problem can be summed rather easily today. In fact, the real estate boom of 2005-2007 will become a significant chapter in future history books, not unlike the Gold Rush or Great Depression. New moments in history are being carved out of today’s financial struggles.

Just a brief look around your neighborhood should reveal the state of our market. For Sale signs are omnipresent. Maybe tomorrow one will disappear only to be replaced a couple of days later by a new agent, flying new colors and a reduced price.

This crisis has wormed its way to some extent into every neighborhood. After all, you don’t know how your neighbor bought his house. There may be sub-prime time bomb ticking away just a hedge-line away, waiting to go off and disrupt an otherwise financially sound cul-de-sac.

And therein lies the problem: no one is sure just how many bad loans are still out there.

Whether to buy or not is ultimately up to you. What’s best for your family is what should drive such a decision. We should add that there may not be any good time to buy in the next few years, so if you plan on staying put for the length of your 30-year mortgage, then you may very well ride this out. But rest assured, it will remain bumpy for a while.

If you're struggling with an underwater mortgage, credit card debt, or other financial difficulties, consider a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In North Carolina, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt today for your free initial debt consultation. 1-888-234-4181.

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