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Are you underwater?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 24, 2012 07:00 AM

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If you owe more on your mortgage than your house is worth, you are hardly alone, even here in perpetually price-inflated Greater Boston.

Just over one in five Boston area homeowners - 22 percent - were underwater on their mortgages as of the end of the first quarter in March, Zillow.com reports.

Moreover, about half were underwater by 20 percent or less, with the rest buried under even heavier loads of debt, that, at the very extreme, is double what their homes are worth.

The suburbs just to the west and southwest of Boston - that broad arc from Burlington down through Foxboro - have the least number of underwater homeowners, according to Zillow.

By contrast, Plymouth County, at more than 28 percent, has the most, with Suffolk County (mainly Boston) and Essex in second and third place at just over 24 percent.

So how do we stack up nationally?

Overall, the Boston area has far fewer underwater mortgages, with nearly a third of all homeowners nationally - 31.4 percent - underwater.

And most are in more dire circumstances - of underwater homeowners nationally, 15 percent owe more than double what their home is worth.

Yikes!

So are you underwater? Is your neighbor? Do you have a game plan, and if so, what is it?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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