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Home sweet upside-down home

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Editor's note: In this guest article, writer Jennifer Baldwin shares her personal experiences in weathering the housing market decline and economic downturn. By JENNIFER BALDWIN Whenever I feel overwhelmed about my upside-down home in Bakersfield, Calif., I remind myself of the mantra I've heard over and over from real estate and financial planning professionals: "Any time is the right time to invest in real estate." During the boom earlier this decade, when home prices were skyrocketing here, it was the "perfect time" for first-time homebuyers to get into the market. Interest rates were low and homeowners were upgrading to bigger properties, leaving many starter homes available for sale.Now, after the bust, it's also the "perfect time" to buy. Prices are rock bottom and the high rate of foreclosures in Bakersfield means a lot of bank-owned properties are on the market. I sure wish I could buy a few investment properties now. Instead, I bought ...