Q: Help me out here. I bought a condo in 2006. It’s way too small for me, and I didn’t really love it, but it had some things going for it. It’s in what was supposed to be an up-and-coming area, but it’s pretty industrial and commercial still and a number of the big businesses in the area have gone out of business, so there are lots of boarded-up buildings around. We just got word that one of them is being converted into almost 200 units of low-income housing — I’m not looking forward to that.
Anyhow, I saved for years in order to buy, and bought a very low-priced, one-bedroom unit so I didn’t live outside of my means. I thought I was making a very reasonable investment, even if my home didn’t appreciate at all. Now, all the people in my complex who overpaid, put nothing down and lied about their income are in foreclosure, and the value of my home has dropped by about 20 percent — plus the homeowners association (HOA) is going broke, so they are looking to the few responsible owners to cover all the bills. I don’t even like my place that much — it’s just all I thought I could afford.