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America, Welcome to the Poorhouse: What You Must Do to Protect Your Financial Future and the Reform We Need by Jane White

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Chapter 5The Fix: Refinance to a Fixed-Rate Mortgage; Move to an Affordable Region

In this chapter I’ll offer tips for current homeowners and would-be homeowners, including those who can’t afford a house in the high-priced region where they currently live.

Tips for Current Homeowners

For those of you who already own a home, if you’re currently stuck with an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), refinance to a fixed-rate loan if you haven’t already, avoid home equity loans (more on that in Chapter 10), and don’t waste money on home improvements that may turn off some buyers.

As far as ARMs are concerned, there is no stronger evidence that the slogan “When banks compete, you win” is utter baloney. Along with living in an overpriced ...

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