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Finally, CNN and NY Times Find Some Good News in Housing Slump

After months of doom and gloom, suggestions of the next Great Depression and stories on “tent cities,” the New York Times and CNN.com ran similar, positive pieces on the housing market.

 

While the depressed housing market and economic recession has caused record foreclosures, some financially responsible people have reaped the benefits. On April 2, the New York Times published a story by Damien Cave about several first-time home buyers. “Severe declines in real estate values are reinvigorating a group of buyers previously priced out: middle-class families with steady jobs, who are often buying a home for the first time,” Cave wrote.

 

Foreclosed homes sell dramatically cheaper when banks are desperate to move the property. Cave introduced Taina Goldman, who recently bought a Miami home for $187,000, after it last sold for $370,000 in July 2006. She explained how she “[doesn’t] live dangerously,” in reference to her finances.

 

Goldman recounted how she saved enough money for a down payment and mortgage, incontrast to many loans during the housing bubble handed out to anyone who asked with little to no money down. Goldman’s daughter shared how proud she was to have a home saying, “I’m, like, this is my house. I get to live here.”

 

Also mentioned was Jennifer Vaughn, a 26-year-old first-time buyer who bought a home for $87,000 after it sold for $261,000 in October of 2006. Talking about her house, Vaughn said, “It’s like the best feeling. I never thought I could own.”

In an article on its website, CNN highlighted Derrick and Mary Ann Lepley and their 2-year-old daughter, Melody. They now own a 3,000 square foot home they purchased for $250,000 inRiverside County,Calif.The same house sold for $550,000 in 2007.

InRiversideCounty, one in 80 homes is in the foreclosure process. The CNN story quotedRiversiderealtor Rachael Morales saying, “The banks have dropped the homes tremendously in the past few months and homeowners that usually couldn't purchase before are being able to purchase at very low prices right now.”

Realizing that his gain came at someone else’s loss, Mr. Lepley said, “My heart goes out to everybody that lost their home [and] lost their jobs. I'm real sympathetic toward them. But the reality for us was, if this didn't happen, we wouldn't be in this situation.” Mary Ann Lepley shared the sentiment, saying “We love our new home…We're just really grateful for the market dropping, so we were actually able to buy a home.”

Echoing the Lepleys, Ms. Goldman said to the New York Times, “It’s unfortunate that I have to build my happiness on top of tears.”