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October 2020 Sightings

Excerpts from some of what the SMI team has been reading lately.
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Invest In Your 401(k) or Pay Down Your Home Mortgage?

Will you come out ahead by investing or by prepaying your mortgage? Here's a year-by-year comparison of the two approaches. 
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Is Your Home an Investment?

Whether you think of your house as an “investment” or an “expense” isn’t just a matter of semantics. Your view of home ownership likely will affect other financial
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Should You Refinance?

A surprising downswing in mortgage rates is offering yet another opportunity to refinance. But do your homework first, or a refinance could cost you more in the long run. 
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Making Mortgages More “Affordable” for Millennials

The Level 1 article in the August SMI newsletter touches on the topic of making an entire mortgage down payment with money received as a gift. Making a down payment with gift money is an increasingly common practice, at
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Homebuying? What to Know About Conventional and FHA Mortgages

Buying a house is the largest financial commitment most of us make, and the process can be intimidating. It involves making a series of decisions — typically about unfamiliar matters — that will have a financial impact
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Given the New Tax Law, Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster?

Has the new tax law changed your outlook on paying down your mortgage? The question of whether to emphasize investing/saving or accelerating mortgage payments is a perennial one, as noted in the June 2015 SMI
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The Rules Have Changed for Reverse Mortgages

In recent years, reverse mortgages have ridden a popularity roller coaster. Once seen as loans of last resort, they came back in vogue in 2010 when a new “Saver” reverse mortgage became available that featured
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Ready Cash: As Home Prices Rise, Cash-Out Re-fis Are on the Rise Too

Many American homeowners are re-embracing a once-popular method of generating cash: refinancing their home loans and getting cash out in the process. Five years ago, in the continuing wake of the financial crisis, only 12
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Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

Hank and Hannah Homeseeker are considering buying a $225,000 house. They’re currently renting for $1,300 per month. There are many factors that could sway their decision, but which decision would make the most financial
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