The housing market in Utah is booming. Not only is the demand high, but the rate of foreclosure is also low. A 2017 report from ATTOM Data Solutions revealed it went down to 7.21 percent since 2015. It’s also over 75 percent below the rate back in 2010.
In spite of this, some Utahns are losing their homes. These foreclosures affect their credit score, which can prevent them from getting affordable loans later. But there’s a far more significant reason to avert foreclosure in Salt Lake City: It can affect your physical and mental health.
It’s Not the Same Type of Stress
Financial problems can increase the levels of physical stress. You are likely to lose a lot of sleep, eat less, and feel frazzled most of the time. There’s always that sense of fear you will lose your home anytime soon. It can boost your heart rate and high blood pressure. Stress can affect the immune system, suppressing it. While short-term stress is not harmful to the body, it can be once it becomes chronic. Severe stress might have a similar impact.
A study conducted by economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) showed a link between foreclosures and a myriad of health issues. For every 100 foreclosed homes within the area, the percentage of incidence of diabetes for people between 20 and 49 years old increased by 8.1 percent. Hospitalizations and ER visits due to hypertension also went up by 7.2 percent.
Researchers Dr. Craig Pollack and Julia Lynch, Ph.D., believed the health effects of foreclosures go beyond the family. They can also extend to the communities. Based on their hypotheses, children within these neighborhoods may have poorer access to health care and food, and both can potentially disturb their education. All these factors can result in worse outcomes as they grow older.
Other types of research pointed out foreclosures can introduce a different kind of stress. This is because losing a home can also mean losing a sense of identity.
Increasing Risks of Mental Health
Many studies relate foreclosures with the increased likelihood of depression and anxiety. In a study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers, nearly 50 percent of the research participants reported depressive symptoms. More than 35 percent of the might be suffering from significant depression.
The NBER study also cited how suicide attempts were higher in neighborhoods with high rates of foreclosures. Meanwhile, ER visits and hospitalizations due to anxiety increased by 12 percent among individuals below 50 years old.
Pollack and Lynch surmised that it could because losing a home can cut the family or the person from promoters of good health. These can include social relationships with neighbors, as well as accessibility to schools, health care, and jobs.
Granted, stress and mental health problems can occur even before the foreclosure process. However, it can exacerbate issues. It can also magnify the intensity as foreclosure can potentially lead to bankruptcy, unemployment, and a poor credit score.
When you find yourself in dire straits, it’s essential to know you’re not alone. You can get help, but ensure you get it fast.