More Than Half of Solano Homes "Under Water"

Housing price fall leaves many with homes worth less than the mortgage

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009  |  Updated 12:15 PM PDT
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More Than Half of Solano Homes "Under Water"

Derrick Coetzee

Fairfield may look dry from the sky, but on the ground over half the homes are "under water" -- worth less than their mortgaged value.

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It's a flood of biblical proportions that doesn't involve any water, but will certainly change the landscape of places like Vallejo.

Over sixty percent of homes in Solano County are now worth less than the mortgages taken out to buy them.

In realtor-speak, that means they're "under water." And it can't be good news for Vallejo, which is already bankrupt.

That left over $15.2 billion in property at risk for default in June.

It's terrible news for those who bought in at the height of the real estate bubble, but great news for those looking to buy homes.

Just ask San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, who's family bought not just one but two foreclosed homes in Fairfield this year.

In fact, the median income in order to afford a home in the state dropped from $60,500 a year to only $39,000.

Across California, 2.9 million homes are now saddled with mortgages pricier than the land and buildings are worth.

Photo by Derrick Coetzee.

Jackson West is kind of glad to be a renter right now.

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