(241)Rental Property - Refinance, Don't Sell

You own a rental property for years, and never see the "big pay-off." Is it time to cash in on your investment, now that you've paid down the mortgage, and values are up? Maybe not.

The Problem With Selling

Selling means you'll have to pay a large capital gains tax. This can be avoided if you reinvest through a 1031 exchange, but then the point is that you want your money, right? Also, a good rental gets more income as rents go up. Do you want to lose this inflation-indexed retirement plan? What's the alternative?

Refinancing Rental Property

Have you considered that if you refinance, you can get much of your gain out of the property, without paying a penny in taxes? Borrowing money is not a taxable event. You can take it and spend it however you want, and still keep your rentals.

Let's look at an example. Suppose you have owned a small apartment building for years. You bought it for $240,000, with a downpayment of $40,000, and mortgage payments of $1650 monthly on the balance. Now it is worth $400,000, you only owe $120,000, and your cash flow is around $800/month. How do you get at that equity?

A bank will probably loan you 70% of the value, or $280,000. After paying off the first mortgage, you are left with $160,000. With todays lower interest rates, your payment on the new mortgage will be about the same. At most you might lose $50/month in cash flow.

An even better scenario: Use $40,000 for high-return upgrades to the property, such as carports or laundry rooms, and then raise the rents. You could have $120,000 left over to spend any way you want, AND have higher cash flow. Does that sound better than selling your retirement plan? Don't sell. Refinance that rental property!

About the Author

Steve Gillman has invested real estate for years. To learn more, and to see a photo of a beautiful house he and his wife bought for $17,500, visit
Written by: Steve Gillman



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This investment retirement account (IRA) is useful to you as an investor to understand because it may be a good way for you to save for your kid’s education AND save on taxes. These plans are now called Coverdell Education Savings Accounts in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell. Individuals can make annual contributions of up to $2,000 per child into an account that's exclusively for helping to pay higher education costs. The money contributed to a Coverdell account doesn't count against the $3,000 ($3,500 if 50 and older) annual total individuals may contribute to their combined personal individual IRAs.
The earnings and withdrawals from a Coverdell account are tax-free, but you can't deduct the contributions from your income tax because the account is for the benefit of the child, not the contributor. This is great for parents who are good savers and investors who want to make an annual tax-saving contribution that they can invest in the stock market toward the education of a studious and responsible child. In addition, if your child received a Coverdell ESA distribution, you now can also claim Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning credits. Just make sure you don't use Coverdell money to pay for the same expenses you use to claim an education credit.
The beneficiary (your child) of the education IRA must withdraw the funds by age 30 if they don’t go to college and pay taxes and penalties on it. However, the account can be transferred to a sibling or the beneficiary's child if they don’t pursue a higher academic degree or use it all.
Once you have the account open you can use the stock market to help finance your child’s education selling the stock at a high price after you have bought it at a low price using techniques such as I teach.

About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D., the Wallet Doctor, is a successful investor. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in finance. The Wallet Doctor is sought after for investment advice and coaching. For more information visit Dr. Brown’s site at or sign up for his investment tips at

Written by: Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D.

(244)Save Money and Learn More About Your Finances.

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About the Author
Sally Summers is Editorial Director at and You can read her weekly blog at where she talks about today's most popular magazines and how they can enrich your daily life.

Written by: Sally Summers

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