The housing crisis and its impact on the economy has been a front page topic since 2008. Millions of homeowners saw their equity disappear and their mortgage payments increase to unsustainable levels, the number of foreclosures skyrocketed and the government rushed in to contain a firestorm that was threatening the stability of the financial markets worldwide.
Many families fell prey to predators during the housing boom of the first part of the 2000’s. The irresistible allure of easy credit and the stories of friends and neighbors making a lot of money by becoming homeowners proved to be too strong of an incentive to stay on the sidelines. These new homeowners lost their life savings and in response to the crisis, lending institutions tightened their credit standards making it harder to qualify for mortgages.
This new reality of homeownership has placed a greater burden of responsibility on the housing industry and at the same time requires that both home buyers and homeowners take a proactive position to understand their options and protect their investments.
In this section we will focus on a brief overview of key strategies for home buyers and homeowners to help them understand how to navigate the intricate maze of options when buying or trying to keep their homes. Consumers looking to buy a home or existing homeowners facing foreclosure are encouraged to seek the assistance of specialized housing counseling agencies for help.