As someone who has been involved in the industry of new home building for 20+ years, I am telling you folks right now that you have not seen the worst of the effect of the mortgage crisis.
"We" have been giving loans to people who could not afford to buy homes for about 15 years, now. AND, "we" have been building crap housing for these people. In 5-6 months, maybe sooner, the stock market is going to be about a third to half down!
(Just my prediction, get expert advice before jumping.)
Now, I'm not sure what you should do, but I do believe that those of you who have access to a financial planner that you TRUST, should take advantage of any advice that gives you investment in REAL property without incurring further debt or any extra tax burden.
Consider this a public service announcement.