Chicago Lawyers Remind Homeowners That a House Is Worth More Than Its Current Value

When the real estate bubble burst, I learned an important lesson: home values don't really matter.

Of course, if you're one of the millions of Americans writing monthly checks for a mortgage now worth more than your house, you're probably shaking your fist at me right now. But hear me out.

The idea of a house as an "investment" is relatively new. Yes, when the market was at its peak several years ago, it was common for people to flip houses - buy them, fix them up and sell them - for large profits, sometimes double what they paid just a year earlier. But the truth is, that was a fluke. For decades before the housing bubble, the housing market saw much more modest gains of maybe just a few percentage points per year. In fact, it was a common belief that if you didn't remain in a house for at least five years, you wouldn't be able to break even when you moved.

Our exaggerated expectations of housing gains are just another symptom of the materialistic, get-rich-quick lifestyle many of us have been living - the same attitude that's contributed to our current economic state. We were spoiled into believing that we were owed something, that when we bought a house we should be able to make an enormous profit from it in just a couple years and move into a bigger house, then a McMansion and so on.

But just because it turned out to be a pipe dream in the long run doesn't mean it's the end of the world. Yes, it's disheartening to look on and realize the home you bought for $150,000 just a few years back is now barely worth $100,000. But you know what? That dip in value is meaningless unless you plan to sell your house today.

If you can manage to keep paying your mortgage, chances are good that housing values will rebound and you'll gain back your loss - maybe even earn a profit - in the next several years. It worked for our parents and grandparents and it can work for us.

This is exactly why you shouldn't give up if you can't afford your mortgage and/or you're being threatened with foreclosure. If you give in to the bank - or walk away - you surrender the chance to recover your losses. Why not hang on until things get better?

Talk with your lender about refinancing - and if they won't give you a chance, get help! If you're in debt, consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which will legally halt foreclosure so you can pay down debt in manageable increments. At DebtStoppers, our expert bankruptcy attorneys specialize in keeping your house in your hands. Learn more for free when you schedule a one-on-one debt analysis.

Remember, your home is more than an investment - ultimately, it's not there to make you rich or pay for your retirement. It's more important than that. It's the roof over your head, your protection, your independence, your life. Material things come and go - your home should not. We'll help you keep it that way.

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