Election day is here and millions of Americans are expected to turn out and cast their votes. The results will have a major impact on both the economy and housing market. However, due to the foreclosure crisis, some Americans may not receive crucial information needed to vote.
There are an estimated 3.7 million vacant properties across the country due to foreclosure, according to data from CoreLogic. Many of these properties housed significant voter turnout during the last election. Now that they are empty, some political volunteers approach homes where voters no longer live, NPR reports.
"The process takes a little longer … because a lot of people who used to be in those residences aren't there anymore," Jose Balasquide, the Florida director for Mi Familia Vota, told the news source. "So we have to invest more time in cleaning the voter lists, and we're probably going to find a lot of discrepancies."
Swing states paint unique picture
This has become a major issue in key swing states, such as Ohio. Because Ohio elected every winning president since 1964, both presidential campaigns have ramped up efforts to attract voters. However, the campaigns adopted different strategies to attract residents in the state.
On the one hand, President Barack Obama targeted residents in major metropolitan areas, such as Cleveland and Cincinnati. In contrast, Mitt Romney ramped up efforts in small towns and suburbs with more conservative voters. Unfortunately for Romney, these were some of the hardest-hit areas following the foreclosure wave and populations may have dwindled significantly in recent years..
Meanwhile, Nevada is another state where voter outreach has been difficult as a result of home repossessions. The foreclosure rate in Nevada is currently the highest in the country and has been for a number of years.
An estimated 64,000 registered democrats left the state due to foreclosure in the last four years. During the 2008 presidential election, democrat voters outnumbered republicans by nearly 100,000 votes in the state. This development could have a notable impact on how the election unfurls.
What's the election's impact on housing?
The results of the presidential election are expected to have a big impact on the housing market, even though neither candidate took a strong stance on issues plaguing the industry during their campaigns.
If President Barack Obama wins, experts believe he will continue introducing initiatives similar to the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Since 2007, HARP helped more than a million struggling borrowers restructure their mortgages into more favorable terms.
Meanwhile, Romney outlines his plan on his website. He plans to responsibly sell the more than 200,000 vacant properties currently owned by the government, to reduce the strain on taxpayers. In addition, he hopes to continue facilitating foreclosure alternatives to borrowers in need.
Additionally, Romney plans to reduce the roles Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the housing market. Once the government-sponsored enterprises are scaled back, he could implement new regulations to promote more mortgage activity in the private sector.
By staying up-to-date on a fluctuating housing market, you'll be able to make informed decisions when it comes to refinancing your home loan or qualifying for a mortgage. Using a home mortgage rate calculator provided by Freedom Mortgage to determine your best course of action could keep some extra cash in your pockets every month.
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