For the second consecutive month, U.S. consumer confidence is plunging. July's official reading is its lowest since July of last year and the figures run in stark contrast to just two months ago, when the index touched a multi-year high.
According the Federal Home Finance Agency's Home Price Index, home values are now just 12.5 percent off their April 2007 peak nationwide. This after a half-percent monthly increase in prices in May,on average.
The fiscal responsibility of a homeowner extends beyond the mortgage's basic principal and interest repayments. Homeowners are also responsible for the real estate taxes on the home and its insurance premiums, too.