I plan to finish some remodeling projects in my house in 2009. Namely the master and guest bathrooms, the kitchen countertops/lighting and putting in new carpet or possibly hardwood floors.
I received about 5K towards these updates from the previous owner when I bought in 2003, but I chose to invest it at the time and not use it for renovation. I just recently got married, and I see myself selling this home in the next two years, so that we can possibly purchase something together. I'd need to finish these outstanding projects before I can put the house on the market.
Since we are living on one income I have the option to save and pay for these projects in cash. I bought it in 2003, and if I were to sell it now, I'd probably get the same price that I bought it for. 5 years and it's been a totally lousy non-investment! So I'm considering getting a HELOC because I really hate to tie up even more cash in this home.
I guess I am thinking worst case scenario. If the house market tanks hard, and continues to do so, I would just stop payments and short-sale, or deed-in-lieu-of it along with all the repercussions that would go along with doing that. They predict that Denver home prices will fall about 10% next year, and if there are no govmt programs in place to help people to redo their loans when the homes appraise for way less, I think this trend will continue for years to come.
I know this is crazy, fatalistic thinking, but when companies walk away from their commitments left and right without even a slap on the wrist, I wonder why the consumers can't either.
Sure the housing market will rebound, somewhat, someday. But how long will that take 5, 10 years? I hate to put my life on hold for that long.
This was the article I read this morning that made me think about the whole thing:
Many Consider Foreclosure as Home Values Drop