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Rising real estate prices make avoiding foreclosure a bit easier today

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With home prices rising in most Central Pa. counties, following the national trend, it's finally getting easier for homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure.

After the last few years of declining or stagnant home price trends, we’re seeing the all-important home equity returning.

Yesterday’s U.S Home Equity & Underwater Report (catchy title, eh?) from RealtyTrac showed data indicating that negative equity situations for property owners – known colloquially as “being underwater” – declined dramatically from the first quarters of 2013 to 2014. The percentage of properties termed as “seriously underwater” fell from a peak of 29 percent in the middle of 2012 to 19 percent this past quarter. Looking specifically at homes in foreclosure, the report concluded that properties with positive equity increased to 35 percent, climbing fairly rapidly from 24 percent in the third quarter of last year.

What we’re looking at is a return to positive equity as the norm, a welcome shift for many stressed-out property owners. Even better, for those in a distressed situation in 2014, there may be hope that they can sell the property and avoid the pain of a short sale or foreclosure.

Be sure to get at least one solid estimate of the resale value of your home from a local professional before throwing in the towel. You may be glad you did.

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan

Jeff Geoghan is vice president of marketing and communications for Coldwell Banker Select Professionals and Select Services. Jeff lives in East Petersburg, where he also serves as mayor.

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