In the times of continual rising property values of early in this decade, as a homeowner one could move more often and upgrade or downsize without tremendous difficulty, because of market conditions. When home values are on a decline, similar to the market correction of the last few years, we find homeowners needing to remain longer in their home if they expect to see a return on investment.
Many homeowners who bought at the peak of the market, and now find their homes in a lower value range are unable to sell without bringing money to the table at closing. This exemplifies a loss on investment. Thus we see the rise in struggling homeowners who are seeking to short sell their homes, or lose it to foreclosure, if their income conditions have changed, etc.
So, one can see that a downturn in the economy can create an immobile society. Having examined my own local market, I can see that many people have left Michigan due to job loss, and have moved south. With the announcement after the 2010 census of Michigan losing a congressional seat, along with several other northern states, and southern states like Texas, Florida, Nevada and Arizona gaining seats, it is not difficult to see where they are moving to.
These are not weather related moves as much as economic. Economies with little or no State Income tax and low taxes on businesses are often the draw. With homes in a declining market being difficult to sell, out of desperation people are abandon their homes and allowing the foreclosures to happen as they seek to rebuild their lives elsewhere.
In the recent election, Michigan leaders who have been on the bandwagon for higher taxes in the last decade became jobless themselves after the recent election, and the population voted them out. The hope of Michigan is that we can begin rebuilding with a new Governor and legislature, and seek to model our State after some of these States that have been more successful in surviving this economic recession.
As a local Realtor, I have seen many people struggle in these times, but I can say there is a renewed optimism that our State economy will now begin to recover with the recent changes in leadership. Only time will tell if these changes in the wind will blow us in the right direction, and back on course.
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For the Battle Creek Area Association of Realtors
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