The skyrocketing home prices in San Diego County are still leaving some behind, with tens of thousands still underwater on their homes.
"The bubble hit us really hard," said Chula Vista realtor Gayle Montisano. "We're bouncing back."
Montisano was also one of nearly 165,000 local homeowners who were underwater on their property after the housing market crashed in 2008.
Today, Zillow reports almost 35,000 homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth -- that's even though home prices continue to rise annually three times faster than wages.
"Some people are finally breaking even, where they can sell the house and they don't owe anything, and some of them are actually losing money the longer they keep the house," Montisano said.
Zillow says the ZIP codes with the most negative equity are San Diego's 92114 ZIP codes with 991 underwater homes; 91977 in Spring Valley with 919; and Chula Vista's 91910 has 890 homes that are upside down.
Many of the hard-hit areas across the county were dominated by new tract homes that rose in value until the market crashed.
"Some of the house values were cut in half," Montisano said.
Many homeowners who are paying off their underwater homes can still refinance to a lower interest rate, as the government has extended the Home Affordable Refinance Program to the end of the year.
To learn about the program's eligibility requirements, visit http://www.harp.gov/eligibility