Having nightmares of a tiny blond woman carting away your home? You aren't alone. The NY Times is reporting "even people with good jobs and good credit are struggling to keep pace with their mortgages." Usually, it's job losses and pay cuts that cause mortgages delinquencies, but these days, it's rising health-care costs (health-care premiums have jumped 87 percent since 2000) and personal debts. And people in high-cost areas like California and New York are particularly vulnerable because wages aren't keeping pace with real estate prices.
“If you come in at the edge of affordability,” says Amy Crew Cutts, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, “and gas prices go up $100 a month, and insurance premiums go up, and then a water heater breaks, that’s the kind of thing that can put a family over the edge.” And make them move to Minot, North Dakota.
· Other Reasons Borrowers Falter [NY Times]
· The Most Affordable Housing [MSNBC]