Why the housing crisis may not actually be over

Hallie Gardner

So you may not have signed your name on the dotted 30-year mortgage line, but the housing crisis can (and will) affect everyone. As I am typing this, I can hear the imaginary cries, “The housing crisis? That’s old news! Over and done with!”

English: Foreclosure, Mortgage Crisis. Deserte...
English: Foreclosure, Mortgage Crisis. Deserted House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question is, are you sure? According to several economists, we could hit the downslope again– soon, too! The beginning of the foreclosure crisis happened back in about late 2007 and since that time, the amount of foreclosed-upon properties have fallen to their lowest levels. This in itself is great news, but what does that mean? What goes up must come down… And then usually goes right back up.

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The Los Angeles Times recently reported that home equity lines of credit (second mortgages) that homeowners took out during the housing bubble will start to feature increased payments, as borrowers must pay back principal instead of just the interest. Do the math, because that adds up quickly. The bottom line is because these payments will be so much higher and harder on homeowners financially, there is a much higher risk of default.

The previous housing bubble may not have affected you, considering during its most destructive years most of us were barely in high school. However, we’re approaching that stage in our life where we are moving on, getting jobs, and settling down. The potential future housing crisis is something to watch out for.

Hallie Gardner can be reached at blogs@collegian.com.