The Suburban Home: an Asset or a Liability?

<p>This article from <em>The Atlantic</em> looks at the rising troubles experienced in the nation's suburbs since the foreclosure explosion.</p>
February 3, 2008, 7am PST | Nate Berg
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"As the collapse of the subprime mortgage market roils the economy, it is in places like Three Lakes-the fast-growth fringes of America's metro areas-where much of the trouble is originating. Most of Miami-Dade County's 29,923 foreclosures in the first three quarters of 2007 occurred on its outer fringes. In Clark County, Nevada, where nearly one in 20 homes is in foreclosure, the worst damage has likewise been done in a ring around central Las Vegas."

"Nationally, the variety of communities facing a wave of foreclosures is striking. Many areas of go-go growth-the Southwest, California's Central Valley, much of Florida, eastern Colorado, Greater Atlanta-have been hard-hit. So too have portions of the Rust Belt, and a narrow east-west strip running from Tennessee into Arkansas. The places encompass run-down neighborhoods as well as areas with at least a veneer of affluence. (On the street pictured below, many of the houses sold for $400,000 or more.) If nothing else, the meltdown forces us to consider how much uncertainty may lurk beneath the surface of apparent prosperity; an ample suburban house could be an asset or a liability, depending on the terms of the mortgage and the direction of the local market."

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Published on Friday, February 1, 2008 in The Atlantic
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