Well, with the new year here I'm officially ready to recognize that our house is underwater. At least according to Zillow, which I know can be altogether wrong and misleading at times with estimates. But for my emotional sincerity I will agree with Zillow. This realization doesn't depress me. Doesn't make me angry. Or sad. I suppose I just accept it because I don't have any other choice. And for another reason you'll read below
As I already wrote about, we recently refinanced to a 15 year fixed and are chipping away rapidly at the balance on the mortgage. At this rate it won't take long for our us to float back above into positive-ness. Nice! And we aren't intending to move to our "future dream house" anytime in the next few years so by the time we decide to sell we should have tons and tons of equity in our house. We may even be in a position to keep it as a rental. (I like the idea of paying it off by 2020. A stretch but very doable once our twins start public school and we don't pay out the ying-yang for day care.)
While we are currently on the bad side of the housing bubble, we have also enjoyed the bright side of the housing boom. Prior to our current house we owned a condo. It was tiny. And out-dated. But it was purchased pre-boom. And when we sold it 2 years later it had appreciated 75%. It was thrilling to walk out of closing with a 6-figure check. When we moved zip codes and bought our current house we paid a lot less too. It was a major win-win. I think all this greatly helps when I ponder how our current house has lost 30% and we sit underwater... It's the win some, lose some mentality.
Are you underwater? How has it affected your outlook?