>> I'm the forgotten one, when it comes to the money coming in. What happened to that trickling down effect? This powder blue single-family home, located in a gated community in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, 80 miles north west of New York City, was supposed to be Michael Payne's slice of Heaven on Earth.
>> Come on in.>> But a decade after the financial crisis, Payne can't believe his house is worth less than half of what he paid for it, sticking his family with a mortgage that's bigger than the value of their home.>> Maybe feel that I got the short end of the stick I finally got a piece of the pie.
But at the same time, I felt like I got slighted, we feel trapped.>> I'm Conway Gittens in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, which is still one of the hardest hit real estate markets in the country, 10 years after the financial crisis. According to ATTOM Data, nearly 25% of all the homes here are under water which means, the mortgages are worth more than the value of the homes.
Nationwide, that rate is closer to 10%. Buying a house 12 years ago for $184,000 dollars with amenities like a community swimming pool, club house and tennis courts, made financial sense to Payne and his wife. The plan, build equity and then sell the house to fund their dream of retiring in Florida.
A dream that should be closer to reality, now that his wife is retiring as a teacher, at the end of the school year. But instead, they're staying put. He's keeping his job at an Amazon fulfillment center, to keep paying the mortgage.>> From the time we moved here to the time we're ready to leave, we should've had, some type of equity on a plus level, so we can move on comfortably.
It just spoils us, spoils the plan that we can't go right away. We had to find another alternative.>> Home prices in the Poconos were inflated during the run-up as rent-weary New Yorkers flocked to the area. And as Payne admits, what looked like a cheaper mortgage at first, turned out to be just as costly as city rent, once you throw in taxes and other expenses.
Many of his neighbors, were forced into foreclosure. But Payne isn't ready to walk away.>> It's still my piece of heaven. This is my paradise for now.