Homeowners Continue to Chase the ‘American Dream’

Bruce Baldwin is well past the “extreme excitement” he felt when he became a first-time homeowner three years ago. In fact, the cabinetmaker has now joined thousands of homeowners who face foreclosure. He says he feels so snake-bit by homeownership that he doubts he’ll ever buy again. “It was the American Dream. Now I could care less if I ever deal with a bank again,” said Baldwin, who lives in Ocoee, Fla., not far from Orlando. “What I went through was an absolute nightmare.”

Values for residential property have dropped nationwide. In the Orlando area, half of all mortgaged homes are worth less than their mortgage debt. What was once seen as an opportunity to build wealth has, in some cases, turned into dead weight

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