A Town Underwater

Almost 90% of the homeowners in Mountain House, CA, a planned smart growth community in the Central Valley, owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth- the highest percentage in the country.

"The average homeowner in Mountain House is 'underwater,' as it is known, by $122,000.

A visit to the area over the last couple of days shows how the nationwide housing crisis is contributing to a broad slowdown of the American economy, as families who feel burdened by high mortgages are pulling back on their spending.

Jerry Martinez, a general contractor, and his wife, Marcie, an accounts clerk, are among the struggling owners in Mountain House. Burdened with credit card debt and a house losing value by the day, they are learning the necessity of self-denial for themselves and their three children.

No more family bowling night. No more dinners at Chili's or Applebee's. No more going to the movies.

'We make decent money, but it takes a tremendous amount to pay the mortgage,' Mr. Martinez, 33, said."

Full Story: A Town Drowns in Debt as Home Values Plunge

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95