No doubt all the factors mentioned are contributing, but what I'm also seeing are a lot of so-called "strategic defaults", where folks obviously had decent jobs, like attorneys, a working couple, etc., and they simply did the math and decided it wasn't worth continuing to make payments on a property where the value was so far underwater, AND where they had already sucked mucho cash out of the home, borrowing far more than it's now worth. So it's not that they coudn't afford to pay for it anymore, they simply made the decision it was better to walk and try to find something elsewhere....no doubt much cheaper, with lower taxes, and BTW, available thru a 30% down hard money/private party loan if need be (regardless of their credit rating).
I suspect that scenario is gonna go on for quite awhile until those over-borrowed properties get flushed thru the system and/or value seriously pickup again... regardless whatever the rest of the economy is doing.... more
Paula - Great idea in this market that is flooded with foreclosures -- and I DO mean flooded. Go to http://hotpads.com/ to see foreclosures alongside the regular sales in Grass Valley and anywhere else in the US. You will will shocked at the number.
If you can pay a rent that is the equivalent of the home owner's mortgage payment/prop taxes/insurance, then many sellers would have a HUGE incentive to offer you a rent-to-own option.
Good luck! The country needs more folks who are willing to actually pay for their housing.... more