They can also give you their professional opinion on whether or not you could sell your property at any price. (I realize that some homes will not sell no matter what at this time)
Do you like the home you live in?
Are you able to pay the mortgage on time every month?
If you like where you are and can afford it, why damage your credit by walking away?
So you're upside down; so what?
If you're comfortable in your house and are paying the mortgage, who cares?
Your interest rate is fixed.
You can't come out ahead by selling now.
You may very well come out ahead by staying.
If the freeway goes through and the government exercises it's right of eminent domain, they will have to pay you fair market value to get your property.
The government is notorious for moving slowly so it could be awhile.
If they do come through with the highway and want your property, see what they offer.
If they don't offer enough to cover the balance on your mortgage, you can always appeal, negotiate, fight.
Also, it may be beneficial to start attending any meetings that are open to the public.
Remember to make friends when you go; people always want to help friends; rarely want to help negative people.
If there is a neighborhood association, become an active member; if there is not, start one and stay active.
By all means, enlist the aid of a local realtor. Consult with an attorney if you think you need to.
But don't just throw all of the money you've put into this home out the window.
And don't walk away from your home in fear over something that has not yet happened.
Good luck and please let me know what happens.
I think most realtors would agree given you set of circumstances, that your best option today would be to stay where you are and ride out this real estate and ecomomic cycle.
You purchased the property at the height of a price inflated market and to make matters worse you financed 100% at a higher than market rate.
It may take 5 years to regain your homes initial value, but that would be preferable to ruining your future credit abilities.
I think finding a renter in a "ghost town" who would pay anywhere near the needed rental amount to carry your mortgage is at best a dream that could become even more of a nightmare if the renter (if one could be found) bails out and leaves you with 2 housing payments.
My advice, hold tight and pray the freeway will go straight through the middle of your home.
Good Luck and God Bless,
Solid Source Realty
However you decide to proceed, I wish you the very best. I too would like to hear what decisions you make, and how you resolve your situation.
Anyway, if it was me and I can afford to do so, I will rent this house out and buy another one and live in it. This way I'm buying the new one low (with still good interest rates) and then when prices go up, I'll sell the other one.
Consult with your accountant for tax consequences. Also talk to a local Realtor, a lot of real estate brokerage also offer property management services. If you need me to refer you to one, let me know.