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Thursday, March 30, 2006
Author: By June Fletcher
About This Book
Skyrocketing home values, cheap money and enticing home equity offers have had Americans in thrall. In recent years millions of people took on bigger mortgages, bigger houses and bigger debt. "House Poor: Pumped Up Prices, Rising Rates and Mortgages on Steroids: How to Survive the Coming Housing Crisis," points to signs that the housing bubble may be ending. Among the signs: home sales and new housing are at all-time record highs; in some markets, prices have ballooned by over 100% in the past few years; interest rates are rising, while consumer debt stands at a record 110% of disposable income and, in some cities, real estate investors are creating "vulture capital" funds to buy condos cheaply when the market collapses.
"House Poor" is a survival guide that addresses important questions homeowners should be thinking about in these uncertain times:
- Should I take equity out of my house in these uncertain times?
- If the U.S. market tanks, how can I sell to foreign investors?
- How can I tell when my hometown is likely to boom or bust?
- Is it too late to buy as a first-time home-owner? How about as an investor?
- What are the best tips to protect my home investment?
- What are the best tips to increase my investment?
- Should I just get out of the market now while prices are still hot?
- Where are America's most vulnerable housing markets?
June Fletcher has been writing about real estate and home-related matters for 20 years. For the past 10 years, she's been "Home Front" feature reporter for the Wall Street Journal; prior to that, she was editor of Homes Today, a monthly newspaper on real estate based in Washington, D.C., and senior editor of Builder magazine, a trade publication. She has won writing awards from the American Society of Business Publications Editors, the New York Business Press Editors, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, and a master of arts from Oxford University, both in English.
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