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By the most recent numbers, about 250,000 homes across the country are under government foreclosure right now. That means Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA "own" these houses. Which means no one lives in them, driving values in those neighborhoods down. So far, that's all bad news. The question on the minds of experts, lawmakers and others is: "How the heck do we fix this and keep the housing market from sinking further into the depths?" One solution involves investors. Bloomberg news reported about the move to turn foreclosed homes into investment properties.
While the move could help ease the burden on the housing market and possibly help stabilize national housing prices, there are some pitfalls to it as well. Do we want to turn into a nation of renters with no permanent place to live? A rental nation would be a disposable nation. Never owning your home would mean you have no ties to the neighborhood or the property. It's like borrowing all of your personal items. Rental units typically drive prices lower than if a neighborhood is full of homeowners. While occupied homes are better than abandoned buildings, homeownership is a big step-up from renting.
Experts do say that turning these abandoned homes into rentals will help stabilize rent prices across the country. That's good news for renters, and maybe that's good news for the current market. Could renting out foreclosures be a temporary solution to the housing market slump?
Another solution to the foreclosure mess would be to get first time home buyers into these homes. There are several programs out there to help make this happen. You have choices like HomePath® financing, the FHA 203k (if the home needs repairs) and Rural Development (if the home is not in certain city limits). Getting people into these homes permanently in a responsible way with common-sense loan underwriting is the answer. If you're considering the rent vs. buy situation, download the free eBook at the button below "The Get Mortgage Ready Kit" and learn about the home buying and mortgage loan process.
(foreclosure in Colorado: Flickr user David Shankbone)
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