Homeowners feeling 'trapped' in struggling Florida housing market

Article and Video Courtesy of News Channel 5 -- wptv.com

By Dan Corcoran

Published August 15, 2011

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Gloryann Torres misses her family in the northeast part of the country. She wants to move closer to them but the 65-year-old feels "trapped" in her Florida home.

"It's like the jail is closing behind me. I'm just not happy here. I want to be away and there is no way I can afford to take this hit," she said.

Torres paid off her $87,000 West Palm Beach condominium years ago. She feels that she would get less than half of that money back if she sold in today's market. "That is the great irony. People who bought homes that they couldn't afford are being helped out," said Torres.


Housing experts said that there are likely many more people just like Torres in South Florida.


Paul Baltrun believes that Torres did everything right but that there is little help for her situation. He said any federal funding help is often for people having trouble with their mortgages.


"It makes you very resistant to even put the home on the market because you are going to have to 

compete at a twenty percent discounted rate," said Baltrun. "You may just have to bite the bullet and sell the property and move on to the next step whatever that is," he added.


With such high condo fees, Torres said she would barely break even by renting her condominium to someone else.


The next step for Torres is to move closer to her children, grandchildren and soon-to-be great-grandchild. "I just want to have some hope that I can get out of here with more than a fourth of what I spent," she said.


Torres plans to stay in her home for one more year, hoping the market improves. Then, she said, she will cut her losses and sell her Florida home for whatever she can get.