Some homeowners still struggling, despite housing recovery - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Some homeowners still struggling, despite housing recovery

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Valley's housing market is showing signs of improvement, with home prices going up and foreclosures heading down.

But some real estate experts say, it's too soon to celebrate.

A number of homeowners are still struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments.

Terry Chavez, 53, told CBS 5 News that she has a hard time paying her monthly bills and making ends meet.

"Even on our fixed income, we can't afford to live," said Chavez. "Our money is going down and costs are going sky-high. It's just hard."

Valley homeowners saw the value of their homes drop from 50 percent to 75 percent, and even though home prices have come back this year, it's not enough to offset what they lost.

Chavez and hundreds of other CBS 5 News viewers have entered the CBS 5 Home Free for a Year Sweepstakes on Facebook, hoping to win a year's worth of mortgage payments or rent.

Anyone can sign up by visiting https://www.facebook.com/CBS5AZ.

"It would mean that my grandkids could wear new shoes," said Chavez. "I can't afford shoes or school clothes."

But even if you don't win the CBS 5 grand prize, real estate expert Rod Roberts said that Valley homeowners will still have something to celebrate.

According to Roberts, the Phoenix-area housing market is getting stronger, and that's good news for everyone.

"The market is pausing right now," said Roberts. "There's a little bit of a lull in activity and appreciation, but this is a very good thing. It prevents our market from getting over-heated and creating an artificial bubble. We are right where we want to be."

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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