Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.comMost of the time, living in Ohio is a great financial decision. The Midwest is one of the least expensive places to live in the U.S., and Ohio is a laid back state filled with friendly, down to earth people who are diverse, and fun to be around. However, in the last few years, Ohio has been one of the states most devastated by the foreclosure crisis and the recession.
There is no way for any of us to know exactly why Ohioans have been so hard hit by this particular financial crisis. However, it is clear that Ohio has a long way to go to come out of the impact of the foreclosure and repossession issues affecting the state. Major cities like Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati have been the most profoundly affected by both the amount of subprime loans issued by banks and other lenders, and by the amount of mortgage and foreclosure fraud and error. Unfortunately, part of being a major city also means having the most financially at risk populations, who were vulnerable to the subprime lending schemes that are now being uncovered by investigators on the county, state, and federal level.
However, compounding that with the recession meant that even families with little or no risk as homeowners have had one or both adults in a family lose a job or vastly reduce their income or hours, and that has now put those families at risk or in the process of losing a home through foreclosure.
In Ohio, the foreclosure rate is still quite high and showing no real slowing in the last six months. Even renters are at risk of their landlords going belly up or into foreclosure. And the fact that there are so many foreclosed homes being sold through short sales, or on the sheriff’s auction block drives the property values of surrounding homes down until the majority of the foreclosed homes are sold. Another problem is the neglect that has been found to be common when banks own property for a long period of time because they have not been organized to take care of the property, and many homes degrade in quality due to neglect of proper maintenance and upkeep.
The only real solution to the economic issues facing Ohioans is an increase in jobs, many of which come from sales of homes and new construction, but until enough people are back to work in good paying jobs, and people have built up the confidence that their jobs are going to last, the economy will stay sluggish, keeping those factors low.