Upside Down and Inside, Out

A new study says four of every 10 homeowners in South Florida owe more than their house is worth

By Todd Wright
|  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010  |  Updated 1:30 PM EDT
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Upside Down and Inside, Out

AP

A worker stands in front of a 'Upside Down House' in northern Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008. The house of an entrepreneur from Poland is part of the project 'The World Upside Down' that should allow visitors a different view of every day items. The building is expected to open its doors for visitors in the upcoming week. (Frank Hormann, AP)

A scuba mask should come with every new mortgage in Miami these days and that's not because the banks want to send you on a vacation.

More than likely, if you hold a mortgage in South Florida, you are underwater. In real estate speak, that means you owe more than your property is worth.

A new study revealed that four out of every 10 property owners is in the unenviable position of paying a bank for a property that continues to decrease in value in this declining housing market, reports the Sun-Sentinel.

The new numbers are actually an improvement from last year, when nearly half of the home owners were upside down in their homes. Only 41 percent are in the predicament this year, according to Zillow.com, a real estate firm that compiles such data.

The underwater rate was around 47 percent this time last year. Compared to the rest of the nation, Miami-Dade is drowning.

Only 21 percent of the rest of the United States mortgage holders are underwater.

South Florida's numbers may have dropped because some people have decided it's better to got from inside, out than to be upside down in a burdensome mortgage. Credit be damned, foreclosure has become a viable option to solve the mortgage riddle.

People have literally abandoned their properties instead of drowning trying to pay for something that's not worth the original cost.

That's what we call unhappy snorkeling.

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