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eh, maybe, but i'd still rather be upside down on an $1100/mo mortgage payment in Grand Rapids with a $50k yr income vs. upside down on a $2400/mo mortgage on $60k/yr in Phoenix or Vegas.

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America's Worst 10 Housing Markets

http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/109131/americas-most-underwater-housing-markets

GR ranks #10 according to recent data from Zillow.com

This surprises me. Why would this be? Grand Rapids (West Michigan in general, I think) didn't have a "bubble" per se; house prices stayed relatively normal here (although still too high in many cases.) I wonder if the new-ish drywall palaces in Cascade and other outlying areas contribute to this statistic.

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This surprises me. Why would this be? Grand Rapids (West Michigan in general, I think) didn't have a "bubble" per se; house prices stayed relatively normal here (although still too high in many cases.) I wonder if the new-ish drywall palaces in Cascade and other outlying areas contribute to this statistic.

No kidding. Remember two years (and 24 pages) ago when GR made this list?

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The last sentence pretty well states it ... "The weakness in the housing market is linked to the area's deteriorating economy, Chen says."

While new jobs are being created, less visible are the jobs being lost, many of which were higher paying. I think the area still has around a 12.7% unemployment rate.

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The last sentence pretty well states it ... "The weakness in the housing market is linked to the area's deteriorating economy, Chen says."

While new jobs are being created, less visible are the jobs being lost, many of which were higher paying. I think the area still has around a 12.7% unemployment rate.

Plus they use Zillow as a source. Zillow is a fun estimation of housing values, at best. Actual sold price is the best indicator of a house's value (duh).

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Plus they use Zillow as a source. Zillow is a fun estimation of housing values, at best. Actual sold price is the best indicator of a house's value (duh).

That's correct, as long as Zillow's methods are consistent nationwide then relative standing among other cities should be valid.

Edited by arcturus

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That's correct, as long as Zillow's methods are consistent nationwide then relative standing among other cities should be valid.

But would they really? Would the same methods measure a housing market like Las Vegas, Phoenix, or San Diego in a way that would make the results really comparable to those in Grand Rapids or Cleveland or Milwaukee?

I don't know enough about Zillow to make that evaluation, but it doesn't seem like they would.

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That's correct, as long as Zillow's methods are consistent nationwide then relative standing among other cities should be valid.

A bad system, even applied consistently across the board, still produces bad results.

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When I heard the results were from Zillow, I laughed. It's a nice site for getting very general information, but it definitely isn't the most precise site in the world. I've never trusted it for the price of my house, let alone the state of the economy :)

Joe

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When I heard the results were from Zillow, I laughed. It's a nice site for getting very general information, but it definitely isn't the most precise site in the world. I've never trusted it for the price of my house, let alone the state of the economy :)

Joe

All I'm saying is, every Bottom 10 list is probably filled with 10 cities that go "yeah, but the source is invalid." You still don't want to end up on a bottom-10 list.

I find it hard to believe that we're any more upside down than metro-detroit, but then I did some thinking: From 2000-2005 our values went up. In the D, maybe they didn't go up (so they didn't go back down either).

Either way, it's never fun to show up on those lists.

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All I'm saying is, every Bottom 10 list is probably filled with 10 cities that go "yeah, but the source is invalid." You still don't want to end up on a bottom-10 list.

I find it hard to believe that we're any more upside down than metro-detroit, but then I did some thinking: From 2000-2005 our values went up. In the D, maybe they didn't go up (so they didn't go back down either).

Either way, it's never fun to show up on those lists.

I don't know. There's such a deluge of bad housing news that I barely think it registers with people any more. If people are looking to move here, there are hundreds of different variables they are thinking about (will I like the job, the employer, commute, schools, quality of life, neighborhoods, traffic, will my spouse fit in, can we find a house we like, where do I find a pediatrician who understands Islamic customs, what about our special needs child, is Grand Rapids too conservative for us, yada yada yada).

Plus, you're only upside down on your mortgage if you cash out. It's just like the stock market. If you have a fixed rate mortgage, and don't plan to move, it doesn't matter.

I'm not trying to whitewash the report. If a report came out that said 25% of Grand Rapids residents were being foreclosed on right now, that'd be worrisome.

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Plus, you're only upside down on your mortgage if you cash out. It's just like the stock market. If you have a fixed rate mortgage, and don't plan to move, it doesn't matter.

