Foreclosures up in Connecticut

Foreclosure filings in Connecticut rose 54.5% in 1st qtr 2008 compared to 1st qtr 2007.

We sold our house in Connecticut recently. The area we were in, the Farmington River Valley outside of Hartford, is mostly unaffected by the current collapse in real estate. We sold the house for a bit more than we paid for it 16 months ago. But if foreclosures are up sharply, one wonders how much longer prices there can continue to rise.

Ballaro said he thinks the biggest obstacle is financing. Lenders, stung by loans that went bad, have tightened their standards, he said. Two deals Ballaro was working on fell through at the last minute because of financing.

Our escrow closed 16 days late, and much of the reason was extreme scrutiny by the mortgage company and bank. They check and double-check everything now and are in no rush whatsoever. It’s not 2005 anymore, when seemingly anyone who could sign their name got a no-money-down no-docs mortage, no questions asked.

While our move to Connecticut didn’t work out as planned for a number of reasons, it did save the equity in our house. We sold our home in Los Angeles in Jan 2007, just before the bottom dropped out. Had we stayed in L.A., that equity would be gone. And for that, Sue and I will always be grateful to the Farmington River Valley.

We rent an apartment in the San Francisco Bay Area now. No more real estate for a while! We, by dint of blind luck more than anything, have dodged the collapsing real estate market bullet twice (because Connecticut prices are going to fall.) It’s time to enjoy apartment living as Sue gets her Masters in Taxation.

I’d thought apartment living might be a jolt, but so far it’s great. No worries about needing a new roof in a few years or the aging furnace giving out or nosebleed property tax rates that keep going up. Plus we really like San Francisco.