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The rapid real estate appreciation of recent years endowed many families with substantial real estate wealth but not enough cash. Real estate appreciation does not produce cash. But it does result in higher property taxes, and there are maintenance expenses to pay. Some families also are disappointed with having paper wealth that cannot be spent […]
Managing the equity in appreciated homes and second homes has become a pleasant and unexpected challenge for many. Especially on the coasts, residential real estate values soared the last five years. Suddenly owners, especially long-time owners, have properties that are more valuable than they imagined. For many families, real estate wealth exceeds the value of […]
The use of reverse mortgages is climbing as more seniors learn how to use them to raise cash from their home equity. The loans are not for every senior American, but they can be a valuable source of cash for strapped homeowners. Fewer than 20,000 reverse mortgages were originated in 2003. That’s a tiny part […]
The image of the ideal retirement that is ingrained in the imagination of most Americans includes a home in a sun-drenched retirement community. Reality often doesn’t match the ideal. Some studies show that 25% or more of those who retire to Florida leave within five years. I’ve met retirees who admit to choosing the wrong […]
A second home appeals to many people these days. Part of the appeal is status. It is a sign of financial success. I’ve seen polls indicating that a second home is the ultimate sign of success to a majority of people. Another reason is that a second home traditionally has been a good investment. Most […]
Many of you have achieved that ultimate financial goal of owning a home debt-free. As comforting as that is, it might not be the best financial move. Home equity can be a low risk way to increase your after-tax wealth, especially in this era of low cost, low interest rate, easy-to-get home equity loans. I’ve […]