What do you do when your family outgrows your house
, or when the quirks you once found charming about the place just aren’t livable anymore?
In this marketplace, with home equity shrinking and banks reluctant to lend, is it smarter to move or improve?
Here’s some advice to help you decide.
Moving has gotten harder
With median housing prices down 25% since their peak in 2006, some 15 million homeowners—almost one in four—owe more on their mortgages than they could get from a buyer
, according to Celia Chen, senior director of Moody’s Economy.com
. And even folks who bought before the big run-up and can afford to sell at today’s lower prices still face steep odds trying to unload their homes with the glut of inventory on the market (36% more lawns wear For Sale signs now than a few years ago). There was an uptick in units sold in early 2009, leading some economists to predict that the market has begun to rebound, but selling a house is likely going to remain difficult for a while.
To analyze your trade-up options...Read more...
You can also find out just by prequalifying for a home loan
Improving has gotten easier
The economic slump has actually made renovating the home you already own a bit easier. The construction-industry slowdown has lowered the
cost of some building materials: Plywood is down 46%, for example... Read more...More tips ahead...
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