Florida real estate: Life among the toxic assets

When I moved to Florida to be closer to my mom after my dad died, I never expected to be buying into what would become a toxic asset waste dump. Luckily, I bought my home in 2004, before the housing bubble inflated between 2005 and 2007. Surprisingly, I still have a paper profit in Central Florida, but if I lived in South Florida I'd probably be under water.

Broward County homeowners have seen a drop of 48 percent with median home values back to where there were in 2002, and Miami median home prices are back to what they sold for in 2003. Most who bought homes in South Florida in the past seven years are under water. In Miami-Dade County, 35,000 houses were listed for sale in February, which is about a 35 month supply of homes. In a stable real estate market, the supply of homes on the market would be six to 12 months.