The hits just keep on coming. A tight market still means incredible opportunity in Indiana.....
While the foreclosure rate has edged up, what it really translates into is great values that will pay off significantly in years ahead.
From the Indianapolis Star August 21, 2007:
Manufacturing-related job losses are playing a big role fueling Indiana's foreclosure rate, which now ranks among the highest in the nation, experts say.
Indiana, Ohio and Michigan have all been hit hard by cutbacks and plant closings, and together the three states account for 20 percent of the nation's home foreclosures. Many of those workers affected were homeowners.
"If you have economic problems and little equity to fall back on, it all feeds on itself," Tom Dinwiddie, a spokesman for the Indiana Bankers Association, told The Times of Munster.
Peter Novak of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors said the fallout of yearslong subprime lending is being felt both locally and nationally. Analysts estimate nearly 2 million adjustable rate mortgages will reset to higher rates nationwide in the next year or so.
Indiana has one of the highest homeownership rates -- about 75 percent -- but it also has the second-highest foreclosure inventory rate.
Novak said some home buyers think they will be able to afford a house through an adjustable rate mortgage, but when the rates increase some are unprepared for the larger bills.
"An adjustable rate is cheaper the first years so homeowners hope their personal outlook will be better in the future and unfortunately that's hardly true. Lots of time they're in the same situation and probably worse," he said.
Low rates of appreciation on real estate values coupled with affordable housing and high loan-to-value loan ratios also are major factors in Indiana's high foreclosure rate, Novak said.
Indiana ranked 44th in the most recent measure of one-year price growth by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Hoosiers also use more down payment assistance programs, which reduce or eliminate cash down payments.
Home buyers need to be smart about what they can afford, Pamela Stalling, executive director of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northwest Indiana.
"The reality is we need jobs to keep people in these homes," Stalling said. "And they need to be educated on making wise decisions about if they can afford it now or years down the line."