The Las Vegas housing market has long been one of the worst in the nation - foreclosures at record levels and 50 to 60 percent drop in prices over the last three years. So where is the housing market now? Will it take decades to fully recover? And what is driving the continued wave of problems with the market?
John Restrepo, Restrepo Consulting Group
Paul Kasperek, homeowner
Paul Bell, Pres, Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors
I like that Gwen pointed out that she could still afford her mortgage if she had a lower paying job. That is the way all buyers should view home buying. People were financing at 80/20, with ARMs and that was crazy!
We took out a 30-year fixed mortgage in 2008 and now our house is almost $150,000 underwater because of the foreclosures, but we're not going to walk away just because our house is underwater. I wish people would stop having that mindset. They're making it even worse for those of us responsibly paying our mortgages. It's like throwing a temper tantrum. It's ridiculous. We borrowed the money and we owe it back. Cindy –Jun 29, 2011 17:33:31 PM
re; cindy...a moral decision is when a person decides to drive while drunk...staying in a sinking ship because you feel obligated is absurd...you've been thrown a life jacket( the mortgage debt relief act)...I can guarantee you the bankers would have no problem shoving infants, the disabled and seniors aside while they secure passage on the last remaining lifeboats. For all underwater homeowners,(myself included) we're renting our homes from the banks, get used to it for a long time...tom –Jun 29, 2011 17:42:34 PM
lousy guests, not helpful at all. I'm wondering if new homeowner and guest , Gwen, will be loving her new home when investors fill up her neighborhood with section 8 renters and her little dog will be tethered to the backyard, because of all the loose pit bulls running in the streets. And knpr owes the majority of homeowners an apology, squatters trash homes too...tom –Jun 29, 2011 10:12:28 AM
My neighborhood is older, sure, but I rented here for 3 years before buying, so I knew what it was like. I know most of the people on my street; there are a lot of people who have lived here for decades, some who are living in houses their parents lived in before them (I bought my house from an elderly woman who was the original owner from when it was built in the '40s). Neighbors help each other out, and I feel safe going jogging or whatever early in the morning or late in the evening. The lots here are huge, so I have an enormous, securely-fenced back yard I can have a garden in, etc.
So I feel very happy with my decision, and I'm thrilled to have found a well-maintained, older home that's structurally sound. It wouldn't work for everyone, but it works for me.Gwen –Jun 30, 2011 07:53:49 AM
My husband is in the Air Force and we were transferred here in July, 2008. Three days before we were supposed to close on the foreclosure we were purchasing, the property was broken into and EVERYTHING was stolen, cabinets, appliances, draperies, mirrors. We ended up backing out of that deal and buying a new construction home two weeks before Lehman Brothers collapsed. We thought we were getting a great deal at the time, but we are now $80K underwater and we are facing another PCS in about 5 months. We will probably end up short selling our home because we feel we have no other options. We can afford our mortgage, but staying here is obviously not an option for us given my husband's military commitment. We looked at renting out our home, but the rental comps indicate we would not be even close to covering our mortgage if we did that. We have a slim hope that Rep. Heck will be successfull in passing an extension of the HAP program, but that doesn't seem likely. I know many other military families are facing a similar situation, particularly those, like us, who are stationed at Creech AFB, which has no on-base housing.
Thank you for your continued coverage of this issue.Anne –Jun 29, 2011 10:10:49 AM
The guest blamed appraisers for killing 500 deal a month, however, just because there is a contract doesn't mean that is the value. Realtors, banks, investors and homeowner/buyers are all parties with a vested interest in the deal, the appraiser is an impartial party. Please explain why builders are again offering 6% co-ops like they did at the end of '05 when they realized the market was going down then. Let the Realtors push the buyers harder for that commission in lue of putting the price at the actual market value. On a $200k house, that is $6,000 more to the Realtor the buyer has to pay, versus making the house more realistic at $190-195k.Luke the Appraiser –Jun 29, 2011 10:04:10 AM
We were fortunate enough to buy our home with cash at the beginning of 2010. we ended up buying a town home for $35,900. This year the value of our home dropped to 11,000. I can say without a doubt that the economy has in no way recovered. We don't mind because we love it here and plan to stay. It is very sad that every third unit in our area has been foreclosed and has no sale sign. Joshua –Jun 29, 2011 09:53:49 AM
Houses can't appreciate until the banks stop playing by their rules. They will foreclose, take over the empty house, change the lock, but not register it. They don't turn on the power or pay the HOA. Another game is to get cash fast up front. Even though people want to pay more and put a lot of money down, they prefer to sell it for a lesser amount to the investor with cash. My community, built from 2004 to 2006 only has a fraction of the originals. Granted, 50% were investors (we were told 10% for this new community. The HOA is struggling. The new investors won't do anything until they get a notices and they most likely have never seen the house. We bought thinking we were getting into a community with people who care!Joy Lane –Jun 29, 2011 09:38:49 AM
If you're in your 40's or 50's, you'll never recover from your underwater property until you're well into your 70's. Save your money for retirement, unexpected job loss, health care etc. Get rid of the sinking Titanic now ( your Vegas home) while the laws are still a little in your favor. Yes, you will be able to buy another home, might be a couple of years...but do not listen to the naysayers who remark your credit will suffer. Ya, well good credit got me a very heavy ball and chain and I'm exhausted with this burden. Time to do some shedding...martha –Jun 29, 2011 07:37:39 AM
WTF, yes, all banks "Want The Foreclosure", that way government TARP money is released to them. Forget about loan modifications, principal reductions, Nevada's Hardest Hit Fund, a sympathetic ear, or a live person on the other line. Our elected officials have failed us utterly. All lies, home prices are not at 2000 levels, a more realistic number would be more like 1965 prices. Homeowners, a difficult and at times very emotional decision, but doable. Walk away from your home, save as much money as you can, ruin your credit, (for only a short while though) take advantage of the Mortgage debt relief act when you're hit with a huge 1099 form. Wait a couple of years and then buy yourself a fixer-upper, or foreclosed property where your mortgage payment will be a more realistic $450-750 monthly payment and you're not underwater over 100%. ( i"m doing this successfully now) It's not a moral decision, again WTF, the banks want you to foreclose...always remember that...challenger –Jun 29, 2011 07:22:28 AM
When discussing the local housing market, many observers and supposed experts from other parts of the country talk about how long they think it will take before Southern Nevada home prices get back to where they were during the height of the housing boom. I think we should recalibrate the discussion.
As a Las Vegas homeowner, I'm more interested in when my home is likely to be worth what it would have been had we not experienced the nation's biggest boom and deepest downfall. I'd be happy if my home had appreciated 3-5 percent per year, keeping with historic norms for our market.
To me, we should be asking when we might get back to that point. My guess is it will be much sooner than 20 years from now, which is how long Moody's thinks it will take for local prices to get back to our all-time high water mark.George McCabe –Jun 28, 2011 16:48:24 PM