It matters a great deal if you have lost your job and can no longer afford to pay your mortgage. With unemployment as high as it is here it only aggravates the situation.

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It matters a great deal if you have lost your job and can no longer afford to pay your mortgage. With unemployment as high as it is here it only aggravates the situation.

It also matters if you have to move for some reason or another. Workforce mobility is a good thing, but if you're underwater and can't sell your house in order to take another job, that's tough.

I agree that owning a house is a bit like owning a stock, but it's a mistake to think declines in value are only "paper losses." A loss is a loss. If you'd buy the same house/stock at the new lower value then it makes sense to hold on, but it makes no sense to hold an declining asset simply to avoid taking the loss.

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It also matters if you have to move for some reason or another. Workforce mobility is a good thing, but if you're underwater and can't sell your house in order to take another job, that's tough.

I agree that owning a house is a bit like owning a stock, but it's a mistake to think declines in value are only "paper losses." A loss is a loss. If you'd buy the same house/stock at the new lower value then it makes sense to hold on, but it makes no sense to hold an declining asset simply to avoid taking the loss.

I only meant that it was like a stock in that it's just a paper loss until you sell. But I would never suggest that you should sell your house just because it might be declining in value. That makes no sense.

And as far as the unemployment rate, it doesn't (shouldn't) matter to the 90% of the workforce that is employed. Unless of course people like to feed their anxiety disorders needlessly.

I think a worse report out recently for our image was the one about the militia nuts down in Adrian who were plotting to massacre a bunch of police officers. Everyone around the country thinks we're a bunch of militia loons (because they don't know where Adrian is).

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I only meant that it was like a stock in that it's just a paper loss until you sell. But I would never suggest that you should sell your house just because it might be declining in value. That makes no sense.

It depends. Does it make sense to hold on to a losing investment that you expect to continue losing value? No, the only rational thing to do is to sell it and take the loss. It makes sense to hold the asset if you'd still buy it at the current value, meaning you believe the value will increase again. A "paper loss" is a real loss.

There's a bit more to it than that, since a house is such an illiquid asset it's not easy to sell quickly. And the transaction costs are so high that it simply doesn't make sense to buy and sell houses as fast as stocks. (I'm not underwater on my house, but if you factor in a Realtor's commission I might be.) Also, you still need somewhere to live. :)

Just pointing out a common mistake investors make in getting attached to an asset and holding when the rational choice is to sell.

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Grand Rapids gets on a list in this article about cities looking to add street cars

http://www.newurbannews.com/15.3/streetcars.html

Streetcars are poised for a dramatic comeback

Up to 22 US cities could be laying track within two years.

Thanks to the Obama Administration, streetcars may soon be reintroduced into many cities that haven’t had them for more than 50 years.

Since the middle of last year, the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have largely reversed policies of President George W. Bush that favored bus rapid transit and made it difficult to spend federal funds to build streetcar lines.

Edited by jbr12

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WTF, they post a picture of the building fire in Easttown? That's a reputable rag. Post these trash articles again and they will be deleted. Thanks.

Don't you know that gas leaks are a sign of economic instability?

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Don't you know that gas leaks are a sign of economic instability?

Haha, oh yeah. Time for me to go out and bottom feed for people saying bad things about Grand Rapids. Check ya later.

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Planetizen has an article today that talks about 3 midwestern cities doing great things for their respective downtowns. GR is one of them (although, they don't seem to describe the new opera offices/rehearsal space quite right, from what I've read on this forum).

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Planetizen has an article today that talks about 3 midwestern cities doing great things for their respective downtowns. GR is one of them (although, they don't seem to describe the new opera offices/rehearsal space quite right, from what I've read on this forum).

Here's the link.

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Planetizen has an article today that talks about 3 midwestern cities doing great things for their respective downtowns. GR is one of them (although, they don't seem to describe the new opera offices/rehearsal space quite right, from what I've read on this forum).

I definitely like people saying positive things about Grand Rapids. But, I also like people saying positive things and having them be accurate. That article is very much in need of a copy (GR Opera Center being "downtown" even thought it's nearly 2 miles outside of the downtown core, and St. Mary's and Mary Free Bed being part of Medical Mile, two VERY different concept sketches of the SAME building) info that it makes me feel like the writer was a bit lazy.

Thanks for posting it.

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