underwater

Distressed Homeowners Aren't Using Help

In the last few years, outreach events by banks and nonprofits have been held all over the country, offering help to distressed homeowners. But even when they get personal invitations to these events, the vast majority of people who need mortgage modifications or short sales aren't showing up.

Home Prices Fall Again in Worst Decline Since 2008

If you're looking to score a great deal on a house, you may want to wait a bit longer: U.S. home prices dropped 3% in the first quarter, their sharpest quarter-over-quarter decline since late 2008, according to real estate tracking service Zillow, which now says prices won't begin to rebound until 2012 at the earliest.

Home Prices Fall to Pre-Bubble Levels

The drop in home values caused by the mortgage crisis has resulted in one positive outcome: Prices have fallen so far that home affordability is back to pre-housing boom levels, reports Moody's Analytics. But a quarter of households with a mortgage are underwater on their loan.

A Florida Housing Development Stalls, and the Cows Move In

Jerilee Wei never expected to be living next to a cow pasture when she bought her home in Lakeland, Fla., in 2007. In her upscale community, newly constructed houses were selling for between $300,000 and $425,000. Then one morning she woke up and found some cattle had moved in.

Underwater Homeowners:
This Could Get Ugly

Negative equity is linked to higher foreclosures. About a quarter of households with mortgages already owe more than their homes are worth. If prices slip further, up to half of homeowners may end up underwater -- a scary prospect for Americans' financial health.

Calculating the True Cost of Homeownership

Historically low mortgage rates are making houses more affordable in terms of "the monthly nut," but other considerations can trump simple affordability, and ignoring those hidden costs and risks can turn buying a home into a potential financial disaster.