Those of you who know me, know that I am a numbers guy. If after crunching the numbers a deal makes sense, then I will gladly endorse it to a client. However, given the volatile nature of the current market, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to justify endorsing short term deals and the future of the real estate market seems bleaker. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Two key factors have me questioning the foreseeable future of the market: According to the Mortgage Banker’s Association National Delinquency Survey the total delinquency for all mortgages is at mind-numbing 14%. FOURTEEN PERCENT! How many of those will translate into foreclosures and/or short sales? Well, the answer depends on how effective programs like Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) become in assisting homeowners from escaping foreclosure. According to many industry analysts/experts, the current government programs are completely ineffective in producing long-term results and will need major restructuring/overhauls in order to reach their goals. The unemployment rate in the US is at 9.3 %. And states that help push/drive the economy are experiencing remarkably high unemployment rates: California is at 12.3%, Florida is at 11.2%, and Michigan is at a staggering 13.7%. All those numbers are about 7-8% higher than during the booming times of 2005-2006. How much stability and long-term appreciation in real estate can we expect if Americans are having a hard time finding and keeping work? As an investor, are you prepared to compete with the onslaught of distressed properties that are anticipated to be hitting the market (and potentially driving prices down) in coming months/years? With fewer people qualifying for financing, due to job loss, lack of credit, stricter lending practices, are you able/willing to offer creative financing alternatives to expand the pool of potential buyers? Are you considering changing your REI strategy from a flipping/rehabbing/wholesaling mindset to a more long-term buy-and-hold? Your thoughts/comments are appreciated.