You know what the last real taboo in our society is? It's money.
Some might think the last taboo(s) involve certain, uhh...private matters, but there are lots of people quite willing to bring those matters up in great detail with people they've barely met. Start asking those people about their finances, their inheritances, their incomes, etc. and watch how fast things get touchy. Better yet, if you want to ever be asked back to their coffee klatch, don't ask.
That said, I'll open my kimono just enough to say this: I was thrilled to see the uptick in downtown Lowell condo value, as reflected by Zillow.com. I'm not necessarily trying to sell it, and I've written before on several occasions why the whole 'upside-down' mortgage thing isn't necessarily so terrible. Still, I was happy to see the trend.
I bought in 2008 for 225 (230 with 5 back). Pretty much from then forward, its value has steadily dived to its rock bottom of 156 exactly one year ago.
I put nothing down (ahh...the old FHA zero down days), which was nice because that was the best option for me at the time, but which sucks because I pay PMI plus a mammoth-sized monthly payment (30-year fixed). On the bright side, I paid a big chunk of principal last year and now owe about 189. At this rate, I'll be PMI-free in the spring of 2014.
Anyway, the value has been creeping up since last February, and Zillow now says it's worth 175. If things keep moving this way, it may go 'rightside up' at some point next year. That's nice because a) the thought of positive equity is a pleasant one...and it's nice to think it could buoy me if I hit a rocky patch; and b) I would have mobility if the siren song of an 'actual' house became too strong to resist.