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Everyday Cheapskate: Take the Sure Thing, or Straighten Up and Fly Right

Mary Hunt on

Dear Mary: We live in Nevada and own a second home in Arizona. My husband wants to sell the Arizona property and then use the proceeds to pay off our credit debt, auto loan and home equity loan on the Nevada property -- about $165,000 total.

I disagree. I think we should rent the Arizona property to generate income and benefit from its future appreciation.

My husband is concerned that if we are unable to rent it out, we will not be able to handle two mortgage payments plus our other debts as well.

What should we do? -- Lorna

Dear Lorna: Let's say you sell the Arizona property and pay off your debts, and then it turns out you were right that you could have easily rented the property and made a killing on its appreciation. Even though you would have forgone a return on investment, you are debt-free, and you own a home in Nevada.

But let's say you don't sell, and it turns out he was right: You can't rent the house, and you can't keep up with both mortgages plus the big load of unsecured debt. In that case, you could lose everything. You have to see that as a real possibility.


My advice is to see this as an opportunity to show your husband a great deal of respect by trusting his decision.

There's something in this for you, too. This gives him the opportunity to meet your need to be taken care of and to feel financially secure.

This looks like a win-win. However, before you do anything, be sure to check with a tax professional to learn what taxable event, if any, selling the Arizona property might trigger.

Dear Mary: I am a pilot for a major airline and have a $70,000 credit card debt plus a mortgage. I'm not proud to say we have no savings or emergency fund.


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